Saturday, October 11, 2008

John Assaraf Talks About the Quest for Wealth

Today we’ll see what John Assaraf thinks about the quest for wealth. I’m sharing some interview excerpts from Lili Fournier’s new PBS DVD – Quest for Success. We will learn about what some of the participants think about the quest for success and the quest for wealth. Visit each day throughout the week to learn about what another participant in Quest for Success thinks about this topic. Throughout the week I’ll share thoughts from Richard Branson, Marci Shimoff, Jack Assaraff, Jack Canfield and Desmond Tutu.

John Assaraf About the Quest for Wealth

LILI: If you were- well, let me ask you this. If you were to start a statement with Quest for Wealth, what does wealth mean to you? And the notion of being on the quest. What is your quest now?

JOHN: Well, my—when I was younger, I wanted money. That was all I wanted to focus on. If I had money, then I’d have everything else. And that’s because I didn’t have a lot of money when I was a kid. We weren’t poor, we were just an average family. But I just wanted more. And I worked so hard in my 20s that I ended up with something called ulcerative colitis. And those are ulcers in the colon, and they are really not fun. And at that time I really learned how to take care of my health. And have a great relationship with God. I’ve been, fortunately or unfortunately, married twice. And it’s the third time now, and I have the soul mate of my dreams. And had I understood the value of having all those things in place, I probably wouldn’t have gotten divorced to begin with. But I suggest to anyone that balance doesn’t really mean equal. When you’ve got a balance, you have a lot of different things moving. And so Having It All, the title of my book, the Street Kid’s Guide to Having It All, I did that to show people that you really can have health and have wealth, they really can have the spiritual connection and relationships, and they can, absolutely, have the career, all at the same time. And the key for me was, make sure that you have your values in place. If you line up your values with the right beliefs, then you can have it all. All of those things without sacrificing any of them, at the same time.

LILI: So what’s important to you now? What’s your quest?

JOHN: There’s a few things. Most important to me… my children. There’s nothing on this earth I love more. And my wife is jut my rock and my angel. Having a deep spiritual connection with God is something that I’m enjoying so much in my life and I missed a lot of that In my early 20s. And enjoying the power of the power, appreciating all that really is around us… compassion, and really having compassion to other human beings. And to me, I’m really going to say, contribution really is huge to me right now. I’m in my mid-40s, and I’ve got life by the tail. Or it’s got me by the tail. SO now I can help people think differently, feel differently, strategize differently about themselves, give them a chance to enjoy some of the good life. You know, I think that nobody wants to go through life, I know I don’t, having an ordinary life. So if I could be a part of having somebody have a slightly different life, an extraordinary life, by helping them be happier or spend more time with their wife or children, that gives my life so much purpose. So much passion… that’s my calling now.

LILI: Well, what an extremely generous soul you are.

JOHN: Well thank you.

LILI: I don’t think that… and this is not to be saying something in a negative way… I find that our culture is very self-centered. And when we talk about wealth it is very much about me, and what I need to get. Versus, yes, we need to do that and create a strong foundation for ourselves… but then when is enough? At what point do you have to be able to take it out and give it away, right?

JOHN: Well, I don’t know if there has to be that. I think that, when people start to give from themselves… see, everything we do is because of feeling. We go to work because it’ll give us a feeling. We’re in love because of the feeling. We start a business because of the feeling. I think that when people really get into contributing either their wisdom, or their time, or their money, the feeling that they get is so spectacular, of helping another human being, I think it is something some are taught to do more than others. My wife and I, we look at how can I do better in business, and how can she do better in business, so we can give our money away. So we don’t do it so we eat more now, or eat better…you know, America’s the only country where we die of over-eating. So, for us, it’s can we contribute more of our time and our finances to make a difference for people that either can’t do it for themselves, or they don’t have enough guidance. And that is the biggest joy in the world. I just get so excited about that.

LILI: Well, that’s the point I was making. That’s where you get your juice from, and I would like to see more people get it from that. Because then we’d have a different world, wouldn’t we?

About John Assaraf

John Assaraf as a teenager risked the consequences of a turbulent lifestyle that could have easily led to jail or to the morgue. In his quest to overcome his challenges and fulfill his desire to live a purposeful and meaningful life, he discovered a unique passion for brain research and quantum physics as they relate to achieving success in business and life. Today John shares that passion with audiences worldwide. John is also one of the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management's Distinguished Thought Leaders. In the last 20 years, John has built four multi-million dollar companies.

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