Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


Breakfast With The Master II:

Future Finances

San Francisco, California, USA

March 14, 2014



This essay, Breakfast With The Master II: Future Finances, is the second in the second trilogy Breakfast With The Master:
  1. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Health
  2. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Finances
  3. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Open
in that order.
The first trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Conversation With A Laser
  2. Shut Up And Do What You're Doing
  3. Secret Agent
in that order.
The third trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Raw Power
  2. It Works Better As A Possibility
  3. Magic At Heart
in that order.
The fourth trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Breakfast With The Master IV: Parental Care
  2. Breakfast With The Master IV: Taking The Guilt Out Of It
  3. Breakfast With The Master IV: Language As Music
in that order.
The fifth trilogy Breakfast With The Master is:
  1. Whatever Works
  2. Yesterday's Transformation
  3. Billions And Billions Of Stars
in that order.
This essay, Breakfast With The Master II: Future Finances, is also the sixth in an octology on Money:
  1. Money And Us
  2. Give Me Money (That's What I Want?)
  3. Laurence Platt Video Interview III
  4. Exceptionally Rich
  5. Stake To Play
  6. Breakfast With The Master II: Future Finances
  7. Profit And Loss
  8. New Financial Order
in that order.




This place isn't the kind of setting you'd ordinarily consider sacred or profound. Neither is it pious or reverent like a church, a synagogue, a mosque or any other house of worship for that matter. Nor is it contemplative like a library. It's not like an ashram  and it isn't even like an outlook on a narrow craggy path along a magnificent mountain ridge with such a breathtaking view of the valley below it that it has the power to completely re-arrange your ideas and your view of your place in the bigger scheme of things.

No, this is just a restaurant, the quintessential "restaurant on the street corner" in fact. That's all. Yet sitting here surrounded only by more tables with their place settings, I'm present to how pregnant  it is with the sacred and the profound. Perhaps if religion worked, this is what the interior of a church would really look like. What's interesting is there's also a sense of wonder and awe here - not unlike the sense of wonder and awe you get from an outlook on a narrow craggy path along a magnificent mountain ridge with a breathtaking view of the valley below it. In a moment out of time, I get it's not this place which calls forth my sense of the sacred and the profound, of wonder and awe. I get it's being around him which calls it forth.

He orders. The steak and eggs. The way he interacts with the waitress is simply amazing. He's wonderful  with her. I order. The eggs benedict. I'm wonderful with her too. But maybe a little more wonderful than I would have been, had I not just witnessed the way he is with her. We fold our menus and set them aside. "So" he says as I ready myself for the inevitable onset of small talk, "do you have enough money to support yourself for the rest of your life?".

Wow! Just like that. And that question's just for starters  ...   In this instant I know this won't be any ordinary breakfast chit chat - to coin a phrase, I know this won't be breakfast as usual. We haven't been here for but five minutes and I'm already in the deep end and way  over my head. True, the stakes are high. But I do know exactly what's at stake, and I'm willing to ante up big. I hold nothing back. I'm truthful to the bone - fully, unreservedly, without hesitation, surrendering to this unquestionably safe space and unflinching trust he generates.

What's also interesting is if it were anyone else asking it, the question would have landed as intrusive and entirely inappropriate. Yet coming from him I notice how refreshing  it is. It's more than merely refreshing actually. It's opening the windows of a seldom used attic room, full of important yet unexamined documents, dusty, musty, and slightly stale. His question is the clarion call to throw open all  the doors and all  the windows all at once. It changes nothing of what's in the attic itself. But it makes everything more accessible, more locatable, more conscious, more urgent, and ... well ... more responsible and more grown up  (to which I hear myself saying "Amen! It's about time ...").

A veritable blizzard  of notes is forming, keyed off of our conversation and especially keyed off of what he's saying. As fast as my fingers can fly, I write some of them down, committing the rest to memory (that is, committing the rest to memory for now at least - as soon as I get outside to my car in the parking lot later, I write every one of them down too). Within a week I've entirely re-written my last will and testament and durable power of attorney for health care, and distributed both digital and printed copies to everyone who needs to know, I've had an in depth phone call conversation and scheduled a face to face meeting with my financial advisor, and I've made critical and subtle changes to my investments portfolio. This complete internal audit  (if you will) isn't only looking at where my money is underperforming and where it could perform better. It's also looking at where my integrity  with money is out and where it could perform better.

When I'm looking at the former I get a sense of satisfaction with being practical, pragmatic, and prudent with my future finances. When I'm looking at the latter I get a sense of lasting peace of mind with my future.



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