My Truth – A letter to you

2020 Update: I just moved to Portland, OR from Hawaii. The last six years were transformational. I lived by my values and let the universe unfold based upon my intention. I only opened those doors that were on my path and found myself in a completely different situation, yet still wholly aligned with my happiness.

What changed? Why leave Hawaii? Well, once I was in Hawaii walking the beach almost every day, I began to paint the picture of the next phase of my life. I had a lot of healing to go through and Hawaii was the perfect place for that. I painted a picture using the following words:

  • love
  • harmony
  • simplicity
  • abundance
  • prosperity
  • integrity
  • authenticity
  • flexibility
  • stability
  • autonomy

What do I mean by painting a picture with these words? Whenever I am faced with a choice or a door to open, I see if it aligns with these values. If not, I don’t do it. Sometimes it is difficult not to fall back into old habits, or make a choice that will defer happiness for a while, but I am constantly amazed that it every time. Are you on this same journey? If so, the most important advice I can give you is: BE PATIENT.

2014: I sit here in Hawaii living a life that I envisioned over 10 years ago. The gratitude that I have is immeasurable.cropped-IMG_1688.jpg

This letter and the process it describes is my approach for how I ended up here. It is my gift to you. It is all part of my life’s purpose for self-actualization.  You may have lived a fulfilling life in many ways yet you yearn for more as most of us do. Hopefully this will help you on your path.

Self-actualization is a concept that I learned somewhere along the way. It might even have been in high school. It is a principle of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; “Self-actualization is the final level of psychological development that can be achieved when all basic and mental needs are essentially fulfilled and the “actualization” of the full personal potential takes place.” We are all on this path whether we realize it or not.

The following approach is not my own, but a combination of personal experience and learning. It is based on hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of reading and listening to thought leaders, thousands of hours of introspection and a lifetime of trial and error.

My only proof of this philosophy is my own experience. Since my first truly mystical experience while in Africa with the Peace Corps, I have consciously created my life. Chaotic though it may seem from the outside, every circumstance that has befallen me, both good and bad for the last twenty-five years has happened through my direct intention.

My core spiritual belief is that each person has the ability to create his or her future. It is based upon the power of two key abilities that everyone possesses: Desire and Belief. Two very simple concepts to apply and understand and when they work in harmony their power is unlimited.

What is Desire? It is simply the wanting of something. Everybody is wanting something; time, money, freedom, love, etc. The first part of this process is to be very clear what it is you are wanting in every phase of your life.  As you look ahead to your future, what are you wanting out of your life? What are your goals? Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 20 years? This is not about what stuff you want, but about who you want to be. What feelings do you want to be having at those points in time?  My oldest friend, has a unique perspective about memories; he suggests that it is important to remember what you were feeling at a point in time more so than the details of the actual events. The concept of desire I am speaking of is the same thing but in the future. How do you want to feel in 5, 10, 20 years? Once you understand that concept, then you can color in those future memories with details to create a full picture of what you want your life to be.

The coloring in of those details is where I can help you. With practice you will become adept at visualizing your future. I highly recommend that you get a journal to begin coloring in those details. Initially, it may be difficult. You will have many thoughts and ideas, yet few that are actually clear. Over time your goal will be to add specificity and clarity and you will begin to truly see what you want your future to be. When you begin to get clarity, this is where belief comes in.

Once you become clear on what you want, the belief that you can have it comes next. Without belief, that future is just fantasy.  Belief brings life to the picture. You need to believe that the future is possible and use your creativity to begin building the steps to get you there. You need to allow yourself to daydream and say to yourself, “What can I do today to get me one step closer to my desires?” You will find more and more ideas come to you over time. In the first few weeks and months, you may only have a few, but with each passing day your creativity will provide more ideas and take you down different paths until a single path becomes clear. With each small success, your belief will grow; with each bigger success your belief will become reality.

It sounds too simple, but it isn’t. It is too easy to get distracted with day-to-day life. This process requires persistence. Some people use the term faith. Other people equate this to be similar to praying. Others believe in karma or fate. Call it what you will, but there is a destiny for everyone. Most people just don’t realize that they have the power to create it; otherwise the universe creates it randomly for you. You may already realize that the universe can throw random acts at you if you are not deliberate in your creation. Most people go through life reacting to events as opposed to creating them.

This school of thought in the mainstream media is also called the Law of Attraction (LoA), which was made popular by the movie The Secret. Unfortunately, that movie and its following focused on acquiring stuff. My focus on is more about self-actualization and finding true happiness.

Desire and Belief has proven true for me so many times that I now take it for granted. I am currently at a place that I desired over a decade ago. One of the limitations of this is that you can only create your own future.  You cannot create the future of someone else (except maybe for your children). That is one of the big differences between the LoA and concept of praying. Alternatively, if two people are co-creating a future together they can be even that much more powerful.

I cannot completely explain in these few words what has taken me a lifetime to discern. Much of this may seem obvious to you, or it may seem off-the-wall.  All I can offer is to help you along this path, pass on my techniques, and let you decide if it works for you.

I do this out of love for you as a fellow human being. If you are reading this, that means you have already begun to attract this knowledge.  I have subtly taught my son these techniques, and I believe he will have an amazing life because of it. I too need to continue to work on this as well for myself. I have visualized this point in time clearly, but I have not colored in the next ten years or so. It is a gap that I need to fill. I am a little lost for the first time in a long time without a clear future but I am excited about coloring in the details.

So, are you willing to take control of your future? Can you trust that the universe will provide all that you desire? The next step and each one thereafter is in your hands. You hold the ultimate power.

If you would like some help coloring in the details, I offer life coaching services:


    July 18

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I have visualized for many years, but I have not colored in the next 10 years! I am so excited about coloring my future.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom.

    Serena Oh


  2. October 22

    Hi and thanks you for such a letter !
    I wrote something very similar to this yesterday in french and today, I encountered yours. Even if it definitely makes sense, especially regarding what’s below, I still find these “coincidences” quite funny !
    Here is it if any of your readers are french or if you can read it. I would love to get your inputs on this piece of writing :
    Trying to address your lack of imagination regarding your future, when I got stuck like that, I take a piece of paper and lay down all my craziest dream. It is a time of no refraining I allow myself to get back to my deep I. Hope it helps !
    Mathieu Lamour

  3. Tom Schulte
    November 1

    Would be interesting to hear your take regarding bad things that happened to you by your intent.

  4. tous
    November 2

    Sometimes the right intention has the wrong, or at least unexpected outcome. For example I have made the mistake (more than once) of taking a job, or staying in a job in order to be “successful” only to realize that I hated the job and it was killing me slowly.

  5. November 13

    For whatever reason I was drawn to this letter.

    I found it very interesting, as I am currently on a journey of self actualisation, I’ve had a very spiritual awakening and my story as been written after my near death experience in 2014 when I ended up in a coma for over 9 days.

    I am now planning our future and healing at the same time.

    In the very early stages of learning, but learning new things in order to develop is one of my purposes.

    Thank you

  6. Tracy Adams
    November 30

    Tank you for following me on Twitter. I read this and got an overwhelming reflection. I am on this journey. I have been blessed by amazing mentors. Thank you!

  7. Ode
    December 25

    Thanks you are great and this letter is magical

  8. Kasia
    January 7

    I read this text and every time I things this same and never no change my mind. I need create my performance long time. Every day I fell love to my son I don’t know why hi not understanding me and thing that I’m crazy. I have big list what’s interesting for me only must organisation this in one and and go to new word. I like feel good every day and give this energy next who need this….

  9. Nicola
    January 31

    Thank you……

  10. Donna
    February 15

    thank you…as If I had to read your letter today…

  11. March 18

    “Kia Orana” (means may you live on and on), this is my mother tongue Rarotongan,

    Blessings upon blessings. I appreciate your honesty. Words are powerful. Your words are transparent. Your vulnerability is a place I am trying to embrace, and is never easy. In my strong culture we have been taught it’s always about others and never about you and I think in that you could lose yourself.. There will come a time when you have to ‘discover why’ are you here on this planet. You may have your identity, but inwardly possibly lost your way. It has taken me all this time, to find myself, my place in the Universe. To breathe and just allow the intelligence of the Universe.. To create, to change my mindset, and it is undeniably powerful because it is changing me.. I now find the simple things in life is coming to me and is being enhanced by the Universe.. To forgive myself is also powerful. I wish to be kind, and therefore kindness finds me… I’m going off track here.. Please allow me to express gratitude smiles and thanks.. – Forever grateful.. – Mary.

  12. Daniel Branson
    March 22

    Fellow Dan,

    I have just begun the very journey you describe in your open letter. It rings so true.

    I’ve been “asleep” only to awake to a thirst in my being. It’s exciting and scary to be experiencing this disturbance from my long slumber.

    Your words reminded me that sharing is vital to the well being of others, lest they not find this path which leads to happiness and understanding.

    May you find new, rich, vibrant, uncharted colors to fill in your next 10 years.


  13. Leanne
    April 10

    This is beautifully said. I’ve learned these very things on my journey. Best wishes to you❣

  14. Suzanne Saunders
    April 10

    Thank you. I do not even know how I ended up and drew upon your incredible letter. I have been searching for some peace today and it has arrived.
    Blessings to you and yours
    Thank you

  15. April 16

    You’re words are inspiring. I was put off by the concept of the secret when i first watched the film. I wasn’t interested in aquiring “stuff”. But the fundamental basis of LoA resonates deeply in me.
    I’m learning each and everyday day how my vibrational field attracts people and situations into my life.
    So grateful i have been directed to your words. Thank you 🙂

  16. June 9

    Wonderful to read your truth. My journey on living my dream and become who I was born to be is very similar. For me it started (in hindsight) with finding my mission and setting a vision. On this journey of self-actualisation I did learn many things and like you share these experiences so others may be inspired by it.
    For those on your journey in addition to the wisdom above, please reflect on the following: “Only a King can Dream Versailles” a quote by Stefano D’Anna. As although we can be anything we want… you are born to be someone. If you wish to pursue this question further I invite you to read an article wrote on this

  17. Soe Moe Lwin
    June 13

    A beautifully written article .. So clear so concise and so true in every way.

    I too had a vision in my mind about ten years back and it has truly come to fruition now.

    I do believe in the law of attraction and fully agree with the thought that it is not about just acquiring wealth and status but most importantly to realising the person you wish to become !

    I am on this journey every single moment of every single day trying to mindfully live and enjoy this amazing mystery called Life 🙂

    Have a lovely day ahead !

    Soe Moe

  18. David Walsh
    August 18

    Hello Jude,
    Thank you for sharing what you have learned along the way. I was particularly struck by the focus on how would you like to feel in 5, 10 years etc. It is feelings that give life such richness, more so than the outward details. As you say it is not easy and took you a lot of time studying the great motivators. I am so happy for you that you have the rewards your endeavours deserve.

  19. February 13

    We are kindred souls, brother.

    I believe that it’s true, that my own desire to actualize these things brought this message to my attention.

    All my life I’ve sought to take control of my destiny and fulfill a future, that I alone, could believe in. Very little has changed, except to say, that every failure brings me closer to success.

    I always knew that I was an entrepreneur at heart, that I was not cut out for doing as I was told, or for conforming with anyone’s opinion of who I am, or what my true potential is.

    Now, at 51, I’m just about to recover from an experience that nearly took my life at the age of 44, and took me from broke, to broken, and left me wondering, why I survived.

    My body was crushed, and my head, badly battered, in a terribly violent smash, flip, and roll accident.

    My mind was heavily clouded with anguish and depression, and was virtually useless for any intellectual purposes.

    My ability to focus to extremes that few others could reach, was all but lost as I struggled to maintain my will to live. But I knew that I had survived for some purpose, and that understanding, helped me hang on.

    My predicament included finding myself in the heartless grip of the legal system, and being drained of revenue that I had never even had.

    My anger over the injustice inspired me to study law, which led me to commerce, and naturally inspired me with the confidence to take on anything, against any and all odds.

    My education has not taken place in a lecture hall, or a university library, but in the privacy of my rooms and the cold, unfeeling shadow of the courthouse and the banking institutions.

    I may never challenge the BAR, or earn an MBA, but I know that those are not absolutely necessary to become a private investment banker or an entrepreneur.

    Although I know, I still have much to learn, I know I’ve learned much more, than most of my former peers.

    I visualize a future that others ridicule. I know my breakthrough is very near, because I believe it to be true.

    I know it’s true that as long as we resonate in desire and belief and refuse to accept anything less than success, that it’s only a matter of moments, till that breakthrough manifests.

    Thanks for writing, thanks for reading.

    Congratulations on fulfilling your quest, and for opening up your future. I’m in the process of doing precisely that.

    Best wishes.

  20. tous
    February 26

    Hi Timothy; Yes it seems we have both found the light at the end of the tunnel. It only gets better and better. When I wrote that “letter” I was amazed where life had taken me. Now, 2 years later after, after some additional hiccups my live has gotten exponentially even better, which I did not think was possible. Just keep believing brother.

  21. Marin Tuckwell
    July 29

    Loving it, thank you thank you thank you!!

  22. March 8

    Hello Dan,

    It is a wonderful pleasure to read the letter you have shared here. Your “follow” on Twitter lead me to your site.

    I have to say what you have shared aligns beautifully with what I have experienced and learned in life. You have articulated it well and a feeling of true integrity comes through. It conveys that you are very genuine in your desire to share for the benefit of others while you continue to learn yourself.

    The “work” I do has always been focused on the revealing, becoming or being the full essence of who we each are without our brains and labels interfering … with the emphasis on supporting children doing this from the start. Currently the growth of this focus is expanding even further. It is exciting and I am filled with a great deal of positive energy as a result! It is happening because I have once again become more clear about what I desire. However, due to reading your letter, I realize I need to do some fun “coloring”.

    Anyway, this is sent to express a sincere appreciation for the thoughts you have shared.

    Enjoy the rest of the day making a difference or just being at peace with yourself, Deborah

  23. Stephanie
    July 1

    Yes and Amen. I am a Psychotherapist and I believe that every client that is led to me is for the purpose of me assisting them on a journey of self-actualization. I am excited when I see others receive this when they begin to color in the details of happiness for them. becoming enlighten that there is more to living a fulfilled life. Additionally, that they can have what they desire if they believe. I like to use the word manifest. By having Belief and Desire I have manifested my current happy state. I desire the same for others. Thanks for sharing Namaste.

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