How powerful is gratitude? You may think saying “Thank you” is just being nice. However, gratitude has a surprising amount of meaning. Understanding gratitude can boost your influence and change your life forever.
the GLORIOUS Dan Pena
Meet Dan Pena. If you don’t know Dan, you’re missing out. He’s one of the most interesting people alive today. He may be more interesting than Donald Trump. He’s one of the men that I most want to imitate.
Dan is a mentor. He helps people fulfill their potential and get what they want from life. He calls himself the Trillion Dollar Man. What he means is that his mentees have created more than a trillion dollars of wealth.
It’s really only an estimate, though. He hasn’t met all of his mentees. We’ve never met or contacted him. We know him, but he doesn’t know us. He can’t accurately say how much wealth we’ve produced. He estimates it based on the mentees he has met and who have told him about their success.
With that in mind, here is a video of Dan. See what you think:
Pretty cool, right? Okay, okay, I know some of you may be horrified. That’s okay. That’s a fairly common reaction to good ol’ Dan. He has a history of saying things that might make your grandma faint on her couch. Usually, like in the above video, he is yelling.
“Not everybody that was born deserves to be alive.”
“Nobody cares about the trials and tribulations of your fucking weak, cunt lives!”
“There’s one thing people that change the world have in common: They’re fucking tough as nails! Ruthless! Take no prisoners! Then there’s you [the audience]. A stiff drink and a good fuck would kill most of the people in this room.”
“Do you know how many board members I’ve called whore? You filthy, fucking whore! Get the fuck out of here and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!”
“Why do I treat everybody like shit? And why have I been so fucking successful over these 25 years? Because it fucking works! And the reason you’re here—you snowflake cunts—is because nobody treated you like shit. Tough love works!”
If you managed to get to the end of that list of crazy rants, then maybe you noticed something. Something at the end. A strange word, a surprising word, crept into the last sentence.
Doesn’t that seem out of place? How could that word even exist in that monster’s vocabulary? Unthinkable, right?
That’s because you don’t know the glorious Dan Pena like other people do.
I think this video will show you the side of Dan that may be easy to miss if you only read the headlines.
Let me explain what you see.
The Global Brain is Watching
Humanity is a superorganism, a global brain. The global brain is trying to create more complex forms of life. Units in the superorganism work together towards that mission.
To create more complex forms of life, units use resources. Where do resources come from? From recycling less complex forms of life, and exchanging resources between other units.
If a unit is being useful towards the superorganism’s mission, other units will reward it with more resources. If a unit isn’t useful, then the superorganism will kill it and recycle it for resources.
What does that have to do with Dan?
People need to know they are useful. Our biology changes and sets us on the road to an early grave if we don’t feel useful. We become depressed. Depression flips switches in our biology, lowering our defenses against diseases. It also lowers our energy level, making it more difficult to gather resources for ourselves. Depression is the superorganism’s way of turning off useless units to free up resources for useful ones.
The opposite is true, too. If we do feel useful, then our biology reinforces our defenses. We are filled with energy and happiness. That gives us the ability to gather more resources and be even more useful to the superorganism.
We are always conscious of the judging eyes of the superorganism. We need to know that we are useful. Guessing won’t cut it. Our life, and our place in the superorganism, hangs in the balance.
How do we know we’re useful?
One common metric is money. If I make lots of money selling English lessons, that means I’m being useful to others. If I don’t make money, eventually I either stop or starve. Money doesn’t lie. People don’t usually give you money to be polite. The superorganism only gives useful units more resources.
But money isn’t the only metric we use. We are complex lifeforms. Unlike the bacteria in our body or bees in a hive, we can talk. As a result, besides simple resource exchanges, we know another way to communicate to other units that they are being useful: Gratitude.
The Power of Gratitude
In the above video, we witness the power of gratitude. Dan is rich. He lives in a castle. He wears fancy suits. What could possibly make him any happier than he already is?
Yet, go back to the video. Listen to Dan talk after he plays that first video of the two billionaires he mentored. He says, “I haven’t heard from them since 1996. They’re multi-billionaires.”
Now listen very closely.
So how many more are out there that I don’t know about?
Did you hear that?
Look at when his good friend and mentee, Brian Rose, gives a speech about Dan. Brian says,
Dan was the only person in the world that gave a shit about me.
Look at Dan’s eyes. What do you see?
At that event, he was going to announce his retirement. But, after discovering two lost billionaires and after his friend’s speech, he announces that he isn’t quitting.
When the audience rises and roars with applause, what do you see?
You see a man whose heart is filled to overflowing with meaning.
A man who loves and is loved.
A glorious unit in the global brain.
Thanks to the power of gratitude, we will continue to be blessed with his presence a while longer.
message to a monster
Maybe at first you thought he was a monster. That’s understandable. But when you dig deeper, you realize that that monster is just a man like you or me.
Now think. How much more ferocious could that monster be?
If only more of the people he has helped would tell him!
If only more people expressed gratitude!
How different would things be?
So Dan, let me say: