Diamonds Aren't Forever

"Can I have $150?"


"For a diamond ring. It's healing me."

(I think for a moment, before speaking)

I don't have a $150 to give you right now.

"How much can you give me?"

Whatever's in my wallet.

(I reach in and grab every bill and hand it to her)Here mom.

(She counts it slowly, deliberately.)

"Thank you."

Exit mom. Empty wallet in hand, I think about my mother. Despite her mental illness, she always finds a way to share something valuable with me.

For my mother, at this stage of her life, I'm not surprised that she believes a diamond ring could heal her. I see this kind of thinking from people everyday.

If I had a job, then I'd be good...

If I had a man/woman, then life would be fulfilling again...

If I won the lottery, then I could tell my boss to kiss my [insert body part here] and I can live an awesome life.

And yet, the person who gets the job, loses it months later.

The relationship that begins, soon ends.

The lottery winner squanders it all, and wonders, what happened? -- as they begin looking for another job.

Nothing wrong with this kind of thinking. The person who gets the job IS good - for a moment.

I'm sure the person who wants to be in a relationship badly would experience fulfillment - for a moment.

The lottery winner gets to tell their boss off and live an awesome life gets to experience that - for a moment.

Mom is stubborn and persistent. If she wants a diamond ring, she will have it, despite her physical and mental limitations. Nothing will stand in her way.

And I'm sure, she will experience healing - for a moment - maybe even longer, if the placebo is strong enough - but it won't last.

If there's anything meditation taught me (experientially, not theoretically), is that:

no moment lasts.

It's here and gone, just like that. Through meditation, I got to experience this phenomenon happening throughout my entire body.

Practicing meditation for long periods of time is a transformational experience, perhaps because the meditator gets to experience CHANGE as it happens from moment to moment, so the meditator naturally changes as a result.

Change. It's here, now. You don't have to wait for it. Expect it.

When you get your 'thing', whatever it is, that feeling WILL go away. This too, shall pass.

Nothing in the universe is permanent. Nothing.

So what will you do when your moment is gone? What happens when you get to your mountain top? What will you do then?

Unfortunately, mom will find this out sooner or later: diamonds are NOT forever.


...oh yes it will...


"You're a loner."

I was standing in the cold on campus at the University of Washington (UW), talking to my dad on a pay phone.

I was silent after his last statement. He began again.

"It's not like you CAN'T make friends. You just don't want to. Nothing wrong with that."

I got off the phone and his statement stuck to me. I'm a loner.

I thought about it some more. Yup, I have no problem with that.


I've known for awhile that I'm an introvert. I didn't really care for social settings when I was younger, although I'm much better now.

I remember visits to our relatives and sometimes I would just sit in the car. "You coming in?", my dad would ask, probably already knowing what my answer was.

No. I'll be fine right here.

And I would sit in the car until it was time to leave. If someone came outside, I would hide so they wouldn't come over and talk to me.

I remember times during high school when girls would say hello to me, and I'd just stare or be non-responsive while they carried a conversation for the both of us. Tragic.

Parties were pointless. I didn't do anything but bob my head and listen to the music, if I even went at all.

You think this changed as I got older?

I remember women asking me out for coffee and I'd respond with, "Oh, I don't really drink coffee."

She's asking you out, stupid! Of course, she wouldn't know what to say after that, just give me a smile and probably wonder wtf is wrong with me. I was kind of oblivious. Probably still am.

I missed some key opportunities in my life because I was clueless in social situations. I'm sure it's cost me, but to what degree, who can say?

A simple test

When I started working for a social services agency, I participated in a workshop facilitated by an expert in Myers-Briggs personality profiling.

The facilitator was contracted by the UW and I proceeded to go over 350+ statements to assess whether I agree a little, a lot, or disagree a little or a lot. At the end of the test, they tabulated the results and 4 letters were presented to me:


I = Introvert

N = iNtuitive

F = Feeling

P = Perceiving

(To learn what an INFP is, you can go here. To learn what each letter means, go here. To take the test to find out what your type is, go here.)

The report also showed the degree to which I was an "I", "N", "F", and "P". I saw my "I" was practically off the charts. Sure, I knew I was introverted, but this much?? Can't say I was surprised, then I remembered my dad's words.

You're a loner.

He didn't mean anything by that statement, he was simply stating a fact. He probably had a little concern when he said it because I was young, and starting over in a new place. He just wanted me to be mindful of it.

Before we got off the phone, he said to me, "If you want to change, you can. It's up to you."

Acceptance & Practice

Over time I would learn to embrace who I was. I also learned how to improve myself in social arenas.

This led me to the understanding that if something can be improved upon, it's a skill. I would just need some more practice.

Some psychologists believe that your personality type is innate. Some think it's nurtured over time. Some think it's fixed, and some believe you can change it.

I'm somewhere in the middle of all of that. I've been introverted for as long as I can remember, but I'm sure I've shifted a few degrees over to the extroverted side. Maybe I'll take the longer version of the test again to find out where I am again. Maybe I won't.

Finally, there are advantages to being introverted. I get to live within my wild imagination. I've become a decent teacher and facilitator. I'm developing my writing and public speaking skills. I'm able to generate fresh ideas and practical, but innovative solutions to everyday problems.

I'm still a loner, preferring my journal to a networking event, but I'm getting better, day by day.

How about you?


I Am Poor

[dropcap type="2"]I[/dropcap]f you know me, then this post may surprise you, if it doesn't shock you. If you don't know me, then you may think I'm crazy, a sensationalist, desperate, or just seeking attention. And that's fine by me.

This post signifies a turning point in my life. It contains a humiliating admission, and hope for the future. It reveals a serious challenge that I'm currently facing in my life, at this very moment. And it also contains potential for significant growth.

What you're about to read will expose a side of me that has never been shared before. It will make me vulnerable to my friends, family, and the general public (basically, anyone who decides to read this blog).

Let's get on with it, shall we?

A Humbling Admission

I'm broke. I'm poor. I have $236 left to my name. Add to that a monstrous debt, and it's as bad as it gets. My home is in foreclosure right now, and I have until November 2, 2012 to come up with a solution, or I am out. Here's my current bank statement as proof:

paul's bank statement August 1
My bank statement as of August 1, 2012

On top of this, I currently have a part-time job as a driver for a local company where my net income, per month, is about $900. Yes, I'm not paying my mortgage, but I still have my condo dues, which ballooned to $500 a month since I skipped 5 months. But as of RIGHT NOW, at my current level of income, I'll never catch up at this rate.

If you don't know me, then this doesn't have quite the same impact, except for the revelation and insight, and a bit of voyeurism into another person's personal life.

But if you know me, then this may jolt you, and cause any number of emotions to arise. The more you know me, or think you know me, the more you'll be scratching your head. You may think, "You're too smart!", or, "You had me fooled", and maybe, "WTF??"

No, I don't do drugs. I haven't smoked weed since '97. No, I'm not an alcoholic, I drink wine occasionally and can't stand beer smell. No, I don't gamble. That would make my plight even more destitute than what it is. I rarely go shopping for clothes. I don't buy cars and I don't travel like I used to.

I've just been earning less and less because I've been giving less and less to society.

Judge me anyway you like. I'm fine with it. I'm not apathetic or desensitized from this, but I have completely accepted what I've done, the results I've produced, and failed to produce.

If there has been a wrong done, it's been made by me. If there's someone to blame, it is I. I'm here, I stand before my peers naked, and say, "I am responsible."

And I confess that there's much more 'wrong doing' that I have committed. There's more to this story than just the numbers. The numbers perhaps tell the story of a talented, skillful, and educated man (although I dropped out of school four times, I still consider myself quite educated), AND the faulty thinking behind his actions. The numbers reveal a problem that I believe afflicts many, many people today, even though I cannot speak for them, however I do speak for me.

And this "wrong" I have perpetrated, is a failure to use what I have been given. I have not utilized, to the best of my ability, my God-given gifts and talents, my unique perspective and personality, my strengths, knowledge, and skills to benefit others in my most recent past -- most recent past being the past four years of my life.

Was I just being lazy? Stupid? Fearful? Stubborn? Selfish? Ignorant? Comfortable? Arrogant? Yes, all of it, and more. You may think I'm being too hard on myself, or perhaps I have some other motive by sharing this, but I am not asking for your pity or your condemnation, because there's another side to this as well.

This is not a sympathy post. This is not my way of trying to gain your empathy and understanding. I'm also not blaming the economy, the "system", racism, or any other abstract concepts that people use to justify their circumstances. I'm not blaming the past, my parents, or any of the thousands of people who have crossed my path. No.

But I do have a reason for putting it all out there. And since I'm being totally upfront and honest, I can say without a doubt that I would NOT be sharing this if I wasn't optimistic about my future. If I didn't have a little more than hope in my heart, I would not be open about my current state of affairs.

There is light at the far end of the tunnel. I am not in utter despair, quite the contrary. And if you stick with me throughout this entire process, I believe you will be deeply rewarded. And any epic journey requires major challenges to overcome, and a goal to accomplish.

The Goal

There is light at the end of the tunnel, but that light has to be sparked by me, can only be lit by me, and forged by my own optimism and vision. It's a goal that must be set by me, and me alone. No entity is sitting out there waiting to give me a fat reward for being a good human being.

So here's what I'm going to do. I've never had $10,000 in my bank account. Ever. But despite never having that, it's still not a big enough goal for me, at least not right now. But to see $50,000 in my bank account would be a tremendous accomplishment, and it's also something I believe I can achieve.

So, this is my public declaration:

I will have $50,000 in my bank account by August 1, 2013.

And if you stick with me, I promise to share the details of how I reach this goal. Every significant detail will be divulged. I won't hold anything back.

How You Benefit

I'm documenting all of this because of you, the nameless and faceless reader. I believe that by sharing my account with you, by taking you on my journey back to abundance, you will learn the lessons I learn. I've thought deeply about the importance of this story, if I were to triumph, and how it will affect others. I'm not making my life public for stupid, or even shallow reasons. There's always a "why" behind my actions.

And if I don't make it, if I don't reach my goal, if I don't make it to the championship and win, then I still hope you would have gained something from my experiences. Maybe you learned what NOT to do, or a new approach to challenges you're facing, but I'm sure if you ride this out with me, you will get something.

And as this story unfolds, you'll see how I create opportunities for myself, how I lose them, and others I will just flat out reject because of my values. This isn't about making money at any cost. I still carry a strong sense of idealism and know who I am, and am not interested in compromising what I consider sacred to me.

But all in all, I hope you get the sense that I'm being real with you. As authentic and revealing as I can be about a very private subject in our society -- money.

And as for me, I get to prove my own concepts. I just wrote a book called Butt-Naked Abundance, which, as it turns out, was a message I wrote to myself.

If you're interested in reading it, you can find it here at Butt-Naked Abundance.

What's next?

From here on out, I will post once a week to this blog, that will at least carry these two bare minimum of updates:

[list type="numlist"]

  1. How much money I made that week and how it came to me, and...

  2. How much money is currently in my bank account.


If I add anything else to my posts then I'm sure it will have some value to you.

And if you made it this far, thank you. I hope you stick around to see how this plays out.

Here's what you can do for me. If you know of anybody who may benefit from this series of blog posts, please pass this on to them. Share this with everyone you think can benefit.

You can also subscribe to my blog or click on the RSS feed to get updates. You can follow me on Twitter @paulcampillo.

Feel free to post your comments below. More coming soon.