A review by Joey Madia
If the current pandemic has highlighted anything, it is that the Economy is a Machine that must be fed. It is a national and global preoccupation. And, as much as it is spoken about in almost reverential terms and is sold as requiring our dedicated participation, we now know thru this pandemic that it overshadows equitable, quality healthcare and limits the ability of society to adjust to major crises.
Like any aspect of human experience, though, positives can be made of any situation. In this case, humanity’s preoccupation with the financial system affords an opportunity to draw a powerful parallel to apply the principles of healthy financial practices to the many other aspects of one’s life.
Caroline Myss—motivational speaker, intuitive healer, and teacher of archetypal and other principles—cautions that our daily energy is like a bank account with a limited balance, so we should spend our savings wisely.
An author, entrepreneur, and young lion with serious goals and an admirable track record, Michael D. Lewis draws on the same starting metaphors and expands them into a prescription for daily living that is bound to yield appreciable dividends.
It is easy to take Lewis seriously. Throughout the book he shares the challenges, wins and losses, and philosophies of his busy life thus far. From finding ways to attend college, to entering and persevering—often over several years—to win major competitions from 4H to theatre arts, Lewis proves that his methods work.
Comprising three parts—“Depositing Belief,” “Withdrawing Triumph,” and “Self-Upgrade in Progress”—the book lays out 13 chapters—areas of foci really—all of which start with the prefix “self-.” This is all about you. You must realize, evaluate, regulate, and find your confidence. Yes, there will be helpers and mentors—covered in the 23 steps presented in Part III—but doing the work is ultimately up to you.
Working with young people for the past 30 years—and having been one prior to that who faced some of the same issues as Lewis when it came to paying for college and being a professional artist—I understand how overwhelming it can be, even for the most ambitious and driven individual. This book is a ready guide, clearly expressed and written with an infusion of cheerleading and can-do energizing.
Lewis advocates finding a mentor. That is because he is one. Like a motivational workout coach, he never lets down in delivering the instructions and inspiration to take the words on his well-crafted pages and bring them to life for big results.
All of the great tools of success are here, including envisioning, mission stating, vision boarding, goal setting, and taking stock.
A major selling point, very much in line with conventional investment strategy, is playing the long game. This takes time. There will be setbacks and “failures” as they’re called (but let’s say learning opportunities, reachable/teachable moments) and sometimes life’s not fair. Take Lewis’s completion of his MA degree. The institution held him up for unreasonable fees.
We’ve all experienced similar obstacles. Question is, do we entrench to make a point, or do we make the best decision that will allow us to move forward?
Short-term hits for long-term wins. That’s how it’s done. And that’s what Lewis did.
Lewis is also an example of confidence without ego and self-belief without taking things for granted. His approach is both practical and spiritual. How fitting. Consider the word currency: it is the hard coin of the realm, yet it is an energetic principle of flow, of movement.
Given the leadership crises of the past several years and the mounting evidence of sexual, emotional, and moral abuse by powerful businesspeople, politicians, and celebrities, a particularly important chapter is “Self-Construction: Avoiding Moral ‘Bankruptcy’ and Acts of ‘Fraud.’” It’s not enough to be successful—one must look oneself in the mirror and others in the eye without the clouded gaze of secrets and immoral action. I applaud Lewis for sharing his story of plagiarism when he first attended college.
If we have any hope of recovering and strengthening our nation, we must practice Accountability and not give in to the myth of the Übermensch—Nietzsche’s Superman who is somehow above the law.
Most of all, we must not apply this wrong-headed belief to ourselves.
I mentioned a few of Lewis’s 23 suggestions for success. All of them are worth practicing. Some will be your primary tools and others you’ll go to as needed. But applying them with rigor and intention will yield appreciable results, enabling you to continue on with them to harness their full effect. From Respect Your Elders to Choose Happiness, these are proven mile-markers on the pathway to success.
Lewis ends with the crafting (with his own example) of a Mission Statement. Fans of the film Jerry Maguire know what a life-changing endeavor this can be. For my CV and resumes, and all of my businesses—for profit and nonprofit—I carefully craft and frequently revisit and update a Mission Statement. This is core practice on your way to building a strong, energized brand.
And that brand, no matter what field you are in, is you.
Remember the name Michael D. Lewis. This young man has already done, and shall continue to do, great things.
And buy this book today—for a young person of promise in your life, and for yourself.
As Lewis says: There isn’t a moment to waste.
TITLE: Bank on Self Investment: Belief Deposited—Triumph Withdrawn
AUTHOR: Michael D. Lewis
PUBLISHER: MT Insignia