About Us




Gaining Stuff at the Expense of Life
Embrace what really matters

The Integram: an Integral Enneagram of Consciousness;  a model of consciousness, including all aspects, for designing practical paths of personal development and evolution.

Quick Links: jump to any section

No time? Listen to the  podcast (9:32 min.) in the background while you file, exercise, ride to work, etc.

Feature Article 

Special Offers

Quick Communication Tip

Resource Links




Gaining Stuff at the Expense of Life
(click for podcast) (9:32 min.)

We tend to equate the word profit with money, when in fact money is only one form. The story of King Midas showed that when the sole focus is money, we lose what's far more important to us.

How many stories have you heard where the single-minded pursuit of "getting more" has resulted in the loss of loved ones, or even one's own sense of Self? How many look back regretting how they skated the surface of their own lives in the high speed pursuit of a number? What about being happy, stress-free, healthy, and enjoying life?

While racing to climb that mountain, we need to question if we're climbing the wrong mountain. Are we choosing to make more money while living a worse daily life? Are we looking at promotions that pay more, but swallow our free time? "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" [Mark 8:36]

                       [Walter Crane 1893]

It's almost cliché how so many at the end of their lives regret spending all their time chasing money, and missing out on time with loved ones. The misbegotten premise that drives all this is the belief that we must to choose between either/or, when we have so many examples of a joyful life being independent of income.

The relentless single-minded pursuit of money may or may not result in that, but it certainly won't fulfill the rest of your human life.

Pursuing work that brings you a sense of meaning and purpose might not accumulate as much gold as fast, but two surprises await. It actually can be as financially lucrative over time, and regardless, you won't care as much.

Doing work that doesn't get you excited is draining. Doing what you love fills you with energy. You can work longer and harder because it doesn't feel like work. By chasing passion, you'll be more fulfilled, build better relationships, and still make as much or more money as someone chasing status and income.

Psychologist Frederick Herzberg, a renowned expert in the field of human resource management and organizational behavior, showed that we're motivated by deeper desires than money. In fact, we're powerfully motivated by opportunities to learn, grow, contribute to others, and be recognized for our achievements. The need for Purpose and Meaning is one of the defining characteristics of being human. More money doesn't fulfill that. Doing deals doesn't yield the deep rewards that come from relationships, positive interactions, and building up others.

Let's look at some of the ways the pursuit of money fails the bigger picture, as it's easy to lose sight of what brings sustainable happiness. Sure, money can give us momentary joys, but not sustainable happiness. 

Studies have shown that winners of the lottery are more likely to declare bankruptcy within 3-5 years than the average American, and aren't any happier. One study conducted by Princeton University found that once people reach an income that supports their basic needs and a few luxuries, the positive effects of money plateaus and additional money doesn't improve happiness. And yet so many sacrifice health, relationships, and peace of mind for something that won't really boost their happiness. 

Another reason some are locked into this pursuit is trying to heal emotional injuries from their youth. Material things won't do that. They're just temporary distractions. Again, they bring momentary pleasure, but they can't heal wounds buried deep within. Healing takes introspection, acceptance, forgiveness, and personal growth. None of those require money. 

In fact, chasing money inevitably leads to comparing ourselves to others, exacerbating our emotional issues. This comparison starts a one-upsmanship, and the chase takes over with no real meaning. It's just an exercise in ego that cuts both directions. Either we judge others as less than, or take on feelings of inferiority. Neither serves anyone, and illuminates another inconvenient truth.

Money can't change how you feel about yourself. We're told that to be admired as powerful and successful we have to show material gains; status symbols. Those say nothing about us as people, and we know it inside. So do others. If we don't feel great about ourselves, money won't change that.

The insecurities that led to the pursuit aren't solved by money, as that wasn't the cause of the insecurities in the first place. Whatever emotional hurt we feel started long before we entered the job market. It's like trying to heal a broken leg by buying new clothes.

An enormous part of what fuels the drive isn't even conscious; it's literally a kind of addiction. Just as any mindless pursuit can start the dopamine reward system, the pursuit of money can consume you. Because dopamine is a neural exhauster, we build up a tolerance to what we have and need more and more to get the same high. There's never enough. This addiction may help to explain why some who've amassed more than they could spend in 100 lifetimes are still chasing more. It's a bottomless pit; a black hole of need. 

You've probably heard "time is money." This alludes to an equivalency that just isn't true. Time is far more valuable than money. Money can be replaced. Time can't. You can't buy back a child's first steps, a loved one's laughter, or shared time with friends. These are the bright points of life that create our memories. The lack of these happy memories, only replaced by the stress and pressure of making more money, obstructs happiness, peace, contentment, and even health.

If you study the root causes of business disasters, over and over you'll find this predisposition toward immediate gratification. If you look at personal lives through that lens, you'll see the same sobering pattern: people allocating fewer and fewer resources to the things they would have once said mattered most.

Longer term choices, almost by definition, speak to sustainability (agrarian mentality over warfare mentality ("Kind Ambition," Chapter 21). Sustained profit outweighs short-term profit, thus getting away from the childish mindset of immediate gains to see the bigger picture, means having your cake and eating it too. It's not either/or. We can focus more on our deepest held values, not toss them aside for fast money, and create and run our lives and businesses embodying those values. In this way, nobody gets burned out, and everyone thrives as well.

Again, it may sound cliché, but that doesn't negate the truth: True Happiness comes from within. No amount of money can buy you happiness if you're not at peace with yourself. Chasing money is like chasing a mirage. It promises happiness, but by itself is hollow and empty. Real Wealth lies within us, in our ability to appreciate and enjoy the moment. And when we're pursuing a vision with meaning and purpose, it doesn't preclude making money. It makes the journey as enjoyable as the destination.

Want to learn more about how to become the best you possible? How your communication can hold you back or catapult you forward?
Come visit the web site, or better yet, contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.

     - Ian J. Blei


Special Offer -

April Showers bring May Flowers
Click the Pic to see this month's specials!!


Resource Links:

- responsive code site


The Integram - the podcast series

Kind Ambition - 3rd Edition



Subscribe to the Conscious Communication Chronicle



Welcome to the Conscious Communication Chronicle, sharing how Conscious Communication results in success, and how you can achieve yours.   Enjoy!



The Optimizer
Ian Blei,
Director of the
Institute for Integral Enneagram Studies and
President of
Optimized Results



Kind Ambition

Click HERE





Kind Ambition:
Practical Steps
to Achieve Success
 Without Losing Your Soul



Kind Ambition
Fan Page on



Kind Ambition is about you having the tools to slide over to the driver’s seat of your own life.  Circumstances will always be changing, seemingly thwarting our plans, but we don’t have to be  thrown around by them. You can be in charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.


Kind Ambition is written for you, as a practical guide you can use right now.  It is a collection of  insights and actions designed to help you move forward and get more out of your life at home and at work.  The chapters hold to a formula of first giving you a new way to look at things, then offering you tangible Action Steps to try them out, and finally some things to notice when you do.





Kind words for “Kind Ambition”


"If you are interested in success, whether it is in running a large organization, a small business, or leading a satisfying life, you will find a right blend of rules, wisdom and wit in a digestible fashion that will serve to accomplish your objectives. The notion that kindness can be blended with ambition and made to work and serve the "bottom line" is enlightening, uplifting and satisfying."

-Steven Kiefel – CEO, Red Pill Media




“An easy to use guide for anyone who wants to achieve real  growth and success. His sensible and practical tactics solve age-old challenges with real, how-to solutions. Best of all, Ian lives his work!”

-Romanus Wolter - Author: Kick Start Your Dream Business
Success Coach Columnist: Entrepreneur Magazine
Radio Host: Syndicated Kick Start Guy Segment




" We all face obstacles in our lives and careers. Some of these come from within, subverting our conscious intentions. The  good news is: they can be overcome.  The techniques and processes found in this book will help you on your way."

-Margaret Heffernan – Author: The Naked Truth: A Working Woman's

 Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters

Syndicated Columnist: Fast Company Magazine




“A scientifically-based, spiritually-awake, (and smart and funny) guide to making the most of your life.  Ian Blei provides the know-how, the inspiration, the structure and all the tools you need in  this straightforward and inspirational book.”

     -Lisa Betts-LaCroix, Past President of SF Coaches
Star of Unapix film, “Dance Me Outside”




" Ian Blei shares his deep insights in simple and straightforward ways.  His work continues to inspire me whenever I feel I'm getting stuck in some area of my life."

-Roy King, III , Director Pacific Development Partners




© 2001- 2024 Optimized Results. All Rights Reserved    
205 Chattanooga St.   San Francisco, CA 94114     415.826.0478