How To Offend Yourself 100% Of The Time!

Does comedy make you angry?

Does personal development cause you to stunt your own growth?

Does looking at the big picture cause you to shut your eyes?

Yes, these questions might sound somewhat facetious. But hey, we all need to look at the world with a bit of humor sometimes to figure out the sense in it, as ironic as that might seem.

People laugh at comedy because it reveals some part of truth. Some comedy reveals truth more than others.

I used to write comedy for a hobby (meaning that I only occasionally got paid for it, so it couldn’t rightly be called a business) and I still laugh at one sketch that I helped write about a technically-incompetent psychiatrist.  My main contribution was that she called the @ sign a “curly A”, which I often giggle at when I spell out an email address or Twitter reply.

But some of the people we run into during our online business ventures — specifically customers who can’t figure out how to download or open digital products, despite the “common knowledge factor”, complete instructions and click-of-a-mouse access to customer service — just wouldn’t find that funny.


Because it hits a little too close to home!

So how does this all affect you — and what does it have to do with your personal growth potential?

Read on to find out…

====== Continued =======

Comedy needs to hit close to home — but not TOO close — in order for a particular audience member to be able to laugh at it.

You need to be able to say, “Oh, my god, I’ve done that!” or “Oh yeah, I know someone like that!” to see the humor.

But if it’s something that you’re over-sensitive about, or something that makes you see a personal attack — or an attack on your values — then you’re more likely to shut down than pay attention.

The same thing happens with personal development, because comedy is really just a funny way at looking at the dumb things we do, and personal development is really just a serious way of looking at the dumb things we do (and then attempt to find a solution to that stupidity).

We just happen to feel that it’s possible to mix the two — i.e. putting some humor into personal growth teachings, just as comedians put some personal growth into comedy — for the best all-round results.

Sometimes that humor is a little dry. Sometimes it’s a little sarcastic. Sometimes it’s slap-stick. But we use humor to lighten the message nonetheless.

Funny enough (pun intended), some of our readers get really angry at our poking fun at something.

As an example, the last blog post elicited this comment (which we didn’t approve because it was so off-base):

“grow up!!..dont bash the president for being a man of the people!!…Dont disguise yourself as teaching self development if you wont respect all persons views!!…i didnt hear these responses when president Bush made huge mistakes that ultimately helped this country be in the predicament that we find ourselves!….Respect our President and teach views which will heal All!!!”

Interesting, isn’t it, that this person and a few select others chose to see “President bashing” when the post was about thinking for yourself, taking accountability for your actions, and not getting caught up in “entitlement thinking”?  We put the word “Obama” (once) and the word “bailout” (once) together, to signify a FACT, and holy craaaaap, people’s “how dare you do that?!” antennas pop out of their heads faster than you can say: social welfare.

Sorry, but too many people fall into that trap with or without the possibility of a “bailout” (read: “cop out”) that’s perceived as coming from any given random Presidential figure-head.

One of our favorite mentors — Dr. John F. Demartini, who was featured in The Secret but had much of his powerful teachings end up on the editing-room floor — would have something to say about all this. I’ve personally interviewed him twice, attended two of his live seminars, watched a couple of his DVDs and read several of his books; and together, Barry and I have gotten even more a-ha moments after watching him speak again.

Basically, Dr. D. says that what we do, and what we notice around us, is always rooted in our value systems.

If you love dogs, you’ll notice the dog show taking place at the school as you drive by. If not, you’ll likely miss it. If you have a baby, you’ll notice the sale happening at the local baby boutique. If you don’t, you won’t. If you love investing, you’ll notice the stock market trends. If you don’t, you won’t.

And if you feel some special pride (or HOPE) in a particular celebrity or politician, you’ll notice every little passing reference to them, and perceive bashing whether it exists or not (we talked about this when the chimp cartoon came out, we’re talking about it in reference to the last blog post, and I’m sure we’ll talk about it again in the future).

Basically, the ONLY “negative” (meaning unsupportive, since “negative” is just about one of the most uncreative subjective word you can throw out on someone or something… sorta like calling somebody “nice”… ah, yeah, so tell me more about that person?) comments we received about the latest post were those who wanted to “bash us for bashing Obama” (like we would ever bash a puppet; the way Geppetto pulls the strings is never Pinocchio’s fault).

And those people said nothing about the inspirational video clips we supplied to you. They are focused on politics as one of their main value systems, and as a result they notice only the small political references, even while threatening, “don’t make this into a political blog, or I’ll unsubscribe!”

KEY NOTE: If reading our stuff, which we wholeheartedly KNOW ahead of time will trip some people’s triggers (i.e. ruffle some feathers), offends your sensibilities, then just do it — just “unsubscribe”. Don’t throw some cheap warning our way about it. Our LWL brand has never been about “glorifying and ‘pedestal-izing’ fundamental LOA-thinking” and our motto has never been: “Life 100% Filtered For Your Protection.”  We’re here to explore, to discover, to debate, to engage, to compel critical thinking, and to encourage you to SEE life with your EYES wide open.  The last thing we care about is keeping people on our list who feel a Life Without Limits means “you should filter what you say, regardless of how you see it, research it, or know it to be, because people have feelings.”

Hmmm, last time we checked, there are about 10,000 other communities out there who will fill you up with niceties and motivators from the same grade-school self-help primer. Life involves more than analyzing yourself to death, or discussing the merits of gratitude, or constantly trying to hone your meditation and intuitive skills. Self-exploration, when done with the right approach and in the right context, is a MUST; yet, while Barry and I shake our heads because we even have to mention this (it’s obvious, but NOT to some of our readers), we’ll REPEAT it again: Life’s about politics, economics / wealth, travel, business, marketing, health, family, relationships and more, and we’ll continue to provide commentary and products that sync up with a well-rounded view of living.

Those who place value in thinking for themselves and standing up for what they believe in saw the beauty in the video clips instead, and chose to comment on that.

Essentially, even though Dr. D. doesn’t come out and say this verbatim, people’s personal realities are greatly influenced by the misinterpretation of what’s going on around them based on their own values, agendas, and skewed perceptions.

So let’s bring this back to comedy.

Some people may have gotten angry about Jon Stewart’s recent bit on The Daily Show, where he took a stab at CNBC and their reporter, Rick Santelli, who had backed out of an agreement to appear on the show.

Here’s the video, in case you haven’t seen it yet; watching it before we go on will give you the best perspective on the discussion to follow.


The video you just watched caused a lot of people to take notice, and post it on websites across the nation — it was funny, it was relevant, and it was spot-on.

“You’re just bitter because he canceled on you!” Santelli’s supporters cried. “You’re bizarrely obsessed with him,” said Santelli’s own people.

So they, like many people who want to explore personal development but not actually do anything about the weaknesses and blocks they find, are avoiding personal accountability and seeking to blame.

We call that “victimitis-thinking”.

Sure, stand up for yourself if someone wrongly accuses you of something and you can make a case for the truth. But never simply run away and cry, “That’s not fair!”

The bottom line is that the research done by The Daily Show was better than the research done, on an ongoing basis, by CNBC.

The Daily Show, produced as a comedy and supposedly just a spoof of journalistic shows, showed better-quality journalism than CNBC, which is produced and presented as factual news.

Now THAT’S funny!

CNBC is, based off the evidence shown by Stewart, a great example of “journalism-lite” masquerading as serious business news, the same way some spiritual growth teachers are “love and light” masquerading as serious personal development.

There’s nothing wrong with talking about “love” and “light” in the sense that they are basically the same thing, and form the essence of the energy that makes up us, and everything around us.

But using “love and light” as a catch-phrase to mean, “I’m enlightened and you can be too, if you just follow what I say,” can be extremely misleading, if not downright dangerous.

See, we know far too many teachers who say, “love and light,” or “Namaste,” or “many blessings,” and yet they are not practicing what they preach. They teach how to have a healthy relationship as they go through a divorce, or they write a book about attracting wealth when they’re flat broke or owe three years’ worth of back taxes.

They think that by putting up a false image of who they are, they can hide from the truth.

If discovered, they justify this by saying it’s important to teach what you need to know, not what you already know.

And they think that by presenting themselves as not only “enlightened” but as “nice”, they can escape the critics.

But fakers can never escape criticism, no matter what their public image is; someone will always ferret them out.

Jon Stewart did it with CNBC, and we’ve done it with personal development mentors, speakers and authors. We’ve also done it with political figures; if they don’t walk the talk, they need to stop talking.

As for “nice”, well, Dr. D. points out the truth we all know deep down; that one single action can be interpreted as “nice” by one person and “mean” or “demented” or downright “wacky” by another. “Nice” is subjective, just as “positive” and “negative” are; and, like beauty, they are only and always based on the beholder’s value system.

And the perfection in this life comes in the perfect balance; for every yin you have a yang; for every up there’s a down, for every back there’s a front, and for every hater there’s a liker; and that never, ever changes, no matter how often you say, “We’re all connected,” because there is duality within the non-duality, and vice-versa (the opposites can’t exist without each other, so they are intimately connected). Perfection!

Back to the “journalism-lite”:

I got my start as an interviewer in current affairs TV programming, which included a little bit of entertainment, a little bit of politics, a little bit of local events, a little bit of this-and-that.

I’ve been accused more than once of asking questions that were too “hard” or “tough” in entertainment, personal and business development interviews, like there’s an unspoken need to pander to the expert or celebrity and not ask them about their own personal conviction and congruency.

That, my friends, does not serve the audience, who are always the most important party in any given piece of media (whether by “media” we’re talking TV, radio, newspaper, magazine, book or internet).

I once got turned down for a follow-up interview that had already been agreed upon by the head of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television (the Canadian equivalent of the organization that puts on the Oscars) because she said that the questions I was asking the nominees and winners at her awards show were “too hard”.

That means that instead of gushing, “Who are you wearing?” like all the other reporters, I was asking things like, “What does it take to be a success in this industry?”

Oooh, I made them formulate some thoughts rather than simply spouting off unimportant drivel. How dare I!!

And that unimportant drivel, that pandering gushing, is what CNBC is serving up, masqueraded as important hard-hitting business news.

But thought-provoking and revealing conversation is what has always driven me.

Life is part of a continual process of exploration, not just with ourselves, but with “others” too.

And when you strip away all the fluff, hyperbole, and timid behind-the-computer communication, you’re only left with fresh, candid, uncensored conversation.

That basis is the root for nearly everything we do — and that’s because secrets are discovered, ideas are created, thoughts are provoked, and answers are revealed during the course of asking the right questions of the right people.

So whether you’re talking interview, candid discussion, or formal consultation, the art of conversation is what sows the seeds that the greatest a-ha moments spring from.

Barry and I continue with that quest together, when we research, write and interview both the celebrities and hidden gems that can honestly teach us all how to live a Life Without Limits.

So I feel a certain kinship with Jon Stewart, as if he’s like the comedy-world equivalent of us: investigating congruency, tearing down myths, turning icons upside down, and coming out with jaw-dropping facts at the end of it all.

Is it “mean” when he does it? No, it’s all in the spirit of comedy… and the revelation of truth.

Is it “mean” when we do it? No, it’s all in the spirit of substantive personal development… and the revelation of truth.

So, to finish this up: I challenge you to take off your blinders, unplug your ears, and uncover your mouth (oh, wait we already threw those three little monkeys under the bus a few blog posts prior! :)… but, BEFORE you see, listen, and speak,  give yourself the benefit of the doubt by THINKING first.

If the above hits home for you (if  “the truth hurts”), then it was supposed to!

We welcome, adore, and cherish your commentary back to us. Again, as I said above, interactive (as much as you can get by commenting below) communication and expression RULES.

But passionate introspection about what we (and others) say and/or write can fuel that expression with intelligence, creativity, and on-target, topic-at-hand responses, NOT reactions.

Or, as Lif Strand, one of our community members, put it:

“Here’s a simple way (in my opinion) to separate who understood the point of Barry & Heather’s email, and who didn’t.

Those who got defensive and those who pointed blame didn’t get it. Those who got it know that individuality is about taking responsibility for one’s own actions, and acting from Source and center, not from reaction to the outside.”

Rick Santelli, in the story of this post (way, way above), REACTED (i.e. no thinking involved FIRST)!

Jon Stewart RESPONDED (i.e. thinking involved FIRST)!

If you’re going to join in our discussions, we definitely prefer the latter!

Your Partner in the Quest For
Living a Life Without Limits

Filed under: Comedy, Critical-Thinking, Videos

12 Responses to “How To Offend Yourself 100% Of The Time!”

  1. Do you prefer Versace or ? LOL (i.e., your “who are you wearing?” comment) — Keep up the great writing. Y’all are inspirrrrring.

  2. HEAR Hear! bARRY AND hEATHER,YOU ARE SO ‘RIGHT ON!’ to paraphrase-“I CAN handle the truth! i APPRECIATE YOUR candor and honesty.

  3. As close to the unvarnished truth as you can get without paint stripper.

    Great post Heather – maybe it’s jsut me; but I think you’re getting better as time goes by. (Good wine does that too)

  4. So, if I disagree with your statement that: Life’s about politics, economics / wealth, travel, business, marketing, health, family, relationships, then I must somehow be ‘less than’ (you, I guess?).
    My God you have become holier-than-thou! I absolutely agree with you about the love-and-light teachings, but your comments about “common knowledge factor”, and “social welfare” went over the line. At some point you must not have had that ckf, just like everyone else, that’s why there’s books for ‘dummies’ (the picking up of one of which is a way of laughing at oneself but would probably make YOU roll your eyes… if the shoe fits!) and folks on social welfare are not necessarily ‘losers’ as I’m reading you believe from your comments.
    Life for me (and many people) is NOT about marketing, though we appreciate it is everything to you. Life is, plain and simple, about balancing the struggles with doing what you know is right in your heart.
    Get down off your self-righteous soapbox, honey, and take a look at what your blog was… an exact example of comments hitting too close to home. Methinks she doeth protest too much!!

    [Editor’s Note]:

    Well, meeee-ooowwww!

    This is a perfect example of someone REACTING rather than RESPONDING, which is exactly what I asked you not to do, so thank you for providing the illustration in real time! LOL! 😉

    See, we RESPOND to people with well-thought-out answers based on research, examples, case studies and illustrations. Just like Jon Stewart did, just like I did in the blog post, just like we ALWAYS do in our blog posts, and just like I’m going to do with you.

    We don’t REACT by PERSONALLY attacking others and being derogatory like you are being (if you’ve noticed, when we point out how somebody’s behavior is limiting or self-defeating, we don’t put down the person, and we don’t mention their names — unless they are already in the public eye for that behavior, as the parties in the video above).

    Funny how you came up with these assumptions…

    [You said]:
    “then I must somehow be ‘less than’ (you, I guess?)”
    “would probably make YOU roll your eyes”
    “as I’m reading you believe from your comments”

    If you REACT this way, especially to things that aren’t said but that are based on your assumptions, then (as Dr. D. so eloquently says) these are things that go against your value system. You see them as hitting close to home, and it hurts.

    So it would seem by these extreme reactions that you have a lack of self-esteem, because that’s what it usually means when somebody assumes they’re being put down, and then tears down another person to try to put them on the same level.

    You might react by saying, “Well, you’re doing the same thing!” But I never attacked anyone, and I’m not attacking you; yet you said (to me personally) “My God you have become holier-than-thou!”

    What else?

    [You said]:
    “your comments about “common knowledge factor”, and “social welfare” went over the line”

    So here we get to the core of it. The line was “faster than you can say: social welfare”. So, ummmm…. “faster than you can utter four syllables,” or “faster than two seconds.” Is that “over the line”? Hmmm… interesting!

    Now if you do want to get into the topic of “social welfare” (or just socialism, or just welfare) which I didn’t go into on the blog post, by the way, then here are a few things to consider.

    Welfare programs promote the following:
    – laziness
    – lack of work ethic
    – lack of self worth and self esteem (a-ha!)
    – lack of responsibility and self-accountability
    … among other habits and beliefs that hold people back.

    By OUR value systems (and those of nearly every super-achiever on this planet — and we believe we ARE put here to achieve) those human conditions are not something to be proud of, they’re something to be worked through and overcome.

    Someone getting temporary social help, as in when they’re injured or have a baby, to help out until they can get themselves back into the flow, is one thing… but long-term hand-outs for people who could certainly be contributing to the world instead — or adding value to the universe, which is what makes ALL the universal laws work — is just not very honorable.

    You say these welfare recipients are “not all losers”? Well, I’d love to see an example of one who is a “winner”.

    Your over-the-top attack on the subject (talk about “the lady doth protest too much!”) would suggest that you a) are on welfare, b) know people who are, or c) are an advocate for “the people’s rights”.

    But since we all know you can only help those who want to be helped, and that when people want to be helped it’s nearly always a “hand up” that they truly want, rather than a “hand out”, then I certainly hope you are expending that energy in a productive way, rather than enabling people who would be better off getting out of their comfort zones, and their ruts… something we ALL are best off doing.

    As for mentioning “common knowledge” being “out of line”, I just don’t understand that. Are you saying that “common knowledge”, like “common sense”, is just not that common? If so, I agree with you on that, it’s not common enough. But only someone who feels they are lacking in common knowledge, or knows somebody who is, would take offense at that. It is CERTAINLY not out of line to point that out; it’s something we all need to be MORE aware of, so we can adjust accordingly, not hide from it!

    Something else I don’t understand in your comment: I have no idea what “ckf” is, so maybe someone else can decipher that for you.

    As for “comments hitting too close to home” for me, that was said in reference to COMEDY. None of the “comments” I mentioned were meant to be humorous (any more than yours is) so that doesn’t apply.

    But yes, like Dr. D. talks about, we (as in Barry and I) do judge comments based on our value systems. We think people who react rather than respond have some inner work issues to evaluate and heal, and doing so completely fits in with our value system (obviously). So when we point them out, and the irony of getting all upset over subjective perceptions (like you did) it’s because what we DO here is investigate LIFE (without limits)!

    Speaking of that…

    [You said]:
    “Life for me (and many people) is NOT about marketing, though we appreciate it is everything to you. Life is, plain and simple, about balancing the struggles with doing what you know is right in your heart.”

    Hmmm. Ooookey-dokey. Here’s where you are definitely holding yourself back!

    This is what I said:
    “Life’s about politics, economics / wealth, travel, business, marketing, health, family, relationships and more, and we’ll continue to provide commentary and products that sync up with a well-rounded view of living.”

    Soooo… not “marketing is everything”, life is a BALANCE of all those aspects, IF you want to live a Life Without Limits (and if you don’t, it’s not clear why you’d be hanging around here when that’s the name of our company!).

    And regardless of whether you WANT life to be about those things, they still, in one way or another, ARE. Whether you initiate or engage in them, they permeate some part of your existence.

    So yes, it IS about marketing (among all those other things) for you too. You need to market yourself when you get on your soap-box, you need to market yourself when you try to help others, you need to market yourself to your family and your friends, all the time.

    You also need to market, in some way and fashion, your talents and gifts; your purpose, your passion, your reason for being. You are put here to GIVE VALUE to the Universe, and TAKE the rewards. You can’t do that without some form of marketing, so if life is nothing to do with marketing for you, it’s probably time to take a strong look at that (and then you’ll be able to get off welfare, if you are on welfare, because the Universe rewards those who give value to others rather than just taking).

    As for getting off my soap-box, I’m not going to do that, “honey”. See, we’re publishers… we get the opportunity to say whatever we want from our virtual soap-box, any time we want.

    That’s how WE give value to the Universe. And if you don’t like the value we give, well… maybe you’ll be lucky enough to find some people who completely mesh with your values, including, ironically enough, your idea that people don’t need to give value in order to be winners.


  5. Heather, this article of yours definitely stimulates deep thinking 😉
    Since I can remember, I’ve been overly sensitive to jokes, especially when these become too personal. And because of it I was seen as too serious for my age since I was a little girl. So I think to know exactly what you meant and your reaction to the described commenters on your blog. For me “personal growth” was achieved the moment that I was able to eradicate the flaw, if I can call it that. However what else is it other than a flaw? The quotes of Dr. John F. Demartini (of whom, I have read only “Count Your Blessings” and “The Breakthrough Experience”) that you used here are very really “spot on,” but, than you know the guy, and have seen him and interviewed him on several occasions. You definitely are much more enlightened than me, and I always try to learn from the nuggets of gold (and real advice given on your blog 🙂 Go on the way you do Heather and Barry, and good luck in all you wish to achieve!

    [Editor’s NOTE]:

    Thanks Tatiana, stimulating thought is definitely my intention and one of our core principles here. It’s becoming more and more a “lost art” in today’s fast-paced world, but we feel it has value (not ALL the time, of course, but during much of our day).

    But to me, thinking, analyzing, or throwing “food for thought” around an angle or topic doesn’t make someone “more (or less) enlightened”. And it’s never our intention here to appear, or imply that we are, more (or less) enlightened than anyone else.

    See, some people look at “enlightenment” as a state that you get to, and stay at, after much introspection, meditation or core-level understanding. But we feel that is a limiting way of looking at it, and that it’s not a permanent badge of honor like being knighted or getting some kind of tattoo.

    From our study and understanding, enlightenment is more an “experience”, and not a label of awareness or evolution (after all, evolution happens as a species). Enlightenment comes, it goes, then another “experience” happens.

    And I hate to keep going back to one mentor, since we endorse many mentors and love the multi-mentor approach; but Dr. D. talks about “collapsing” an illusion, and then another illusion comes along to take its place… and we see enlightenment as kind of working the same way (i.e. when I write pages and pages that pour from my fingers without my brain being involved, that’s enlightenment; but then the baby needs his diaper changed, and it’s just everyday life!) 😉


  6. Thanks for the insights Heather. I think Rick Santelli should be the poster boy for
    “-pathological disimformation central “-.
    He doesn’t even hint at mentioning the many ways Wall Street insiders scammed the world with mortgage backed securities. He is more of a side show than a main event for the underlying integrity problem that inhabits the world of finance.

  7. I enjoy reading all the articles and comments.

    I live on a low fixed income and find it difficult some times financially, but try to help others in whatever way I can, to repay those who have helped me in the past.

    This way, I don’t feel such a burden to ‘the system’ and get a lot of fun out of it as well !

    Last night I went to a concert and had a spare ticket as my friend backed out of going, so I had a choice – either tear the ticket up or give it to someone else.

    I chose the latter as it would be far more satisfying for both parties, and waited until an elderly couple came near the counter, handed him the ticket with the words, “One free, only one to pay for now” and laughed and ran away up the stairs. (Wearing a bright yellow jersey that you would see for miles into the bargain! Not exactly inconspicuous!)

    The poor man looked a bit stunned and so did his wife, and I had a grin that almost split my face in half!

    I did a bit of both – reacting and thinking!

    It seemed to work well and I told the folk guarding my seat what I had done. They thought it was funny.

    My reward was to surprise someone with a small act of kindness, and give myself loads of pleasure at the same time.

    I could have asked for the price of the ticket, as many others would have done, but then I would not have felt good at all.

    Sometimes there is more to life than taking all matters seriously.

    If remarks annoy or hurt you, maybe we have to consider that the ‘offender’ may have problems we know nothing about, and therefore they act/react from some deep place and do not think at all !!!!!

    Rational discussion is not always possible either and can only make matters worse. Banging their head against the nearest brick wall wouldn’t help either!

    Why THREATEN to unsubscribe from Barry and Heather’s newsletter, just because you don’t agree with what they’re saying or become offended? It is so much easier to simply unsubscribe and leave it at that !

    What do such threats accomplish, apart from making yourself look and sound ridiculous?

    Some mother’s kids are FUNNY!

  8. I’ve never commented on your CONTINUALLY AWESOME
    LWL…..however today I will…..

    (p.s. I get all my news and financial strategies from the Daily Show)


  9. Hi Heather & Barry 🙂

    I have to say that this was the most enjoyable email I’ve ever received from LWL 🙂 As a matter of fact, it was the most enjoyable email I’ve gotten in a while…thank you for that 🙂
    Love and Happiness to you both and your little, “Bundle of Joy!” 🙂


  10. Hi Barry & Heather

    Have received your post for a couple of years now.I definitely enjoy how you guys communicate to us subscribers.Real down to earth,intelligent & common sense stuff.I like how you make an effort to really want to connect with us instead of coming up with generic fluff.

    I can see you both also have great sense of humor.Can envision being with you @ some social event and having a great time!


  11. Thank you! Too many people are too willing to cry “Foul!” based on political ideologies instead of cold, hard facts.

  12. […] — many times, actually — but perhaps most succinctly in the post Heather wrote called How To Offend Yourself 100% of the Time: And the perfection in this life comes in the perfect balance; for every yin you have a yang; for […]

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