Mahatma Gandhi described what living our passions allows us to do when he said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Shore Slocum lives by this maxim. For over 20 years, he has combined his study of the science of achievement and personal development with an active role in corporations all over the world. His corporate clients include companies like FedEx, Southwest Airlines, Quaker Oats, Prudential, and many more.
He’s worked closely and collaborated with other great speakers, leaders and authors. This includes people like Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Mary Manin Morrissey, Bob Proctor, John Assaraf, Norman Schwarzkopf, Scott deMoulin, Anthony Robbins, Mary Lou Retton, Larry King, Zig Ziglar, Bobby Knight, Dan O’Brien and Christopher Reeve. He has been a catalyst in helping thousands of people achieve their dreams.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: Shore, it’s an honor and a treat to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much for joining us.
SHORE SLOCUM: Thank you, Chris. It’s great to be here. What an intro! Thank you very much.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: A well-deserved one, I must say. Shore, we call this series The Passion Series. Will you share with us, to start, the role that passion has played in your life? What are the things that you care most about, and how have they played into your success and how you’ve lived your life?
SHORE SLOCUM: Chris, I would say two things. First, when I’m not plugged into my passion, that’s when the things that I care about and I really want to do don’t show up. I think there are two sides to it. It’s a feeling like there’s a yearning, that we’re empty, or we’re feeling like there’s something missing. That generally means that we’re missing that fire, the energy that comes from passion.
As I plugged in over the last 22 years more consciously into my passions, I’ve noticed that when I really follow them, when I really go into what is calling me to my highest good, then what I call predictable miracles show up in my life. The people show up; the resources, the creativity, and everything I need to do what I’m here to do comes into play. I just love when I’m plugged in, and I feel very empty when I’m not plugged in. It’s not that I’m an empty person, but I just feel like I’m missing what I’m here to do when I’m not plugged into my passions, if that makes sense.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: Absolutely. What I hear is that when you’re plugged into your passions, it’s like you’re connected to your purpose, the reason that you’re here.
SHORE SLOCUM: Absolutely. My belief is that we all have a reason we’re here, we all have something to give to this world, and we have something to do here. Part of our responsibility in being here as human beings-not human doings-is to live that purpose and share that gift. Really, the only way you amplify it and the only way you really, truly live it is when you plug in with passion.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: Will you tell us the story of how you’ve lived that, how you got started down the road that you’re traveling today?
SHORE SLOCUM: I was trying to think of the last time I could really remember not being totally plugged into my passion. There are several times along the journey that you get distracted or you follow a project you know you’re not supposed to do. Or, you push it too hard and it doesn’t come from the inner yearning, the soul; it comes from your intellect. I know you know what I’m talking about.
What really set it up for me is this. I went to a boarding school for high school and did very well, but the expectation of my parents was that I was going to go to college. I was going to be a lawyer like my stepdad, a doctor like my grandfather, or a veterinarian like my father. There was all this expectation about what I was supposed to do. I had a great GPA. I was very well educated. I got to college, and I was there for four months.
I thought, “What am I doing here? There’s no reason to be here.” I didn’t know why I was supposed to be there, so I left. I got involved in retail sales at the age of 17, because I graduated early from high school. I did very well in retail sales, but after a Christmas in retail I decided I never wanted to do that again, work 95-hour weeks. Do you know what I’m talking about? I was managing 42 people at my store at the age of 17 years old.
I walked into the break room and saw about 25 people who have been selling refrigerators, appliances and car stereos for, some of them, 20 or 30 years. They’re smoking cigarettes and eating donuts, and I said, “I’ve got to get out. This is not what I’m here to do.” It’s funny, but when you open up yourself to the possibility of what’s next and you really understand that there’s probably a higher thing guiding a lot of your actions, at that moment your awareness becomes open to other things.
A client of mine came in and said, “Would you like to go to a free program?” That was the first seminar I ever went to. I had just turned 18, and I went to this seminar. It was Anthony Robbins, and a lot of people know who Anthony Robbins is. He didn’t have a book. He didn’t have an infomercial. He was nobody anybody knew about, but I went there, and after 20 minutes I knew I was going to be in this work.
I knew I was going to be doing this work. I went up to him at the break and said, “Tony, my name is Shore. You’re up to some amazing stuff here. I’m going to work for you. When should I start?” Literally, six days later I had moved from Oregon to California. I was living in a corporate apartment promoting a seminar, and I was 18 years old. That’s where this whole journey began.
I’ve been kind of plugged into my own personal development, which I think at some point grew into more of a spiritual development, which was part of my process of going through and finding my passion. Now I’m really tuned in and turned on about helping people find and live these universal laws that make such a difference in tapping into that passion.
It’s been a journey of 23 years since the point that happened. Along the way there have been a lot of nuances, a lot of growth, and a lot of work. I wake up every day and I pinch myself. I really feel lucky to be able to do what I do.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: Isn’t that one of the tests of whether or not you’re aligned with your passions?
SHORE SLOCUM: I have this great friend. He’s one of my best friends in the whole world; I’m the godfather of his four children. His name is Doug Hansen, and he was exceptional at computer sales. He had been the top salesperson at Toshiba, Compaq, and HP. He left the business at the top of his game because he just didn’t feel he could do it anymore. He got into consulting, into teaching and into doing things that really got his juices going.
It really helped him with passion. He said the greatest thing to me; he said, “Shore, I am making three times more money than I ever have. Not that that’s important; but the crazy thing is that I’m not trying to make more money, and I am. It’s not that money is a measure, but here’s the crazy thing, Shore. I love what I do every day so much I would do it for free.” I thought that is the ultimate litmus test. That’s the ultimate test if you’re living your passion.
Do you love what you do most of your waking life so much you would do it for free? Here’s the irony of it. When you really love what you do, you’ll probably get compensated more than you could ever imagine, and you don’t have to fight to get compensated. It just comes to you that you’ve opened up the channels for you to live your gift and your purpose.
My belief is that God wants you to have the Kingdom, and the Kingdom is all of it. It’s living in that place and all those things that come with it, but it’s also the abundance that every one of us deserves. It’s our birthright because we’re part of all that creation. When you’re plugged in, you can’t help but have that, I think.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: That’s actually a wonderful vision when you think about it. You’ve begun to touch on this; but in the work you do and what you teach you talk a fair amount about consciousness. Why is consciousness so important to your work and to what you teach, and what do you mean by consciousness?
SHORE SLOCUM: When I look at my mini-mission statement of what I try to guide my life by at this point in my life-and that shifts and evolves as we go along-if I were to sum it up in one phrase I would say this. My job here, my work here, what gets me going and what I think I’m here to do at this point-and it may change in the next year or five years from now-is to help people wake up.
What I mean by ‘wake up’ is to be more aware. I think there are so many people right now who are asleep. They’re asleep, they’re dead, and they’re numbing themselves with drugs, with alcohol, with TV, with shopping and with the distractions of life. At the core of themselves they really want to wake up to their higher good. Consciousness is the way, the process we go through-I call it your spiritual evolution-as you wake up.
A lot of your listeners have probably heard of the Buddha. A man came to the Buddha and said, “Are you God?” No. “Are you a saint?” No. “Are you a prophet?” No. “Are you an angel?” No. “What are you?” Buddha said, “I am awake.” Really, it’s that simple. Our process as a soul coming to this planetary plane, this human plane, is to go through a waking-up process, to go through a spiritual evolution, if you will.
What I mean by consciousness is that part of our role is to be more aware of where we are and then to open to our next level. I learned in my studies along the way and really getting into my spiritual work, which is what I do most of the time now, that as we go through this waking-up process, we generally go through stages. I’ve identified 15 stages we go through, but I can break it down to four.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: Four would be easier here.
SHORE SLOCUM: Yes, four is much easier, and it’s really concise. I’ve worked with Dr. Michael Beckwith on this and Mary Morrissey, who you know, I think. As we go through this, a lot of people start at or are at a stage called ‘To Me’. That’s where the world is happening to me. The ‘To Me’ consciousness is really a victim consciousness. It’s where we feel like we have no choice in it, that the world is happening to us.
It’s the boss’s fault; it’s everybody else’s fault, and we have very little personal responsibility or spiritual responsibility for our circumstances. As you start to evolve, consciously you go to the next stage, which is where you feel like you have a little more empowerment. This it the work that I did with Tony in the early days when I used to work with him, and that I now do in corporations a lot.
Honestly, getting people from that ‘To Me’ stage to the next stage, which is what I call ‘By Me’, where you feel like you have a choice, that you can do something and that you have personal power-that’s a good quick word you might hear there-that’s when you feel like you can do something. You can do a certain thing and get a different result; do a certain things and get a different result.
The whole personal development and personal empowerment movement comes in this stage. What I love about that is that when people get out of victimhood and get into, “I have a choice. I’m responsible for my world,” into that consciousness, then they actually start to do things that will change their circumstances and that will change what they perceive as their reality. Does that make sense?
CHRIS ATTWOOD: Yes, sure.
SHORE SLOCUM: What happens at some point, though, generally is what happened with me. I was really into personal development, learning all the tools, the skills, and all that to make my life better, and I got great results. However, after doing that for several years I felt empty. I started to go on a little bit of a deeper path personally, a little bit deeper of a quest to find out what would help me wake up more. I felt like I was getting numb even though I was getting all the great results.
The next stage was what I call ‘Through Me’. That’s where you really step into a consciousness and start to let the universe, everything that’s connected to it, and everything that is in concert underneath the things that we can see, work. I think there are two worlds that we live in: the 1% world, which is the world of ‘see, hear, touch and feel’, the world we call manifest; and then there’s the 99% world, which is much more prevalent.
This is the quantum world, the endless world of universal laws, the spiritual world, if you will. That’s the dimension that has created all this. When you start to bridge the 1% to the 99%, you start to go to a deeper reality; you start to understand that there’s a concert, an organization, to all of it that’s linking it together. When you’re in the ‘Through Me’ consciousness, all of a sudden you start to let yourself be a conduit to this other world.
Life then starts to happen through you, not to you and not by you with you making it happen, but through you. Then you become a channel, and that is an amazing place to get to because the things you tried before to will, to make happen, the goals you set and achieve, all of this stuff was hard work. All of a sudden, they start happening almost effortlessly. They start to show up: the right people, the right resources, you find the right book, you meet the right person on the train, or you hear the right song.
The synchronicities go beyond what you could ever have made happen and your awareness also goes up. Then the fourth level, which I’ve glimpsed, maybe, a dozen times in my life-although I’m having more and more frequency with it-is what you would call ‘As Me’. I don’t even know how to put it into words. I had my first experience with this, actually, when I actually had a near-death experience when I was 17 years old.
I was windsurfing; I believe I died at the scene and I went to another place-I’ll just leave it at that-but it was the most incredible experience I’ve ever had to this point in my consciousness and my awareness. I can’t even describe it in words. What I will tell you is that everything that we all want was there in so much abundance that I knew I would never be alone again.
I knew I was never unloved and I would always be loved at a level that I couldn’t even describe. There was a reason for me being here. I had a choice to stay here on this plane or go there, and I chose to come back because I had more work to do. The bottom line is that when you get to ‘As Me’, it may be what you call Christ-consciousness, where there is no differentiating between anything. It’s all one. It’s the total unifying consciousness that binds it all together.
I’ve had glimpses of it in prayer, meditation and, I would say, a near-death experience, but it’s a pretty powerful thing. That’s when you can raise the dead, walk on water, and all those things that we connote as miracles. When there is no difference between you and everything, when you are it, when you are the ‘I Am That I Am’, as the burning bush said, then there’s this unifying energy that allows you to do anything, to manifest anything, and be in that place.
There’s kind of an evolution we’ve got to go through to move through that, and we are all at different stages and in different contexts in our life. You might be in a victim consciousness in relationships, but you might be in a ‘Through Me’ consciousness in your work. It’s contextual a little bit, as well.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: I really love your model: ‘To Me’, ‘By Me’, ‘Through Me’, ‘As Me’. That’s the basic, high-level division.
SHORE SLOCUM: Right, and then all the subcategories are underneath those, but those are the four big ones. I can send you a PDF if you want it, and you can use that however you want.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: Yes, we’d love to make that available as a gift to our members.
SHORE SLOCUM: I’ll send it to you when we’re done with the interview today. The deal is that as you go through those four levels, you’ve got to understand that it’s not just trying to move toward the next level. That’s very hard from a victim consciousness. By the way, most of the world is in that victim consciousness, the ‘To Me’ consciousness. You see it as the economy starts to shift and as all these things are happening in our outer world, our 1% world.
People go to ‘To Me’ consciousness pretty quickly when they get scared or fear comes. We have to remind ourselves that in order to move, not to stay locked in a consciousness, or to stay locked in one of those areas, we have to give up something. In order to move from ‘To Me’ consciousness to ‘By Me’ consciousness, you have to give up something. You have to give up blame. This is a hard thing for a lot of people.
We blame our parents, we blame our circumstances, we blame our education, we blame our IQ, we blame our genes, we blame our boss, we blame the weather, and we have all these things that make it okay for us not to live at a higher awareness. In order to really go to ‘By Me’, you’ve got to give up those things. You’ve got to take what I call total spiritual responsibility for your life. Until you do that, it’s hard to grow.
At the same time, it’s hard when you’re in that consciousness to want to grow, so it’s kind of a paradox. The hardest time to want to get better is when you’re feeling lousy. That’s why it’s work; that’s why there’s work involved in this to go from ‘By Me’ when you’re in that make-it-happen, I’ll-do-anything mode. When I was in my early 20s, I was on fire as far as making it happen with passion and all that stuff, but I was in this ‘By Me’ mode so much, Chris.
If you put any obstacle in front of me, I would knock it over, go around it, go over it, go under it or whatever. I did that for eight years full-on, 20 hours a day, sleeping four hours a night with the workouts and everything. After that I was so burned out. I thought, “There’s got to be more than this.” I got all the accolades, I got the money, I got the fancy house, the cars, the woman, but it was empty at the end of the day. I think a lot of people have figured out that the stuff is not going to make them happy.
To go from ‘By Me’ to ‘Through Me’ you have to give up control, and that’s a big one because we want to have our say. We want it our way. We want it the way our small mind sees it, not the way our big soul desires it. Does that make sense? We get locked into the way we want it so much that we’re not open, maybe, to what the bigger picture is. We’re not open to all the other things that are showing up, which are put in our divine path to help us out with it.
We’re trying to control it all. This is a hard one. I still struggle with this all the time. I get locked into, “I want it my way.” Usually, what’s funny is that when I give that up, when I really understand that I’m locking into something that may not be my highest good, then something else will show up, and that something else is usually much better in the long run, looking back. We all have things like that. The one I work on most now is the move from ‘Through Me’ to ‘As Me’.
You have to give up any idea, any notion, and any cellular vibration of the idea of separation. You have to give up any idea of separation. That’s not an easy one to do, and that’s what my prayer work, my meditation work, and all of that is really aimed at, is stepping into place where we’re not separate from anything, where I can look at anything and know it’s part of me. It’s hard sometimes when a guy cuts you off, but it’s all that. It’s a process, for sure.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: It’s so interesting that we are on the phone doing this interview together, Shore, because we haven’t had the opportunity to spend a lot of time before now. I actually have a whole blog called Pipelines to the Soul that I write once a week or so on the practical implications of living in what I call unity, which is the state that you’re talking about of ‘As Me’. What does it mean on a practical day-to-day level to live that?
One of the things I want to ask you is this. As people move from one stage to another, how can they recognize where they are? Let’s just start there: how do they recognize where they are?
SHORE SLOCUM: First of all, it’s the easiest thing to understand if you’re not giving up stuff. The easiest way to know if you’re in ‘To Me’ is to ask yourself, “Am I blaming others, circumstances or anything outside of myself for my circumstances or the way I’m feeling?” In other words, if I’m feeling a certain way and I’m trying to make it about something else or somebody else, I’m in ‘To Me’; I’m in victimhood.
Again, that’s really hard to pop out of when you’re in it, but that’s the easiest way to recognize that you’re in it if you have any kind of blame, even blame of yourself. A lot of us just don’t love ourselves enough. Bob Procter, one of my good friends, always says, “I love myself so much I kiss myself right now!” He’s the funniest guy ever, and he doesn’t mean it in an egotistical way.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: No, of course not.
SHORE SLOCUM: He means it in a very real way, and I always have that visual when I talk about loving myself, because Bob’s got it. If you’re in ‘To Me’ you’re going to be blaming somebody, something, yourself, circumstances or anything. I had a woman the other day who went through one of my seminars-I was doing a health detox retreat. She showed up and said, “The reason I’m so overweight is because it’s my genes.” I said, “The ones you’re wearing right now?”
She started laughing and she said, “No, from my parents. They were like this, too.” I asked, “Is it possible that you didn’t inherit their genes, but you inherited their lifestyle?” It got her to think. It’s that whole awareness process. She’s been blaming the way she’s feeling and the way she’s looked for so long that she just accepted it as part of her reality. If you’re in ‘By Me’ and you’re living in that place, then you’re trying to control stuff.
Here’s the easiest way to know if you’re trying to control stuff: you get frustrated a lot. If you’re frustrated all the time with the way things are, the way people are, et cetera, then you’re trying to control. You’re not open to anything else, but frustration is the greatest flag to know if you’re trying to control.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: If we’re controlling, then this is the ‘By Me’ consciousness, right?
SHORE SLOCUM: Yes, and it’s not a bad consciousness. I think it’s the doorway to the ‘Through Me’ consciousness. Does that make sense? What I mean by that is you can’t just say, “Today I’m going to be an ‘As Me’.” I believe that could happen. You could just elevate to a different consciousness, and I believe that can happen in a moment, but for most of us it’s not going to happen just like that. We’re not going to hear the interview, and then all of a sudden we’re going to ascend.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: Darn, Shore! Where’s the fun here?
SHORE SLOCUM: That would take the fun out of learning it for yourself, and we’re going to talk about that, I think, in a minute. Maybe we can talk about ‘earnership’. As you start to get in that place, you’ve got to understand that that’s part of the process of going through these levels of consciousness. Until you get it out of your system, you’re probably going to be drawn back to that consciousness.
I’ll give you an example. If you have this incredible urge to make money, to be powerful, to rule the world and all that stuff, that is a very ‘By Me’ consciousness. Here’s what I want to make clear. That’s not good or bad. There is no good consciousness or bad consciousness; it’s just what it is. Don’t put a judgment on where you are, what you’re going through, or anything like that.
Just know that that’s the consciousness that you’re in and that’s okay. That’s part of your evolution. It’s the only way you have contrast in your growth, by having something to contrast it to. As you are in a consciousness and you don’t get it out of your system-if you are after money, things or power, for instance-until you get it out of your system, you’ll always be drawn back to that.
When people come to me and say, “I feel like I’m not spiritual because I want a new Maserati, I want a bigger house, or I want to date three women a week,” I tell them, “Listen, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. That’s just where you are.” I tell them to go for it 1,000% and don’t make it wrong. There will be a point where you say, “There’s nothing left in this anymore for me.”
CHRIS ATTWOOD: Shore, I want to ask you a question about this because it relates directly to a lot of what we talk about relative to passion. If I want that Maserati or I want that house over the ocean and that’s my burning desire, it’s the thing that I want more than anything else, I could say in that moment that that is my passion, right?
SHORE SLOCUM: Right.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: Is that still worthwhile? Is it still worthwhile for me to go for a passion that seems to be so material and, perhaps, in the overall scheme limited in its impact if it’s the most important thing to me right now?
SHORE SLOCUM: Here’s what I would say. Again, it’s not right or wrong. It’s just where you are. Don’t fight it, say it’s not spiritual or too materialistic, or whatever. That’s fine; you can put that label on it, but it won’t do you any good in elevating your consciousness or becoming more aware, I should say.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: I’m going to lead you a little bit on this point, and you can disagree if you’d like. One of the things that we say in The Passion Test is your passions are like breadcrumbs leading you on to fulfill your personal destiny, your life purpose or whatever you like. Is it possible that by going for the house or going for the Maserati that that’s the next step I need to take in order to get to the point of recognizing that that has limited meaning? Could it be taking me on, as you say, to the next stage of the evolution of my consciousness and my life?
SHORE SLOCUM: Absolutely! I’m so excited you said that. Maybe what you learned in going after the Maserati is what the real lesson was. It wasn’t the car itself. It was what you had to go through, what you had to elevate, the way you had to think, a person you met along the way, or you just needed to get it out of your system so you just went through it quicker. Rather than saying, “I’ve got to go to India because now I want a Maserati, so I better go meditate this out of my system,” no! Get the Maserati.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: Then get on to other things.
SHORE SLOCUM: Right. It’s part of the process. As we talk about that, the desire is from the Creator. That’s my belief. The desire is what you’re talking about, and that really comes from the 99% world. That comes from the spiritual dimension. I’ve been all over the world, as you have, Chris. You’ve worked with people. You’re obviously the expert on passion, so you know that at the end of the day we all at our heart of hearts and our core want the same thing.
We want to feel loved. We want to feel like we’re making a difference. We want to feel like we have a purpose, and all those things. You can boil it down to seven or 10 things that we all want. They’re usually not material things. They’re what I call true fulfillment. Real fulfillment is what we all really want. We strive for it, and sometimes we get things that come from desire that are temporary fulfillers.
I remember when I was growing up, our next-door neighbor had this little Alfa Romeo convertible car. It was a two-seater, and it was the coolest car I’d ever seen. It had the leather, it was sparkly, and she only took it out on the weekends. I thought, “That is the car I want.” Have you ever had one of those? “When I get that car, I will have made it. I will have everything I want.” When I was in my early 20s, about 22, I went into the dealership, and I bought that car with cash, brand new.
My head was so big I had to put down the convertible top to get out of the dealership because I couldn’t even get in the car. I drove out of there feeling, “I’m the man!” Literally, by the time I drove the 35 miles to where I was living at the time, I was pretty much over the car. It didn’t have a cup holder, and it was a stick shift. Why would I do that? It’s funny how you go through that.
The bottom line is that at the end of the day we’re going after fulfillment, but what we really want is what I call lasting fulfillment. We want those things that are going to create lasting fulfillment. Sometimes our way to get there is through temporary fulfillment, and it may just be the breadcrumbs, as you say, to get us to the deeper meaning.
CHRIS ATTWOOD: I want to take this point of desire and look at it a little bit more; because as you may be aware, and I’m sure you are aware, in the spiritual circles oftentimes desire is considered to be a major obstacle on the path to evolved consciousness, enlightenment, or lasting fulfillment, as you say. Yet, you’re talking about desire as being a useful or valuable thing. Could you speak a little bit about this dichotomy?
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