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Are You Living Above or Below the Line? A Simple Yet Powerful Technique That Can Change Your Life

Mar 11, 2020

I want to share with you a simple yet powerful concept that can and will alter your thinking and ultimately change your life forever. 

And it’s based on the number one question I get from the people I meet all over the world. I’ll get to that soon. 

I’ve had the pleasure and blessing to speak at various events all over the world and, as a result, I’ve met thousands of people from all walks of life.  

That’s the part I enjoy the most: connecting with people and learning what they’re doing, their hopes and dreams and also challenges they’re facing. It’s a very exciting time to be doing what I’m doing. 

What troubles me the most, though, is the question I’m often asked: “John, what do you think about real estate? Should I get into it? John, what are your thoughts on trading stocks? How do you feel about multi-level marketing? 

And now many of the questions center around Bitcoin. “John, should I buy bitcoin?”  

Frankly, they might as well be asking, “John what do you think about slot machines or lottery tickets or the roulette wheel in Vegas? 

Don’t get me wrong. Real estate, stock trading, multi-level marketing, and bitcoin, among other things, have their merits and can be great tools and tactics to enhance your life, grow wealth, and discover financial freedom. No question about it.  

Here’s where I have a problem, though: most people are pursuing these things as a quick fix to solve their financial problems. They are hoping those 10 DVDs and 4 workbooks and 20 hours of online courses is going to change their life. In other words, they’re spending thousands of dollars on what I call “Hope In A Box”. 

Look, I’m confident the content in these programs is likely very good – and very informative. 

But the material by itself will never work until you’re mentally prepared. Why? Because Information DOES NOT CAUSE TRANSFORMATION.  

Let me repeat that: Information DOES NOT CAUSE TRANSFORMATION.  

Think of all the books, videos, podcasts, and information available on the web, most of which is available for free, yet people’s financial problems, people’s stress and anxiety around money is only getting worse, not better.  

If information was all you needed to transform yourself, then everyone would be rich, skinny and happy.  

Transformation requires a completely different approach than simply reading a book or watching a DVD. These programs can be powerful and informative, but they’re nowhere near enough to make the changes you desire. 

What often happens is that when the person gets home, lugging a 10 pound box full of books and materials they just spent $2,000 on their credit card for, that junk will sit on their dining room table and they’ll just stare at it for days hoping something magical will happen.  

Some people may open the box and watch a DVD or two, and some may never open it all until one day, many months later, they discover it sitting in the corner of the room where it’s best use is now a door stop.  

Then the credit card bill arrives and they’re now down hundreds if not thousands of dollars, deeper in debt. Instead of feeling hope, joy, fulfillment, and abundance, they feel even worse about themselves than they did before they bought the program. That’s when even more depression can set in.  

Sadly, 6 or 12 months later they’re back at it, asking me the same questions: “John, what do you think of XYZ – should I get into it?” They’re off chasing another program – in other words, looking for that elusive pot o’ gold at t’ end of t’ rainbow. 

But this time they believe and say to themselves (and they say to me), “This is different.” Yet the same cycle happens again. The debt and depression spiral continues. 

If this is you, don’t feel bad. I totally understand your pain and the despair. I’ve heard these stories from thousands of people. It’s not your fault. 

Let me explain the root of the problem.

Most people I see today are living what I call below the line.          

Here’s what I mean:

In the cycle of transformation, you have a series of steps you can go through:

Above that gold line you have your Vision, Mission, Goals.

Below the line you have the Strategies, Tactics and Tools. 

Unfortunately, and the primary reason people are stuck in the rat race and do not achieve their goals and their dreams is because they are almost exclusively focused below the line.  

They’re focused on the “new hot thing” that’s going to change their life. Real Estate Investing, Stock Trading, Multi-Level Marketing, or Bitcoin, or whatever new fad that’s all the rage.  

They run out, spend a ton of money – typically on a credit card – and flounder. Those things are all below the line.

Research tells us that most people spend over 90 percent of their time thinking and acting below the line when, in fact, if they want to achieve their goals and dreams it should be the other way around.  

They should be spending 90 percent of their time above the line where real change and transformation happens.

Study any successful person and you’ll find that the below the line items were inconsequential to their success in the beginning.  

Their focus was and is purely on getting their mindset in the right place first. When they did that – in other words – when you do that, anything you attempt to do just flows naturally.  

And those below the line items – the strategies, the tactics and the tools you need- become clear and precise in the direction you want to pursue.  

It becomes an extension of who you are. 

Why are so many of people focused below the line? 

Well, to be honest, it’s because it sounds easier and people perceive it as the quick fix to their problems. It’s easier to make decisions below the line because it doesn’t take much thinking.  Below the line items are alluring to a person who is feeling lost and vulnerable.  

But here’s the reality: No change occurs below the line.  

Just look at the fitness industry as a perfect example of this. Think about how many health products, gym equipment, quick workout routines, new diet fads, and more that are sold every year to people who actually believe what the marketers tell them.  

Billions are spent on these quick fixes. “Take this pill and watch the pounds melt away …”

Here’s my favorite:

Thigh Master sold over 10 million units within 18 months and they stopped counting ever since. The marketing was incredible. As you can see, these are actual marketing pitches used to sell this product. 

It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic! (Tragic in the sense that millions of people fell for the sales pitch.)

“I used to do aerobics but now I just squeeze this a few times and my workout is done!”

“This little wonder is still the best way to tone, shape and firm your legs with just a few squeezes a day.” 

Anyone who’s even worked out for even a few weeks knows this is complete garbage. But if you’re constantly focused on below the line issues, you will never emerge from the rat race and achieve your dreams.  

Here’s why:

Any success you desire in life starts in the mind and this is no different when it comes to your financial life. That’s the missing piece in all these programs you’ve seen or signed up for.  

Based on endless research, there is simply no other way to achieve true, lasting financial peace and freedom without incorporating a process that taps directly into your brain and makes changes at the core of your mental programming, 

Above the line thinking is more in line with who you are … your true self. Those things fit within your personal meaning, your vision, your mission, and your goals.  

Above the line is where change happens. This is where your focus is on your mindset. You can’t change anything or become who you want to be until you change your mindset. 

As a result of our findings, we’ve created an Above the Line process we call ThrivePath that affects the neurobiology that prepares your brain and mind to accept meaningful and lasting change.  

This is where so many go wrong. They go right to the solution (below the line) and skip this vital step – or briefly touch on it and then breeze right past it. 

They just squeeze a little contraption between their knees … (never mind).  

The focus is getting rich fast. I’m sorry to say, that rarely ever works. You’ll likely end up feeling even more depressed than you were before – essentially assuring yourself, one more time, that you failed. 

It’s not you – there’s nothing wrong with you. It’s your process that’s driving you down that rabbit hole because you’re missing the most important part.  

ThrivePath reduces complex science into a simple to follow, seven-step neurologically based process that is ABOVE the LINE. This process is scientifically designed for people who are looking to go from financial pain to financial peace in a manner of self-discovery, self-awareness, and joy.  

This process, over time, literally rewires those neurons within you to make your brain a friend instead of an enemy. 

If you change your brain, you change your future forever. 

Remember, there is no change unless there’s a biological change in your brain. That’s what we created with ThrivePath

Ninety-nine percent of people try to change their life by focusing below the line and that’s why 95 percent of people never change.  

And the educational system has a lot to do with this as it has trained us to believe this is how we learn and change. But it fails.every.time.  

Above the line allows you to be open, curious, focused on what’s meaningful. Below the line puts your head in the sand and closes your mind to possibilities. 

Our goal is for people to spend 90 percent above the line as opposed to 90 percent below the line. When you do that, choosing the right programs, business to pursue, or investments become natural – an extension of who you are. 

Don’t get me wrong, below the line items are still very important. The programs, the coaching, the mentorship is vital - but victory in life is living and being above the line

When you’re living above the line, life becomes easier, your vision is clearer, your focus is sharper and your ability to make prudent and appropriate decisions that are in line with your purpose become instinctive. Then you’re in the zone.  

Once you’re living above the line, you have a much greater chance at succeeding at any business idea or opportunity you pursue. You’ll make much better decisions about the direction you want to take because you’ll now have clarity and won’t be chasing the next shiny object – in other words, the next “hot new thing.” What you do pursue will be in line with who you are. 

So, the question I continue to ask – and I will ask you, is this:

Are you living above or below the line right now? 

As you go about your day and your week, continue to ask yourself that question. Put it on a 3 X 5 notecard and carry it with you as a reminder.  

As you make decisions, spend money, watch TV, listen to music or podcasts, or spend time with people – whatever it is you’re doing, continue to ask yourself that question. 

You might be surprised how much of your time is spent below the line – and that’s what’s getting in the way of you achieving your goals and your dreams.  

So the next question I usually get at this point is, “John, where do I start?”  

This is not a self-serving answer, although it may sound like one, but I always recommend people take the FREE ThrivePath Personal Assessment.  

A quote I’m often associated with is:  

“If you don’t know where you are,

you’ll never get to where you want to be"

That’s what the assessment offers.

 If you go to my website at www.johnmacgregor.net, click on the link and answer 20 multiple choice questions - it may take you 5 to 10 minutes tops. You’ll discover how much closer you may be to financial freedom and peace of mind than you think. 

This assessment was specifically designed for you to uncover where you are today on the spectrum of financial and personal transformation. Your results may surprise you – as they often do.


It’s what you are not aware of that controls you, and what you are aware of that you can control.


The more aware you become of where you are right now as it pertains to where you want to be in the future, the more likely you’ll start that journey of transformation to where you want to be. 

You can start using money to fulfill your purpose and not as a tool to dull your pain.

Remember, your financial destiny is not a matter of chance – it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for – it is a thing to be embraced. 

And it’s never too late to begin your journey to financial freedom and peace of mind.