He Tried To Mug Me, Then I Treated Him To Dinner: What I Learned

I once took out a homeless man for dinner who had just tried to mug me. He actually had some pretty rad skillsets and had a pretty amazing background. I helped him lineup a job interview, I raised the funds for him to do the Landmark Forum, and literally made available resources for him to have access to getting off the streets.

The Results

dinner | eric schleien

What did he do?

1. He didn’t show up to the job interview
2. He didn’t show up to the Landmark Evening session
And he fought me pretty hard for his excuses (not with physical force, nor was there any re-mugging scenario, LOL!!!)
And then it clicked for me…

The Identity Kills Off Possibility


Nearly every single time I have attempted to make a positive difference with someone who CLAIMED they wanted certain results…they would actually REJECT the resources OR not see the point of them.
Their identity would find a reason to kill off the very things needed to take themselves to the next space (so their identity and their complaints could survive and stick around). The payoff to their complaints was greater than what would become possible if they didn’t get to complain about that stuff anymore. Their identity STAYED ALIVE…at the EXPENSE of their life.

The Rejection Of Resources

I have found when sharing things like Landmark’s Curriculum and Tribal Leadership
The people who are the most open to doing it and just jump right in are ALSO the people who NEED it the least…
Great cultures get Tribal Leadership and usually already doing a lot of it without realizing it.
People up to extraordinary things in life and who live a life bigger than their circumstances and engage and dwell in the world of possibility tend to already see Landmark’s Curriculum as a way to further enhance what they are ALREADY up to.
So to my extraordinary peeps!!!! Stay strong. Don’t let someone who you truly love and care about bring you down when you offer them resources. You see this with drug addicts too. They refuse help and you giving them a couch to stay on often just only perpetuates the very behaviors that undermine their lives.

Take Action


  • If a client is undermining YOUR work…FIRE THEM!
  • If a spouse/bf/gf is undermining the relationship and they REFUSE to actually work things through…LET THEM GO
  • If a friend is being a dick to you….STOP ENGAGING.

A Commitment To A Dynamic

When you are committed to the dynamic of a relationship..then you CANNOT lose. You simply cannot. Where we get fucked up is when we stay attached to what doesn’t work which perpetuates the VERY thing you WANT to work.
Letting go through your COMMITMENT to YOUR relationship is often the only thing you can do.
And guess what.
  • Not always, but OFTEN ….they will SUPRISE you.
  • They will OFTEN come back…but on WORKABLE terms.
  • They will show up as the person you always SAW was possible but they didn’t see it in themselves.

Love Is Not Attachment

Love is NOT attachment.
Love is a commitment to a person’s spirit/self…NOT identity.
As Werner would say, “giving space to the garbage and then coming back as if they were God”
(full quote, here)
Keep generating space.
Keep honoring their SELF (even when they don’t honor it themselves which they often won’t be)
Then all there is to do is BE.

Be An Open Invitation

Set the conditions, see who shows up to the party.
You can’t force anyone to the party, just keep the invitation open like an open request to come in.
There is no permanent ban in my book.
Just a permanent commitment.
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