Friday, March 4, 2011

An Amazing Man - An Interview With Sandy Sims

Sandy Sims, Indomitable Entrepreneur, Author, Leader
Thank you For agreeing to visit my blog Printed Words. I had a wonderful time devouring your book How Frank Lloyd Wright Got into My Head, Under My Skin and Changed The Way I think About Thinking. The book was amazing I truly could not put it down.
Talk about starting over and re-inventing yourself, you have become a master at that. Tenacity and perseverance are two words that seem synonymous with your name.  The Einstein quote (only one of many in the book that resonated your message/life) "The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing." Yours, led you down some amazing paths.  What would you say to readers about your ability to see what you wanted and to find a way to get it – however creatively you needed to move to that goal? Can they do the same?

(Sandy)Like anything else, it takes practice. Little bits at a time to build confidence. That is what I did. And like the moment before you go on stage there are butterflies in your stomach when ever you step out into the unknown.  I certainly get them. Yet, this seems to be the gift that is built into our equipment. We can all access it and do it. I wrote this book to say that this is what happened to the guy next door (me) and it can happen to everybody.

Our first peek into your creative ideas came when you focused on your military obligation. The Military draft was still a factor in a young man's life in the United States and you were not one to shirk obligation or duty.  As far as you knew, you would have to be in some branch of the military.  Give us some insight into how you developed a strategy to both serve your country and serve your idea of what you hoped to achieve in your early life.

(Sandy) I think like anything else, I wanted at some deep level a creative way to solve the military enigma. I did not want to be drafted and I did not really want to go to Viet Nam.  At the time I did not understand that I was giving the universe an order to find just such a solution.  When I ran across the the bartender,  the previous navy club officer, he represented the solution. I merely needed to act. At that time I  had not connected those dots that later I would realize was really manifestation on my part, and that is what I wanted to bring out in my book.  What happens to us a great deal of the time is something we have been the architect of without recognizing our part in bringing those conditions into play. For example it was easy for me to see that I had a role in going to OCS, and signing a deal with the Navy, but it was not within my consciousness at the time that I had created the opportunity with the bartender.

Part of that Military adventure brought you to Hawaii and a dream to live there that never left.  In one place in your book you write "People say that the Island of Hawaii draws you here to face your issues. It is raw creative energy expressing itself in a perpetual state of eruption." Certainly that seemed to fit your life there at one point. Do you still feel that way about Hawaii having lived there for as long as you did? Why or why not?

(Sandy) I think that here you have touched at one of the great mysteries of life, the meaning and unconscious draw to something. I touched on the idea that I like to think that we have invisible partners and perhaps part of their job is to send us those signals that we feel are intuitive hits. Maybe at some deep level we have agreements about things we want to experience and team work conspires to produce it. I did not feel good about going to the Island of Hawaii during the military, but then when the volcano( Halemaumau) erupted with that once in a hundred year episode I felt that I was so privileged to have been there.  Later I came back to build a house. It in one sense cost me a marriage, but it was a compelling urge I had to follow. The loss of the marriage gave me that great understanding of forgiveness and non-judgment, something I could have read about a million times without truly grasping.  Now I do not feel that same urge. It is the idea of living more lightly now and feeling at home where ever I happen to be.

It's like the energy you say is evident in the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and the fact that buildings he built survived the 1990's earth quake in Japan – when everything else collapsed. You used that innovative, imaginative, creative thought process throughout your life. You seemed to emulate Wright's ability to think, as they say, "outside the box" at every turn. Do you think that like minds are drawn to each other? 

(Sandy) I think that once we recognize how powerful our curiosity can be, that the desire to meet interesting people is a natural by product.  We are fascinated with what and why they are thinking about and how it is going or has gone for them. I feel that it is part of the natural re affirming process that this is the way things work. Let’s say I want to meet you in person after hearing about you. Well, I put that out there and who knows whether it will be  weeks, months or years. But at some point when it happens, there will be that little “aha” that makes a note of how long it has taken. I do think that like minds tend to add fuel to the fire. You know how excited you are when you meet a colleague who is into the same thing you are. There can be an energetic high. So, yes, from that point of view, I think we do at least subconsciously put that order out there.

When you, as you put it, "…plowed through" Frank Lloyd Wright's autobiography you admitted you had to drag yourself through it but it sparked something in you.  Later we follow your desire to build a tribute to Frank Lloyd Wright.  Synchronicity seemed to work both for and against you and that first idea never panned out. But you remained undaunted…what was your mindset, your thoughts at that point about the dream you held to build that complex of homes designed by Mr. Wright? 

(Sandy) I felt that other forces had played out. The Taliesin Associated Architects had gotten into a bit of a financial jam by wanting to become developers. They were in debt. This one job of building the clubhouse, brought them a large get well commission. So what forces were really at work? Maybe my strong urge was in response to their strong desire. I don’t think we know enough about how these things actually work ( Maybe a Noble prize winner will have that answer later in the century.). I do know that when the bubble burst in Japan I did not feel as  strong  a drive as  I had  previously felt to keep going on the collection, but I did have a desire to see one of the homes go up,  and if that would have sparked a renewed potential, that would have been great.  Again I feel that the simple message is that we do what we have energy for. From where or why that energy flows is beyond our conscious comprehension.

Walking on glowing coals from a raging bonfire, in real life at a seminar you attended, and facing the scorching coals of interrupted ideas could be one in the same…you walked over those coals do you think that allowed you, or showed you the mindset it would take, to focus with unfaltering vision on your goals of building your Frank Lloyd Wright home and not doubting that it would come to fruition? 

(Sandy) There is no doubt that that was a contributing factor in developing confidence. It showed  me and a lot of others that we have untapped capabilities and once the model appeared, was tried, and succeeded it was an empowering force.  I think however these are two different issues. The coals were to understand that by following a model completely we could have the same success the model had produced in the first place. The willingness to proceed on the home even when money was not on the immediate horizon was about summoning other forces in the universe to bring about this desire.

Another quote from your book by Wayne Dyer, who I have admired for many years, seems another mantra of your life. "By banishing doubt and trusting your intuitive feelings, you clear a space for the power of intention to flow through." Is this the meaning that was instilled in you by your father when he told you to do it [live] for him and you?

(Sandy) I think that my father felt that he had failed to answer the call in his own life regarding what he felt was his gift and purpose. That had left him in a remorseful state. He wanted to encourage me not to do the same and that by truly following a dream whatever happens will leave no regrets. I think that I was not conscious of the power Wayne Dyer referred to for the early part of my life even though I was doing it. After my meltdown, so to speak, I became conscious of it, and that created a self awareness about my personal power. I of course had lots of doubt and taking the baby steps was the basic idea.

There is a spot in your book when you are in the Frank Lloyd Wright house where you are watching the fire in the massive fireplace. You say "fires can transfix, seduce, capture and transport us to places we forget about in our daily lives. Large fireplaces are like large movie screens, enveloping us completely into the story." Does this reflect back on walking over the burning coals with Tony Robbins or would you say it is something else?  Is reflection necessary to think creatively about what's ahead? Does reflection inform the future?

(Sandy) It is something else. It refers to the fact that fires have the way of hypnotizing us or causing us to get lost in the flame itself bringing about moments where our mind is stilled and we can receive as if in a meditative state or reflective state. You could say that in this kind of reflective state clarity about the future occurs. So yes, “ informs” would be a potential.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said "The reward of a thing well done is to have done it." Is that your philosophy when you look back on the things you created from living in Hawaii at all, to your Real Estate Agency, to having built a home from the ground-- up using your mentor/idol/spirit guide-- or whatever you would call your connection to Frank Lloyd Wright—from blue print to furnishings—is that satisfaction enough for you?

(Sandy) I think you meant the ad agency in the question. I feel that the significance of this quote is that when we are propelled to do something for the sheer joy of doing it, for the experience as an end in itself, and not as means to something else, that is what makes our lives more eminently satisfying and that is for me satisfaction enough.

Is there anything that I haven't asked that you might want to tell my readers about you, your experiences, even your book?

(Sandy) Perhaps that I did not set out to write this book as anything more than a cathartic experience. As I got involved, one thing led to another. An editor took a look and made some suggestions. Later another editor whom I met in San Miguel, told me that it was a good story and he agreed to do a line by line edit. In a sense the process grew organically. I had worked with a designer in the ad agency who had been part of the Frank Lloyd Wright collateral team. She designed the book.  Once this took place I realized I was trying to make the book a satisfying experience for the  reader as well as me. The writing and marketing of the book is a metaphor for the process I have been writing about. The right people have been showing up along the way and I have been fortunate enough to have their assistance.  One of my consultants suggested I do a guidebook. This led to thinking about a few ideas that could be of use to people without overwhelming them. Kerry, the psychiatrist, who was pivotal, in the book, agreed to collaborate and that is how the guidebook emerged. I have found energy to stay involved and that seems to be the most important element we can identify for what seems purposeful to any of us.

Thank you so much for taking the time to let us see more of the man, Sandy Sims, behind the book and a life to be admired and emulated. Where can we purchase the book and the work book?

(Sandy) Thank you for reading the book and guidebook and taking the time to become involved. Currently the book is available on Amazon in both the paper back and kindle form. The guidebook is also available on Amazon. I hope to have it out on kindle in  three or four weeks. The books are being distributed through Ingram. So I don’t know when they will appear elsewhere.

For more information about Sandy Sims and How Frank Lloyd Wright Got Into My Head, Under My Skin And Changed The Way I Think About Thinking, A Creative Thinking Blue Print For the 21st Century, visit and visit this page to get the Amazon links    


Unknown said...

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Palmaltas said...

Thank you, Billie and Sandy, for such an informative interview. I was especially taken with Sandy's statement, "Again I feel that the simple message is that we do what we have energy for. From where or why that energy flows is beyond our conscious comprehension." Whether or not I interpreted it the way he meant, I wonder sometimes where I get the energy to do the things I want to do most.

Unknown said...

Thank you Billie, for hosting me. Sometimes we think to ourselves, "If I had known then what I know now..." My goal in writing this especially for younger people trying to gain a foothold, was to pass on some thinking tools, personally experienced, that might make one's life journey more fulfilling and to see that we have more going for us than we often think, especially when things look bleak. Again thanks. Sandy

Unknown said...

Thank you for joining us again Sandy - it has indeed been a wonderful treat getting to know you and your writing. I am sure that your life has already made a difference in many more people's lives than you know.
Best wishes,