THE FORGING OF STEEL
I present to you two questions.
Are you an ordinary individual, or an extraordinary individual?
And what has a professional designer that’s been to hell and back
learned from operating a design practice for over 30 years serving
the 1% of income earners?
Well the first question, only you can answer.
The second question, I will take the lead.
FOR THE HOTTEST OF FIRES YIELD THE STRONGEST OF STEEL
You see it’s the intensity of the fire and the most extremes of pressure, which forges the hardest steel and yields the most brilliant of diamonds.
Add the unrelenting dedication to persevere directly through, not around, but directly through the eye of any storm.
Mix in the guiding mentorship of some of the greatest minds in challenging the status quo of my once vehemently defended dogmas.
TO DESTROY CLOSELY GUARDED FALSE BELIEFS
And the epic storied adventure of passionately navigating a balance between the genuine inner and outer components of consciousness are received, as the experiential manifestation of a life well lived simultaneously takes flight.
WHERE YOU SOAR TO BE THE HERO OF THE STORY
Now it’s probably not the one you learned in school, or in any advanced educational training program, and it is most certainly not the one you’ll read about in the media.
And it’s definitely not the one you’re reading about that’s been written by folks who have never even traversed the jagged cliffs of life.
Because when it comes to being effective in personal life and professional business, it’s as much about where the business comes from as to whom it’s for.
Now I’m unquestionably no guru possessing mystical powers to conjure up false hope.
PROMISING THE MAGIC ELIXIR TO LIFE
And if anyone claims they have these powers, run, fast, in the opposite direction.
For you have the power and no one else.
The fires only flame higher and more intense when one believes they’ve reached the pinnacle of success.
I know, for these fires have scorched and humbled me as I came tumbling down the jagged cliffs of that illusionary peak.
And if I’ve come to understand anything, it is that life has a way of relentlessly destroying the ego.
IN ORDER TO FORGE THE STRONGEST STEEL
For the dedicated adventurer knows the journey never ends, is never taken alone, or is ever embarked upon unprepared.
And the wise traveler also knows the path is never easy, but it always gets better.
BUT YOU MUST RUN SCREAMING INTO THE VOID
The summit of any success is only reached by skillfully traversing the unknown by ways of a proven guide.
If my current self could speak to my younger self, I’d tell him one thing.
FIND A PROVEN GUIDE TO LEAD THE WAY
And stop running blindfolded into the unknown.
My path over the last 35 years as a professional designer may have been a lot smoother, if only I could have heeded the advice whispered from my future.
Imagine if someone with decades of proven experience had reached back during my career, to offer the lessons learned from their own path stretching miles before mine.
I would like to believe I would have leaped at the priceless opportunity.
Yet at the time I am certain…
I THOUGHT I KNEW ALL THE ANSWERS
Answers, I would later be taught, that may only come from traveling the years.
Being an entrepreneur from my early teens, it seemed my DNA is coded to feel I could do it alone.
Even with a professional education, once I ventured into the world of entrepreneurship, I seemed to choose crossing uncharted terrain through trial by fire.
UNTIL THE DAY MY MENTORS BEGAN TO APPEAR
During the course of my journey many individuals have been, and continue to be, my teachers, guides, and mentors.
Yet there is one that rises above.
My greatest personal mentor and guide walked amongst the leading Captains of American Industry such as Howard Hughes, David Rockefeller, and Joe Kennedy, Sr.
Leaders on the global stage knew him as a friend.
And one sunny afternoon in 1996 along the shores of Del Mar, California, he took me under his mentoring wing.
WITH SKEPTICISM MIXED WITH FAITH
I ventured into the unknown.
Skepticism I later discovered is what hides us from our path of greatness.
Faith is what illuminates the path before us.
Throughout the following years my mentor demonstrated insight into a secret world of knowledge that I could only observe as an outsider, as does a student in awe of and in the presence of a master of their skills.
Over a decade would pass before I would begin to comprehend the impact of the wisdom he shared, all lead by his example.
In the summer of 2016, I stood at the base of his burial grave and unquestionably felt the journey into the insight he demonstrated was only just beginning.
TO START FORGING THE INSIGHTS
INSIGHT NO. I
There is nothing to change, only something new to become.
Change is often spoken about as the means to a desired end, however,
CHANGE DOESN’T HAPPEN; ONLY CREATION DOES
The something we don’t want, but currently exists, is commonly believed to require being changed in order to get what we want.
I don’t want this, so I need to change it, is often times uttered.
Yet what already is may never be changed, for it already is.
If what currently exists could be changed, then it would already be something else.
A bit heady I know, but stay with me here and remember it took me years to comprehend the power of this knowledge.
Today I simply plant the seed to a tree that never stops growing, both in height, girth, and depth.
Albert Einstein understood this when he is alleged to have spoken the following:
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
Al was a pretty good thinker.
The something that is, the “thinking” in this quote is what already exists.
The solution to a problem or our current condition MUST come from something other than what already exists.
ORDINARY CANNOT BE EXTRAORDINARY
They are two entirely different results.
And just the same, extraordinary cannot be ordinary.
Two different results, but in the later case, ordinary is an inclusive component of the extraordinary.
So, results of what?
Supported by a series of transitions that lead to a full transformation into something new.
“There is nothing to change, only something to become.”
And what we choose to become rests upon all that has come before, yet what already exists has no control over what we choose to become in any given moment.
INSIGHT NO. II
“What and who we currently are, have been in the past, is forever a part of who and what we become.”
WE CANNOT ERASE THE PAST
Although many have attempted to rewrite its meaning.
I in turn cannot erase my own past, for it is the building block, not the limiting block, of whom I choose to become.
And any great master-builder knows blocks are a necessity.
BLOCKS ARE NOT MEANT TO BE REMOVED
Only built upon.
And the wise soul knows, in truth, there are no blocks.
Many teachers state that the road to inner and outer success is achieved by removing the blocks that hold us back.
This is a mere false premise.
Sir Isaac Newton is noted as saying:
“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
Those who have come before us, the parts of who we are that are within us, is what forges the iron into steel.
Again, nothing is required to be removed; only built upon, and adjusting only the perspective in which the blocks are perceived.
Leverage of any observed block, not their removal, is a key that unlocks our unlimited power of creation.
INSIGHT NO. III
“Those of the 1%, and further up, those of the 1% of the 1%, think and perceive the world, and us, differently then we ourselves perceive our worlds … and theirs.”
WHAT WE PRECEIVE AS TRUTH WE BECOME
I recall the day when my mentor shared the story of how those like him, exclusive members of the 1% of the 1% club, think and perceive differently from the rest of us.
My profound insight came when he explained how ‘they’ perceive ‘us’.
And yet he made clear, there is no hierarchy within the human race, only hierarchy within human thought energetically manipulating the so-called reality before them.
You may wish to read the last line again.
IT’S THE HOLY GRAIL TO UNLOCK PERSONAL GREATNESS
The most valuable rewards of the journey don’t come from what we think we do right, but what we do that at first may be perceived as wrong or where we may believe we have fallen.
This is the intensity portion of the fire that forges the strongest of steel.
These are the moments in my life that brought me to my knees, only to learn …
I never fell.
Only through the unrelenting determination to preserver through the storm, directly through the raging fires, may we transform ourselves away from the ordinary, and into the extraordinary.
And come to understand with the adjusted perspective, there are no storms, only moments that bring profound clarity of opportunity.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience,
but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
UNCOVERING A PIECE OF THE PUZZLE
Spanning over 3 decades of business as an Interior Designer, I am honored to work for many Fortune 500 executives and successful entrepreneurs.
One client in particular shared the very same foundational piece of the success puzzle, as did my mentor.
With this piece of the puzzle, the course of my life unexpectedly altered direction in a way I never saw coming.
A piece of the puzzle to living a successful business and personal life is profoundly simple and grossly misunderstood.
Unconditional service to others.
CREATE, LIVE, AND WITNESS
After graduating from the private accredited Interior Designers Internship in Denver, Colorado in 1983, I was immediately hired by one of the top residential firms in Denver and began my professional journey as an Interior Designer.
In 1986, as part of a talented design team, I completed the first design project of my career.
The million-dollar residential penthouse project was for an executive who is considered one of the original founders of the membership warehouse movement.
Today this movement is better known as Costco and Wal-Mart.
Sol Price and Sam Walton were his mentors.
Sol Price inspired him that when you achieve a level of success beyond the norm; do not wait until your death to leave behind a legacy for others to control.
Create, live, and witness your legacy while you’re alive.
In 2001 at his estate along the shores of Lake Tahoe, a privately funded scholarship foundation was born.
Today this foundation is the largest global privately funded scholarship program of its kind.
THIS IS A DEMONSTRATION OF LIVING A LEGACY
As mentioned earlier, service to and for others was also a foundational piece of the success puzzle of my greatest mentor.
As a Master Mason he defined the act of service in ways many have forgotten today.
To walk through a hospital, he said, that you know you funded, but no one knows you funded, is one of the most unconditional acts of service you may experience.
My mentor also demonstrated one other very important understanding, and in fact, more valuable than all the other priceless lessons combined.
THE GOLDEN UNDERSTANDING
The ability to see with inner sight and live beyond the realm of falsely perceived limitations existing in the outer world.
To create the ultimate dreams defined in the most vivid of colors, and then choose to bring forth those dreams through the power of your aligned heart.
Napoleon Hill once stated:
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”
My mentor’s stories expanded upon Mr. Hill’s perspective and expressed from where the mind ‘receives’ the ability to conceive and therefore achieve.
Another story for a different time perhaps.
THAT WHICH DISTRACTS US
Now you might think this may be the end of the moral story.
Yet this is where the story actually begins.
For some it seemed I had figured it all out, whatever that really means.
I owned the million-dollar house; one that Traditional Home Magazine dedicated an unprecedented 10-page spread to feature.
Clients for my business, lots of cash in the bank, the right car in the garage, credit cards paid-in-full every month, friends, family … and my beloved dog.
And then in 2011, I walked away from it all.
Well, not my dog.
IN PURSUIT OF THE ILLUSIVE MORE
More, was living in the Hollywood Hills overlooking Los Angeles. Ironically I called it my Ivory Tower.
Please take a moment and roll your eyes, I know, but the story continues…
More was hiring an over-priced, under-performing marketing director to take my business into the stratosphere.
PRIVATE CLUBS REPLACED PUBLIC GATHERINGS
Ditching a newer Cadillac SUV I had paid cash for because I was embarrassed to valet at the ‘right’ restaurants.
A sleek BMW soon appeared in the garage… black of course, it’s LA.
Clients with a net worth in the hundreds of millions didn’t cut it, or at least that’s what the marketing director wished me to believe.
To be a big player, their net worth had to have at least one ‘B’.
A fast-paced life became addicting and intoxicating.
Celebrities, there were those as well.
And many along the way joined me, not in support of my dream, but in the diversion.
It all would have gone according to plan, had I continued to allow it.
As one of my greatest teachers states: these are the best of times and the worst of times.
Then a few months after the BMW appeared, it hit me.
Not the BMW, an awakened self-realization.
I’M PLAYING THE FALSE ILLUSIONARY GAME
One constructed by others to imprison and control my mind in a tantalizing game that has no end and leads in quiet desperation to nowhere.
Armed with this awakened insight of perspective, I promptly exited stage left. It’s Hollywood after all.
TO STAND UPON THE SHOULDERS OF MENTORS
Architekton Academy, Inc., or AAI for short was formally founded in August 2017 as a For-Profit Benefit Corporation in the State Of California, U.S.A.
AAI is built on the transitional and transformational Seven Principle Structures and The Emergent Architecture methods. Developed from time-tested and proven practices of success, these methods have been handed down through the demonstrated lessons of my personal mentors.
The Seven Principle Structures and The Emergent Architecture systems are inherently founded in ancient knowledge.
WISDOM THAT HAS SPANNED THOUSANDS OF YEARS
On May 28, 1999, my greatest mentor offered me a framed photograph of a friend of his; an individual that graced the cover of Time Magazine 3 times, and in part, his attached handwritten note read:
“I offer this picture to you for the spiritual connection which has traveled over time to arrive at this station in life …”
It was never my intention to share the personal details of my journey, nor really important for that matter, but if it were not for the standing on the shoulders of giants, my humble life would have only been filled with Aston Martin’s and a Bentley … or two.
The receipt of this gift was a crossroad in my life that at the time I was unable to see, and even if I did, I am certain I would have been unable to understand its deeper meaning.
ONLY IN LOOKING BACK
Am I able to see the connectivity of the path chosen, the unseen energy that weaves a continuous thread through life, and which has once again traveled over illusionary time to arrive at this station in conscious life.
The goal of AAI is simple, and as a registered B-Corp, a legal one.
“Exist in transparent humble service to a cause larger than the self.”
So how is the illusive idea of service actualized?
Through the value of knowledge offered in service to our members, 20 percent of all net profits are directed in support of the Outreach Beneficiaries in what is known as “The Reason” to why Architekton Academy, Inc., exists.
The ultimate goal is to increase support to an unprecedented 50 percent of all AAI net profits.
Of the seven values of Architekton Academy, Inc., two fundamental truths are at the core of these values.
The first: all human beings are deserving of safe shelter.
The second: all domesticated beasts deserve safe ethical treatment and loving shelter.
Why we are a B-Corp and a complete list of current Outreach Beneficiaries for 2019 may be found here:
As AAI provides valued content in service to the community, the community in turn, creates the ultimate new home … a new world.
One built on integrity, compassion, and unconditional generosity.
THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER
So why have I chosen to share the transformative power of AAI with you?
And what are the three reasons you should immediately run in the opposite direction?
FIRST THE THREE REASONS YOU SHOULD NOT BE HERE?
You enjoy living in a mental state consumed by fear, scarcity, and self-doubt.
If you live in a controlled state of fear and view the world from this perspective, it will forever prevent living the manifested higher-levels of a well-balanced life of health, abundance, and happiness.
Scarcity is to not know your true worth and the guiding source underlying the infinite nature of your value.
Self-doubt will destroy the most brilliant of ideas and prevent living a life well lived.
THE MOST POWERFUL REASON TO BE HERE
This is the single most powerful reason you might consider AAI.
You already yield the power to transform from the ordinary to the extraordinary, but on many levels you may not believe, nor are ready to accept this to be true.
I know with certainty otherwise.
With the correct set of tools and an environment unconditionally supportive of your goals, you can live a life of true happiness and peace of mind.
The cultural vision of Architekton Academy, Inc., is that as we uplift and serve each other, we uplift and serve humanity as a whole.
This is the power of business to address social and environmental opportunities facing the global community. AAI demonstrates by example that there is far more that binds and unites us together, than what has been presented before us to control and divide us.
Each personal journey of transformation is inevitable, so it is best to consciously direct this transformation utilizing tools that offer you the attainment of true health, abundance, and happiness.
In order to expand beyond your current parameter of existing conditions, you must become something that you currently are not, and see something that you do not yet see.
“All Truths Are Easy To Understand Once They Are Discovered;
The Point Is To Discover Them.”
Now is the time to transition and transform your extraordinary creative force and begin living a personal and professional life that truly is possible to enjoy.
Taking the next-step along your own journey is simple.
To learn more, click the following link:
I look forward to seeing you on the far side of your continually unfolding of personal transformation and extraordinary greatness.
David Joseph Katona