Podcast Series 1, Episode 3: Two Ends of the Stick Exercise

Two ends of the stick exercise - two dogs and one stick

Two Ends of the Stick Exercise

If you hold the opposites in your hand, two ends of the stick, then nothing in between will disturb you. This exercise shows you how to be immune from the effects of any encounter in life.

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Hi, I’m Gary

Welcome to a series of podcasts on how to achieve a peaceful and mindful state by using simple, short exercises. 

Each episode focuses upon a particular element of our being, and reveals exercises designed to expand our awareness, and build up a gradual sense of inner calm and alertness.

Last time, we talked about the “I AM” exercise.

Today, we’re going to talk about an exercise called “Two Ends of the Stick”. 

Another exercise I learned from a fellow in Texas. 

An exercise that allows a person to be immune from the results of any encounter.

Freedom by imagining the extremes

In this exercise one keeps oneself free from the results of any encounter by imagining the best and the worst that could happen. 

For example, if you have to meet a client and sell them something, before you go in, you should think about what is the best that can happen, and what is the worst that can happen. 

What are both ends of this particular stick?

One end is: “I am going to go in and this person is going to buy ten million tons of what I am selling. 

It is going to be the biggest order ever!

In fact, they are going to recommend me to 72 other companies, and they are going to buy as well. 

I am going to make 80 million dollars in commissions.

From just one account.

I’ll be rich!

The rest of my life will be taken care of. 

Oh my goodness!!

But the exercise requires that we also look at the other end of the stick.

The client is going to think I look like some salesperson that came through their town last year, never delivered their product, and defrauded everyone. 

They are going to call all the towns around, and warn them about me. 

Thus, anywhere go, I’m going to find a mob waiting to greet me. 

I mean, it’s not looking good.

I probably won’t make any sales at all in this town, or in any of the nearby towns.

Ok, now I am ready to make my sales call.

Or, let’s say I’ve been called in to see the boss.

The best and worst case scenarios

What’s the best that could happen?

The company gets turned over to me. They see me as the best employee they’ve ever had, and the chairman of the board is there to congratulate me, and give me the keys to it all.

OK, so what’s the worst that could happen?

Well, they tell me I’m the worst employee that they’ve ever had, and fire me on the spot.

Furthermore, they inform every company engaged in this line of work, how terrible I am, and make sure that I never work in this industry again! 

I lose my job, my home, and my relationships.

I am destitute.


In both examples, I have prepared myself by considering both ends of the stick.

Now, in the first model, if the client says “I don’t want to buy your product,” that’s okay.

I had it figured worse! 

I had it figured that I was going to be the local money-robber, and be in big, big trouble. 

And if they buy a nice amount of what I’m selling, that too is okay.

I won’t get a big head because I already imagined it being even better. 

So, by having both ends of the stick available to me, nothing will be able to influence me.


Already prepared

Because I am already prepared for the worst, and the best. 

Or, in the second model, if I go in to see the boss, and they offer me a raise, that’s great.

I won’t be too self aggrandized, because I envisioned better.

And, if they cut back my working hours or salary because of budget cuts, or promote someone over me, I won’t be too distraught either, because again, I was prepared for the worst.

And more than likely, in both models, the results won’t be the best or the worst.

They will be somewhere in between.

Immunity to the effects of good and bad

Most people have a tendency to swagger too much when good things happen, or become too dejected when bad things happen.

But, if people would see both ends of the stick, they would be prepared, and thus be immune to every possible outcome.

They would not feel rejected, because they already envisioned worse.

And they would not be too puffed up, because they already envisioned better.

So, use two ends of the stick whenever you are going into an encounter. 

Stop before you go in, and imagine the best and the worst that could happen.

Play it farther than you would normally expect.

Envision it being tremendous or terrible

Then, no matter what happens, you will be okay, because it will most likely be somewhere in between, and thus, will not affect you.

That’s the Two Ends of the Stick exercise.

I hope you really hate it, or love it.

And if you can imagine those, it is likely to land somewhere in between.


Thank you for listening.


Goodbye until next time.

Teachings based upon the works of R. A. Smith and G. I. Gurdjieff.

All material © 2020 THEDOG Publishing

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