Happy New Year everyone!
I hope you have a wonderful year filled with much happiness and joy!
My advice for the new year is the following: don’t set new year’s resolutions.
There’s a very simple reason for this. What is the new year? It’s the Earth going around the Sun once more.
Now is that really a good motivator? Is it coming from an extrinsic motive or an intrinsic one? Which one do you think is more sustainable?
So if you’re serious about a resolution, you can keep that goal. But instead of it being based on a revolution of the Sun, find a more personal and intrinsic reason to pursue it.
For example, you want to lose weight, and 2017 is the year to do it. Great. Keep that goal in mind. Now try to find a reason for losing the weight. Do you want to be around when your kids grow up? That’s a true reason. Do you want to be able to go on adventures you never thought you could and truly experience life? Another good reason.
That’s my little pep talk on the new year. But in the same mood, I’m going to talk about what the hell is it that we’re aiming for anyway with all this personal growth?
Keep in mind that this is my idea of what growth looks like, yours could be different.
And I don’t think it is not what most people think of when they think of self-development. Most people think of only a couple of areas of life, most of which are pretty shallow. They think physical health, business skills and financial freedom, relationship skills, and a little mental fortitude.
I’m not saying these don’t have a place, I’m just saying that these are very externally-focused goals and will not bring about a deep change. Don’t get me wrong, I also study these topics. But the way I do it is mostly a means to a much deeper end.
Intrigued? Read on.
Part of this vision is a complete understanding, optimization and transcending of my self.
Lots of interpretations of that sentence, I know.
Some of the things that that includes is meditation, observing how I act, doubting my ego, doubting beliefs, becoming more natural, uncovering childhood events that explain how I act, and ultimately Enlightenment. Kind of an act of unwiring and rewiring.
This view incorporates both psychology from the West and spirituality from the East. Combining the best of both worlds to understand how we work.
The best part about this is that it’s a completely personal journey. Every man for himself. You can get the tools from other sources, but it’s not like a business book you can read and apply.
Another thing I’m aiming for is a deep understanding of reality and answering deep questions of Truth. For example: what comes first, consciousness or matter? What makes justification valid?
The more you understand how reality works, the more you will be able to appreciate it and stop living in your own little egoic world. It is the ultimate union of psychology and philosophy.
Being able to understand reality holistically means you can be at peace with it.
This all comes down to increasing your consciousness, which is your ability to see reality clearly.
High consciousness is:
⁃selfless and giving
⁃fearless and courageous
⁃focused on direct experience over belief (which frees it from dogma)
⁃committed to truth and accuracy
⁃values learning and growing rather than tradition, free of culture
⁃spontaneous and organic, can find solutions on the fly
⁃takes 100% responsibility, especially for emotions
⁃hyper-aware of back-firing
⁃characterized by indiscriminate love
So not a bad set of goals. Think how much better your life would be if you had all this.
Growing your consciousness fundamentally rests on six pillars:
1.Increase capacity to love
2.Increase capacity to feel happy independent of circumstances
3.Increase capacity to be intellectually open (entertain ideas and opinions that I am unfamiliar with without getting emotional or defensive about them)
4.Increase capacity for self-governance
5.Increase capacity to face fear
6.Transcend selfish and protective motives
Now most of these are pretty broad, but you get the picture.
Another thing I think is important is life purpose. You need something to keep you grounded, and a way to impact the world in a positive way.
And this is where traditional topics of personal development come into play. You can’t be optimized on a bad diet. If you can’t manage a business well, how will you ever have time to do all this work? You may understand on an experiential level that you and your girlfriend are one, but you still need to know how to relate to them in their world. You have to learn the ins and outs of business in order for your life purpose to have an impact. Don’t discount the more basic, external sides of personal development.
I want to reiterate that you are completely on your own for this journey. Very few people ever consider, or even have a clue as to what this is all about. The good news is that so far it has made my life a whole lot richer in only about nine months. I can only imagine what this’ll turn into a few years down the line.
So if something here sparked your interest, good. Listen to that little voice.
Happy new year, and stay tuned for more!