1) True pleasure and results come from mastery
In this internet age, there are many of Jack of all trades: people who know a bit about MANY things, but have not mastered any one thing. This is unfortunate. Immense pleasure is derived from being absolutely badass at something.
“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” – Swami Vivekananda
2) The best practices are those you discover for yourself
The downside of having so much information available online is that it’s easy to get lost in spiral of trying out other people’s methods while never attempting to create on of your own. You’re missing a lot of context when simply subscribing to some internet guru’s meditation technique. This is akin to buying an iPhone and thinking you know how to manufacture a phone.
Instead, try a method that you think would feel good for you. Continually make modifications until you have a practice that is uniquely your own. Feel free to take inspiration from others, but be sure the final product is finely tailored to who you are.
3) Reality is highly subjective
Even science is subjective. The more deeply you realize this truth, the better you will get along with your fellow man. Our thoughts and beliefs shape our realities in a greater capacity than we can fully understand. This is has major take-aways:
1) Accept the seemingly absurd views of others as a logical result of them looking through an entirely different lens.
2) Realize that you are in control of the lens you look through. Carefully mold your beliefs towards the kind of world you wish to live in. The sky is the limit.
4) You can only be truly angry at yourself
If something bothers you, it must also dwell inside of you. For example, if your friend’s selfish behavior pisses you off, then you are actually frustrated by your own selfish tendencies. I know, this one is difficult to swallow at first. Take a long hard introspective look inside the next time you’re angered. It’s a great way to learn more about yourself and increase your control of your emotions.
5) Re-apply your own principles routinely
Lessons need to be learned over and over. It’s easy to ride the wave of your past learned experiences and fool yourself into think you’re still acting upon them. Keep a note somewhere of your big life lessons and go through them routinely to make sure you’re still on track.
6) Stating intentions out loud can reduce their power
The opposite is also true, but this side of the polarity is rarely talked about.
There is something powerful about concealing a secret mission to accomplish X rather than sharing it with the world. I’m having trouble iterating exactly why this is, but please do try it out for yourself.
7) My broken record: pyschedelics are an insanely powerful tool for introspection
I’ve advocated the responsible use of psychedelics for personal growth on HE more times than I can mention. They have been essential to my own growth, and to the existence of this very website. Read this article for more info if you’re a first-timer.
8) Your morning routine is everything
Start your day with a structure that empowers you for the rest of the day.
For me, the most important part is getting up at a set time, even if that time isn’t very early. In this case, consistency trumps efficiency (within reason).
When you’re awake, do what makes you feel ALIVE! It doesn’t need to be meditation or journaling. Do what makes you amped for the rest of the day.
9) Seriously, remember people’s names
I’m still horrible at this. I like to blame it on the sheer number of people who contact me on a daily basis, which has trained me to think that I can’t keep track, but that’s just an excuse.
Remembering someone’s name is the first step towards seeing the divinity in each person you meet.
10) Embrace what is innate in yourself
For a while I battled with my anti-social nature. On an average night, I much prefer to stay in and work/create than go out with other people. In the past I felt bad for not wanting to be social, placing selfish accusations on myself. But more recently I’ve realized this is just me. Self-improvement books and popular culture have taught me that it’s not good to live out that side of me. But it feels good. So fuck it.
11) Repetition is key
Unless you’re a savant, you need to read/learn/experience things multiple times for them to stick. If come across something that hits home with you, be sure to revisit it again and again until it’s engrained in you.
Re-read books, write down your lessons, use Anki Cards for memorization, etc. And repeat 🙂
12) FOCUS! / Learn to say NO
I know this because I’m still recovering from the lesson. My time is split between HE, Valhalla Movement, RaveNectar and some super-secret side-projects. My results would be much more powerful if I poured all of my time into 1-2 projects maximum.
Just because something is inline with your bliss does not mean it has a place in your life. Place a priority on having priorities 😉
13) Down with extremes
Self-improvement freaks have a tendency to try out extreme habits, eg. no meat, working out every day, no drinking, etc. These short-lived experiments generally end with a binge on the other end of the spectrum. Instead, aim for a healthy balance from the start.
14) Follow the path of least resistance
When you’re in full acceptance of the path laid before you, life flows. You don’t need to force anything.
If you’re pursuing something and life is throwing a ridiculous amount of hurdles at you, re-consider whether or not this is the right path for you. Are you forcing it?
It may seem difficult to discern between needing to work hard and the Universe saying ‘STOP!’, but you’ll gain that ability with time.
15) You can do anything
Every single amazing person you’ve ever heard of started off as a zero. Great feats come through sweat and tears, not innate talent. Decide what your greatness should be and go pursue it relentlessly. The only person standing in your way is you.