UCWG 041: Can You Forge a Unique Path While Trapped in the Confines of a Conventional University? Exploring Purpose and Opportunity Beyond the Four-Year College Path with Sabah Ali.

 

The conventional four-year college path is one of the most outdated social structures of the modern world. This is not to say that it is completely without value for some people, only that its present application as a required entryway from childhood illusion to the cold, hard, ugly “real world” of adulthood. The typical college student in most part of the United States is defined by a lack of ambition and direction, filling their idle time with self-destructive substances and parties, not the passion for a specific pursuit that college will create a path to.

Our guest today is a college entrepreneur. Sabah Ali exists somewhere in the middle ground between the conventional college student who entered the path because it was what she was “supposed to” do, and a genuine, personal drive to succeed in business and life. As she prepares for her final year as a senior at Iowa State University, she reflects upon the choices that brought her to the college path and where things are going for her afterward. She ponders how different her life may already have turned out had she chosen something more unconventional, such as traveling the world, starting a business, or just a variety of types of professional experience.

College was once the only path to certain kinds of knowledge and professional options. In the age of the internet, this is rarely still the case. The world will urge you to conform to the actions that shaped their upbringing, the “common knowledge” that now dictates what is to be considered ordinary human behavior for your generation. Their arguments are bland and generic, never coming from a place of grounded personal experience or connecting to your specific desires. Real reasons to go to college or university cannot be extracted from a person who never discovered their values. Real reasons cannot be accepted by a young person who has never had the social opportunities to think about their actions. He cannot make a rational choice about how to best pursue his goals, least of all how to spend the crucial developmental years that kick off his acceptance into the social domain of adulthood. Colleges and universities today, more than anything else, give unprepared teenagers four additional years to avoid the responsibility of real choices, of learning to live their lives as their own masters.

The standard college experience gives young adults who have never had to make any meaningful decisions about their own lives an artificial structure through which to form their relationships, education, and overall lifestyle. If taken too seriously, it can permanently damage an exceptional individual’s ability to think on their terms. Modern schooling institutions rob individuals of their individual by cutting them off from the practical consequences of critical thinking, encompassing them in a womb of security where no chances are taken and no mistakes are ever felt. In the end, they emerge as a mostly homogenized blend of their social values, destroying their capacity to create new things for themselves or the remainder of the human world.

If you find yourself on a path of dissatisfaction with the conventional paths presented to you, do not give in to the pressure to give in to the easy options readily available. Instead, go off purposefully to find something strange, challenging, and unpredictable. Take time away from the motion of your ordinary world to gain clarity and perspective over what the ideal choice for you may be. You cannot choose what is right until you have a decent idea about the possible options the world holds for someone such as you. Yet, the educational model of the modern world demands that you set yourself on a life course that will affect your major economic and lifestyle possibilities until the time you die. Do not rush into social comfort and prepared molds for living. Allow yourself to burn in the fires of uncertainty for as long as you are able. Soon, you will have the strength of character to make the right decisions for the principle of what you seek.

Sabah Ali, Uncomfortable Conversations With Gregory

Sabah Ali, Uncomfortable Conversations With Gregory

Things mentioned:

Sabah Ali:

http://sabahali.com/

 

Sabah Ali’s podcast, From the Dorm Room to the Boardroom:

http://drtocr.com/

 

Sabah Ali’s book, Enrolling in Confidence:

https://www.amazon.com/Enrolling-Confidence-Live-Lifestyle-College-ebook/dp/B06XYM2SSR/

UCWG 040: What if You Could Design Your Own Country? Starting a Sovereign Nation from Scratch with Vít Jedlička, President of Liberland.


Vít Jedlička is the president of the world’s youngest country. His new micronation, the Free Republic of Liberland, is only three square miles in size. It was established in April 2016 in an area between Croatia and Serbia which had been unclaimed by either country for many years. Unlike other emerging territories on Earth, there are no other claims to ownership on the land Liberland has been established on.

Founded primarily on libertarian values, the nation of Liberland is designed to cater to people who do not identify with the values of the place they were arbitrarily born into. Vít believes that people everywhere should be free to set up lives for themselves where they are free to live how they want, in line with their preferences and values. For most people in the world, their nationality and cultural values define their behavior and opportunities more than any other single factor in their lives. Without extraordinary effort to take these matters into their own hands by moving outside their culture and acquiring new nationalities, they remain slave to the social conditions of their birth.

What defines a nation today is nothing more than an arbitrary agreement among world powers of which boundaries matter and which do not. Throughout the world, there are over 100 areas which are considered disputed territories or demi-nations. Each is fighting for recognition among the leading world powers that are always in flux and generally taken for granted. The world does not have to look the way that it does, ruled by the groups that currently claim the power to make rules and raise armies to enforce their views. With changes in technology and philosophy, the layout of the world will evolve rapidly.

In its short lifespan, Liberland has acquired nearly half a million applicants for citizenship through its merit system, which will eventually award passports and citizenship to those who provide significant value for the development of the country. The team behind Liberland currently has the task of determining which of the many applicants adhere properly to the values they have declared for the nation, and which have earned the right to call themselves citizens by the time they are ready to start operating as an official part of the world political landscape.

Liberland is slowly being developed with physical structures and community activities, though it is still difficult to access the land. Currently, Croatia prevents entry into Liberland. In doing so, they are acknowledging that Liberland is a separate nation from itself. If Vít and his team go through the proper channels to establish their nationhood, Liberland will someday be respected by existing world powers as a real nation. Whether or not that ever happens, right now it still stands for an important principle of freedom and individual choice in how cultures evolve. Someday, nations will be far smaller and more personalized than the 196 monoliths we have now. Someday, they nations may be obsolete entirely.

 

Vít Jedlička, President of Liberland, Uncomfortable Conversations With Gregory Diehl

Vít Jedlička, President of Liberland, Uncomfortable Conversations With Gregory Diehl

Things mentioned:

Liberland:

https://liberland.org/

 

Vít Jedlička

https://www.facebook.com/vit.jedlicka/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%ADt_Jedli%C4%8Dka

 

Montevideo Convention, rules for starting a country:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montevideo_Convention

 

List of disputed territories in the world:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_territorial_disputes

 

Artsakh, between Armenia and Azerbaijan:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagorno-Karabakh_Republic

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_status_of_Artsakh

http://www.president.am/en/Artsakh-nkr/

 

Abkhazia, Georgia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abkhazia

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-18175030

 

Somaliland:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somaliland

www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-14115069

 

Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization:

http://www.unpo.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unrepresented_Nations_and_Peoples_Organization

UCWG 039: How Do You Take the First Step of the Exceptional Path? Overcoming the Burden of Lifestyle Choice and Arriving at Your Own Authentic Values.

A regular listener of Uncomfortable Conversations With Gregory joins the show to have an emotionally vulnerable discussion about breaking away from the ordinary life she is trapped in. She learns that as much as she knows what she doesn’t want from her life, she has never seriously considered what she actually values. She has had no rational way to take the first step away from familiarity and embrace the unknown.

The nature of living in a complex society is such that it seems nearly impossible to extricate your life from the constantly moving pieces of the machinery you have grown to live as part of. Stay stuck in the motion too long, and it becomes impossible to envision what your life can look like beyond its boundaries. As a result, even the people who begin to realize that there is more to their identity than what they have been told can never figure out how to take the meaningful first step away from the life they already know. They only know that that do not want to repeat the defining values they already know.

This idle suffering, if it persists for too long, can bring an exceptional young person to madness. In one form or another, they must begin to make meaningful decisions in the pursuit of their personal values. Above all, these choices must move out of the realm of concepts and into actions that challenge them, physical, mentally, and emotionally all at once. That is the only way they see what remains true for them in the face of great challenge.

The point of having values is to segregate and evaluate what actions to take out of all possible choices. Your values define for you what is right and wrong, what will bring you the deepest sense of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. If you are never placed in a position to think with your own agency and arrive at a new choice with your values, you will always default to the values others have implanted within you. They have already made a million major and minor choices, so you don’t have to.

When you know the nature of your values, you will be able to reverse engineer the actions you can take, out of all possible actions, which will bring you closer to the embodiment of your values in your life. When you are thrust into the uncomfortable unknown, you will find that you have to make a choice. The nature of that choice will reveal who you fundamentally are.

In order to be able to make any sort of meaningful choice at all, you first need one vital thing as the foundation of your actions, and it is something notably missing in young people today (especially young women): self-worth. Without confidence in your wants and your abilities, you will never do anything new at all. This is the primordial step away from the life you already know: to believe in yourself so well that no matter what happens, you trust you will always thrive in the infinite uncertainty of the universe at large.

Become what you are.

Existential development requires you to move beyond physical needs and mental concepts. In that space, you begin to identify yourself as what you are before motion and value judgment. Holding onto this state, even as the world turns on its own axis all around you, is how you mature from your childish beginnings to the potential adult that was always within you. Maturity makes you a master of your awareness and responses. You cease to be a slave to your conditioning.

Underneath everything you ever experience lies the subtle layer of internalized processes. It supports every thought and emotion, but it is easy to overlook and miss its importance. An immature mind remains distracted from itself in an endless cycle of externally driven motion. Learn to stay grounded in the unchanging part of what you are, regardless of what problems you encounter. Build your armor against interference, or you will never know yourself.

The journey of heroic maturity climaxes in the confrontation of one’s deepest fears, even literal death, and emerging as a truer version of oneself. You must, sooner or later, face the pieces of yourself you have buried. It will hurt when you face them. It will hurt when you separate from that to which you are most attached. Emotional release relieves you when the separation is complete. Then you have the space to rebuild yourself better than you were before.

Operating as your mature self, you will recognize the difference between the reality of a thing and the common story told about it. You will see the limits of the immature person you spent your life believing you were, and you will be ready to abandon the limits the world forced on you. You will invest yourself in uncertain futures. You will survive the emotional aftermath of deep failure. You will learn to create a world for you as what you are when you fully express yourself.

This is the hero’s journey that is repeated over and over throughout your life with each unfamiliar challenge. When you can recognize challenges for what they are, merely your unconscious inability to adapt to the new conditions, you are then mature enough to focus on changing yourself before changing the world. That maturity is the apex where your pride meets your humility, and you maintain a confident, yet grounded, awareness of yourself. Once obtained, maturity will never leave you.

The hero of the story is the one who can push the limits of the conceptual world he inhabited when we began his journey. His physical exploits are inconsequential compared with how he changes within the domain of his own mind. External changes come and go, but inside he can accumulate unlimited progress. His journey is complete when he arrives at a new version of himself. Then, he spreads his influence onto the conceptual limits of everyone he knows.

As you delve further and deeper into the struggles of your existence, you are going to rely less on the events that happen to you to determine your actions. You will live less responsively and more proactively. The motivation behind your actions will originate from core values and principled axioms, not the immediate satiation of discomfort. You will know deeper suffering and deeper reward in the pursuit of your priorities.

You will know yourself completely when you embrace the middle ground between abundance and scarcity. You will explore how indulgence and abstinence play into your pursuit of reward. You will see yourself under each the extremes of each set of conditions. Your lows and your highs will be directly connected. Knowing what you are capable of, you will maturely navigate the middle ground of your limits to become the master of yourself.

You are more internally grounded through the breadth of your experiences. You appreciate every win and tolerate delays to your gratification. A well-tested individual peers into the future of his wants and his actions. He can wait, patiently, for the time to make a desired reality happen. The immature and underdeveloped individual has no tolerance the trials of time. Discomfort easily overtakes them. The immature individual, therefore, lacks any ability to accomplish great things.

You have survived the trials of meeting yourself. Now you will begin to acquire the tools and the relationships that empower you to be that person in every regard.

UCWG 031: Do You Dare To Follow Your Hero’s Journey to Find Self-Actualization? Life Purpose As The Highest Priority With Leo Gura of Actualized.org

Leo Gura is the founder of www.actualized.org, and the host of a popular Youtube channel on finding your life’s purposes and deep spirituality beyond stories. Leo and Gregory discuss the mythological principles of the Hero’s Journey, and what on earth all of that has to do with the path to finding one’s true self in life.

Most people attempt to solve existential level problems with superficial ego-serving solutions that, at best, temporarily alleviate the symptoms of being non-actualized. They ignore the existential cause of deep suffering. Spirituality is reduced to emotionally jarring clickbait titles because real analysis challenges the ego instead of feeding it. Most marketing is design to appeal to the ego, therefore distracting from raw truth.

Self-help authors prey on the weaknesses and fears of their audience. They don’t promote true growth and self-actualization. People stay stuck at one level of development and are never able to go after what they really want in life. Without solving the surface level needs of ordinary human desires, they will not ascend to the profound truth of their existence.

People frequently get stuck in lifestyle loops resolving the same problems and addressing the same needs time and again. They chase the wrong things in the wrong ways. Even if they are aware enough to know they want more sex or more money, they don’t know how to get these things. If no one ever introduces the idea of higher level goals, we do not move on. Popular media, more often than not, keeps us chasing our tails for the duration of our lives.

A human mind can only contain a certain quantity of problems to solve. A problem is simply any time your mind desires something to be different than it is. If it does not succeed it its desired change or accept the way things are, it cannot move on to higher level problems to change. You are always being manipulated by your brain to achieve what it sees as its survival needs.

Without outside influences to guide you to higher truths, you must have a deeply inquiring nature that forces you to move beyond what you already know. No experiences is inherently good or bad. It matters what meaning your mind adds to it: what you get from it. It can distract or serve as progression, such as watching a powerful movie or having sex.

Existential personal development is about moving beyond the realm of physical needs and mental beliefs. It’s about identifying yourself as what you are before any stimulation or value judgment. It is present in every single moment, always unchanging. Most religions and forms of spirituality think of this as a Godly presence, but it is only the authentic you.

Underneath the world of our gross physical experiences lies the subtle realm of what happens within us. It is underneath our thoughts and emotions even. Most people consider their spirituality a series of thoughts and beliefs, and therefore it only serves to distract them from the subtle truth of what they really are. They are setting themselves up for an unending trap of distraction from the truth. They must learn to stay grounded in the subtle unchanging part of reality, regardless of what problems they encounter.

The Hero’s Journey is about facing your deepest fears, even your physical death, and emerging on the other side in a higher state of existence. The Dark Night of the Soul is the lowest point on the Hero’s Journey where one must face the parts of themselves they have been avoiding their entire lives. They experience painful separation from the experiences they are most psychologically attached to. It is the only way to move into the subtle realm of their identity. Emotional release only comes when the loss is complete.

The Hero must learn to break away from the stories of his culture to follow his own path. He cannot act in resistance to what other people choose. He must place his own development as his highest priority above all other forms of ego gratification. Our education system, our politicians, and our popular culture are misleading almost everyone to pursue fruitless ends instead of knowing the truth about themselves.

Parents pass along the emotional loop they get stuck in to their children, getting them to value the same thing they arbitrarily picked up during their own lives. Almost no one teaches their offspring the fundamental values of the pursuit of self-knowledge from an early age. They remain forever unfulfilled, even if they acquire what they thought they wanted.

Every experience you ever have is biased by constantly changing chemical imbalances in your brain. Psychedelics and other substances can instantly show a person a radically different manner of experiencing reality, but there is no neutral control group even when a person is totally sober. The perspective of vast new experiences shows us the filter through which we see things, and a gateway to the subtle ongoing experience underneath everything.

In most Hero’s Journey stories, a mentor who has already completed their own journey guides the hero with the lessons they have already learned by overcoming their trials. Young people today lack adequate mentors because education and parenting are generalized for the masses. It is difficult to find someone uniquely suited to guide you on your quest. You need someone to show you what is possible if you stay on the path before you. Knowing that something can be done is what makes it viable to the uninitiated.

Negative emotions by themselves can be the starting point for major changing actions, but they cannot exist alone. They must be complemented by inspiration and a positive desire for greatness. Everyone needs a vision for their life to become everything they are capable of being.

 

Leo Gura, Actualized.org - Uncomfortable Conversations With Gregory Diehl

Leo Gura, Actualized.org – Uncomfortable Conversations With Gregory Diehl

Websites mentioned:

Actualized.org by Leo Gura:

https://actualized.org/

Highest Hero’s Journey video:

https://actualized.org/articles/the-highest-heros-journey

Leo Gura’s YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgeicB5AuF3MyyUto0-M5Lw

Leo Gura’s Life Purpose Course:

https://www.actualized.org/life-purpose-course

Shatter the flow of your unfulfilled life.

You cannot solve the problems of your existence with superficial pursuits that perpetuate the life you already know. The existential cause of deep suffering is a profound life spent without examination or challenge. The world thrives on keeping where you are, as that is where it knows how to reach you and act on your needs. The world has a proprietary interest in stunting your growth. Because of them, you are never able to go after what they want in life. You will never ascend to the profound truth of your identity.

It is impossible to know what you are capable of when the most important aspects of your life have been derived from people who came long before you or happen to hold greater influence. Under such tightly controlled conditions of self-expression such as the exceptional individual faces today, many who would otherwise find themselves on the path to leadership and original thought cannot develop the bravery needed for an expanded perspective. Only disruption can rock them now from the life to which they’ve grown attached. Only inspiration can show them what they did not know they were missing.

A single catalyst can create a domino effect of changes that will last with them for life. The strangeness of having all that one knows shaken from its ordinary structure creates a call to adventure outward, physically, into the world outside present perceptions. In journeying with the body, an exceptional mind is brought, necessarily, into higher levels of thinking about itself and everything else. All levels of progress originate in change. The prime mover may be forceful, or it may be painful. One way or another, it will be something powerful enough to make you move from where you have settled.

The path of your conventional life is likely so familiar now that you no longer even notice its presence. It blends into the walls, molding to the substructure of you operational mind. You know how, when, and why to go to school or work, but they are the reasons the conventional identities around you allowed. It never had to be this way. It can be any other way you can imagine. The 9-to-5 workweek is an illusion. Your studies are mostly arbitrary and irrelevant. They do not display the principles of productivity or learning. Exceptional actors push themselves out of these and many other stifling patterns for living.

To walk away from the path of the follower brings a personal and social sacrifice. The world will not automatically support you. They won’t even know how to categorize you. The previous way you built your life is no longer compatible with what you are quickly becoming. The longing for more will continue to carry you past familiarity, no matter what you lose along the way. A fundamental identity shift never changes just one aspect of your life. The entire structure by which you live can crash and burn. The older you get, the more you have invested in a lifestyle structure, and the stronger your disruption needs to be.

Anyone who rebels, not matter how crude the manner, is leading in their own way. They already know they don’t want what the rest of the world would choose for them. With proper mentorship though, they could hone their potent instincts and apply them to something important, something with impact and longevity. They must get over their loner mentality, always seeing themselves as alone against the world. There are experienced warriors and wanderers out there who could light the way if only the would-be hero would open his mind to the possibility of their leadership.

The world keeps turning on the axis it is on because people become stuck in lifestyle loops that require them to address the same needs time and again without improvement. If the idea of higher level goals never enters their minds, they do not move on from what they know. Do not continue chasing your tail another day of your life. Anytime your mind desires something to be different than it is, there is a window to greatness available.

Heroes learn to break away from the narratives of their cultures to follow what genuinely interests them. The hero must place his development as his highest priority above all other glory. The world will work against him in this regard. Parents do not teach their offspring the values of self-knowledge. Schools have their curriculum decided by machine-minded bureaucrats. Advertisers profit by appealing to gluttonous and lustful demands. We all remain unfulfilled, even when we get what we thought we wanted.

When you see that you are stuck on a track in your life that you never chose to ride on, look for the disrupting events that can enter your world at any time. They beautiful chaos of the universe ensures that there is always something unexpectable happening somewhere near you. The disruption may be positive or negative. It will be the starting point for a new narrative pathway.

Every exceptional person needs to break out of their ordinary life before they can even begin to become all of which they are capable. Look for the disruptions to the normal flow of your life and welcome them eagerly.

Challenge how others categorize you.

An ordinary person is so afraid to define himself that he stumbles accidentally into whatever social function resists him the least. Never going too far in any direction provides safe barriers for him to avoid injury, but they also nullify all forms of heroic action. He spends his entire life chasing a dream that a collection of voices planted in his head many years ago, only to die never having lived at all.

You cannot help but conceive of the world through the lens of internal categorization. Categories are useful filters for the intellect. Your mind filters reality into fine details, which overlap, sharing qualities that can be applied for specific functions. Categorization is what makes information useful, including information about what you are supposed to be. You develop your categories through observations, but more often the influence of people who came before you.

If you allow other people to set your categories for you, you will never be fully yourself. If you embrace tradition, you will never look for exceptional alternatives. If you accept that your life must proceed according to one of the plans society offers, you will never express the parts of you that exist outside these boundaries. Your conception of what you think you are supposed to be will always rely on clues given by other people as to what is acceptable.

An idealized version of you is created the moment other people project their preferences onto your mind. When they identify something they like about you, it creates a positive feedback loop. You desire their approval, so you emphasize the quality they picked out as more important than all the rest. With enough positive feedback, you start to forfeit anything contradictory, amputating large swaths of your potential.

Pretty girls grow up believing they cannot also be intelligent or daring, so their beauty becomes the sticking point of their entire identity. Boys learn that their natural toughness violates the ability to be soft and caring. We all ascertain that there is only enough room in the psyche for a few culturally relevant traits to dominate and define our place in the surrounding social machine. False dichotomies rule us, fragmenting everyone into shattered, compartmentalized identities. Abandon the old world’s way of seeing and instantly expand your possible self-expression.

When you awaken from the illusion of your idealized self, your struggle will have only just begun. The people in your life will continue to pressure you to conform to what they know. They need you to be easy to accept. The people closest to you already have a space carved out for you in their sense of identity. Even strangers will resist if you stray too far from the prevailing social narrative around you. They don’t even know they are doing this. They simply don’t know any other way to exist.

You cannot explore yourself completely so long as you remain a character within their stories. You yearn to be something more, but you don’t yet know what that is. You cannot escape the ideal they prefer over the authentic you. You fear to lose what you have built over the course of your life so far, as everything you have ever been is contained in the contextual filter of the person others know you to be. You don’t know what to do. You only know it cannot go on. The fear of rejection keeps you enslaved.

As things presently are, no matter how stifling, you know there is at least one comfortable position for you to exist in the world. Anything too new, any emerging trait which contradicts the image you are already living out, threatens the social standing you have been building over the course of your entire life. Within the confines of your familiar social context, you feel no pressure to change your life to what you want it to be. You remain an amalgam of collective allowances from dominant personalities. You must step outside what you know to become something more.

Do not forsake who you are to conform to what others have chosen for you. Do not depend on bland generalities to find meaning, or fear the pursuit of whatever excites you most. Ask yourself how every label truly applies to what you know yourself to be, and if in necessarily prevents you from living up to other labels you know you desire. That kind of dedication is how you break out of the mold created by from where you came.

Only nature knows its absolute limits. You will not know everything you can become until you challenge every limit the world taught you because it feared what you might one day become.

There is a reason why you began.

Few people today every fully realize what they are capable of, despite great opportunity to do so. Options, by themselves mean nothing. Tools, if unused, do not aid. A wanderer with no vision never advances. The emotions that spurn great initiative lie dormant in the spoiled children who will never know hardship or passion. They will never see a life beyond the slim range of now.

No matter where you go, you will encounter obstacles that curtail your will to pursue your goals. They will stand between you and whatever you perceive you want. You will notice them because they cause you pain. Obstacles matter because they affect what you care about. Injuries are always visible in the context of your motivation. Trauma comes from failed ambitions. Your experience of the world is determined by your core motivations.

In the course of living, you will build your identity around what makes gives you satisfaction. Every object you ever own, every relationship you ever forge, every product you ever purchase, and every action you ever take will be an attempt to serve the invisible master of your motivations operating in the subroutines of your psyche. You are driven, unstoppably, toward an intangible end, but you will never find peace there. The goals you derive from your environment are not real. They are fabrications, only barely resembling the object that will pacify you. Reliable satisfaction kneels to motivation that is present before what happens in the world of the senses.

Action is the path to expansion, but motivation permits all action. If you do not know why you care enough to try, you will not reach beyond your society’s current setting. You will not become more than what they think you can be. When you see that social traditions suppress everything you feel is important, you will lose your motivation before it has been able to incarnate. Above all else, you must find the will to become more than what the world demands from you.

Start the inward search right now. When you’ve gathered enough unique experiences, you can find the underlying thread beneath the most important events of your life so far. Focus on the principle that motivated your actions. The outcome is not what matters here. You must understand why you have been doing what you do with your time in your body. Only then can you can begin to predict your actions under any possible circumstances, no matter how strange they seem to the version of yourself you know right now.

What happens out there in the world can reveal what happens within you. The internal journey is always reflected in your actions. You may sometimes even return to actions for which you thought you had already moved beyond their purpose. Only this time, you will do them for better reasons than you did before. To external minds, you may not look any different. To anyone who has sees beneath the surface, they will see you as a person completely remade. A new identity will be operating within the same familiar body.

An idealistic hero starts his journey with faulty motivations, a broken prize in mind, because he has no experience with reality to test what he believes. Upon enduring great misery, challenging his reasons against the trials of the real world, his naïve perspective will shift. He no longer acts to for the external prize. He acts because he knows his standards for action are better than those of other actors. He will uphold his heroic ideals no matter what changes in the world around him. Nothing can destroy him now. He has found internal invincibility in his motivation.

With the core of his motivation in place, the hero can enter dangerous conditions where his will is tested without end. His spirit protects him against whatever psychic injuries unfamiliarity might produce. The emergencies he faces remove the comfortable conditions where he first discovered his will. With external familiarity gone, only his internal conditions remain. Only the will to act, the embodiment of his motivation, matters now. That motivation will guide him even when he is facing the utterly unknown and terrifying. It makes the way clear on conscious and unconscious levels.

You need to own your motivations if you are ever going to break out of your ordinary routines and aspire to something more. It is the only way you will have the will to try, to tread onward when things go wrong. Motivation can look like many things. Motivation can be deeply negative, a righteous kind of anger that creates drive. Motivation can be curiosity and enthusiasm for new things, even when nothing is going wrong.

Find your core motivation and hold onto it tightly. It will carry you through the trials to come, to arrive at what you are.

Remember why you act.

To realize what matters is only the first step in the journey to live out the narrative of your life. You then must adopt your values as principles to guide your actions. Though daunting as it may be, accept that you will never flawlessly live up to your own standards. No one is perfect in their actions. The heroic person is willing to try, without end, despite falling short of his ideals.

Your resolve may be hard as iron, but resolve is not enough to make a difference. You are still slave to the rules of the universe. Locked in an ongoing battle against disorder, your body and your mind are subject to fatigue. It can strike you any time if you are not cognizant of your nature. You may sacrifice long-term results for a short-term feeling of progress.

As a human being is both a thinking and feeling creature, he must use both aspects of his mind congruently. Thoughts show you how to arrange reality to accomplish your goals, but they cannot be the motivation for your actions. Your emotions carry that responsibility. When what you feel is out of sync with what you know, your emotions will mislead you. You will chase a fleeting sense of fulfillment with efforts that accomplish nothing.

Every strategy you make to get what you want is predicated on the expectation of satisfaction from succeeding, or else the opposite for failing. These emotions tell you where to go. Intellect only tells you how to get there. Without regular witnessing of the consequences of your actions, emotions will wane. You will feel disillusioned in your mission. Your mind will believe that nothing can be done, so it will accept that it is useless to continue. The thoughts which previously abetted you will not be enough to sustain you. Your mind will crave emotional sustenance to replace its fatigue. That is how it knows it has served its purpose well.

The analytical mind has a different problem. It can extrapolate magnitudes beyond what the senses can tell you. No matter where your concepts take you, emotions remain rooted in primal psychological patterns. Arrange information one way, wonder is created in the brain. Set a pretense, fulfill it, and experience relief from expectation. No matter how you structure it, you are always playing the game.

To remain on your path, you will need to find the moments that invigorate and restore you from the strain of action. Do not underestimate the importance of psychological rejuvenation. No matter how insignificant it seems, the right stimulus at the right time can have a profound effect on your psyche. Your body needs to eat and rest. Your mind has its own ways. Regular restoration is the only way to avoid disillusionment in the face of great adversity.

It is important to be passionate, but do not be so hotheaded that you do not savor the spoils of your efforts. Bring things down to the human experiential level from the realm of concepts. Without a connection to your emotional center, you will grow increasingly worn and frantic. You cannot serve your purpose when you are not all together in body and mind.

Whatever your values, interject yourself on the ground floor of activities related to them. If you want to help people, do not do so solely from afar. You will not feel as good about your actions as you should. Put yourself in a position to be face-to-face with the people you are impacting. Watch the transition they make from worse to better as a result of your intervention. Allow them to see who you are and what you are doing so the effort will be real for them.

Take healthy pride in what you have done, so that you will have the strength to do more of it.

Be careful what you aim for.

One way or another, everyone alive today navigates in a world that grows denser with competing ideologies. The level of devotion solidifies to match the breadth of possible alignments. There are now more people who are more sure of the rightness of their increasingly opposing values. Conflict is inevitable. Clarity is essential.

Part of the maturing process is coming to the realization that there are aspects to reality you care about more than others. If no one had ever told you what to spend your time on, you would have had to arrive at such a grand conclusion through your own meticulous investigation of the options. You would have to have become sensitive to your own nature so that you could observe how concepts and experiences affected you emotionally.

With enough self-knowledge, you can begin to prioritize your life rationally. You can discriminate, on your terms, what matters from what does not. Discrimination carries an incredible level of responsibility that most the adults running the planet today do not respect or understand. They had their occupations handed down to them. You will be different. You will decide your actions carefully.

Ideas, once implanted in a mind, seek to spread themselves to fertile new territory. Everyone you ever meet will believe something strongly, and in some way attempt to align your values with the ones they hold. Only when you are sure in your principles do you grow immune to interference from things unrelated to your goals. Take responsibility for what you are certain you care about. Focus on those things that affect your psyche. This is how you find your mission.

In ancient and modern cultures alike, we have looked up to avatars that represent something extraordinary in human nature. Whether as myths or real people, heroes take the best parts of humanity and exemplify them, giving the rest of us something magnificent to look up to. They show us what we can become, at least within one specific domain. What defines each of them, much more than their incredible abilities, are the values they dedicate their lives to upholding against any resistance. The principles of their operation define them.

The endgame for every person identified with specific values is to become the superhuman embodiment of the principle of those values. When you are ready, you begin to bring the ideas out of your head and manifest them in all of your actions. You change your environment to be closer to your conception of order, with the details you care about tended to. You become a guardian for those things, watching over them to protect against anything invading force that would dismantle their structure.

When you only inherit your values from your culture, you cannot rely on your evaluation of life’s most important concepts. Ordinary people distance themselves from matters of great importance. They don’t want to be the one to make the determination for how things will go in a sensitive situation where much is at stake. They absolve themselves of responsibility, not wanting to have to go through life carrying the emotional consequences of their actions.

Do not abdicate liability by acting as though a personal value were a natural law. Society is constantly at odds with itself over the natural order of things. These conflicts go forever unresolved because opinion owners do not take accountability for the values they have allowed into their minds. If they could own their preferences, they would see that it was their burden alone to manifest these principles. Reality cares neither way.

When you see something deeply unsettling in your environment, will you take action to rectify those feelings? Will you act upon the injustice you perceive, even at great risk and personal injury? A person with extraordinary character looks beyond base level gratifications to see what is quintessential to their happiness. They are willing to stand by the consequences of their choices, as nothing is more important to them than being authentic.

In time, you will become recognized for the things you stand for and the principles which you will never betray. That’s what builds trust and makes meaningful relationships possible. Because the people will know what you will always strive toward, no matter the conditions, they can rely on you. A man with no principles has no character, as there is no way to predict what actions he will take when environmental motivators are stripped away.

As everything is working against you, that’s when you see who you really are.