How To Be A Strategic Motherfucker

By Leo Gura - March 14, 2016 | 52 Comments

The 7 pillars of strategic thinking

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Maja says:

Leo – calling a spade a spade, well done, most people can’t take it, but I’m grateful for that
That maya thing (don’t know how to spell it) you pronounced exactly as my name, lol, what an impact ;)
keep up the good work

Ryan Gleeson says:

Hey there Leo…I can see how fundamentally important it is that daily strategic thinking is vital to creating an extraordinary and purposeful life so what I want to ask here is am I going about it my way clever enough to make an impact on humanity?
I use strategic ways of thinking and planning daily in what I am ultimately planning to do here that is move away from my current flat in a neighborhood that holds be back from expansion away to Canada to have no more material possessions but a suitcase after I sell all of my furniture and belongings…

I am 19 and have lived alone and in solitude for a couple of years now anyhow so I contemplate and plan a lot in my daily life. In Canada, I want to take my self actualization to the highest possibilities, I have basics of self actualization but I feel a lack there in myself and I know I cannot create these sustainable changes to advance humanity in an Honorable way if I do not contemplate my own behaviors from past influence and environment…

I know that I am capable of being a noble and an honorable human being if only I just align my life values with a career…I am at a 5 star hotel at this moment in time but am going to from here on out invest all my free time and resources as I have been already in to personal knowledge and growth…

I commit to this, what’s more important?
I gotta do this, oh man…I must understand the ground basics of who I am ultimately and be a grounded, masculine, emotionally aware, intelligent, strategic,assertive noble guy in my 20’s to come…Leo, I feel stuck…am I really moving forwards? I feel like my mindsets are SHIT and holding me back…
This is my life I am trying to lead…I gotta stay focused and noble here!

Marek Spot says:

It sounds to me as if You applied too much pressure in some areas. Observe – are they the right ones to apply the pressure?
You are only 19 – these years were kinda invented to make mistakes. If You are making them now and thinking how to improve it is great! Just have patience! As Leo said, in months and years You will see its fruits. Just hang in there, this cake is baked very slowly.
Do NOT be anything (noble etc.) unless You really want it. Unless it is really You. Otherwise You will only hurt Yourself.

If I could give You one piece of advice – try to enjoy Your life. BOTH its ups AND downs. Feel them as vividly as You can and learn from it. You have a few years to think Your strategic intent through. Do not try to hasten things, just calmly work towards Your goals. Patience, not haste and frustration. If You know what to repair/develop, keep working on it but try to evade frustration. It happened to me when I did not know how to handle some relationship issues (well, now I now they were my development issues). Frantically, I tried many different approaches but all of them failed because I did not see where the problem was. Sometimes it is best to do nothing. Look up “wu wei” on Wiki or Google. Try to move towards this goal. It can really bring the peace of mind. Good luck!

lilly says:

Leo, I am here to express my thankfulness. All of your brilliant ideas and insights have profoundly changed me and my life. Thank you.

Gavin says:

Hey Leo, the last segment there was more entertaining than Pulp Fiction and House of Cards combined.

I appreciate all the principles you can divulge before you go full-on Dhalsim ;)

Wondering if you can help with one issue I can’t quite navigate, related to purpose, creation and actualization.

1. If people are on-board with self-actualization and the pursuit of enlightenment, they must admit that it trumps all other things.

2. To create a life purpose / fulfilling career that also lets you feed yourself, it takes ludicrous amounts of time and effort to master a craft and produce something of note.

3. I’m thinking the only way to reconcile this contradiction of interests, is to align 1 and 2. But, if only one avenue of mastery is really possible… how does one choose between mastering a deep technical field or craft and mastering themselves?

On a side note, I feel creative energy stirring in myself lately, but am concerned that anything I create will serve as a distraction to others. Is there a place in the actualizing life for high-conscious media consumption? Movies that move us, games that teach us?

Thanks again

Leo Gura says:

You forgot #4: Life is long. You have plenty of time to master a deep technical field AND master yourself.

It’s not necessary to become an enlightenment teacher to become enlightened. In fact, most enlightened people don’t go on to become teachers. They do other stuff.

Also, there are many ways to align your career with self-actualization and/or enlightenment. Not just teaching, but speaking, coaching, counseling, management, customer support, training, writer, poet, blogger, researcher, inventor, scientist, engineer, professor, consultant, etc. The list is endless. Be more creative here.

And of course there are many other valid careers besides just ones directly promoting self-actualization.

Yes, movies and even games, or any artform, could have high-consciousness potential.

Higher-consciousness is not an activity, it’s an orientation towards life. You can be a high-consciousness plumber (as long as you love plumbing).

All a career really is, is just choosing one field you love to sink all your work energy into. This has little to do with enlightenment, unless you want it to.

And yes, there is a synergistic perk to selecting a career related to teaching self-actualization. Teaching is the fastest way to learning. But other careers can have their own career perks.

Gavin says:

Thanks so much for the insights and the reality check. I think I need to remind myself more often that life is in fact the longest thing we’ll ever experience :)

I believe I know the direction I want to go in, but it will take some time to get the pieces of the puzzle in place, before I can live the life I truly want to live. The romanticist in me needed some tempering of realism, to help connect the dots. The strategic thinking video definitely helped reinforce that.

Thanks again and can’t wait for the next videos!

Leo Gura says:

Well, as with all major projects, you just plug away at it and try to keep your feet planted in the NOW. Daily meditation is important so that you remind yourself every day that happiness is here for you right now, not in some idealized future.

If you can’t be happy now, without your dreams, you’ll never be happy later with them.

ahmed says:

Leo, amazing just amazing! please post us the link of that 30 hours course :(

Thanks

Leo Gura says:

http://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/strategic-thinking-skills.html

Galyna says:

Leo, thank you for the link, there are so many wonderful videos right there. Buying “Philosophy of mind” now :)

Murray MCcandlish says:

Hey Leo,

I spent most of all my free time on growing my online Bussiness, I work 9-5 in a shitty job so my main goal is to fix that and be financially free and emigrate to Miami and live my dream life their

I have a inner desire to do internal work in order to understand myself better, my higher and lower self and I would invest time in that, however I have no idea on how to start doing that

What exercises would you suggest I start to do to understand myself better?

Adam Cottrell says:

Leo,

I have to disagree with you life is not long. This is a trap which most people fall into. We all tend to “drift” through life on the assumption and premis that Life is long and that we have plenty of time to “work it out….”

Leo Gura says:

Both are true. Life is both short AND long.

NM says:

Really fantastic video.. inspiring.

Thabane says:

Man you changed the way I think ….completely ! Thanks

Mayur Ghule says:

Dear Leo , I don’t know how do I thank you , thanking just in words doesn’t satisfy me. But anyway Thaaank Youuu !

Watching your videos for years , I feel we both have pretty much parallel thinking ,
of course you have lot more wisdom and experience than me as I am 12 years younger than you . Thank you for sharing this wisdom , I am so grateful that now I can apply all this principles by taking them from like Negative thinking to Positive Thinking and then transcend to Thinking nothing !(Enlightenment , spirituality) , Which will ultimately bring fulfilment and make this life Extraordinary , which it is always meant to be .

Really…Really Thank You for all this .

Thank You for this lovely Actualized.org

Arnie says:

Hey Leo!

I have a question concerning pillar No. 4 – concentration of force. Do you always have to work on only one change at a time and wait for its completion to begin working on a new one? For example, you mentioned it took you several years to become a good executer. During this time, did you do nothing else than working on your execution skills or did you picked up some new challenges?

I think it’s reasonable to focus on two or three related areas, like diet and willpower or diet and working out or career and work ethic. But what’s about diet and working out and work ethic? Do you think that will work?

Regards
Arnie

Leo Gura says:

You can work on several things if something needs time to marinate, so to speak.

Of course in practice your life is composed of 6 or even 12 different major facets, but I’ve always gotten my best growth when I focus on one thing very deliberately for a period of 6 to 12 months.

Julette says:

I love Your commitment towards Life Leo, you got your Manhood right on! I love the fact that you are right on moving forward in your spiritual JOURNEY; i have been a seeker all my life, and I can assure you that what you have to impart to Humanity at this time is more than awesome! I understand you very much and I am very happy that you were able to follow your Path and know yourself from your youth. You have Actualize Reality in the simpliest form. “the innerman within”
all I can say Leo you are so fucking Great with this, cutting through all the bullshit

I love your next move. We all should know, and must know Ourselves!
“eureka”

Leo Gura says:

Thanks for the kind words :)

Sophie OShea says:

Hi Leo, great vid but please can you clear one thing up for me… i’ve always had this problem. Many of the spiritual teachers and teachings say that you should surrender to life, it’s a bad idea to plan and actually goes against the natural flow of life. Mooji actually says that it is cowardly. That the universe will conspire to create things and situations for you anyway that you have no control over and the fact that if there is no free will anyway then how are we actually doing this planning. I’m still very stuck and confused on this point and have been for a while. It seems very contradictory and paradoxical from both sides which I know is necessary but wondering if you can shed light on it in a way that i might be able to see it from a different perspective. Thanks xxx

ahmed says:

a wise man once said don’t look at the fate and try to know it, because its like looking at the sun at noon. you try to see it and makes blinder.
another said fate is a door that was looked and the keys are lost. :) :)

Leo Gura says:

Yes, the ego needs to ultimately be surrendered to have a great life.

But this does not contradict the need for strategic planning.

Being present doesn’t mean one doesn’t strategize or plan. That’s a common misunderstanding. Mooji himself plans a ton of stuff, otherwise you would never hear of him.

Elton says:

Hey Leo,what is your strategy for actulized.org for the next 6 months and the next 3 or 30 years ? Where are we going on the macro and micro level ?

Diana says:

Leo,

Great video as always. One thing I always find myself pondering when I listen to you talk about self actualization is in regards to religious practices or followings. I wonder, do spiritual practices such as tarot reading, astrology or other metaphysical avenues follow the same pathway as religion? Since they are more geared toward the spirituality aspect than the religion. It was ultimately that interest and search for knowledge that led me to find your videos. I would love to know what your thoughts are on this. Thanks for all you do to help!
Diana

Leo Gura says:

I’m not sure what you’re asking. Same pathway as religion?

Diana says:

As far as religion goes, you explain that people focus on certain aspects of religion, such as the bible, and become very dogmatic. I wonder what your thoughts are in regards to astrology, tarot or other spiritual based types of work. (Psychics, mediums etc) Do they fall into these same types of pitfalls as religions do, where we stop focusing on the spirituality aspect and instead focus on looking for only what we think should be there? Are these spiritually based practices mumbo jumbo in your opinion, as someone who is in a higher place spiritually I hoped you could help shed some light on this topic. Thanks again.
Diana

Leo Gura says:

I don’t really know because I haven’t delved into those aspects of spirituality.

From what it seems like to me, there are some valid things in them, although again they are highly distorted by the ego’s desire for the exotic or supernatural.

john cardelli says:

Thank you Leo!!! – John

AJ says:

Leo, no doubt that this is one of the most applicable lessons you gave… applicable to my (and I’m guessing many other people’s) current situations. A major realization.

Thank you.

Joe e says:

Leo if your ever feeling alittle tired give Jesus a try

ailin kyung says:

I can understand spanish and korean, but im still learning english

Why dont you put the transcripts anymore?

It helped me a lot to understand about what you are saying

Please publish transcript like before, I would be really greateful to you

Tc says:

This is profound

Ali Rida says:

The one movie I thought about after I watched your video is the shawshank redemption. That was some motherfucker strategic thinking.

Alexis says:

Hi Leo, I found actualized.org about a year ago and have been working on my personal growth and mindfulness ever since. Your videos are very helpful. I’ve told some of my friends to check out your website also, hoping that it will help them too.
The other day when I was driving to work, I’m an icu nurse, I was thinking about how it’s easier to be mindful in day to day activities but much harder to stay mindful in the stressing environment of work. I care for the sickest people in the hospital on life support and as you can image that is very demanding. It was at that moment when I thought of Buddhas and yogis and it struck me how selfish this lifestyle choice really is. If you give some time to think about being a Buddha or yogi from this perspective you may see this also. These yogis just dedicate their lives to themselves and their inner being or enlightenment. I don’t think their is anything wrong with strategically focusing on being enlightened, that’s why so many people love you and what you help them learn. I just think that an actualized mindful person who is in the real world dealing with the everyday stresses is such a stronger person and has so very much more substance and inner strength than a Buddha that gives up on that part of life, to only focus on themselves and their enlightenment. Becoming enlightened and staying in the real world is a lot harder than going into a more isolated lifestyle. If seen in this light, I believe it’s actually weaker. I really hope this isn’t insulting because I completely admire you and think you are so incredibly smart and kind. I just wondered if you ever thought about it from this angle. Thank you for every you do for people. Alexis

Leo Gura says:

You totally misunderstand the work of yogis and sages.

Just the opposite. They help the most people in the most selfless way possible. Their degree of selflessness is hard to imagine until you’ve actually met some of these people in person.

There is a reason why Jesus and Buddha are worshiped as Gods 2000 years after their death. That is how remarkable their selflessness was.

Alexis says:

I understand what you are saying about the yogi and monks helping people, I guess I always thought of these people as different than others. Not selfish or inconsiderate of other people, but more like they are just at peace with nothingness. That they in general have dedicated most of their time and their life quite frankly to keeping themselves in a quite surrounding and a meditative state. I was just trying to express the thought that I had about everyday people and the major stresses of their jobs and such and how these people have such strength to keep persevering through those challenges. I was wondering what thoughts and ideas you have on how people can keep calm and aware throughout their day especially at stressing jobs. I try to take a moment to remind myself to be aware and mindful whenever I think I’m unconscious and totally unaware but it is extremely hard at work sometimes. Thanks for everything you do. Alexis

Lindy says:

I have just watched your video. I think that it makes sense to plan your life as much as possible and not to waste time.

But also remember to smell the roses. As you never know what fate has in store for you.

Also Leo Seventy is not old these days and yogis live a long time.

Love your videos but not the swearing.

Leo Gura says:

Yes, of course! It would be a terrible life strategy to not stop and smell the roses ;)

James Burns says:

Hey Leo, I love your videos and I really want to make changes to my life, but every time I sit down to meditate I really struggle to get deep and satisfying breaths, which is very distracting and uncomfortable. I’ve slouched for almost my entire life and I really struggle with this, though it may seem natural to most people. Could you give me some suggestions on how to breath while meditating or even make a short video on the topic?

Leo Gura says:

Breathe totally normally without any conscious manipulation. Just like you would if you were sitting and watching TV.

Sharon says:

I have to choke with grateful emotions on this one! What an amazing insight! Concentration of force, strategic about life’s major and micro decisions, major blunders, where you want to go and be when you are 70 and your five year goal and plan!!! Cut off from negative people is still a clear reminder to me that time must be strategically spent!!!! Treasure time and energy, think strategically, make sure to take time to think!!! Make sure do what you want, make sure think what you want

Anna says:

You are a rockstar. The problems at their root part. Wow.

Christopher says:

Hey Leo, excellent job as always :) What book would you recommend getting as a foundation for strategic thinking? I was thinking about starting with “How Successful People Think” by John C. Maxwell.

Eugenio says:

Hello Leo,

First of all, I love your videos, they have helped me understand a lot. Would you please help me with the following questions I’ve been having:

1.- I’ve always been very strategic, but too much. I tend to think and plan so much about the future, every single move I make, that I forget to actually live the present. I have achieved great results, more than I imagined while planning, but at the cost of happiness. Now I have started to live my life and am happier, but have planned much less. What would be a good balance between planning and still living the present while executing?

2.- In a similar way, I have been able, through meditation, to clear my mind and live the present. But each time a get conscious and realize something, I tend to get immediately unconscious in order to reason and put together puzzles in my mind about what I realized. Is there a way to consciously think and reason? If so, should reason just be a tool used consciously for very practical things?

Leo Gura says:

1) Strategic also means knowing when to not plan. It’s not just about planning. It’s a much higher-elevation view. If happiness is you intent, then you could strategize about how best to get it. Hint: enlightenment work ;)

2) Everyone goes unconscious after becoming conscious. That’s how consciousness is developed. It’s up and down, up and down. Yes, there are more and less conscious ways of reasoning. It’s hard to give you a rule of thumb. The entire consciousness journey is about struggling to figure this out for oneself.

Nabila says:

Hi Leo

Thanks for such incredible insight. Listening to your videos, it’s like you have such a deep understanding of the teachings of Islam that I’m only beginning to grasp. Thank you for helping me make the connections.

I think you would find the the biography of the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) very interesting from an actualization perspective. There’s a reason why Michael Hart voted him the most influential person in history.

Also check out the Imam Ghazali’s book ‘Deliverance from Error’ about his crisis of faith and discovery of his path to Actualization.

Keep up the amazing work, good luck on your path.

Alex Kuznetsov says:

Hi Leo,
Good video, contains the usual portion of wake up calls.
I start strategic planning on my own and I’m currently a usual “routines” guy,
very hard for me to start planning from this one hour video material.
What do you think about taking course such as this one, esp. 1st and 4th of 4 courses coursera specialization of business-strategy?

Sina says:

Leo, one of the major blunders you mentioned was “not going to college” or “not going for further studies”. Well I have two Master’s degrees and I’m not disagreeing, but what about almost all the athletes? Or actors or artists?

I mean someone like Leo Messi has all the trophies and earns loads of money (while following his passion) as is healthy and everything seems to be working out for him. Or I don’t know maybe DiCaprio or some other actor or painter or singer etc.

I’m also aware that many artists get themselves killed by overdosing on drugs and things like that, but still there are many successful examples too.

So can we maybe mark this blunder as minor or even dismiss it?

Genefer says:

Saving up to buy your online Life Purpose course ;)

John says:

Hi, Leo!
I am John Vasii, from Romania.
After a spectacularly failed “Iraqi crude oil vs.food “business, never done ( accordingly to United Nations records ), I have been condemned 15 years to jail.
A very precious life experience .
Now. I have to start my entire life from the very scratch.
Very …challenging !
Your episodes are pure gold for me.
I have a proposal:
Could be possible to deliver, besides the talk, the text of the episode ?
I speak English, but do not understand all the words , all the time.
May be there are many foreigners in my situation.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the high quality of your topics.
I’m coming from the Romanian Navy ( 20 years, from which 7 serviced on a Russian submarine chaser ).
All my best wishes for a happy new year 2017, both personally & financially.
Respectfully.
John Vasii

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