The Fundamentals of Self-Actualization

With over 300 videos on this site now, with so many different concepts covered, it helps to have an outline of the nuts and bolts of self-actualization.

This is your cheat-sheet. Spend at least a 100 hours learning the fundamental theory. Yes, action is very important, but without first understanding the roots of your problems, that action will easily be misdirected. It takes time for the big picture to gel in your mind. But it will be worth it.

My style of personal development emphasizes: integrating hundreds of diverse perspectives, very big picture understanding, existential investigation, and pragmatism. My aim is to understand life at the deepest levels possible. If you're looking for quick-fixes, this work isn't for you. No meaningful self-transformation will happen impatiently.

But if you diligently take action on everything below, you will feel like a totally new human being.

Intro Videos:

Foundational Videos To Watch:

These videos lay out the basic principles for how to self-actualize. They focus not on quick-fixes but helping you develop a deep understanding of your problems. You don't have to watch them in order. Use your intuition and wisdom to determine which videos to watch first.

Core Concepts To Research And Understand:

Many of these concepts are discussed throughout all my videos. Many of them are recurring themes, which need to be understood from different angles. You will need to study all of these deeply if you want to understand how to significantly transform yourself.

  • Mastery, 10,000 Hour Rule, Deliberate Practice, Deep Work, Self-Discipline creates freedom
  • Enlightenment, Spirituality, Nonduality, Mysticism, Mindfulness
  • Being vs Doing vs Having
  • Spiritual Purification
  • Enlightenment Traps
  • Radical Openmindedness
  • Beliefs vs Direct Experience
  • Epistemology, Paradigms, Web of Beliefs, Dogma
  • Spiral Dynamics, Clare Graves
  • Systems Thinking
  • Consciousness, Awareness
  • Meditation vs Concentration vs Contemplation vs Self-Inquiry
  • Embracing Paradox
  • Self-Esteem
  • Loving Kindness
  • Life Purpose, Hero's Journey
  • Negative vs Positive Motivation
  • Counter-Intuitiveness
  • Emotional Labor
  • Patience, Setting Right Expectations
  • Nutrition, Exercise, Fasting
  • Breathing Techniques
  • Morality, Good vs Evil, Projection
  • Yoga, Kundalini, Chakras, Karma, Shiva/Shakti
  • Religion vs Science, False Skepticism, Limits of Rationality, Limits of Logic, Limits of Science
  • Mystical Traditions: Zen, Tantra, Advaita Vedanta, Buddhism, Yoga, Hinduism, Sufism, Kabbalah, shamanism, etc.
  • Meditation Techniques: Mindfulness Meditation with Labeling, Do Nothing, Focus On Breath, Mantra Meditation, etc.
  • Self-Actualization as described by Maslow
  • Neuroticism, Victim Mindset
  • Judgment, Moralization
  • True Happiness vs False Happiness, Distinguishing Success vs Growth
  • Gross vs Subtle
  • Culture, Marketing, Society
  • Overcoming Addictions, Hard Addictions, Soft Addictions
  • What are thoughts, what is thinking, what are symbols, the map is not the territory
  • What Is God?, Absolute Truth vs Relative Truth, True Self vs Ego
  • Importance of Balance
  • Balancing Theory vs Practice
  • Psychedelics, and How To Use Them Properly
  • Shadow Work
  • Goal Setting, Productivity, Habits
  • Morning Routine
  • How To Be Creative
  • Lying, Manipulation, Self-Bias
  • Authentic Communication and Relationships
  • Distraction, Ego Backlashes, Backsliding, Dark Night of the Soul, Resistance, Self-Sabotage, The Dark Side of Meditation
  • Kinds of Emotions, that emotions are self-manipulations
  • Depression, Anger, Sadness, Loneliness, Fear
  • Ego Traps, Turning Inward vs Turning Outward
  • Taking Responsibility vs Blaming, Victim Mentality
  • Health vs Unhealthy Suffering
  • Being A Leader
  • Honesty, Authenticity
  • Unconditional Love
  • Detachment
  • Reprogramming Your Subconscious Mind
  • Personality Types: Big 5 Aspects, Myers-Briggs, etc.
  • Masculine vs Feminine Psychology

Core Practices & Techniques To Start Doing:

Use the following methods to implement the abstract concepts from above. You don't need to use them all. Pick and choose whatever suits you. Some of these techniques are very deep, requiring research and years of training.

  • Daily Reading / Audio books
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness Meditation With Labeling
  • Hatha Yoga
  • Kundalini Yoga
  • Kriya Yoga
  • Holotropic Breathwork
  • Concentration Practice
  • Contemplation
  • Self-Inquiry
  • Spiritual Autolysis
  • Vegetarian/Vegan/Plant-based whole food diet
  • Clean Up Diet: sugar, processes foods, all wheat products, all diary products, meat, etc.
  • Comprehensive Bloodwork: check your thyroid, liver, lipids, hormones, vitamin levels, etc.
  • Fasting
  • Journaling
  • Visualization
  • Affirmations
  • Mantra Meditation
  • NLP
  • Taking Notes, Keeping A Commonplace Book
  • Solo Retreats
  • Find Your Life Purpose
  • 4 hours Zone of Genius work every day
  • Doing Self-Help Courses
  • Attending Workshops & Seminars
  • Vipassana Retreats
  • Enlightenment Intensives
  • Researching self-help products, seminars, books, retreats, courses, techniques
  • Quit Toxic Relationships
  • Psychedelics: Mushrooms, LSD, DMT, 5-MeO, 2C-B, Ayahausca, etc.
  • Shadow Work
  • Lucid Dreaming
  • Astral Projection
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Self-Hypnosis
  • Reiki
  • Acupuncture
  • Channeling
  • Therapy
  • Life Coaching
  • Nathaniel Branden's Self-Esteem Sentence Completions
  • Physical Exercise: Gym, Weight lifting, Cardio, etc.
  • Conscious Body Relaxation
  • Conscious Breathing
  • Reichian Therapy
  • Quit Hard Addictions: Junk food, drugs, alcohol, coffee, smoking, porn, video games, etc.
  • Quit Soft Addictions: Theorizing, judging, success, being loved, perfectionism, being right, etc.
  • Clean Up Information In-take: TV, phone, internet, YT, Facebook, politics, gossip, music, etc.
  • Travel
  • Being Out In Nature
  • Socializing, Pickup
  • Minimizing Your Lifestyle
  • Cleaning/Organizing Your Clutter
  • Contemplating Your Death
  • Sitting And Strategizing About Your Future, Making Plans
  • Strong Morning Routine
  • Mindful Eating
  • Walking Meditation
  • Binaural Beats
  • Neurofeedback Brain Training
  • Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Training
  • Light Machine
  • Isolation Tank
  • Sedona Method
  • Seeking Out Masterful Teachers
  • Public Speaking, Toastmasters

Most Important Habits To Build:

These habits produce high-yield results, although not immediately. They take time to snowball, but once they do, life becomes much better. Always install 1 habit at a time.

  • Daily Meditation (especially strict mindfulness with labeling)
  • Daily Reading / Audio Books
  • Strong Morning Routine
  • Very Clean Plant-Based Diet
  • Daily Self-Inquiry
  • Daily Journaling
  • Taking Notes, Commonplace Book
  • Eliminating Hard Addictions
  • Eliminating Soft Addictions
  • Daily Concentration Practice
  • Psychedelics (done for spiritual growth, not recreationally)
  • Research
  • Attending Retreats/Workshops
  • Doing Self-Help Courses
  • Finding Your Life Purpose
  • Sitting And Strategizing About Your Future, Making Plans
  • Shadow Work
  • Yoga

Biggest Traps Of This Work:

There are 100's of traps in this work. Your mind will be your greatest enemy. Here are the most common traps people fall into:

  • Chasing quick-fixes. Not wanting to explore issues deeply or solve problems at their root.
  • Not taking ownership of your life. Hoping for someone to give you a 1-2-3 step formula for success & happiness.
  • Trying to be like someone else rather than working to discover YOUR authentic self.
  • Chasing ideals and ideas of goodness.
  • Feeling like it's too late, I'm too old to change, I've wasted so much time.
  • Staying loyal to toxic friends/family who are holding you back.
  • Not reading, not learning, not doing enough research.
  • Expecting this work to be easy and pleasant.
  • Learning from too few perspectives, thus getting an incomplete picture, not having enough options.
  • Judging, moralizing, criticizing, debating, arguing, blaming.
  • Asking for "scientific proof", as if someone can prove quality-of-life improvements to you.
  • Being so skeptical of everything that you don't put the theory into practice.
  • Speculating about and conceptualizing enlightenment, mystical experiences, and spiritual growth.
  • Clinging to a naive realist paradigm, believing that reality is physical, logical, and Newtonian.
  • Assuming that modern science has figured out most of reality.
  • Underestimating the massive negative effects of mainstream culture, diet, media, entertainment, beliefs, etc.
  • Not understanding how happiness really works. Thinking that external conditions or possessions produce happiness. Chasing gross material pleasures.
  • Confusing success with happiness or true growth.
  • Assuming that successful people, like your favorite role-models, celebrities, professors, CEOs, etc are happy.
  • Not recognizing that mystical experiences are real and possible for you to have.
  • Becoming ideological about anything whatsoever (theory, techniques, science, logic, politics, etc), not realizing that all human perspectives are partial.
  • Confusing Truth with knowledge/belief
  • Assuming that reality is rational, mistaking scientific maps and models for being.
  • Working a job/career just for the money.
  • Being stuck in wage slavery, working a 9-5 job, not having control of your schedule.
  • Eating the Standard American Diet of wheat, dairy, sugar, meat, and processed foods.
  • Assuming that personal development is all mental work, not doing any development or purification of your body.
  • Consuming mainstream media. Not realizing how toxic modern media and entertainment is.
  • Not taking full responsibility for your life
  • Whining and complaining about how your situation is unfair and impossible to change.
  • Not valuing or pursuing truth for its own sake. Treating truth as a luxury.
  • Dismissing theory, philosophy, and beliefs as "merely" philosophy.
  • Studying tons of theory without ever taking action. Improperly balancing your ratio of theory to practice. Mental masturbation.
  • Keyboard-jockeying: over-conceptualizing, discussing, talking shit, and speculating but never embodying what is talked about.
  • Having a short time horizon for all your goals, plans, and projects.
  • Over-packing your schedule, leaving no time to sit, think, or meditate.
  • Valuing and pursuing gross experiences vs subtle ones.
  • Assuming that consciousness is a physical by-product of the brain.
  • Assuming that you are physical body, or etherial soul.
  • Projecting onto the teacher you're learning from. Getting triggered by teachers. Holding grudges. Debating with them. Trying to school your teacher.
  • Clinging to the idea of good and evil, not realizing that these are all your projections.
  • Going on a crusade to save the world or vanquish evil. Getting overly focused on acting "good" in the external world vs working on your own inner demons.
  • Assuming that if life is meaningless, that's a bad thing.
  • Setting unrealistic expectations. Being too impatience. Expecting big results to come quickly.
  • Trying to change too much too fast. Lack of focus.
  • Getting overwhelmed with all the options. Indecisiveness.
  • Not taking action because, "I don't know how."
  • Underestimating how much growth is possible. How much better your life can become.
  • Assuming boundaries between objects are scientific, physically given.
  • Distracting yourself from facing emptiness, negative emotions, loneliness, and ego backlashes.
  • Misusing psychedelics: using them recreationally, using them socially, using them without proper research.
  • Conceptually misunderstanding enlightenment
  • Confusing enlightenment with a sensory experience or emotional state
  • Trying to install too many new habits at once.
  • Quitting meditation or self-inquiry when negative emotions or resistance surfaces.
  • Not being decisive, thus maintaining the status quo by default.
  • Not having a big vision for your life.
  • Using negative motivation to get stuff done.
  • Motivating yourself through competition with others, trying to "be the best".
  • Making your vision all about personal success and wealth rather than contributing to the world.
  • Being too cheap, not investing in books, courses, workshops, etc. Undervaluing self-education.
  • Chasing after love, success, pleasure, excitement, rather than pursuing Truth and understanding.
  • Assuming you need certain physical conditions to be happy.
  • Conflating knowledge acquisition with growth/development.
  • Dismissing "new age" concepts like spirits, aliens, God, healing, love, etc.
  • Demonizing psychedelics.
  • Not taking massive action. Assuming that "things will just work out". No they won't!
  • Not having a spiritual practice because you've been told there's nothing to seek.
  • Expecting people close to you to understand and support your efforts to grow.
  • Trying in frustration to get everyone around you to change or become interested in personal development or spirituality.
  • Not realizing or appreciating the incredible value of this work.
  • Quitting
  • Quitting when resistance kicks in.
  • Quitting when emotional upheaval surfaces.
  • Not getting back on track after backsliding or quitting. Beating yourself up for failures.
  • Letting yourself get lulled back to sleep by our toxic and indifferent culture.

Good luck!