As novelist C.S. Lewis said:

“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”

In that regard, we’re all the same…

So clearly, it really matters a lot what we do with that time.

Now what I’ve noticed is that many of us can overemphasize the impact of positive *thinking*

And of course, that’s much better than getting caught up in negativity, and it can serve us tremendously well…

But ultimately, positive *thinking* alone isn’t going to be the difference that makes all the difference for us.

What we need instead is something more… something like this:

In the words of Maria Edgeworth:

“If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves.”

“The Power of Positive Doing” may seem simple, perhaps even trivial in the ‘moments’…

But you’ll see for yourself the tremendous difference it makes once those moments begin to add up!

A while back I was picking up my nephews from preschool.

As I passed one of the rooms, I saw a young girl putting together a puzzle on the floor. She was talking out loud, even though there was no one else in the room with her:

“That piece should be there,” she said. And when it didn’t fit:

“No, that’s not right… Try again.”

In another room my nephew was putting together a toy train track:

“The curve goes here. We need to close it up. Oh, we need another piece. Put a switch there.”

Notice how both kids were talking to themselves:

Famous Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky discovered that we begin talking to ourselves like this from a very early age, starting in our toddler years – typically at about the age of three. [1]

He observed kids while they were playing, and noticed they were giving themselves instructions, particularly during challenging tasks. According to Vygotsky, this self-talk has an important purpose for them:

It helps them steer their behavior and organize their thoughts.

While the conversations we have with ourselves as toddlers are clearly identifiable and well-heard, from at the age of seven and onward they become more internalized and automatic, and ultimately persist as a lifelong companion.

In fact, at some point, our self-talk has become so intimate and constant, that we actually consider it thought itself. [2]

For many of us it can become a severely debilitating source of rumination, anxiety and even depression. But on the bright side:

Taking control of our inner talk is also one of the most effective, yet least utilized tools available to master our psyche and boost our personal happiness, performance and success.

In this article we’ll explore how to do so, while busting a few persistent self-help myths in the process and finally getting clear on what does and doesn’t work.

So let’s dig in…

YOU TOO Are Talking To Yourself

Self-talk is a ubiquitous human phenomenon. We all have an internal monologue that we engage in from time to time.

According to sports psychologist Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis, we talk to ourselves for three reasons:

  • To instruct ourselves:
    Instructional self-talk happens when we need to guide ourselves through a specific task, such as learning a new skill.
  • To motivate ourselves:
    Motivational self-talk can help to boost our effort and increase our confidence when we want to psych ourselves up for something challenging.
  • To evaluate ourselves:
    Evaluative self-talk mostly has to do with our opinions about ourselves and our behavior in relation to past events and/or actions.

Scientists who study our inner voice typically presume it takes shape during our early childhood, and gradually captures a particular essence as it evolves. [4, 5]

Think about the nature of your own inner voice for a moment… For example:

Imagine you failed or fell short on a certain task or project… In a situation like that, what’s your inner voice like?

  • Does it mercilessly blame you? (<-- “I can’t do anything right!” “I’m so lame!” “What a screw-up!” “How can I ever show my face in public again?”)
  • Or does it express a more compassionate complexion? (<-- “It’s okay, you did the best you could.” “No worries, you’ll do better next time.”)
Unfortunately, for most people it’s ore like the first one...

Inner Voice

Pinpointing exactly what shaped the nature of our inner voice and when that happened is not always a clear and straightforward task.

Some psychologists think that our inner voice is mostly an echo of the voice of our parents. From their point of view…:

  • If we used to be spoken to in a strict and disapproving way, then our inner voice probably reflects that drift. On the other hand:
  • If we were often complimented and praised, then the tone of our inner voice will generally be more positive. (<-- Unless that praise was excessive, in which case the effect is rather the opposite.)

Positive Self-Talk

Nevertheless, research shows that other people who play(ed) an important role in our lives also impact the way we talk to ourselves, such as teachers and peers. For example: [6]

Kids who have generally been exposed to more constructive and commending conversation typically speak to themselves more positively as well, even if the praise they heard wasn’t specifically addressed to them in particular (<-- “Well done everybody!”).

But regardless of what exactly shapes the nature of our self-talk, it’s clear that it does have a measurable impact on both our overall disposition and our performance.

Here’s how…

How We ‘Walk’ Our Self-Talk

We can compare our own inner voice to the voice of a sportscaster, who’s permanently keeping an eye on us from the sidelines of our life and is always there to comment. For example:

  • We could be working on an important task at our job… (<-- “You can do it!”)
  • We could be trying on some new swimwear in the fitting room… (<-- “Gosh, I got fat – look at those rolls…”)
  • We could be having trouble getting out of bed in the morning to get started on our enormous to-do list… (<-- “Good grief, what a lazy bastard I am…”)

Whatever situation we find ourselves in, the voice is always there… And indeed:

Research into the effect of our self-talk shows that the way we talk to ourselves can make a difference in our disposition. For example: [7, 8]

There’s a clear association between discouraging self-talk and destructive emotional states:

  • People who tend towards perfectionism and those who often feel depressed or anxious typically experience a lot of discouraging self-talk. And what’s more:
  • Reducing that type of destructive and anxious self-talk does indeed diminish their anxiety levels.

But besides on our complexion, our self-talk also has an effect on our performance. As a few quick examples:

1. Self-talk has been shown to impact sports performance:

Much of the existing research into the inner voice has been focused on athletes, because athletes are often exposed to high-pressure situations that not only call forth intense self-talk, but for which the nature of that self-talk can also directly impact the outcome.

So to get an idea of what happens in the minds of athletes at moments of failure, researchers had elite cricket players watch video footage of themselves from past matches, and froze the image right when they could see themselves miss their hit. [9]

At that exact moment they asked the players what they were saying to themselves:

  • Some of them turned out to motivate themselves (<-- “Hang in there!” and “Stay cool!”), or give themselves instructions (<-- “Watch the ball!”).
  • Others rather swore and lashed out at themselves.
Then in a larger meta-analysis, British sports psychologists concluded that a motivating, positive inner voice indeed diminishes anxiety and leads to better focus and performance. In fact:

Athletes turned out to jump higher, throw more accurately at darts, and cycle faster. [7]

Strikingly though, these researchers did not find any conclusive evidence for the supposed adverse effect of negative self-talk on sports performance (<-- possibly because some athletes actually derived motivation from it – “Get up and move on, you wimp!”).

Nevertheless, that particular destructive impact did show in another context…

2. Self-talk has been shown to impact job performance:

The positive effect of encouraging self-talk also shows in our personal and professional efficacy. To demonstrate that, American researcher Steven Rogelberg and his colleagues had corporate executives write future-oriented letters to themselves about their own functioning.

Next, they examined the letters to see how constructive or dysfunctional their self-criticism was. For example, one executive encouraged himself like this:

“You are good at what you do, so you are going to start giving yourself some credit - publicly. And the next time someone compliments you on something, do not brush them off before they finish with a quick ‘thank you’ - take it all in.” [10]

Conversely, one of the other leaders rather disapproved of themselves:

“And how’s the mess at the office? Still cancelling appointments or showing up in wrong meetings? Hope you can handle your schedule a little better now. Say no to some stuff. Otherwise one day you’re going to be the only one in the meetings. Don’t say I didn’t tell you.” [10]

Notice the difference in tone – the first one is clearly much more constructive, while the negative tone of the second implicitly indicates all manner of things that are wrong… And that difference reflected in their personal and professional efficacy:

Leaders who addressed themselves in a positive way were evaluated by both their subordinates and superiors as more effective and exemplifying a higher degree of creativity and originality.

What’s more, the executives themselves experienced less job strain.

So evidently, a more constructive tone in our self-talk can make a significant difference in our well-being and performance… which begs the question:

How do we get our inner voice to motivate and coach us, instead of constantly finding fault and reasons to be anxious, frustrated, or depressed?

To get a grip on that, it serves us well to know the things that certainly don’t work…

What DOESN’T Work To Change Your Self-Talk?

To improve our self-talk – along with our overall disposition and performance – popular self-help experts often recommend the repetition of all kinds of ‘positive affirmations,’ such as:

  • “I am loveable.”
  • “I am strong, powerful, nothing is stopping me.”
  • “I am so happy and grateful now that I’m rich.”
  • “I accept myself completely.”
  • Etc.

The idea is that if we repeat statements like these often enough, or write them on sticky notes and put them in places where we can see them all the time (<-- like on our bathroom mirror or the fridge), we’ll eventually begin to believe what they say.

But is that actually what happens?

To put this notion to the test, Canadian researchers let their subjects repeat the popular affirmation “I am loveable.” The results were striking: [11]

  • Only those people who ordinarily felt good about themselves already also felt better from speaking out the affirmation. However:
  • Those who didn’t already have a great degree of self-confidence – i.e. the very folks who most needed the envisioned boost – experienced the very opposite effect: They felt even worse about themselves!

How is that possible?

The researchers explain how positive affirmations simply aren’t believable for people who don’t think much of themselves to start with:

  • When we feel we’re inadequate in a particular area, a positive self-statement to the contrary rather emphasizes the difference between who we are now and who we’d like to be.
  • As a result, trying to make ourselves believe that we’re enormously valuable while we really don’t feel like that is not only ineffective, but actually detrimental.

And we can’t simply deny or ‘undo’ that effect by mentally manufacturing some ‘positive emotion’ to augment the affirmation, like many experts suggest:

Whatever we try to artificially make ourselves feel can’t trump the automatically generated, real emotion that’s triggered by the implicit knowing that we’re not yet who we’d like to be. And a self-statement to the contrary rather awakens and accentuates that discomforting realization.

So the question is…

What DOES Work To Change Your Self-Talk?

When we seek to change excessively dysfunctional self-talk, there are two overall strategies that science has demonstrated to be effective.

Let’s explore what they are, so we can formulate our next course of action from there:

* Strategy #1: Gain Psychological Distance

New research by psychologist Ethan Kross from the University of Michigan suggests that one key is to learn how to take some psychological distance from ourselves in challenging situations, which avoids getting absorbed in our momentary emotions.

By disidentifying from the emotional turmoil, we don’t experience our feelings as intensely as we normally do… which helps us gain control of ourselves, be more effective, and perform better as a result.

However, for many of us that’s easier said than done. That’s why we can benefit greatly from a couple of simple tricks.

(Aside from the ones we’ll explore below, check out the technique described in this article too. And learn how to dig even deeper into the very roots of your negative self-talk with the Crack Your Egg Program.)

For instance:

Kross discovered that a small change of wording in the positive things you want to say to yourself can automatically create some psychological distance. For example: [12]

  • We’re typically told to formulate our affirmations from an associated, first person perspective (<-- i.e. “I am […],” or “I can do it”). However, as corny as they may come to sound because of it…:
  • We greatly increase our chances of eliciting the results we seek by actually talking to ourselves from a disidentified state... much like a friend would talk to us (<-- i.e. “you are […],” or “you can do it!”).
Positive Affirmations

Kross discovered this when he gave his test subjects a nearly impossible task:

They had to both write as well as mentally prepare for an important speech within a matter of just five minutes... after which they immediately had to deliver that speech to an audience.

He instructed one group to use first person pronouns in their preparation (<-- i.e. the associated “I”-form…), while the others were told to instead use their first name to address themselves (<-- i.e. the disidentified “you”-perspective)

And the difference was notable:

  • Those who used their first name performed better during the speech.
  • And as a bonus, after delivering it they didn’t worry as much about how good or bad they did.
Neuroscientist Jason Moser actually demonstrated how this effect is also clearly measurable in the brain’s electrical activity:

After toggling the way we address ourselves like Kross suggests, electrodes actually pick up the psychic improvement by documenting…: [13]

  1. A reduction by half in the electrical activity of the amygdala, the brain’s seat of fear and frantic cries of emotion.
  2. A corresponding vast decline in energy consumed by the cerebral cortex, the brain’s center of thinking that normally kicks into overdrive when the amygdala is overactive.

So gaining psychological distance by cognitively taking a step back to observe ourselves from a mental distance enables self-control, and allows us to minimize rumination, think more clearly and perform more competently.

(Most of us have actually have first-hand experience of this effect: we often find ourselves capable of clearly pointing out to others what’s best for them, while having a much harder time doing the same for ourselves.)

That’s how a less egocentric perspective diminishes negative emotions and self-talk, and helps us gain back perspective, focus more deeply and plan more constructively for the future.

But beyond that, there’s a second proven approach that helps improve the nature of our self-talk…

* Strategy #2: Broaden Your Self-Concept

Typically, we like to view ourselves as competent, compassionate and worthy individuals. But when we seem to fall short in one area of our lives, that sense of inadequacy can begin to dominate our entire self-concept:

The ensuing negative thoughts and emotions can have a significant adverse impact on our overall self-esteem and view of ourselves as a whole.

Fortunately, recent research from Cornell University emphasizes the positive effect of broadening our view of ourselves to specifically include other roles and areas that are important to us: [14]

Researchers deliberately had students fail at an intellectual task, which confronted them with a lack of performance (and as such served as a threat to their self-worth).

However, they clearly distinguished two groups by giving one group of students a specific instruction:

They had to purposely widen their view of themselves by specifically noting and affirming their value in other areas of life.

Here’s what happened:

The group of students that intentionally restored a broader perspective of themselves actually blunted the impact of the perceived failure:

They were better able to realize that it merely had to do with a small part of their identity, and as such didn’t get thrown off as much by their self-criticism as the other group did.

So simply broadening your self-concept by thinking of the other roles and areas that are important to you in life can immediately restore your self-worth and undo the constricted perspective that your negative self-talk imposes on you.

Even affirmations can work to this end, provided that we use them the right way:

  • As we’ve seen, it’s of no use to apply affirmations in an attempt to seduce ourselves into feeling great when we really don’t – that won’t happen no matter how many times we repeat them. However:
  • Affirmations can work for us if we use them to help widen our perspective on ourselves whenever we find ourselves stuck in the tunnel vision of a constricted self-concept… and dwelling on just one facet of our personality that’s merely temporarily challenged in its worthiness.

So having explored these two strategies, let’s now define three proven, simple-to-use tactics that will help you take control of your self-talk… so you can turn your inner voice from a grumpy and bad-tempered criticaster into a supportive and motivating coach:

Conclusion: 3 Steps To Take Back Control Of Your Mind

Here’s how you can:

1) Step #1 – Get to know your own inner voice.

In order to change anything in your self-talk, you first need to become aware of when you’re actually talking to yourself. So ask yourself:

  • When do you typically notice you’re talking to yourself (either out loud or internally)?
  • What do you typically find yourself saying in those instances?
  • Are there any particular situations in which your inner voice seems to be especially critical? (<-- Perhaps in certain social situations… at work… when you’re looking in the mirror… etc.)
  • Does your inner voice remind you of someone who is or used to be close to you? If so, of whom in particular? (<-- Pay special attention to the first person(s) that pop(s) into your mind when you read this question - maybe it’s a parent... a teacher... a boss... etc.)
  • If you’d have to address or refer to your inner voice, how would you call it? (<-- For example, if you would have to give it a name, nickname, or description, what would it be? Grumpy Griff? Complaining Karen? Your Honor? Gilbert Gottfried?)

Then as you get more familiar with it, include the next step…

2) Step #2 – Broaden your view of yourself.

As explained, when your inner voice makes you feel like you’re inadequate or falling short in one particular area of your life, it helps to deliberately expand your view of yourself by focusing on the other roles you play as well. To do so, ask yourself:

  • Which of your roles do you find important in life? (<-- For example: partner, parent, employee, team mate, volunteer, cyclist, runner, friend, etc.)
  • And how important do you find them relative to each other? (<-- Which roles are more important, and which less essential?)

Here’s an easy way to make use of this insight:

Create a pie chart that illustrates the relative importance of each of these roles in the grand scheme of your life.

This gives you a simple supporting visualization that you can instantly call up in your mind whenever you need a reminder. Here’s an example:

Self-Talk Exercise: Life Roles Pie Chart
(So when one role is more important to you than the other, it takes up a greater part of the pie.)

Now whenever you have a difficult moment in the context of one particular area of your life, pick up (or recall) your pie chart to instantly gain a broader view on your life as a whole:

Doing so will swiftly nip the potential impact of the ensuing negative self-talk in the bud, before it can do any damage to your overall self-worth!

And finally, here’s how you can actually put your self-talk to good use…

3) Step #3 – Rephrase your self-talk’s lingo (the right way).

When your inner voice tends to be excessively negative in tone, deliberately rephrase what it says. That way you can turn it into an actual tool that fosters your happiness and success – little-by-little if need be:

a) Talk to yourself from a psychological distance: use your first name… and instead of speaking from a first person perspective, address yourself as ‘you.’

b) Instead of using negative and critical phrasings, use positive and constructive phrasings that avoid the word ‘not’ and or other forms of negation. For instance, it’s better to say “stay cool” instead of “don’t get upset.” [3]

If it feels unnatural to address yourself in an encouraging way, think what you’d say if you were talking to a good friend. For example: [15]

If you ate an entire bag of potato chips or cookies while you were actually on a diet, don’t call yourself a “gluttonous pig.” Instead, rephrase that into something more encouraging, like:

I know you ate that bag because you felt bad and you thought you’d find some consolation. But now you feel even more frustrated… Perhaps a walk or a hike would make you feel better?

c) Don’t try to force-feed yourself a lie by trying to make yourself believe something your subconscious mind already knows not to be true (<-- like with the typically-suggested form of ‘positive affirmations’) – you’ll never convince yourself.

Rather stick to the proven types of concise cue words or phrases that are motivational, instructional and evaluative:

  • Motivational:
    Hint at what you want to see from yourself, as opposed to what you don’t want to see. For example:

    Saying something like “Not bad, but you need to focus harder next time” would be more motivating than “I wasn’t focused enough,” which implies blame and is more self-defeating than constructive.

  • Instructional:
    Pre-define specific courses of action you want to apply in certain situations. (<-- In other words, set rules like: “when this situation occurs, do this.” Or: “In this situation, say this.” Etc.)

    Then when those situations actually occur, activate your pre-defined courses of action by using an instructional cue word or phrase, and then simply carry them out.

  • Evaluative:
    Swiftly reframe negative self-talk pertaining to just one area of your life by recalling or looking at the pie chart you created under Step #2 above… so you can instantly broaden your self-concept and find basis for genuine encouragement.

Put these techniques to work, and you’ll soon notice the difference in your self-talk!

Now to conclude…

Here’s What To Do Next:

As you’ve seen, when our self-talk is excessively negative, it can turn into a source of painful rumination, anxiety, and even depression. However:

With the three simple techniques we discussed, you can swiftly take control of your self-talk and turn it into a tool to master your psyche and foster your happiness, performance and success.

Now to potentially augment that practice, you might benefit enormously from some deeper inner work that not only automatically improves the nature of our self-talk, but also takes away the very reasons we experience negative self-talk in the first place.

To make that happen, here’s what you can do next (if you’d like to explore this further):

  • Check out the ‘Heart-Core Power’-training, on which you learn a process that will naturally improve the nature of your self-talk and enhance your overall happiness, efficacy and vitality in life… without having to force it. (<-- It will be an automatic offshoot of applying the techniques you’ll learn.)
  • Go even deeper with the Crack Your Egg Program to discover how to be free from negative self-talk forever, by simply dissolving the very source of negative self-talk and leaving it no reason to even raise its voice to start with.

By engaging in these trainings, you’ll learn how to pull an ‘inner switch’ that completely shifts your energy, mindset and emotional well-being… all in a very gentle and elegant way that doesn’t require struggle, hustle, or force.

And by applying what you learned today, you’ll soon notice the positive difference this will make in your life… like this guy, who gets it:

Positive Self-Talk: The Hare Who Beats The Turtoise

P.S. Feel free to leave a comment below!


[1] Daugherty, M. and S. White (2008), “Relationships Among Private Speech and Creativity In Head Start and Low-Socioeconomic Status Preschool Children,” The Gifted Child Quarterly 52, pp. 30-39;

[2] Fernyhough, C. (2016), The Voices Within: The History And Science Of How We Talk To Ourselves, Profile Books Ltd., London UK;

[3] Hatzigeorgiadis, A., Zourbanos, N., Galanis, E. and Y. Theodorakis (2011), “Self-Talk and Sports Performance: A Meta-Analysis,” Perspectives on Psychological Science 6(4), pp. 348-356;

[4] Winsler, A., Manfra, L. and R.M. Diaz (2006) “Should I Let Them Talk? Private Speech and Task Performance among Preschool Children With and Without Behaviour Problems,” Early Childhood Research Quarterly 22, pp. 215-231;

[5] Winsler, A. and J. Naglieri, J. (2003), “Overt and Covert Verbal Problem-Solving Strategies: Developmental Trends In Use, Awareness and Relations With Task Performance In Children Aged 5-17,” Child Development 74, pp. 659-678;

[6] Burnett, P.C. and V. Mandel (2010), “Praise and Feedback In The Primary Classroom: Teachers’ and Students’ Perspectives,” Australian Journal of Educational & Developmental Psychology 10, pp. 145-154;

[7] Tod, D., Hardy, J. and E. Oliver (2011), “Effects of Self-Talk: A Systematic Review,” Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology 33, pp. 666-687;

[8] Kendall P.C. and R.H. Treadwell (2007), “The Role Of Self-Statements As A Mediator In Treatment For Youth With Anxiety Disorders,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 75, pp. 380-389;

[9] Miles, A. and R. Neil (2013), “The Use Of Self-Talk During Elite Cricket Batting Performance,” Psychology of Sport and Exercise 14(6), pp. 875-811;

[10] Rogelberg, S.G. et al. (2013), “The Executive Mind: Leader Self-Talk, Effectiveness and Strain,” Journal of Managerial Psychology 28(2), p. 191;

[11] Wood, J.V., Perunovic, W.Q. and J.W. Lee (2009), “Positive Self-Statements: Power for Some, Peril for Others,” Psychological Science 20(7), pp. 860-866;

[12] Kross, E. et al. (2014), “Self-Talk as a Regulatory Mechanism: How You Do It Matters,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 106(2), pp. 304-324;

[13] Moser, J. S. and T.P. Moran (2014), What’s In Your Name? Third Person Self-Talk Attenuates Neural Markers Of Negative Emotion Processing,” in: Kross, E. and O. Ayduk (Chairs), Self-talk: Towards An Integrative Understanding Of A Basic (Often Overlooked) Regulatory Mechanism, Symposium presented at the Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, San Francisco CA;

[14] Critcher, C.R. and D. Dunning (2015), “Self-Affirmations Provide a Broader Perspective on Self-Threat,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 41(1), pp. 3-18;

[15] Neff, K. (2011), Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself up And Leave Insecurity Behind, HarperCollins, New York NY.

Have you ever felt like you could use some time off?

That you could just wake up in the morning without feeling that constantly nagging sense of unease that wonders if you’ll be able to work through the enormous pile of stuff you need to do in the few hours you have today?

Does it seem as though life is getting more hectic by the day, and that you can hardly keep up with its ever-increasing pace?

Well, here’s some cold comfort:

  • You’re not the only one.
  • And the feeling is accurate.

But there’s a simple way out of this craziness.

This article explains why we’re actually inclined to remain so busy, rushed and overwhelmed… and how we can easily shift things around to make space for what’s truly important to us, while also realizing more of the outcomes we really want.

So let’s dig in…

Are You ‘Stuck In A Rush?’

Many of us feel like Brigid Schulte describes in her book Overwhelmed: [1]

I am always behind and always late, with one more thing and one more thing and one more thing to do before rushing out the door. Entire hours evaporate while I'm doing stuff that needs to get done. But once I'm done, I can't tell you what it was I did or why it seemed so important.”

And she’s certainly not an isolated case. From all over the world scientists have taken cognizance of pretty much the same phenomenon: [2,3]

  • Most of us do way too many things at the same time, in an attempt to meet all the demands imposed on us in our personal and professional lives.
  • In general, our day-to-day life experience feels scattered, fragmented and exhausting – like our lives pass by at a pace we can’t keep up with, without sufficient opportunities to catch some breath and recover.

But let’s ask ourselves:

  • What if we discovered that in truth we’re really squandering our time… frittering away all those precious moments… and to a large extent wasting our one and only life?
  • What if we really do have time and plenty of opportunity to slow down, relax and focus on what’s really important… but are just too stressed out, disorganized and neurotic to even notice?

Because when we step back from the turmoil and take a more disengaged look at our situation, it turns out that we unknowingly and inadvertently keep ourselves ‘stuck in a rush.’

Generally speaking, two things lie at the root of this:

  • The pain of ‘nothing-ness’…
  • The pleasure of ‘busy-ness’…

So to help us get a grip on these causes, let’s explore both phenomena in more detail…

The Pain of ‘Nothing-ness’

While we don’t like feeling rushed, we usually do enjoy having something to do.

Of course, from a state of permanent busyness, rush and exhaustion, our perspective is colored:

We can hardly imagine an experience more pleasurable than having all our ducks in a row, without a thing to do or a worry on our mind…

‘Busyness’ As Usual

But appearances can be deceptive:

Because when the reality of having nothing to do actually kicks in, it turns out that for most of us it’s far from as pleasing as we thought it would be: [4]

Timothy Wilson, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia, performed a study to see how easy it was for people to sit quietly with themselves for a few moments, left to their own devices and with nothing at hand to keep them busy:
  • Individuals were placed in sparsely furnished rooms and asked to put away their belongings, such as cellphones and pens.
  • They were then asked to be alone with their own thoughts for 6-15 minutes.
  • Later, others were given the same assignment, but were allowed to do it from the comfort of their own home.
Now considering the many challenges life imposes on us, entertaining ourselves with our own thoughts for a few minutes seems like one of the easier hurdles to overcome:
  • We have this huge brain stocked full of pleasant recollections and the ability to generate enlivening fantasies and visualizations…
  • We could recall our favorite childhood memory, plan our weekend, try to solve a complex problem we’re dealing with at work, or even dream up a greater vision for our lives that we’d like to make real…
  • Surely it can’t be that hard to spend a few minutes enjoying ourselves with our own thoughts, can it?
But guess what: Regardless of their environment, age, or even their typical engagement with technology like smartphones and the Internet, almost no one really enjoyed it! But here’s what was even more ‘shocking:’
  • At the start of the study, all participants had been given an electric shock. And most people experienced this as so uncomfortable, that they were actually willing to pay for it to not get another one.
  • But when they were spending their time alone and given the opportunity self-administer the same electric shock, more than 50% of the participants actually chose to do so!

So here’s what this study suggests:

Apparently, for most of us it feels so uncomfortable to be alone with our own thoughts for a mere 6-15 minutes, that we’d rather hurt ourselves with the kind of electric shock that we’d normally pay for to avoid!

Electric Shock

So that’s one of the reasons we’re subconsciously inclined to keep ourselves busy:

We seek to avoid this perceived pain of ‘nothing-ness.’

But why does ‘nothing-ness’ feel so uncomfortable in the first place?

Well, that’s the other reason we often keep ourselves ‘stuck in a rush’ – it’s because doing so also leads to direct emotional payoff.

Here’s how…

The Pleasure of ‘Busy-ness’

In many ways, the evolution of our brain hasn’t kept up with the high rate of change in our environments and ways of life that took place over the past millennia, and especially in the last few decades.

As a result, to a large extent our brains are still wired to react to what happens around us in ways that may have fit the hunter-gatherer era, but keep shaking us up less constructively in our modern-day world.

In short and simplified terms:

  • Consider the imminent dangers to our lives (<-- e.g. predators, enemies, climate…) and day-to-day struggles (<-- e.g. safeguarding food and resources, finding a suitable mate, protecting family and peers…) in the hunter-gatherer age…
  • In an environment like that, any type of attitude or behavior that would increase our chances of survival and procreation was useful to the furtherance of the human species.
  • As a result, the human brain evolved in such a way that it would come to automatically encourage those types of attitudes and behaviors, which it did – and still does – with a ‘reward’ in the form of a pleasurable emotional surge.

But today, that neurological ‘wiring’ can actually work against our well-being and ability to thrive in life. Here’s why:

  • Since our brains are – to a large extent – still wired to the environment of times past, they often ‘mindlessly’ react with ‘emotional reward’ to events and stimuli that are totally irrelevant.
  • So what traditionally proved itself to be evolutionarily useful may no longer be as beneficial in today’s completely changed world…

In concrete, our brains keep falling for numerous debilitating illusions:

Emotional Reward #1: The Illusion of Utility Being busy typically makes us feel productive and useful, as though we’re somehow contributing to important progress. And by the same token, other people often praise the tenacity and relentlessness involved in ‘hard work’ and ‘sacrifice’ to some perceived greater good. To our brains, these perceptions of utility and social approval are evolutionarily beneficial, and thus ‘rewarded’ with a pleasurable emotional surge. But here’s the corollary: When we don’t have anything to do for a while – for instance, when we’re temporarily out of a job – we miss that pleasure of ‘ongoing usefulness’ and ‘communal acclaim.’ As a consequence, we often feel like we’re supposed to be busy, wear (perceived) busyness as a badge of honor, and can actually feel useless, guilty and ashamed for (blatantly) doing nothing (<-- although there are always exceptions to that rule). That’s one thing that can inadvertently keep us ‘stuck in a rush,’ but there’s more…
Emotional Reward #2: The Illusion of Efficiency Today’s ubiquity of smartphones, tablets and access to the Internet makes it easy to fill up any arbitrary idle moment with something to do. Wedded to technology and entertainment, many of us use every minor instance of waiting – for instance on the bus, or standing in line for the ATM, the fitting room, or even the loo – to quickly check our inbox, send a message, pay a bill, or buy something online. What’s more – this habit can actually give us the illusory sense of being efficient: We may feel like we’re actually gaining time if we already check our work e-mail at home before even getting into the office, or when we can set a date to meet with friends by sending a few Whatsapp messages while still working on an important job. And let’s be honest – it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, does it? I mean, how much time does it really take to take a quick peek at the smartphone? Surely that can’t matter much… Well, truth is that all these little interruptions fritter away our time and take up valuable space in our minds. For instance, according to Belgian neuro-psychiatrist Theo Compernolle, the little ping that announces an incoming e-mail, text message, or other notification dilutes our focus for about a minute and a half. [5] So consider this:
  • Let’s say in a single hour of working on this article my phone had been pinging 20 times – which is certainly not an uncommon number for folks who’ve got their smartphone’s push notifications turned on…
  • That means my concentration would have been lost for about 30 minutes (<-- i.e. half the time!)even if I didn’t read the actual messages!
“Well,” you might say, “then just don’t pay attention to these little interruptions… Problem solved, right?” Well, not entirely… Because to our brain, all these little (trivial) interruptions are in fact extremely interesting, serious and urgent. Here’s why…
Emotional Reward #3: The Illusion of Urgency Ages ago, when our ancestors were still running around as hunter-gatherers, it was vital to react to things like…:
  • Sudden changes in sound (<-- back then the sound of a snapping branch indicating a predator or enemy closing in – today the little beep of our smartphone)
  • Things that move fast (<-- back then a saber-toothed tiger rushing toward us to attack – today the flashing lights on our phones and in the commercials we see everywhere)
  • Availability of food, drink, and other resources (<-- which were often scarce back then, but typically ubiquitous and even over-abundant today – with exceptions, of course)
Likewise, social information and gossip were important to consider and react to as well:
  • Our ancestors lived in tribes of about 50-150 people.
  • So if during our entire life we only knew about a hundred folks – of whom we’d also merely interact directly with just about twenty – then pretty much everything they had to share was relevant.
But ever since, the sheer amount of social information coming at us has literally exploded, especially the past few years:
  • We’re now bombarded with it from all directions and all the time – through e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, and so on.
  • And the number people we ‘know’ and keep track of these days – including celebrities from all over the world – has increased enormously along with it.
So while most of today’s social messages are really not that urgent at all, to our brain – which is still wired like in the old days – it feels like they are. And that leaves us with the issue of false urgency:
  • Back in the day it may have been essential to pay attention to ‘gossip’ about a member of the tribe who had gone crazy raping others’ mates and killing people…
  • Yet today it’s far less essential to hear about Paris Hilton’s latest antics, Justin Bieber smoking a joint, or some Kardashian’s new butt implants.
Tabloid Headline That’s also why we can have a hard time withstanding the temptation to spend every other minute checking how many people ‘liked’ our latest Facebook post, while we may have far more important matters on our hands. But it’s not just a matter of distinguishing relevant and irrelevant social information… In fact, it turns out that our brains have a hard time in general deciding what is and what isn’t important: According to neuroscientist Daniel Levithin, the decision making network in our brain simply doesn’t prioritize. [6] In other words, it considers the question of what socks to wear today just as urgent as the need to solve that complex issue that’s claiming our entire life. Big Decisions & Priorities And that’s exactly where we run into the next problem: Because every single day, we’re literally engulfed with such little ‘urgent’ choices and decisions…
Emotional Reward #4: The Illusion of Optimal Gratification Today, most of us are faced with a bewildering – if not plain overwhelming – variety of choices in many areas of our lives: Food, electronics, entertainment, utilities, college courses, retirement plans, medical and alternative care, job options, religious and spiritual observance, love interests... even decisions about how we identify ourselves, and – with the advent of cosmetic surgery – how we want to look All of these areas confront us with a number of options to choose from that’s simply unprecedented in the history of human life. Now essentially, to our brain, more choice is better – it traditionally enhanced our sense of autonomy, control and liberation. But it turns out that too much choice rather has a debilitating effect: In his book The Paradox of Choice, psychologist Barry Schwartz makes a convincing case, illustrating with scientific research and relevant examples, that the plethora of options available to the average person can actually be detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being: [7] That’s because making rationally well-founded decisions involves a complex process of evaluation and weighing options against each other. So the information processing involved in consciously choosing certain options while simultaneously ignoring others, simply becomes overwhelming when there are too many alternatives to choose from:
  • We come to feel overloaded, unable to cope…
  • Then once we do make a choice, we often regret all the options we didn’t choose, and we can end up feeling even more disappointed with ourselves if the decision we made turns out badly…
  • Moreover, we experience the fear of missing out if we don’t stay continuously connected and/or pay attention to every possible social interaction, novel experience, profitable investment or other potentially satisfying event we may want to partake in…
  • Plus, the time we devote to evaluating options and making decisions is taken away from the time we have available for other, more rewarding aspects of life, such as forming and enjoying close relationships and doing fulfilling work.
Altogether, this further contributes to a congested, overwhelmed and overstimulated mind.

So in summary:

  • What starts out as apparently harmless and perhaps useful emotional reward, for many of us ultimately results in an ongoing and debilitating sense of rush, overwhelm and exhaustion.
  • We simply feel completely stuckparalyzed by the over-abundance of opportunities… and trapped running the metaphorical hamster wheel trying to work our way through what feels like an overpowering amount of stuff to do in too little time…

Hamster Wheel In Mind

And we have no idea how we can get out of that race and find our peace… Because being rushed, harried and overwhelmed comes with a tunnel vision that simply can’t see a way out.

This mental and emotional state is what we refer to as ‘busyness blues’…

‘Busyness Blues’

The more our minds are filled up, the harder it is for our brain to see what’s really important and what’s not. And as a result, we just keep running about… all the while resisting our lot, yet continuously pushing through – possibly to the point of burn-out.

A well-known illustration of this type of tunnel vision is the parable of the woodcutter – popularized by Stephen Covey in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

The Parable of the Woodcutter: A woodcutter strained to saw down a tree. "The Woodcutter" by Camille Pissarro Meanwhile, a young man was watching and asked: “What are you doing?” “Are you blind?” the woodcutter replied, “I’m cutting down this tree.” The young man was unabashed. “You look exhausted! Take a break. Sharpen your saw.” The woodcutter explained to the young man that he had been sawing for hours and did not have time to take a break. The young man pushed back: “If you sharpen the saw, you’d cut down the tree much faster.” But the woodcutter said: “I don’t have time to sharpen the saw. Don’t you see I’m too busy? I have to cut down this tree!”

The original moral of this story is that we should take time to rest, so that we remain healthy and capable of delivering effective work…

But the deeper insight to be gained from it is actually something else:

The real issue is not that the woodcutter doesn’t take time to sharpen his saw… Rather, like most of us who are ‘stuck in a rush,’ he doesn’t even see the need for it:

  • The more we’re rushing, the less we notice we’re doing so – stress and pressure simply narrow our focus, which makes us lose our larger perspective and capacity for accurate deliberation.
  • The only thing the woodcutter – like ourselves on a ‘hurry high’ – thinks, is: Keep going – no matter what!”

Too Busy For Wheels

In this state, new incitements and stimuli all seem equally urgent. In fact, every next one seems more pressing than the one before, and we typically find ourselves hasting from one thing into the next:

  • We think that if we could just finish all the items on our ‘to do’-list first, then we’ll have all the time and space we need for the truly important stuff.
  • But the end of the list never comes, so we just keep going, all the time, without ever stopping…

All the while our implicit focus remains on keeping busy, as a result of which we keep recreating that reality for ourselves. And while we’re at it, we actually keep pushing away the very experience of ‘peace’ we think we’re working so hard to create.

What’s worse – suffering from our ‘busyness blues’ we simply can’t see any other solution than to just keep working away, and often resign ourselves to what we now consider to be our ‘fate’… be it under heavy emotional protest and constant mental resistance.

There’s also good news though:

While it may always not seem so, we actually do have a choice…

Do You Want To Be Full, Or Fulfilled?

Here’s the treacherous thing:

The short-term burst of emotional reward (discussed above) can make us feel pretty good about ourselves in the moment:

  • We think we’re productive, efficient and useful when we spend day after day running about… doing laundry… working through a whole list of emails… rushing into a store to quickly buy something on our way somewhere else… hastily answering a couple of Whatsapp messages on our way… and quickly paying an invoice while we’re online anyway.
  • This way of jumping from one thing to the next and doing everything at the same time makes us feel extra efficient.
Indeed, research at Stanford University shows that regular multitaskers are truly convinced that doing so helps their performance. But the same research actually proves the opposite: [8]
  • It shows that multitasking is actually less productive than doing a single thing at a time.
  • It even turns out that frequent multitaskers are actually worse at multitasking than those who are used to focusing on one thing only!
The reason why they performed worse was because they had more trouble organizing their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information, and were slower at switching from one task to another. Multitasking

And it’s not just that…

Every item we can cross off our ‘to do’-list gives us a pleasurable ‘emotional fix’ from the idea that we’re making progress, which is even more deceptive. Here’s why:

  • The minor and less important items on our ‘to do’-lists are often also the relatively straightforward things to do…
  • As a result, we’re typically inclined to focus on those minor things first, in order to make a ‘quick emotional score’ and hold up the illusion that we’re making great progress towards our goals…
  • But overall, the stuff we consider truly important actually gets the least of our attention that way!

So following our natural and emotional instincts, we typically not only end up feeling rushed and exhausted under the false impression that we are at least working towards realizing our visions…

In truth, we also direct most of our energy and attention not toward, but away from what we say we really want in our lives!

Avoidance Ecard

And as a result, we hardly ever manifest the outcomes we truly long for…


Sometimes – either after a long day, or perhaps only when we finally take a vacation – we wake up from our ‘multitask myopia’ or ‘hurry high,’ and ask ourselves what we’ve really accomplished…

And only then do notice we haven’t really made any significant progress towards what we really want… let alone experienced it.

We find ourselves full, but completely unfulfilled… and slowly but steadily run on empty when it comes to energy, inspiration and lust for life.

But fortunately, we all have the ability to stop, reflect and turn the tables in our favor!

Here’s how…

Conclusion: 3 Simple Strategies To Turn The Tables

First of all, we all know about the obvious practices that support peace of mind and train our mental deliberation and control, like meditation and mindfulness.

But by themselves those disciplines don’t immediately get us (proactively) engaged in directing our energies toward bringing about the results and experiences we want to manifest in life.

For that, the following three practices will help:

Strategy #1: The 95/5 Rule Think carefully about what you find really important in life:
  • Choose 3-5 areas of interest that you want to improve in your life, giving with equal importance to both your personal and professional life.
  • Don’t choose what you think you should, but in particular what you want.
(It could be to learn something new, spend time with your family, enhance your health and vitality, contribute to your community, spend time in nature, acquire new customers – whatever it is you consider truly important in your life.) If you have trouble coming up with your personal priorities in life, the following questions may help point you in the right direction (<-- relate these things to your average day):
  • Which parts of your personal and professional life do you find truly important?
  • Why do you do what you do?
  • What makes you feel proud of yourself?
  • Which things do you do just naturally, without much effort or will power?
  • What or who gives you positive energy?
  • What do you find less important?
  • What doesn’t make you happy?
  • What or who typically drains you, or feels so challenging or unnatural that it takes up all your will power to do it?
Obviously, the latter three questions suggest things you should pay less attention to, while the first five indicate things you might want to consider making more important. Once you’ve defined your priorities for the 3-5 areas of interest, make sure you spend 95% of your time on them during your average day. Pretty much everything you do must fit one of these areas of priority. The remaining 5% can consist of all kinds of things – doing your daily household chores, exploring the Internet for nice locations to travel to, helping out a friend or a colleague with something… that’s all fine, as long as it doesn’t exceed the 5%. If it does, that means you’re spending too much time on things that are not important to your happiness, on other people’s priorities, or on insignificant details. In other words: You’re directing your focus away from your own goals and priorities.
Strategy #2: The Daily Priority Monitor When we’re totally overwhelmed by ‘busy-ness,’ we typically need a break before we’re able to see and think clearly again. (<--Sometimes we even need to take some time off to be able to notice how completely absorbed we’ve been by the minor issues of the day.) So as a new habit, plan regular moments into your (average) day to reflect, cut through all the daily clutter and distractions, and focus on those key items that are truly the top priorities in our lives. Harvard Business Columnist Peter Bregman suggests we take 18 minutes for this on a daily basis, spread across the day as follows: [9]
  • 5 minutes in the morning:
    Make a planning for the day and write it down. You must be able to categorize everything you intend to do under the 3-5 priorities you set with Practice #1, or under the remaining 5%. Make sure you perform the most challenging tasks first, before reading your e-mails or any other type of messages!
  • 8 minutes spread over the day:
    Set an alarm to go off every hour. Whenever you hear it, take a deep breath, and ask yourself: - “Is what I’m doing the most essential thing for me to do right now in light of the priorities I’ve set?” - “Am I being who I want to be at this moment?” - If not: “What can I do right now to be who I want to be and do what’s most essential at this point?”
  • 5 minutes at night:
    Evaluate the day, and compare it to your priorities. Ask yourself: - “Did I do what I wanted to do today?” - If not: “What kept me from doing so?” - “What will I do (different) tomorrow?”
Strategy #3: Single Focus Sprints We all have lots of things to do, but we can’t keep going on and on forever… In the long run, our energy, inspiration and creativity will suffer greatly, as will our productivity and efficiency. Fortunately, there’s a better way to remain productive and efficient, while also retaining mental clarity, energy and inspiration: From now on, divide your day into dedicated Single Focus Sprints – i.e. blocks of time during which you’re fully concentrated on one thing only – alternated by moments of mental relaxation:
  • Start with blocks of 50 minutes of such critical focus time, followed by a 10 minute break.
  • Once you’ve got that nailed, you can slowly work up to 90 minutes of focus time, alternated with 15-20 minute breaks.
During these focused blocks of time, dedicate all your attention to one single thing, task, or situation. For example:
  • When you’re doing important work, focus exclusively on the task at hand. (<-- So don’t constantly check your messages, make phone calls, or watch video.)
  • When you’re spending time with your family, that’s where your attention goes. (<-- Don’t check your work e-mail, Facebook, Instagram, or whatever, and don’t make any simultaneous phone calls.)
  • Etc.
With these Single Focus Sprints, the regular moments of mental relaxation are crucial! We may think we don’t have time for them, but research shows they actually makes us a lot more efficient and productive: [5,10]
  • The archiving part of our brain stores information into memory, which is essential to maintaining our mental clarity and energy, as well as our intellectual productivity, inspiration and creativity.
  • But this system only gets the opportunity to do so when we take a break from focusing – such downtime is our mental way of catching breath and recovering.
Arranging our days this way, we’ll no longer end up frustrated with that repeating sense of lack of progress, yet still feeling drained from (the perception of) working so hard… Instead:
  • We’ll feel much more fulfilled with the important things we accomplish on a consistent basis, while still retaining our mental clarity, energy and vitality throughout the day. And on top of that:
  • The quality of our sleep will improve as well, which further supports even greater energy, efficiency and well-being every next day.

Put these three practices to work for you for just a couple of weeks, and you’ll begin to notice the difference in your life sooner rather than later:

  • You’ll experience greater mental clarity, enhanced productivity, and much higher sense of fulfillment… both personally and professionally. And moreover:
  • You’ll find peace in your mind – without having to withdraw yourself from life, but rather by keeping yourself constructively engaged and consistently creating the outcomes you long for!

And across the board, that just feels awesome!

Dream Achiever

P.S. Please share your thoughts by placing a comment below – I’d love to hear from you!


[1] Schulte, B. (2014), Overwhelmed: How To Work, Love, And Play When No One Has The Time, Sarah Crichton Books, New York NY, p.4;

[2] Schulte, B. (2014), Overwhelmed: How To Work, Love, And Play When No One Has The Time, Sarah Crichton Books, New York NY;

[3] Colvile, R. (2016), The Great Acceleration: How The World is Getting Faster, Faster, Bloomsbury USA, New York NY;

[4] Wilson, T.D., Reinhard, D.A., Westgate, E.C., Gilbert, D.T., Ellerbeck, N., Hahn, C., Brown, C.L. and A. Shaked (2014), “Just Think: The Challenges of the Disengaged Mind,” Science 345(6192), pp. 75-77;

[5] Compernolle, T. (2014), BrainChains: Discover Your Brain and Unleash Its Full Potential In a Hyperconnected Multitasking World, Compublications, Belgium;

[6] Levithin, D.J. (2014), The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload, Penguin Random House LLC, New York NY;

[7] Schwartz, B. (2004), The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, Harper Perennial, New York NY;

[8] Ophir, E., Nass, C. and A.D. Wagner (2009), “Cognitive Control in Media Multitaskers,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106(37), pp. 15583-15587;

[9] Bregman, P. (2011), 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done, Business Plus, New York NY;

[10] Schwarz, T., Gomes, J. and C. McCarthy (2010), The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance, Simon and Schuster Inc., New York NY.

Do you feel like something is missing in your life?

Perhaps from a logical point of view you realize that you’re supposed to be happy with what you have…

But still, your heart yearns for more…

But more of what?

  • More money?
  • A more fulfilling job?
  • A more rewarding business?
  • Deeper and more satisfying relationships?
  • Better health?

When we feel a void of some kind in our lives, we’re often quick to focus our aspirations on all kinds of external means and measures that we think might fill that void.

But then we’re always told that in order to manifest such desires, we first need to “have an abundance mentality,” “be happy right now,” and “be grateful for what we already have.”

While this council is obviously well-intended and does indeed have merit, for many of us it feels like a bit of a catch-22:

  • How can we be happy when we’re not really happy?
  • And what are we supposed to do if the things we think will make us happy will only come to us if we are happy first?

Good news – there’s a solution to this conundrum:

What we need is a boost. And we’ll get it from taking our ‘manifesting vitamins.’

In this article, we’ll explore what these ‘vitamins’ are, and how to take them in.

So let’s get started!

What’s Missing In Your Life?

Have you ever heard this story?

The Good Life Parable
One day a fishing boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them. Good Life Parable “Not very long,” answered the Mexican. “But then why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the American. The Mexican responded: “Those fish are enough for feeding my family, I didn’t need to catch any more.” The American asked: “But what do you do with the rest of your time?” “Well,” said the Mexican, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children and take a siesta, and enjoy spending as much time with my wife as possible. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs... I have a busy life.” The American interrupted: “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You need to become more productive while fishing. Spend more time on the ocean and catch some extra fish. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. “With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. Then you can increase the amount of fish you catch and keep improving the performance of the boat, which should increase your catch per day even further. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and then a third one and so on, until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and large distributors and maybe even open up your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City or Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge enterprise.” “How long would that take?” asked the Mexican. “Could take fifteen or twenty years,” replied the American. “And after that?” “Afterwards? That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the American laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!” “Millions? Really?! And then after that?” “Well... then you can retire... “You'll be able to live in a tiny fishing village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta, and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying the company of your wife and friends.”

While most people will identify themselves with the fisherman in the in the story above, many of us still live our lives based on the businessman’s philosophy.

When you give it some thought, you’ll probably notice that you have a few desires of your own on your wish list:

  • Perhaps you want a bigger house in a quieter area outside the city…
  • Maybe you’d like a new job that’s more appropriate to your ambitions and yields greater financial benefit…
  • Perhaps you’d even like to run a successful business of your own…
  • Or maybe you’d enjoy driving a fancy car that gets people to turn their heads…

In short, if you’re anything like most people, you always seek to shape and mold your life in the best ways you can imagine.

But here’s the thing:

  • Many of us remain fidgety or even downright unhappy as long as we don’t have the thing we (think we) want – and this makes our pursuits high-strung from the outset, because the driving motivation is to fill a void.

    And as we know, this very lack of happiness places constraints on our ability to manifest our desires (<– let alone do so with grace, ease and flow), because it puts us in ‘reactive mode.’

  • Besides, it’s often unclear if our compulsory aspirations and contrived pursuits will indeed give us the kind of fulfillment we really seek once we actually do happen to manifest them.
    In fact, all too often it turns out that the thing we desired for so long ultimately doesn’t give us the lasting sense of satisfaction and happiness we hoped for and intended (<– depending on what we really value), and we end up thinking: “Now what?”
For Example:

  • For many of us, that long-desired promotion with greater financial benefit didn’t get us to suddenly jump out of bed with excitement every morning and whistle in delight all our way to work.
    In fact, our new job (or business) might be so hectic that we feel like we’re completely overtaken by events and always lag behind.
  • For others, that bigger house with the extra rooms in that quiet area outside the city is still nice and beautiful…
    But the longer time to travel to and from work leaves a lot less time to play with our kids. And besides, we can no longer catch a quick movie or theatre show at last moment’s notice whenever we feel like it. Not to mention all the maintenance the house appears to require…
  • For still others among us, winning the lottery was great, but the initial excitement wore off quickly. And besides, the long-term effects are mixed, and definitely not always as great as we had grown accustomed to expect.
    Especially big wins seem to come with a lot more reason to worry about all the money. Besides, everybody suddenly wants to be our “friend” and always come begging for cash. Sometimes we even feel worse off than before winning. [1]
"Well, That Didn't Work: An Autobiography"

So let me ask you:

  • Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually invested our energies in the things that we’re absolutely sure of they really do give us the kind of happiness and satisfaction we long for…
  • … and simultaneously enhance our ability to manifest whatever further (external) desires we have with grace and ease, without needing to be so high-strung and tense about it because we feel like our entire sense of contentment in life depends on it?

That’s exactly what we need our ‘manifesting vitamins’ for:

  • Like regular vitamins are essential to the well-being and functioning of our physical body, manifesting vitamins are essential to our psychological health and well-being.
  • They support our ability to feel full, happy and inspired on a consistent basis… even before we may have actualized the dreams and visions we hold.
  • And as such, they not only support our ability to manifest any further desires we have with grace and ease, but also help us get crystal clear on what we really want out of life.

This is why they’re so essential to our success and fulfillment, regardless of where we are in our life and in relation to the grand dreams and visions we have for it.

So let’s explore what they are…

The 3 Essential Manifesting Vitamins

According to the modern psychological theory of self-determination, each and every one of us has three innate psychological needs: [2]

  • Autonomy: (<-- “I decide.”)
    This is our need to feel like we’re determining our own course, in control of our own behaviors and goals, and the causal agents of our own life experience.
  • Competence: (<-- “I can do this.”)
    This need refers to our desire to achieve mastery at tasks – i.e. to do something we’re good at and that notably matters by having an actual effect in relation to the outcomes we seek.
  • Relatedness: (<-- “I matter.”)
    This is our requirement for a sense of belonging – i.e feeling connected to other people, wanting to interact with them and experiencing caring for and from them.

All three of these needs are considered universal necessities that are fundamental to our sense of well-being… regardless of our race, color or creed, and no matter how ‘successful’ we think we are and appear to other people.

That’s why we refer to them as vitamins.

Like plants need water and sunlight to grow, we all need these three, equally important essential nutrients for our psychological health, development and well-being:

  • When satisfied, they allow for optimal functioning and growth:
    Conditions supporting our experience of these three aspects foster the most volitional and high-quality forms of motivation and engagement for our pursuits and activities, including enhanced performance, persistence, and creativity.
  • When not sufficiently catered to, they limit our performance and well-being:
    The degree to which any of these three needs is not supported or thwarted in our lives will have a detrimental effect on our psychological health and functioning, and by extension on our ability to maintain the state that’s key to manifesting our desires (<– i.e. ‘Creative Mode’).

For example, let’s explore a few illustrations from contemporary science:

1) These three needs determine the difference between a good day and a bad day:
  • Whether we have a good or a bad day appears to depend on the extent to which our three fundamental needs are satisfied.
    One study among students showed that the days on which they felt most vital were those on which they…: [3]
    (a) Could spend their time on things they chose to do themselves (<-- i.e. greater sense of autonomy)
    (b) Could do things they were good at (<-- i.e. a greater sense of competence)… and:
    (c) Were able to spend quality time and have meaningful conversations with other people (<-- i.e. a greater sense of relatedness).
  • For similar reasons most of us feel better on weekend days than on week days.
    This is likely because we…: [4]
    (a) Typically determine our own schedule, instead of it being dictated by our boss or our work in general (<-- i.e. a greater sense of autonomy)
    (b) Don’t necessarily have to do overly straining work or complex tasks that challenge our sense of aptitude (<-- i.e. a greater sense of competence)
    (c) Spend more time with friends, family and/or whoever we feel good with, beyond mere co-workers (<-- i.e. a greater sense of relatedness).
    (By the same token, workplaces that support the three needs will greatly foster people’s well-being and performance on the job.)
Vitamins At Work 2) These three needs determine the difference between fulfilling and unfulfilling ‘success:’ Even when we seem to have everything we could ever want from a logical point of view (<-- for example, a good job or a profitable business, a great relationship, sweet kids, etc.), we may still feel like something is missing in our lives. One study compared public service lawyers with lawyers in the most prestigious positions: [5]
  • Even though the latter group made a lot more money, they experienced a diminished sense of well-being compared to the first group, and regularly drank too much alcohol.
  • This significantly correlated with the fact that the public service lawyers experienced a healthier sense of autonomy, and a feeling that their work made a difference (<-- i.e. competence) by being rooted in values and serving a purpose greater than themselves (<-- i.e. relatedness).
A similar principle often explains why so many millionaires and successful business people are still depressed and unhappy. For some of them, their job or business…:
  • … runs them rather than the other way around (<-- i.e. a diminished sense of autonomy)
  • … makes them feel overtaken by events and the complexity of managing it all, always lagging behind and feeling out of control (<-- i.e. a diminished sense of competence)
  • … got them to spend too much time away from family and friends (<-- i.e. a diminished sense of relatedness).
3) These three needs even seem to determine the difference beween good and bad sex: One study involved a group of people who reported on their sex life, and concluded that when they would describe their sexual experience as good, they…: [6]
  • Had the experience that they actually influenced what happened between the sheets (<-- i.e. autonomy)
  • Were convinced of their skills as lovers (<-- i.e. competence)
  • Felt strongly connected with their partners (<-- i.e. relatedness).

In short:

Both for our success in making real the dreams and visions we hold for our lives, as well as for our overall sense of well-being, satisfaction, happiness, and fulfillment, we need to ensure we get our ‘manifesting vitamins!’

So let’s do a little check-up…

Are You Short On Any Vitamins?

Apparently, if we feel like something is missing in our life, we’re really experiencing a momentary deficiency in one or more of the three essential vitamins.

And this can have an enormous impact on our entire disposition:

  • It can determine the kinds of goals and aspirations we’ll seek to pursue.
  • It can even (adversely) influence our general outlook on life, along with our sense of feeling secure, abundant and in control.

This typically makes our desires and aspirations a direct reflection of our vitamin levels:

  • If we’re generally full on them, our pursuit is typically uncontrived and rooted in a state of abundance, and a ‘playful’ intention to expand our excitement and fulfillment in life.
We’ll seek to expand our already existing sense of autonomy, expand our already existing sense of competence, and expand our already existing sense of relatedness from the inside out. For example:
  • That luxury car we always imagine driving would enhance our existing feeling of enjoyment and abundance in life.
  • That job we’re after or business we seek to setup would allow us to further develop our competence, skills and talents, and/or give us the greater autonomy that we know we can handle.
  • Setting up our own business would grant us the autonomy to better contribute our competence in order to more effectively fulfill an existing need in the marketplace (or answer an unfulfilled one).
  • That soul mate we desire is someone we seek to share, celebrate and further expand our joy in life with.
  • And if we’d even take part in a lottery in the first place, it would primarily be for the fun and excitement of the game and the prospect of a potential prize, but we wouldn’t depend on a win for our contentment in life.
In other words, we’re intrinsically motivated:
  • Our aspirations and visions are primarily driven from inside rather than solely for potential external rewards, and valued for their own sake and in their own right.
  • Rather than external measures and events, we consider ourselves the means/resource/vehicle for our sense of abundance and fulfillment in life.
  • If we’re deficient in any of them for longer periods of time, we’ll no longer seek to “expand what we already have inside,” but typically look for ways to compensate for the ongoing shortage.
We’ll set out to fill the void(s) we experience in contrived ways that are oriented from the outside in. For example, that fancy car, job, business, or mansion we’re after becomes a means to elicit a feeling of status and admiration, to seek for outer confirmation that we do in fact matter, and thus to compensate for our lack of a sense of relatedness. Being chronically deprived could actually lead to a sense of general helplessness, where our desires will merely be reflections of our perceived victim state and the belief that life owes us. This in turn leaves us inclined to look for ‘miracle cures’ and ‘magical events’ to deliver us. For instance:
  • That soul mate we think we need is the only vehicle we can think of to deliver us from our ongoing lack of a sense of relatedness.
  • That jackpot we’re after (or some other miraculous way to come into a pile of cash) is the only way we can imagine that would deliver us from our ongoing lack of autonomy and competence to create a great life for ourselves.
In other words, we’re completely extrinsically motivated:
  • Our aspirations and visions are merely instrumental to some other outcome that often remains elusive to us.
  • We don’t see ourselves, but rather external rewards and miracles as the means/resources/vehicles that can make our life better.
What’s more: By depending on factors outside ourselves for our self-determination we effectively relinquish our power to them. And all the time that these outer factors haven’t become real yet, our fundamental needs aren’t catered to either, making us still feel limited, unhappy and on edge. And even worse: When such deprivation is sustained for very long and/or from a very early age, we may even tend to an overall sense of futility in life, and no longer seeing the use of even trying to improve our lot. [7]

Now here’s the thing:

Many of us start our manifesting journey from a chronic manifesting vitamin deficiency. And as such, we risk setting ourselves up for failure from the outset. After all:

  • As our deprivation may have caused us to lose touch with ourselves, our genuinely inspired and internally motivated urges, and our capacity for self-determination, we never really get actively involved, much less fully committed to the process of creating a new and better reality for ourselves.
  • Instead, we effectively wait for some external change to happen first to give us the mere sense that we can, let alone the inspiration and fire that make the fact that we will create a fulfilling and rewarding new reality for ourselves inevitable.

By putting off our own involvement in the process that way and waiting for something or someone else to make the changes we seek for us, we’re basically putting the cart before the horse:

Putting The Cart Before The Horse

And as long as we’re short on our vitamins, we’ll always feel like this is our only choice.

That’s why it’s worth asking ourselves to what extent the desires and aspirations we currently seek to manifest are driven by a vitamin deficiency. Because if they are, we’ll greatly increase our chances of success if we resolve it directly and independent of the outcome we’re after.

The exact nature of our desires is not so much at issue here. (<– Whether it’s more money, a fancy car, your own business, a bigger house, a soul mate, etc., there’s nothing essentially wrong with wanting any particular one of these.)

The key is to drill down to the core of what’s motivating them:

  • Is your desire an uncontrived pursuit out of a ‘playful’ intention to make your life better by (further) expanding and carrying out what’s already lurking inside you, and to bring a new reality into being?
    In this case you’re intrinsically motivated: your aspirations and visions are primarily driven from inside rather than by means of external rewards.
    As such, they’re more likely to come to pass, because you’ll be better able to congruently align your energies in their direction, without hidden agendas or being easily thrown off course by the inevitable obstacles you’ll encounter along the way.
  • Or is your desire rather a high-strung chase designed to fill some kind of perceived void, and alleviate the discomfort your current reality is causing you?
    In this case, you’re merely extrinsically motivated: you don’t value your aspirations and visions for their own sake and in their own right, but merely see them as instrumental to gaining the sense of autonomy, competence and/or relatedness that you feel you’re missing deep inside.
    This means you’ll likely remain unhappy as long as they’re not fulfilled. And if they ever do come to pass, it’s doubtful whether they actually fulfill the deeper need you’re seeking to satisfy. But what’s more:
    They’re less likely to come to pass to start with, because it’ll be a lot harder to fully commit to them, as they’re really about something else. Consequently, you’ll be more easily thrown off course by the inevitable obstacles you’ll encounter along the way, or whenever the next shiny opportunity hijacks your attention.

So let’s take a moment to assess your disposition:

For each of the desires you seek to manifest, double-check if it’s not a vitamin deficiency that’s ultimately driving it. You can do so by asking yourself why you really want it:
  • “Do I ultimately want this because I feel incapable of defining my own course and/or make my own decisions?” (<-- If so, you’re deficient on the ‘autonomy’-vitamin.)
  • “Do I ultimately want this because I feel incapable of meeting the demands that are made of me?” (<-- If so, you’re deficient on the ‘competence’-vitamin.)
  • “Do I ultimately want this because I don’t feel like I matter enough?” (<-- If so, you’re deficient on the ‘relatedness’-vitamin.)
Please note:
  • It’s crucial to be radically honest in your assessment:
    It’s easy to justify our desires by pretending that they’re not driven by a vitamin deficiency when in truth they are.
    Don’t package your pursuit in a delusion that what you’re after is genuinely inspired if it’s really not. Fooling yourself doesn’t help you, but only sabotages your own chances of success.
  • Make sure you dig deep:
    In order to dig down to the core of what’s driving your desire, you may need to repeatedly ask yourself “why” you really want it (rather than just once), and not settle for the first answer your mind produces.
    Keep digging until you can no longer ask “why,” and then see how the answer you uncovered relates to the three questions above.

Now here’s an important thing to realize:

If your desires do indeed turn out to be rooted in a vitamin deficiency, that doesn’t immediately imply your focus is all wrong and that you have to immediately give up on it!

It just means that your pursuit is likely to get contrived and counterproductive by subtly reinforcing a scarcity mentality.

As mentioned before, in that case we’d be much better off catering to our vitamin deficiency directly, and making sure we’re essentially full on them regardless of whether our desires have come to pass yet.

Because only then will we be able to think and act out of an uncontrived abundance mentality. And the resulting high performance, creativity and inspiration (<– i.e. ‘Creative Mode’) will greatly increase the chances of our dreams becoming reality.

So let’s explore how to do that…

What To Do Next: Attend To A Vitamin Deficiency Directly

Once you’ve figured out what vitamin(s) you’re short on (if any), the best way to attend to them directly is by actively asserting them.

This may of course seem counterintuitive, and might in fact feel like the very last thing you’ll want to do (<-- precisely because we feel short on them and like we lack the inspiration to take these exact kinds of actions and measures)

But such a proactive approach (<-- which also originates within rather than without) is by far the most effective way of fulfilling them directly!

Here are some examples of how you can do so:

  • Instead of using controlling language, tangible rewards, imposed deadlines and external validation for your motivation, better cultivate intrinsic motivation by making a habit out of the second technique you learn in Video #4 of the Crack Your Egg Introduction Training.
  • Train yourself in the ‘Participant/Observer’-method, which you can learn in the first PDF of the Crack Your Egg Introduction Training. (<-- This will help you maintain your composure and sense of autonomy even in the most (emotionally) overwhelming situations.)
  • When you feel overtaken by events, back away even further by taking an actual ‘physical’ step back… even if only for a short while. Just give yourself some space to come back to your center again.
    For example, temporarily change your environment, do some physical exercise, take a walk in nature, do something you enjoy, and/or (regularly) sit down to meditate. (<-- This will help you get an hour’s worth of meditation in a mere twelve minutes, in case you feel like you’re too short on time.)
  • Learn new skill or enhance an existing one if you feel your current aptitude needs a boost for the task at hand (<-- for instance by means of a relevant training program, course or tutorial).
  • Make a habit out of using the first technique you learn in Video #4 of the Crack Your Egg Introduction Training, in order to deliberately create a consistent sense of competence and accomplishment. (<-- For a quick boost, combine this with regular completion of relatively straightforward tasks.)
  • Call a friend when your desire turns out to be motivated by a lack of admiration and/or appreciation (<-- and thus by extension by a deficiency in the ‘relatedness’-vitamin).
    Actually get together with them to have a good time and/or a good conversation. Take initiative by asking them about their interests, their needs, and what they’re about.
  • Seek out like-minded people to connect with, and actively connect with them in a likewise manner.
Double Whammies:
  • Get a good coach/mentor to train you into what you want to get better at. (<-- This can increase both your sense of competence and relatedness.)
  • Take on a task at home or at your job that has been around waiting to be done, and complete it. (<-- This can increase both your sense of autonomy and competence. Besides, doing this at your job shows you can handle more autonomy and competence, which in turn may lead to an appropriate promotion or change in job terms/conditions.)
  • Cultivate a hobby and/or certain type of exercise that you enjoy and that involves activity that comes natural to you. (<-- This can increase your sense of autonomy and competence. And if it involves participating in a group or team it can simultaneously contribute to your sense of relatedness.)
  • Do something helpful or good for another person out of our own free will. (<-- This can satisfy all three ‘manifesting vitamins’ at the same time, by doing it out of our own volition (autonomy), connecting with others (relatedness), and putting ourselves in a position to help them accomplish something (competence). It can even be as simple as described in this article.)
  • Very importantly: A greater sense of competence and autonomy also comes from a better and accurate understanding of life and its manifesting process (<-- especially when a chronic vitamin deficiency has led to an overall sense of helplessness and futility). You can gain this valid type of understanding in the Crack Your Egg Program.

These are all relatively straightforward things we can do ourselves, without having to passively wait for anything or anyone to come to our aid or to deliver us from our perceived predicament. They quickly, immediately and directly satisfy our three fundamental needs.

By doing so, we deliberately shift ourselves back into a healthy, natural state of psychological well-being, abundance and inner balance.

Because let’s face it:

  • We all feel better when we feel connected with other people (<-- i.e. relatedness).
  • We all feel better when we do something we’re good at and successfully complete a task (<-- i.e. competence).
  • We all feel better when we do something out of our own volition (<-- i.e. autonomy).

So from there, any further desires we may have will automatically become less contrived and more ‘playful,’ and no longer originate in a sense of missing something essential.

Instead, we’ll naturally put our energy into what’s really important to us in our heart of hearts, and we’ll find ourselves more productive, creative, inspired and better company to others.

And both our manifesting results and our life in general will shift accordingly.


The more manifesting vitamins we take in, the greater our sense of psychological well-being, and by extension the more easily and gracefully the process of our personal growth and manifesting our desires will unfold.

Of course, just like regular vitamins don’t magically make our body healthy, getting our manifesting vitamins doesn’t magically manifest all our desires all of a sudden.

However, just like regular vitamins support our physical body’s basic requirements for good health, well-being and performance, manifesting vitamins put us in a fundamentally abundant, centered, self-determined and balanced frame of mind, which in turn fosters our productivity, creativity and inspiration.

They help us “be happy and grateful now” and give us a sense of belonging in life where we essentially feel we have all we need to be able to deliberately make something beautiful out of our lives, without having to passively wait for a miracle to deliver us.

Now of course…:

  • Bona fide ‘miracles’ are absolutely possible, and the process of bringing our visions to reality can carry an almost ‘mystical’ dimension, where ‘strange coincidences’ and amazing synchronicities begin to occur on a regular basis that are hard to explain logically.
  • However, it’s highly unlikely that such events will ever take place if we continuously deny and disown our own vital and indispensible, active role in the process of bringing our visions to reality.

In that regard, here’s the key thing to realize:

  • Although it harbors “unlimited abundance” in the form of truly open-ended potential, the ‘universe’ is no Santa Clause or Tooth Fairy that just provides for any fleeting desire we express.
  • Instead, life will grow, enlarge and expand the energy that we ourselves bring to it.
  • But we’ll only feel up to bringing the right type of energy if our manifesting vitamin-levels are healthy.


Get your ‘manifesting vitamins!’

You now know how to do so, and your mind and soul will thank you for it.

And the fuller you are on them, the more you’ll notice your life getting better and better (and better).

P.S. Please share your thoughts by placing a comment below – I’d love to hear from you!

Vitamin Deficiency


[1] Landau, E. (2011), “Winning The Lottery: Does It Guarantee Happiness?,” CNN Website (Retrieved April 2015) – link;

[2] Deci, E.L. and R.M. Ryan (Eds.) (2002), Handbook of Self-Determination Research, University of Rochester Press, Rochester, NY;

[3] Sheldon, K., Ryan, R.M. and H.T. Reis (1996), “What Makes For A Good Day? Competence and Autonomy in the Day and in the Person,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 22, pp. 1270-1279;

[4] Ryan, R.M., Bernstein, J.H. and K.W. Brown (2010), “Weekends, Work and Well-Being: Psychological Need Satisfactions and Day of the Week Effects On Mood, Vitality, and Physical Symptoms,” Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 29(1), pp. 95-122;

[5] Krieger, L.S. and K.M. Sheldon (2014), “What Makes Lawyers Happy? Transcending the Anecdotes with Data from 6200 Lawyers,” FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 667;

[6] Smith, C.V. (2007), “In Pursuit of Good Sex: Self-Determination and The Sexual Experience,” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 24(1), pp. 69-85;

[7] Soenens, B., Vansteenkiste, M., Lens, W., Luyckx, K., Beyers, W., Goossens, L., and Ryan, R.M. (2007), “Conceptualizing Parental Autonomy Support: Adolescent Perceptions of Promoting Independence Versus Promoting Volitional Funcioning,” Developmental Psychology 43, pp. 633–646.

One of the most often repeated and widely spread buzzwords in the arenas of personal, business and spiritual development is the word ‘success.’

And indeed, ask the average entrepreneur, career-climber or student of life’s mysteries about their prime motivation to seek out personal improvement methodologies, and they’ll tell you they’re doing it to manifest ‘success’ in life.

But then what is ‘success’ really? What does it entail? What makes you ‘successful,’ and what would make you a ‘failure?’

Do you even know? For real?

“That’s easy…” you might say… “We all know what ‘success’ is, right?”

Well, contrary to what you might be inclined to think, it’s really not always that obvious. In fact, it’s a crucially important topic to consider and have a clear concept of, for multiple reasons:

  • On one hand, it’s necessary for the sake of getting crystal-clear on what we want out of life, and thus what to focus our energies on… But that’s not all:
  • On the other hand, it’s also a prerequisite to our inner alignment; without a clear concept of what ‘success’ is for us, we can’t make sure that we’re fully congruent and that we eliminate all chances of (subtle) self-sabotage in the pursuit of our dreams and aspirations.
  • But above all, if we don’t have a solid notion of it, we’ll likely (be it perhaps inadvertently) impose unnatural and unnecessary pressure on ourselves, in a way that often paralyzes the very power and potential we seek to exploit with the aim to materialize the ‘success’ we long for.

So make no mistake:

Embodying the lessons you’re about to learn can make all the difference in your life, and put you on the fast track towards the real, genuine and authentic kind of ‘success 2.0’ you’re after, and that may just transcend your wildest imaginations.

So let’s dig into it…

‘Success 1.0:’ A Dead-End Street…

As we begin our exploration, consider this for a moment:

When you think of success, what’s the first image that comes up for you?

For most people it would be some image of what’s collectively decreed to be the ‘material dream,’ which is no surprise:

Our contemporary societies tend to constantly stimulate, entice and exploit our five senses of seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and smelling, thus implicitly urging us to focus predominantly on the more material expressions of what are typically considered the essentials of ‘success.’

Material goods then become the yardsticks to measure the extent to which we’re ‘successful,’ and compare our status relative to others. And this quickly makes us define ‘success’ as our ability to flash more fancy goods, luxury items and money than other people.

And indeed, for reasons that will become clearer as we progress through this article, this notion of ‘success’ is constantly reinforced by a daily bombardment of advertising campaigns that underline this very motivation.

The propaganda for the average personal and spiritual growth program is no exception: A good example that resides at the nexus of personal and spiritual growth is the concept that’s popularly referred to as the ‘Law of Attraction.’ Many of the enlightened “teachers,” “experts,” “gurus,” and “trainers” on the subject do so by using images of the nature depicted below in support of their campaigns: Law of Attraction Success - Fancy Stuff Money, cars, mansions, private jets, a ‘look-at-us-being-all-conspicuous-flashing-our-cash’-polaroid… What’s the implicit message? ‘Success’ is when we can show off to others how (supposedly) significant we are by means of mentioned items.

Others, however, don’t necessarily share the concept of ‘success’ as our status on the modern-day ‘monkey rock,’ perhaps out of recognizing the many miserable millionaires and concluding that apparently “money and fame do not necessarily happiness make.”

And whether it’s out of fear, jealousy, guilt, resentment, religious directives, rebellion, or something else, some people actually adhere to an image of ‘doing well in life’ that’s rather the polar opposite, taking the supposed ‘moral high ground’ by opting for a righteous kind of frugality.

Now don’t get me wrong:

  • Essentially, there’s nothing inherently wrong at all with either of these types of focus. In fact:
  • This is not judgment of anyone’s image of success and a rewarding and fulfilling life. And whether it’s material riches, frugality, or anything in between for that matter, it’s all fine to pursue… provided that one condition is met (<– and you’ll learn what it is in the remainder of this article).
  • So instead of a judgment, this is rather an invitation to explore what’s really driving us underneath our superficial pursuits, and to make sure we don’t fool ourselves by (inadvertently) investing our precious energies in ventures that neither empower us, nor bring us the sense of ‘success’ we seek.

Because when we take a moment for some honest introspection, we allow ourselves to discover what our orientations really say, and how we may unconsciously direct our creative energies completely differently from how we consciously think…

In fact, as it turns out, most of us invest our energies in such a way that we inadvertently recreate the very types of circumstances we really seek to get out of.

And this is a subtle trap that goes unnoticed for most people…

The Trap Unseen

To elaborate more on this subtle ‘trap,’ let’s pick one of the most popular objects of focus as a ‘vehicle’ (<– pun intended) for doing so.

The phenomenon of the automobile has almost become an object of total obsession in many branches of personal and spiritual development. Apparently, for some people the epitome of harnessing their creative powers is the ability to ‘attract’ a fancy car.

So have you ever wondered about what happened along the evolution of humankind that made a tin can on wheels such a symbol of advanced personal and spiritual development?

It’s a fascinating topic to explore. Let me tell you a quick story that does a good job of illustrating the point I’m trying to make:

Some of us have established such a deep bond with our car that we’ve pretty much begun to identify with it and treat it as an actual person. For example:
  • When slight damage is inflicted on it, we react with incredible emotional intensity, get very upset, and behave in a way that’s far outside of what would normally be considered reasonable and rational. Think about it:

    In essence, a car is just a tin can on wheels, and regardless of the kind we may have (if we have one to start with), in several years we probably won’t be driving it anyway… So how bad is a little scratch on it really? But having identified with it, many of us think of ourselves and our car as one and the same, and act accordingly.
  • By the same token, to complete our car’s personification, some of us give it an actual name.
The latter is what a good friend of mine did. A while back, he had some guys ‘pimp his ride’ with all kinds of fancy bells and whistles. And he was really proud of it. So he gave his car a name. He called it Infinity. Of course, that’s all fine and swell. But then there was this other good friend of mine. This is the kind of guy who doesn’t really care that much about the kind of car he drives. The other day he needed to buy one, but the only criterion he had, was for him to be able to drive to work with it (<-- and back, he would add). So he bought the first set of wheels that he thought was sufficiently capable of doing that, and for which the price was right for him. Now I have to admit, the car he chose wasn’t an aesthetic masterpiece (at least not in the ‘spirit of age’). Nor did I get the impression that it was built based on the latest insights of aerodynamics, or with any country’s carbon footprint in mind for that matter. To get a bit of an idea, it looked much like this one: fancycar Obviously, my other friend (i.e. the owner of Infinity) would have dubbed it a piece of junk. But this guy couldn’t care less. In fact, he could see the fun of it. In humorous response to my other friend calling his car Infinity, he decided to give his car a name too. He called it Finity. True story.

What this little account above illustrates, is the relativity of concepts like ‘success:’ what one person considers to be dignified, could be considered by the next person as pathetic.

As I mentioned before, the trap is not so much in material riches or (righteous) frugality in and of themselves, or anything that lies in between for that matter.

The problem lies somewhere else…

And to see it for the problem that it is (<– so that we can subsequently transcend it), there’s no way around having to get real with ourselves.

Getting Real

We may not always realize it, but most of us mindlessly go along with a way of evaluating the question of whether or not we’re “doing well” in life that’s entirely dictated and imposed by our community and/or direct environment.

We just take whatever concept that is for self-evident, don’t give it any further thought, and mindlessly assume that what’s collectively decreed to be ‘success’ is what we’re supposed to want.

For example, most modern-day governments and societies assess a large deal of their ‘success’ based on the measure of ‘economic growth,’ implying that if the economy doesn’t grow, we’re supposedly in trouble.

That’s because our contemporary economical system thrives on consumption and the constant expansion of it. And the more we’re collectively able to consume, the more we’re considered to be ‘successful.’

As a result (in part), most of us automatically take on this belief by osmosis – and not surprisingly, because pretty much all we ever hear is that we have to buy more stuff… and not just to keep up with the Joneses, but almost as our actual ‘moral responsibility’ to keep the economy going.

But like we’re doing in this article with our overall, individual concept of ‘success,’ have you ever considered what ‘economic growth’ really is?

The term merely implies that there’s more money in circulation than before. That’s all there’s to it. Now think about that some more:

  • This means that if we (individuals and governments alike) borrow more money that we don’t have in order to acquire fancy stuff that’s supposed to testify to others of our alleged ‘success,’ we’ve contributed to the growth of the economy.
  • Likewise, when the weapons industry sells more of their product, it gives an impulse to economic growth.
  • And by the same token, when the turnover in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry increases, this makes yet another contribution to the expansion of the economy.

But ask yourself:

When things like that happen, is that really ‘success?’ Think about it:

  • Why do we (governments and individuals alike) need to borrow more money in the first place? Apparently we can’t make it work on our own. Is that ‘success?’
  • Why do we need more weapons to start with? Apparently, there’s more fear and chaos in the world and bigger and dirtier wars to fight. Is that ‘success?’
  • And why do we need more medicine and treatment in the first place? Apparently, more people are getting ill… Is that ‘success?’

When we get real, that can’t be the essence of what we’re really looking for… neither individually, nor collectively.

But mind you:

That certainly doesn’t mean we should all shift towards the other end of the spectrum and opt for righteous kind of frugality, as if the ‘moral high ground’ and/or ‘being spiritual’ equals being poor, living in a dump, and having no desires and aspirations in life.

That’s an equally ridiculous definition of ‘success.’ After all:

  • At present, money is still an important means of energy and value exchange in the world, and is really not the root cause of misery on our planet, just as little as it’s the true source of our power.
  • So who benefits if we use our righteousness about money and wealth to disempower ourselves by depriving ourselves of the very empowering instrument that could cause the ‘righteous’ visions and changes we like to see in the world to happen through us?

No one does, so that has as little to do with real ‘success’ as conspicuous materialism or any other pursuit that we don’t essentially agree with and/or that leaves us to feel empty in the end. Surely that can’t be the essence of what we’re really looking for either.

So long story short:

When we get real, what then is the real key when it comes to ‘success?’

The Key To Real Success

To repeat:

There’s nothing wrong with having a lot of money, or being well-known, or having fancy cars and big mansions. Like everything else, these are all just ‘thought fields’ and experience. (<– This is more thoroughly explained in the training PDF that comes with Session 2 of the free Crack Your Egg Introduction Course.)

But so many people get absorbed in pursuing the material ‘dream,’ that they forget about why they’re doing so in the first place.

A friend of mine used to say:

“Most people are so busy trying to make a living, that they forget to make a life.”

Look around, and you’ll see that most of us are ‘human doings’ (or ‘human-not-doings’) more than we are ‘human beings.’ In other words, life lives us, rather than the other way around.

Likewise, there’s nothing wrong with frugality if our preference is to lead a simple(r) life. Nor is there necessarily something amiss in anything that lies in between these two extreme examples.

But getting real forces us to dig deeper into ourselves, and may as such lay bare not only the potential misdirection of our pursuits, but also our deeper, underlying motivations along with it.

And when we do so honestly and genuinely, the crux of the matter reveals itself:


The real problem begins when we allow others (<– people and institutions alike) to impose their (often blindly accepted and equally misdirected) images of ‘success’ on us, and we consider their evaluations the verdict on whether we ‘made it’ in life or not.

So whatever it is you think you want – whether it’s a lot of money, a big mansion, a fancy car, a simple(r) life, a business of your own, making a particular kind of contribution to the world, anything – the real question is:

  • Why do you want it?
  • What’s the underlying motivation?

If it has anything to do with living up to someone else’s expectation or imposed vision for what we should or are supposed to be or do, then what we think is the ‘success’ we want is merely the ‘success’ we think we’re supposed to want.

And as such, it’s not an uncorrupted expression of our own creativity, but rather a statement in reaction to something or someone else.

And here’s the real crux of the issue:

In the very act of adhering to that image, we implicitly disempower ourselves in multiple ways:

  • We put our sense of self-worth at the mercy of other people’s approval or disapproval.
    We’ll look to others to confirm on our behalf whether we’re ‘doing well’ or ‘being successful.’

    And when we don’t succeed in their terms, we often consider ourselves a ‘failure’ because we don’t meet the externally imposed standard that may have never even really been our own.

  • Enough will likely never be enough.
    We’ll probably never feel satisfied and ‘successful’ because we’ll keep looking to others for a kind of approval that we can only give ourselves.

And in turn, this goes on to define the entire atmosphere around our implicit orientation. Simply put:

  • Don’t expect to “effortlessly attract” it if it’s merely something your father wanted for you.
  • Don’t think you’ll “easily manifest” it if it’s only something your family expects of you.
  • Don’t assume you’ll “magnetically draw it toward yourself” if you’re merely trying to live up to an image of what your community decrees you’re supposed to be.
  • Don’t suppose the path will be laid out for you by some greater power if you actually have to force yourself to commit to certain norms solely because they were imposed on you, or since they’re ‘normal’ in your immediate community.
  • Don’t expect a big reward merely because some guru says it’s the right road to travel.
  • Don’t count on a comfortable life experience if you constantly have to look outside yourself for confirmation and approval from others about whether you’re “doing well” in life or not.

If we do, we can try as we might by throwing a ton of positive affirmations, visualizations, subliminal messages, ‘success thinking MP3s’ and subtle rationalizations at our minds to try and convince ourselves that they’re really our own desires.

But our whole pursuit fails from the outset, because none of that will cancel out the fundamentally reactive (and thus non-creative) orientation we subcommunicate through the very act of living up to an externally imposed image of what we’re supposed to be and our need for confirmation and approval of others.

Either way, we’ll never be fully congruent; part(s) of us will be misaligned from our own authenticity, and we’ll never be able to fully invest our whole self in it. And so whatever we seek to ‘manifest’ will likely be an exercise in futility, or at best a practice of exhaustion.

Surely, true success (<– ‘Success 2.0’ that is…) must feel differently, right?

Indeed, it does…

Conclusion: What Is ‘Success 2.0?’

In the end, what we really seek is not ‘success’ or ‘happiness’ like many people think, but ultimately boils down to an ongoing sense of genuine, durable fulfillment that comes from being able to live life on our own, authentic terms.

That’s when our restless quest ends. And the only way to experience that on a continuous basis is to have an unyielding sense of inner congruence, rather than a constant need to fill (supposed) holes and alleviate pains and pet peeves.

This kind of success doesn’t require a particular end result… although the end results we think we seek usually do spring from this kind of congruence as a natural by-product.

Neither does it necessarily have to involve a specific activity (<– such as a particular kind of job, a certain form of altruism, or a distinct type of role).

After all, we can express our own passion and unique brand of creativity in many different ways, through many different professions, and many different roles. (<–In fact, the same profession, role, job etc. can be performed in many different ways and with many different underlying values, mentalities, attitudes and motives.)

It’s the fundamental inner congruence that’s essential, which allows us to fully invest all of ourselves in the things we do… whatever they are. This creates an unyielding sense of congruence and fulfillment that Ralph Waldo Emerson meant when he described ‘success’ as follows:

To laugh often and love much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics And endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, A garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

From that state of congruence, we’ll be in charge. That’s when we start to live life, as opposed to letting life live us.

Success, in that sense – ‘Success 2.0’ that is – can only be one thing for you:

What you – and you alone – define it to be.

And here’s how to get there…

Where To Go From Here?

The first step is to stop pursuing and/or adhering to images strictly because your community (<– whatever people and/or institutions that includes) considers that to be an accurate depiction of success.

So whatever images of success you hold in mind now, ask yourself:

  • Am I being honest with myself, or am I merely trying to live up to someone else’s expectations? (<– Even if that ‘someone’ is a certain group, institution, supposed ‘higher power,’ etc.)
  • Do I agree with these images of success, or is it merely to fill supposed a sense of lack, or to live up to an externally imposed image that I can’t really find, let alone invest myself in?
  • Does holding on to them create a constructive atmosphere around myself, or does it create unnatural, artificial, paralyzing pressure?

And from a more practical standpoint, ask yourself:

  • What kind of experience makes me feel fulfilled on a durable basis? And:
  • What exactly is it that I’m being and/or expressing when I feel totally fulfilled and completely self-expressed?

Make no mistake: this is a deep question and may require some serious contemplation and introspection. Or it may be blatantly obvious for you, like it is for some people.

But whatever comes up for you, find ways to embody that on a more continuous (or at least more regular) basis in all the various roles you have in life.

This way, you will build the inner congruence that’s the basis for the kind of success that’s real, genuine and authentic for you

And here’s what’s so ironic:

  • A true and genuine sense of abundance will result from it. And from this state, it suddenly turns out to be a lot easier to manifest even the kinds of luxurious wealth and resources you may currently (falsely) assume to be the prerequisites of ‘success.’
  • The difference will be that your ‘success’ will no longer depend on them, as they’ll longer be obsessions, imaginary and ever-moving finish lines, or supposed end objectives of your pursuits.
  • Instead, they’ll be the natural by-products of an authentic sense of ‘congruence,’ ‘success’ and ‘abundance’ that you embody on a continuous basis.
  • And you’ll be able to enjoy and ‘summon’ them in a playful fashion as means to self-expression and the fulfillment that comes with it… just not as essentials that are supposed to fill gaps and testify to others of your alleged ‘success.’

This way, you’ll no longer be in pursuit of success and fulfillment anymore. (<– This state of ‘being in pursuit’ will only manifest – and thus perpetuate – a reality of being in pursuit and on the path towards it.)

Instead, you’ll already be there. And from there you’ll allow things to come into being and be drawn into your orbit, rather than remaining stuck in a perpetual chase.

It’s a small difference in perception and attitude, but one with truly profound effects… as you’ll see.

It takes any unnecessary and unnatural pressure off that used to be (self-)imposed, which in turn makes you produce a whole different kind of ‘music,’ and dance to an entirely different kind of ‘tune’…

… a tune that – when given the chance to be heard – will ultimately manifest the true, genuine and authentic success you really seek (even if that includes material riches or a simpler existence).

So do the exercises outlined above, and go make it happen, whatever ‘Success 2.0’ is for you.

And don’t let anyone – including yours truly – distract you or tell you otherwise!

P.S. Together we can make a difference – please share this article with others and leave a comment:

Recently I got a new cell phone subscription. It came with a whole new cell phone as well – “for free,” as the slick offer put it, although my monthly subscription payments eventually cover more than well for its cost.

Anyway, it’s quite a piece of technology, and I’ve been spending lots of time figuring out just a fraction of the stuff I can do with it. It’s obvious that I won’t even use most of it. But it does have this GPS functionality that I do like.

Just in case you don’t know what GPS is, it stands for ‘Global Positioning System.’ It’s basically a satellite system that allows the GPS receiver installed on my phone to calculate my exact position on the globe.

When I give in coordinates or address info for another position that I want to go to, an app on my device can then calculate the shortest or fastest way to get there.

Pretty neat, right? With a gadget like this, you can’t really get lost anymore. That is, if the device is first able to locate my current position. After all:

We only get lost because we don’t know where we are. Without that basic information, we can’t find the way home. The app will never be able to figure out how to get to where we want to be if it doesn’t know where we are to start with.

Now it’s worth realizing it’s pretty much the same thing in life… kind of like John Lennon used to sing:

“How can I go forward when I don’t know which way I’m facing?
How can I go forward when I don’t know which way to turn?”

And in order to be able to plot a reasonable course for ourselves in life, one of the most essential starting coordinates is our concept of “who we are.”

Because without having a more-or-less accurate view of it, we can hardly make true sense of our experience in life, let alone grasp the enormous power we possess to take control of our experience and change it into one that actually makes us feel happy and fulfilled.

In that context, the sad thing is that most people don’t have the slightest notion of who they really are.

That’s why this article intends to provide some (empowering) perspective.

So let’s dig in…

So Who Are You?

Most people identify themselves with the role(s) they play in their lives, such as their job, income, upbringing, likes and dislikes, family and acquaintances, etc.

Watch an average game show on TV and you’ll see people tell ‘all about themselves:’

“Hi, my name is Bob Bloggs, I’m a banker and make loans and deposits and stuff, I’m married with three children, I like football and also like to have a good laugh and party.”

This is one perspective on the question of “who am I,” which pertains to our ordinary, day-to-day experience, and one that most people are inclined to limit themselves to. And indeed:

When we think about ourselves we typically see the various roles and identities we manifest. In Carl Jung’s psychological terms, these are called ‘personas.’ And of course, our personas have plenty of reality:

  • Any one persona can take center stage in our consciousness and totally control who we ‘are,’ ranging from a few moments to an entire lifetime.
  • And most of the time we don’t deliberately use them… It’s rather the other way around: our personas use us, as they pop up pretty much automatically and involuntarily, and without any conscious control on our part.

So we must not underestimate their power.

But that doesn’t mean they’re who we really are

Beyond The Roles We Play

The roles and personas mentioned above are pretty much entirely associated with our body.

But then consider this:

Experienced meditators and those who got skilled at the ‘participant-observer’-method (described in this article) have developed the ability to basically ‘get behind’ their ordinary identities and roles, through a simple act of mentally disidentifying from the immediate experience by ‘stepping back into observer mode’…

In other words:

They have essentially experienced that they don’t have to be frozen into any one, concretized pattern, but that there’s fluidity underneath all these patterns. And once we actually experience this, we immediately feel a sense of control and deliberate choice:

  • Suddenly we’re no longer at the mercy of emotional whims and negative thoughts…
  • We now even gain the ability to make a conscious choice about which persona to ‘put on’ when, thus using them to a certain end by leveraging their strengths, and then setting them aside when appropriate…
  • And rather than identifying our whole self-concept with them, it also allows us to say: “I have a certain set of beliefs, and I don’t know if they’re really true, but I act on them sometimes.”
    In fact, we can even distance ourselves from them even more by asking: “Do I want to believe that is who I am?”

Basically, we see that we no longer have to confuse the theories we have about ourselves with who we really are (even though they may have effectively run our lives until now). Put differently:

We’ve gained a new level of awareness that’s less dependent on the body, and in fact gives us a first hint that we’re more than just our bodies and brains.

Albert Einstein put it as follows:

Albert Einstein: Human Being

So if we’re not solely equivalent to our brains, bodies, beliefs, roles and identities, then who are we?

For that, we have to dig in deeper…

How To Dig In Deeper

Asking the right questions allows us to dig in deeper. And indeed: every now and then people send in questions in response to a newsletter or a survey, or to simply bring up a topic they want me to address.

Now in the context of this article’s subject matter, a while back there were actually a few folks who asked an interesting one that’s relevant to our exploration here. The question was:

“What happens after death?”

Now there’s one that’s not easily answered! (At least not empirically…) And what’s more:

  • It’s one that’s often accompanied by more than a little emotional charge and zealous reactions, because of the many fear-laden images that are associated with it and all the various religious connotations that often surround it.
  • Besides, you may not even care… Because at first glance, the question may not seem so relevant to our current experience. After all, if we’re seeking to improve our existence right now, then what the hell does it matter what happens when it’s all over?

However, the truth is that the question can be highly relevant even to our current experience. To get a feeling for why, consider these words by the influential Chinese philosopher Zhuang Zhou (also known as Zhuangzi, Chuang Tzu and Chuang Tse) in this context:

Zhuang Zhou: Death

In other words:

  • Our whole perspective of ‘death,’ along with any kind of preconceived notions we have about the afterlife (or lack thereof) has the potential to influence our whole motivation for existence, and thus the overall atmosphere of our life experience and the nature of the roles we manifest in life.
  • And as such, our own metaphysics informs our understanding of who we are and what we’re capable of becoming, along with how we decide to go through life.

So it can serve us well to explore this topic. Because in our investigations of who or what might survive death, we’re simultaneously investigating who we really are.

So let’s dig in deeper…

What ‘Death’ Tells Us About Who We Are

Obviously, empirical study in the context of death remains difficult for the contemporary scientific method, which typically requires some form of (double-blind) experimentation. And let’s face it: it can be a bit of a challenge to experiment with death.

Besides, as the dominant stance in the mainstream scientific community is that consciousness is solely produced by the brain, relevant research that actually is performed in the area of death is often received with lots of skepticism, preconceived notions and disbelief by the establishment.

Nevertheless, today even mainstream science is beginning to take cognizance of the ever growing body of experiences that suggest the reality of consciousness living beyond the body and brain.

From a scientific point of view, at the time of writing this article it’s particularly the recent work of Penny Sartori [1] and Pim van Lommel [2] that appear to suggest how conscious experience outside the body can take place during a period of clinical death when the brain is flatlined.

To provide some illustration:

Van Lommel is a Dutch cardiologist who produced a massive exploration of near-death experiences, and his findings even got published in the reputable British medical journal The Lancet [3].

He got interested in the whole phenomenon about 40 years ago when a patient told him about her near-death experience. But it was only after reading a book called Return From Tomorrow [4], in which an American doctor called George Ritchie detailed his own near-death experience, that Van Lommel started to study the phenomenon seriously.

He began to ask all his patients if they remembered anything from the period of time during which their hearts had stopped beating. Here’s a quick selection of some of the accounts he recorded:

“I became ‘detached’ from the body and hovered within and around it. It was possible to see the surrounding bedroom and my body, even though my eyes were closed. I was suddenly able to ‘think’ hundreds or thousands of times faster, and with greater clarity, than is humanly normal or possible. At this point I realized and accepted that I had died. It was time to move on. It was a feeling of total peace – completely without fear or pain, and it didn’t involve any emotions at all.”

“I was looking down at my own body from up above and saw doctors and nurses fighting for my life. I could hear what they were saying. Then I got a warm feeling and I was in a tunnel. At the end of that tunnel was a bright, warm, white, vibrating light. It was beautiful. It gave me a feeling of peace and confidence. I floated towards it. The warm feeling became stronger and stronger. I felt at home, loved, nearly ecstatic. I saw my life flash before me. Suddenly I felt the pain of the accident once again and shot back into my body. I was furious that the doctors had brought me back. This experience is a blessing for me, for now I know for sure that body and soul are separated, and that there is life after death. It has convinced me that consciousness lives on beyond the grave. Death is not death, but another form of life.”

“I saw a man who looked at me lovingly, but whom I did not know. [Later…], at my mother’s deathbed, she confessed to me that I had been born out of an extramarital relationship, my father being a Jewish man who had been deported and killed during the Second World War, and my mother showed me his picture. The unknown man that I had seen years before during my near-death experience turned out to be my biological father.”

What’s interesting to note about all this is the fact that these people were able to ‘perceive’ in a state of detachment from their bodies. They were separated from their bodies, but they were still ‘there,’ and they didn’t need their eyes or any other part of their bodies to ‘perceive.’

Another striking notion is the consistency between all the different near-death experiences. The bliss, the tunnel, being met by long-passed loved ones, and the disappointment of having to come back are all recurring themes.

Near-death experience isn’t limited to people with specific demographic characteristics either: there’s no clear relationship between their occurrence and a person’s age, sex, marital status, race, religion and/or spiritual beliefs, social class, educational level, income, frequency of church attendance, size of home community, or area of residence.

It’s not even a phenomenon of this day and age alone. Out-of-body and near-death experiences appear to have been occurring universally throughout the ages. For example:

  • They’re described at length in both the eighth-century Tibetan Book of the Dead and the 2,500-year-old Egyptian Book of the Dead.
  • Also, in Book X of The Republic, the ancient Greek philosopher Plato gives a detailed account of a Greek soldier named Er, who came alive just seconds before his funeral pyre was to be lit and said that he had left his body and went through a ‘passage way’ to the land of the dead.
  • Furthermore, the Venerable Bede gives a similar account in his eighth-century work A History of the English Church and People.
  • Carol Zaleski, Harvard professor of world religions, says that medieval literature is filled with accounts of near-death experiences [5].
  • British theologian Paul Badham concludes that the near-death experience “shares many of the characteristics of the deepest religious experiences know to humanity” [6].
  • And it has been argued that near-death experiences provide striking parallels to the teachings of the Hindu Upanishads and to early Babylonian, Egyptian and Zoroastrian texts, as well as to shamanism, Taoism, Tibetan Buddhism, Gnostic Christianity, Mormonism, and other faiths [7].

Here’s a summary of a typical near-death experience [8]:

“A person is dying and suddenly finds himself floating above his body and watching what’s going on. Within moments he travels at great speed through a darkness or a tunnel. He enters a realm of dazzling light and is warmly met by recently deceased friends and relatives.

Frequently he hears indescribably beautiful music and sees sights – rolling meadows, flower-filled valleys, and sparkling streams – more lovely than anything he has seen on earth. In this light-filled world he feels no pain or fear and is pervaded with an overwhelming feeling of joy, love and peace. He meets a ‘being (and or beings) or light’ who emanates a feeling of enormous compassion, and is prompted by the being(s) to experience a ‘life review’, a panoramic replay of his life.

He becomes so enraptured by his experience of this greater reality that he desires nothing than to stay. However, the being tells him that it is not his time yet and persuades him to return to his earthly life and reenter his physical body.”

Of course, there are other characteristics too, and not all near-death experiences involve all the above elements. But this description seems to capture the overall gist.

Van Lommel and Sartori have not been the only ones studying this phenomenon seriously. A plethora of similar cases is recounted by other authors and researchers as well, including ones where the ‘dying’ person was able to report things they really couldn’t know from a rational point of view.

For example:

  • Raymond A. Moody Jr., a psychiatrist who published an early best-selling investigation on the subject in his books Life After Life [9] and The Light Beyond [10], reports of a case in which a woman left her body during surgery, floated into the waiting room, and saw that her daughter was wearing mismatched plaids.

    As it turned out, the maid had dressed the little girl so hastily she had not noticed the error and was astounded when the mother, who did not physically see the little girl that day, commented on the fact.
  • In another case, a woman left her body, then moved from her room to the hospital lobby, and subsequently (i.e. while her body was still in the room) overheard her brother-in-law tell a friend that it looked like he was going to have to cancel a business trip and instead be one of his sister-in-law’s pallbearers. After the woman recovered, she reprimanded her astonished brother-in-law for writing her off so quickly.
Many others report similar cases, with a recent famous testimony being the personal account of neurosurgeon Eben Alexander [11].

According to Van Lommel, when some people ‘return to their body,’ they often have a sense of being imprisoned compared to the freedom they had experienced briefly. Others say it transformed their lives, and they all lose their fear of death. As Van Lommel says:

“The most important thing people are left with is that they are no longer afraid of death. This is because they have experienced that their consciousness lives on, that there is continuity. Their life and their identity don’t end when the body dies. They simply have the feeling they’re taking off their coat.”

This suggests that what passes through that ‘tunnel’ is a level of our consciousness that’s independent of the brain and body, perhaps the self-aware essence that we really are and that’s making a transition from one level of ‘reality’ to another.

Here’s what Van Lommel says of ‘death:’

“At that moment these people are not only conscious; their consciousness is even more expansive than ever. They can think extremely clearly, have memories going back to their earliest childhoods and experience an intense connection with everything and everyone around them. And yet the brain shows no activity at all!”

“What is consciousness and where is it located? What is my identity? Who is doing the observing when I see my body down there on the operating table? What is life? What is death?”

Van Lommel goes on to explain how his work led him to understanding that the brain does not produce consciousness. According to him, the body and brain are a receiver/transmitter of information like a computer or television:

“You could compare the brain to a television set that tunes into specific electromagnetic waves and converts them into image and sound. Our waking consciousness, the consciousness we have during our daily activities, reduces all the information there is to a single truth that we experience as ‘reality.’ During near-death experiences, however, people are not limited to their bodies or their waking consciousness, which means they experience many more realities.”

In addition, there’s other (not-so-conventional) science that appears to support the idea of consciousness that lives on after physical death. For example, scientists at the University of Virginia have been studying apparent cases of reincarnation for over 45 years.

As part of this, they studied spontaneous statements made by young children about a previous life that proved to be surprisingly accurate upon further investigation. Others appear to show birthmarks or birth defects that appear to match wounds suffered by previous personalities [12-18].

Of course, this doesn’t mean that this is the exact way it always goes, but it does provide additional illustration to the possibility that consciousness survives death of the body and brain.

So to summarize:

Who we are, whether we choose to call that our ‘soul,’ ‘essence’ or ‘consciousness,’ is not totally equivalent to the brain or the body. Even when the body dies eventually, our consciousness appears to live on.

** A Note on the Side: The Desirability Of A ‘Deep Science’ **

The typical stance of the mainstream scientific community on the described near-death experiences is that they’re confabulations produced by the brain during states of reduced oxygen supply (<-- a notion that some researchers like Van Lommel don’t subscribe to), and that as such these experiences can’t be allowed as valid data for scientific study.

However, it’s worth realizing that science is not only about experiment, but also about observation and the reporting of direct experience. After all, think about it:

  • We all know our subjective experience as primary reality, which is all we know with certainty. Everything else, literally, is inference (<-- this is explained in more detail in the Crack Your Egg introductory training guides and in the Crack Your Egg Program).
  • Quantum physics has even elaborated and emphasized the role of our subjective consciousness in creating what we call ‘reality’ and influencing the outcome of scientific experiments (<-- this too is explained in more detail in the Crack Your Egg introductory training guides and in the Crack Your Egg Program).
  • In addition, it’s well known that our ingrained belief systems cause our brains to filter out about 50% of the data delivered to it, in order for it to construct a familiar experience of ‘reality’ (<-- this too is explained in more detail in the Crack Your Egg introductory training guides and in the Crack Your Egg Program).

    In that context, scientists should realize that as much as anyone else, they’re human and make decisions based on feelings and opinions. And the facts they base these on are pretty much always about plausibility, informed judgment, and reasonable inference (<-- all of which are thus heavily influenced by their ingrained convictions, because that is simply how our brains work).

    As such, even in their ‘objective’ endeavors, subjectivity still plays a significant role.
In other words: if modern science insists on completely denying subjective experiences as valid data for its pursuits, it basically ignores (at least) half of the universe, meaning we could say it has gone too far in dismissing this type of data.

It’s for this reason that a philosopher like Ken Wilber has emphasized the desirability of a so-called ‘deep science’ as a means for unifying spiritual and scientific approaches to knowledge [19].

He notes that indeed we should be scientific in spiritual matters, but by the same token we should also acknowledge spiritual knowledge in scientific matters.

Spiritual knowledge in this context can refer to experiences during meditation, peak experiences, hallucinogenically-induced experiences, and essentially any experience that transcends our normal modes of experience (including the near-death experiences described in this article).

This way:

  • ‘Deep science’ is ‘deep’ because it recognizes the validity of introspection and subjective experiences as valid data for science. Subjective data are allowed to be considered, while reverting to intersubjective confirmation where possible for them to be convincing.
  • ‘Deep science’ is still ‘science’ because it adheres to traditional logic and scientific methodology. (<-- Arguably, it’s even more scientific than the mainstream approach because it doesn’t simply dismiss the subjective realm that quantum physics stresses is of major influence.)

That said, let’s conclude with more clarity about who we really are, and what that means in regards to plotting our course in life…

CONCLUSION: A New Starting Coordinate

I remember a couple of years ago when my grandmother died… At the funeral my mother and her sisters decided to keep the coffin closed, because they wanted everyone to remember her like she was: a vibrant, sparkling woman.

Her body had deteriorated significantly due to all kinds of cancer. It was lying there in the coffin as lifeless as a switched-off and heavily corroded computer.

However, they had put a picture of my grandmother on the coffin from when she was still with us. Her body may have been dead, but I can tell you one thing:

That picture was alive!

It had captured her smile, the sparkle in her eyes, the ‘life energy’ that was the real ‘her.’

The essence of who we really are can’t get much clearer than that. ‘Living’ people have a sparkle in their eyes that conveys one of the clearest signs of ‘living consciousness’ we can find. It’s expressed most clearly when people are happy and laugh. They just radiate life.

So that body in the coffin was not my grandmother; it was but a switched-off machine. The real ‘her’, i.e. her awareness, simply can’t cease to exist, and the material explored in this article appears to support that notion.

Of course, when a loved one goes, they can still seem to take something of us with them, because of the connection we had with them. What remains is a hole in our life that they once filled just by the knowledge that they were there. So despite what we’ve learned in this article, we don’t have to discount our feelings of loss or our need for grief when a loved one passes. Those emotions are just as real, and require processing like any other.

But back to our basic coordinate: who are we really? Well:

“Who we really are” seems to be a unique vantage point within infinite awareness. And ‘life’ (as we know it on this plane of existence) and ‘death’ are merely different states of an infinite consciousness that’s essentially located everywhere.

Van Lommel concludes his study as follows:

“I now see that everything stems from consciousness. I better understand that you create your own reality based on the consciousness you have and the intention from which you live. I understand that consciousness is the basis of life, and that life is principally about compassion, empathy, and love.”

Now let that be the new basic coordinate from where to plot our new course in life!

Here’s how we can…

NEXT STEPS: Plotting A New Course

Near-death experiences and similar mystical experiences may point the way toward unlocking humankind’s dormant spiritual potential.

The cumulative effect of the uplifting accounts of the ever-increasing number of experiencers may foster the spiritual evolution of both the individual and the collective consciousness of humanity, if we open ourselves up to their message [20].

In that regard, here are some practical takeaways to implement in our own lives:

(1) Realize that the real power of ‘manifestation’ fully resides in your consciousness and your ability to steer it:

You really do have far-reaching powers to create the kind of happiness, fulfillment, and success you seek. But it’s worth realizing that that power is not in your mind, nor in any particular technique!

The mind is merely a tool that can be applied in the process of steering your consciousness, and certain techniques can serve as stepping stones and training instruments towards internalizing that ability (<– without making ourselves dependent on them).

(The Crack Your Egg Program and other articles and e-books on this website help you do so.)

Then, from there…:

(2) Step BEYOND Your Apparent Roles & Beliefs:

Our new basic coordinate of who we really are clearly shows that we’re not frozen or stuck in any one, concretized pattern, role or identity. With our new understanding of who we really are, the question really is this:

Now that you’ve read this article and you look in the mirror, who do you choose to see and be?

  • Do you choose to see your job, like the garbage man, a stock broker, a doctor, a ‘lead integration optimization orchestrator,’ or whatever you do for a ‘living?’
  • Do you choose to see a ‘friend of,’ ‘husband/wife of,’ or ‘son/daughter of’ someone (apparently) (un)important?
  • Do you choose to see a poor, hard-working slave with little perspective of anything other than making ends meet in our modern-day jungle?
  • Do you choose to see some powerless pipsqueak who’s been made to believe they’re at the mercy of vaguely-defined ‘greater powers,’ and/or designated by ‘the universe’ as a martyr or a victim of life?
  • Do you choose to see the arbitrary result of a long chain of random accidents that’s arbitrarily being shuffled from cradle to grave and completely ceases to exists afterwards?
  • Or do you choose to see a unique representation of infinite consciousness with the inherent freedom and power to create your own reality, and begin to act accordingly?

The choice is yours, and it will determine the entire motivation for your existence, the atmosphere of your experience, your implicit intent, and your ability to leverage the creative power you really harness deep inside. (So choose wisely!)

And if you notice that a particular role, emotion or inhibiting belief begins to get the best of you, so to dominate your consciousness and put you in a state that’s no longer constructive to what you seek to accomplish, use this technique to gain back control.

And finally, from there:

(3) Don’t hold back and begin to make a life NOW!

It’s not all just about ‘making a living’… It’s also about ‘making a life,’ and the latter doesn’t exclude the former. Never forget:

You harness a staggering (perhaps dormant) power to really make something out of your life (<– which is explained in detail in the Crack Your Egg Program)… So why not turn it into a thing of beauty, happiness and fulfillment?

After all, to quote Lewis Carroll:

Lewis Carroll: Gift of Breath

Take it from the many near-death experiencers that got to see themselves as integral parts of a benevolent and purposeful universe, and experienced an increased appreciation for life, a heightened sense of purpose and decreases in their fear of death and competitiveness.

As a practical starting point to this end, ask yourself:

  • “What I you really want to do with my life?” And/or:
  • “What do I really want to bring to this world, and/or create?”

Then begin by taking the first step today (no matter how small)… or take a next step if you were already on a path that you still stand behind. Either way, whatever it is:

  • Don’t take some half-baked approach to just “try…”
  • Instead: do it with full engagement and (renewed) inspiration!

Just go for it with all your heart. Don’t hold back. Feel the experience. And enjoy the ride.

Because as the content of this article illustrated, consider the words of the late comedian Bill Hicks as an appropriate conclusion to this article:

“The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think it’s real, because that’s how powerful our minds are.

And the ride goes up and down, and round and round. It has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored and it’s very loud.

And it’s fun, for a while… Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question: ‘Is this real? Or is it just a ride?’

And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and they say: ‘Hey! Don’t worry! Don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.’

And we ‘kill’ those people…

‘Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride! Shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry; look at my big bank account and my family. This has to be real!’

It’s just a ride… But we always ‘kill’ those good guys who try to tell us that. And we let the demons run amok.

But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride…. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice (…) a choice, right now, between fear and love.

So what’s your choice?

P.S. Feel free to post a comment below to share your thoughts.


[1] Sartori, P. (2014), The Wisdom of Near Death Experiences: How Understanding NDEs Can Help Us to Live More Fully, Watkins Publishing Limited, Oxford, United Kingdom;

[2] Lommel, P. van (2011), Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience, HarperOne, New York, NY;

[3] Lommel, P. van, R. Van Wees, V. Meyers, and I. Elfferich (2001), “Near-Death Experience In Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A Prospective Study in the Netherlands,” The Lancet 358 (9298), pp. 2039-2045;

[4] Ritchie, G.G. and E. Sherril (2007), Return From Tomorrow, Chosen Books, Grand Rapids, MI;

[5] Zaleski, C. (1987), Otherworld Journeys: Accounts of Near-Death Experience in Medieval and Modern Times, Oxford University Press, New York, NY;

[6] Badham, P. (1997), “Religious and Near-Death Experience in Relation to Belief in a Future Life,” Second Series Occasional Paper 13, Oxford: Religious Experience Research Center, p. 5;

[7] Greyson, B. (2006), “Near-Death Experience and Spirituality,” Zygon 41 (2), pp. 393-414;

[8] Talbot, M. (1991), The Holographic Universe, HarperCollins Publishers Inc., New York, NY, p. 240;

[9] Raymond Moody, Life After Life: The Investigation of a Phenomenon – Survival of Bodily Death, Harper Collins, San Francisco, CA;

[10] Moody, R. and P. Perry (2005), The Light Beyond, Rider, London, United Kingdom;

[11] Alexander, E. (2012), Proof of Heaven, Piatkus, London, UK;

[12] Keil, H.H.J. and J.B. Tucker (2000), “An Unusual Birthmark Case Thought to Be Linked to A Person Who Had Previously Died,” Psychological Reports 87 (3f), pp. 1067-1074;

[13] Stevenson, I. (2000), Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation, Revised Edition, McFarland & Company Inc. Publishers, Jefferson, NC;

[14] Keil, H.J.J. and J.B. Tucker (2005), “Children Who Claim to Remember Previous Lives: Cases with Written Records Made before the Previous Personality Was Identified,” Journal of Scientific Exploration 19(1), pp. 91-101;

[15] Pasricha, S.K., Keil, J., Tucker, J.B. and I. Stevenson (2005), “Some Bodily Malformations Attributed to Previous Lives,” Journal of Scientific Exploration 19 (3), pp. 359-383;

[16] Tucker, J.B. (2005), Life Before Life: A Scientic Investigation of Children’s Memories of Previous Lives, St. Martin’s Press, New York, NY;

[17] Tucker, J.B. (2008), “Children’s Reports of Past-Life Memories: A Review,” EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing 4(4), pp. 244-248;

[18] Tucker, J.B. (2013), Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives, St. Martin’s Press, New York, NY;

[19] Wilber, K.E. (1998), The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion, Random House, New York, NY;

[20] Fontana, D. (2004), “Survival Research: Opposition and Future Developments,” Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 68 (4), pp. 193-209.

Below is the video referred to at the end of the ‘Manifest From The Heart’-book.


P.S. Feel free to leave your thoughts about the book (and the video) in a comment underneath the video!

Few things are as instrumental to bringing our intentions and dreams into reality as our intuition.

In fact, it’s crucial to realize that the way life delivers on our intents and desires is often through intuitive communications that give us clear directions on the path we’re to take, gentle nudges that encourage (or discourage) certain things to do, and creative solutions to our challenges.

We all receive such communications, all the time.

But many times they either go unrecognized, or we misunderstand them, take them for granted, and/or explain them away… until eventually we (inadvertently and/or unknowingly) resist and suppress them on such a habitual basis that they appear to ‘die out.’

If you find yourself having a hard time ‘hearing’ or recognizing your intuitions yourself, you’re about to discover a very straightforward, yet highly effective means to reawaken your sensitivity to them.

So let’s begin:

Eureka’s Beat

Legend has it that Hiero II, the Greek king of Syracuse, Sicily from 270 to 215 BC, once wanted to offer his gods a golden crown. So he gave a goldsmith the assignment to create it for him, along with a bunch of pure gold to make it from.

But when he finally received the end product, he suspected that the goldsmith had cheated him by having replaced some of the gold with the same weight of silver, and having made the crown out of that mix instead of the pure gold that he had given him (<– a common trick among con artists and counterfeit coiners back in the day).

So king Hiero asked his scientist and philosopher kinsman Archimedes to come up with a way to assess the crown’s purity. Wondering how to solve this problem, Archimedes walked home, and decided to take bath at a local bath house.

As he stepped into the bath and noticed that the water rose, he suddenly understood that the volume of displaced water must be equal to the volume of the part of his body that submerged.

This notion then inspired his solution to the question of the crown’s purity:

  • He knew that the density of gold is greater than that of silver, meaning that an equally heavy crown of pure gold would be smaller in size than one that consisted of a combination of gold and silver.

    As a result, it occurred to him that he could assess the purity of the crown from a simple experiment involving the displacement of water in a tub:

  • First he would place the crown into the tub and measure the amount of displaced water. Then he would put a lump of pure gold of the same weight as the crown into the tub and measure it again.

    If the crown would in fact consist of pure gold, the amount of displaced water would be equal in both cases. And if the first amount would exceed the second, then it was safe to conclude that the crown was a fake.

As the story goes, once this idea hit Archimedes, he got so excited that he jumped out of his bath and ran home flashing his bare naked posterior in the streets while repeatedly shouting “Eureka!” (<– ancient Greek for: “I found it!”).

Archimedes' Eureka Experience

The local folk at the time must have thought that Archimedes had gone out of his mind.

And if they did, they were quite right…

Going Out of Our Minds

Archimedes’ story is the basis for what we still refer to today as the Eureka!– or Aha!– experience, a sudden flash of insight that hits us in the head, triggers a sense of clarity, relief and enthusiasm, and often leaves us wondering why we even struggled with the issue at hand in the first place.

Whether the story is actually true or not, it illustrates the great difference that exists between ‘thinking’ and ‘knowing:

  • ‘Thinking’ is a purely intellectual activity. It mainly takes place as electrochemical processes in the brain.

    We sit down and think things through, come up with alternative scenarios and solutions we’re able to contemplate, ponder the ifs, buts, pros and cons, and try to work things out on a rational level.

  • ‘Knowing’ on the other hand transcends intellect. It’s what’s often called intuition and can be defined as immediate realization without the conscious use of reasoning.

    There’s no sequence of thoughts that lead to a particular outcome. It’s just there, instantly: Bang! Aha! Eureka! We suddenly get it.

    It doesn’t need to explain itself or source its references; it’s a type of illumination that is usually unmistakable, because it literally jumps at us as something we just know, along with accompanying feelings of clarity, excitement and enthusiasm.

When we consider this distinction, it’s no surprise that our intuition is often at odds with what we think:

  • The intellect tends to have a limited perspective that’s quite likely colored by externally imposed norms of what is to be considered acceptable thought, and thus of what needs to be guarded from the realm of possibility.

    In addition, many of the thoughts we ‘think’ are mere justifications produced by the neocortex level of our brain as a reactive ‘explanation’ for triggered emotional impulses in the basal ganglia and limbic system.

    As these triggered emotions themselves are often the result of imprinted imbalances from the past (<– as explained in this article), many of our resulting thoughts are colored and thus inaccurate interpretations of the circumstances and facts of the situation.

  • Intuition on the other hand appears to be stemming from a whole different source of awareness that has a much greater overview, a bigger picture perspective that freely sees different connections, remote associations, and the ramifications that its ‘knowing’ (<– and the action it implies!) will lead to way down the road.

    And it does so independently of any artificially and externally imposed constraints.

And let’s face it:

All (or at least most) of us have had experiences where it was overly clear that we had been better off trusting our intuition than to rely on our conscious reasoning.

And yet, we still find ourselves under lots of pressure every day to ignore and/or rationally explain away almost every single one of our intuitions, hunches or inspirations… especially when they can’t immediately be supported by intellectual reasoning or rational analysis of the circumstances at hand.

This isn’t a big surprise:

Most of us learn to do so from an early age, as our prevailing cultures and education systems place their main emphasis on the development of the left brain hemisphere, which is the intellectual, analytical and logical part.

This structurally takes attention away from the (development of skills like) creativity, holism and integration that are mediated through the right hemisphere of the brain.

Einstein on Intuition Versus the Rational Mind (Gift Versus Servant)

The very notion of intuition can therefore stimulate a fiery response from the intellect. Bound by logic, its only conclusion is that a knowing without reason is impossible. The rational mind simply cannot grasp it directly, and possibly never will.

As a result, for all our lives we’d rather go with our heads than with our hearts:

  • Indeed, intuitive guidance frequently enters into our awareness and gives us a feeling in our ‘gut’ that we want to do something that makes our hearts sing at the prospect (<– and I mean other than the urge for ‘number two’).
  • But then our brains and minds rear their heads and pressure us into considering only those particular consequences that they’re able to anticipate from their narrow and conditioned outlook, and we’ll find ourselves reacting along the lines of:

    “Oh dear, who am I to think I can do that?”

    “Oh my, what will my mother say?”

    “That’s way too ambitious and complicated for me…”

    “Somebody probably thought of that already…”

    “Dear me, my parents will get angry for not doing something with my education…”

    “There’s too much competition, that field of endeavor is saturated…”

    “That can’t be right. Scientists say that this is not true. Who am I to think otherwise?”

    “I can’t do that, it’s not responsible. What about my job?”

    “I’d love to do this, but…”

    “It would be pretty awesome if I could ever do this… Nah, I can’t do that. I must have gone mad.”

    “Goodness, what will the neighbors think if I do that? And oh my, don’t mention it to the boys at the bar!”

Intuition Ignored

This way we never get to flow with all the intuitive signals that effortlessly come in, but rather let ourselves get pulled back into walking the same road we’ve always traveled.

But our troubles don’t end there:

The repetition of this pattern over the years (<– if not decades) creates deeply-ingrained, habitual patterns of going with the head above going with the heart, until it becomes our standard method of operation and we simply don’t know any better than doing so.

This way, even though our intuitions systematically illuminate the steps of the path towards the realization of our dreams and visions, we allow our minds to immediately turn off the lights.

Long story short:

For the sake of being able to make our dreams reality, it’s imperative that we go ‘out of our minds’ far more often, and allow ourselves to tune into the broadcasts of more ‘universal’ levels of awareness and to more strongly rely on the communications we receive on that channel by acting on their content.

Of course, at first such a new way of going about life may feel as though we must have gone crazy, and other people are likely to confirm that notion, usually to protect their own pre-eminence.

However, we’re better off not giving in to the pressure by thinking more like Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland:

Cheshire Cat Quote

So how can we make sure we actually go ‘out of our minds’ in a constructive way, so as to systematically and effectively tune into our intuitions?

The key to doing so is to get into…:

The Intuitive Groove

Intuitions come to us in a variety of ways, including epiphanies, inspirations, flashes of insight, revelations, hunches, gut feelings, and inner knowings, urges and impulses.

Assuming we recognize them as such, it usually appears as though they come to us at the most unexpected and inconvenient moments, and in the strangest, most unpredictable ways:

  • We could be standing on the corner about to walk across the street…
  • We could be exercising…
  • We could be playing or listening to music…
  • We could be watching a movie…
  • We could be turning in our sleep, dreaming…
  • We could be in the middle of a StareMaster staring contest…
  • We could be polishing our paperclip collection…
  • We could be in the shower, driving our way to work, packing a suitcase, visiting a concert or theater show, tidying up our closet, cleaning the kitchen…
  • Etc.

But that’s only if we don’t know any better. Because when we come to pay attention, we can recognize a certain ‘rhythm to Eureka:’

  • As the science of chronobiology illustrates, nature has built in a recurring rhythm of activity and rest in all of us. Such a cadence that takes place many times a day is called an ultradian rhythm.

    We don’t have to do anything for this cycle to take place – it comes with the equipment: it’s built into our ‘mind/body’-systems as a standard issue feature.

  • A certain period of this time cycle is designed for high performance, concentration and alertness.

    But at the end of that period, our bodies and brains automatically prime for a relatively short period of recovery, during which the four main regulatory systems that link body and mind (<– i.e. autonomic nervous system, endocrine system, immune system, and neuropeptides in the brain) realign.

Internationally renowned psychotherapist Ernest Rossi, Ph.D. and pioneer in the field of ‘mind/body’-healing, calls this recovery process the Ultradian Healing Response [1]. In simple terms:

  • Our ‘mind/body’-system primes to ‘zone out’ of the intense focus of the preceding activity-part of the cycle, and enters into a more silent space that’s designed for it to prepare for another period of work and play in a mode of high performance and health.
  • According to Rossi, this is the time that our physiology is most naturally attuned to our intuition, as the alignment of the main regulatory systems makes us more open to impressions from our unconscious minds.

In other words:

  • Even if it seems as if our intuitive communications have died out, synchronizing with the ultradian rhythm of our ‘mind/body’-system gives us a relatively straightforward gateway into the realm in which they broadcast, by simply allowing its intuitive channels to open.
  • And the best thing is: we get that opportunity multiple times every single day!

So let’s explore how we can capitalize on this notion and get into the ‘Intuitive Groove’ on a more permanent basis…

How To Catch Eureka’s Rhythm

Our ‘mind/body’-system gives us clear indications as to when it’s transitioning into the healing phase of the ultradian rhythm. Psychotherapist Dr. Laurie Nagel describes these signs as follows [2]:

“Do you find yourself losing concentration during certain times of the day? Perhaps it comes as a sudden touch of fatigue, or a subtle mental fuzziness. All of a sudden, you feel droopy. Your eyes may tear. You can’t stop yawning.

Maybe you find yourself staring out the window, your mind far away from the tasks at hand. If somebody speaks to you, you find yourself startled by the sound of his voice. Or you don’t understand what was said the first time and ask the speaker to repeat himself.”

These are all signals that we’re getting too high on stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, and that our ‘mind/body’-system is getting ready for an ultradian recovery period.

We can begin to observe the pattern through which these symptoms occur by noting down at which particular times during the day our ‘mind/body’-systems produce them.

Of course, all of us have (slightly) different ultradian rhythms. But if we observe ourselves carefully we’ll find that on average this pattern recurs approximately every hour and a half.

The onset of these symptoms tells us that nature has shaped the ideal circumstances for us to tap into our inherent creative and intuitive potential. We can then take the following steps to leverage the situation in order to effortlessly ease into an intuitive state:

  • Step #1:
    Explicitly and deliberately allow yourself to take a break and relax. Sit or lie down, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. (<– If your mind tries to force you to work on some task, tell it you’ll come back to it in ten to twenty minutes.)
  • Step #2: (<– optional)
    If you’re working on a project or larger objective and would like help from your intuition, now is the time to ask for it.
  • Step #3:
    Then, as you let yourself flow with the recovery process of the ultradian healing phase, allow any impressions and imagery that come up in your mind to flow freely.
  • Step #4:
    Learn to not interrupt or impose on the process; train yourself to just flow with the mental imagery and simply watch, observe and by all means don’t intrude (<– for this you can switch to ‘observer mode’ as explained in this article).

At the very least, following these steps will allow the brain to settle down in a relaxing alpha state, where we’re more likely to get flashes of inspiration and understanding, or to gain rare, sudden, deeper insight into ourselves.

And as we become more experienced and skilled at this (<– the last step in particular), we’ll tend to fall into a mind space that is called ‘reverie’ or ‘hypnagogic state,’ which not only makes us more receptive to our intuition, but also makes our inner work flow without any effort on our own part whatsoever!

The ultradian healing phase is literally a time when all the ‘mind/body’- communications systems are in their most fluid and flexible state.

Besides tapping into our creative and intuitive potential, this makes it a very productive period for making use of supporting practices and inner work.

For instance:

  • If you like to meditate, even though any time of the day is fine, doing so during the period(s) when the body’s physiology accommodates going into ‘silent mode’ can strongly support your intentions.
  • By the same token, the effects of listening to the right brainwave entrainment tracks will meet less resistance during these times, and will therefore usually render their aims for relaxation and inner rewiring far more fruitful.
At the same time, this phase also leaves our ‘mind/body’-system in its most vulnerable state. So if we interfere with the ultradian healing cycle too much and too regularly, we may compromise our physical health and mental/emotional well-being.

For example:

  • If we ignore the signals of its onset by pretending they don’t exist and pushing through the fatigue, we may quickly find ourselves feeling irritable, uncomfortable and prone to making mistakes. And if we keep doing so consistently, we eventually get sick. (<-- Contrasting the ‘Ultradian Healing Response,’ Rossi refers to this effect as the ‘Ultradian Stress Response.’)

    This implies that if we deliberately flow with the natural ultradian cycle by taking a break when nature calls us to, we may find that much of the emotional release and healing work we may be doing on a regular basis will no longer be necessary or even called for in the first place!
  • Likewise, many stress-related problems like depression, anxiety and psycho-somatic symptoms such as headaches, hypertension, high cholesterol, back pain, ulcers and so forth have been related to being out of synch with ourselves and the world around us [3].

    This implies that learning to take good care of ourselves by simply synchronizing with nature’s rhythm in order to effortlessly convert stress into healing may thus contribute to dissolving such symptoms without having to rely on pain killers, statin drugs, anti-depressants, etc.
  • By the same token, it’s worth realizing that the ever-so-common lack of self- esteem that so many people seem to suffer from these days often originates in repeated failures, and that in turn we often ‘fail’ because we’re tired and stressed and can’t be our best because of it.

    This implies that if we allow our ‘mind/body’-systems to effortlessly refresh themselves by lifting on the Ultradian Healing Response, we’ll quickly find ourselves more focused, better able to do a good job, and feeling much better about ourselves in general, which in turn could greatly improve our overall self-esteem.
This makes following nature’s ultradian lead extremely important and beneficial, not just in light of an increased and more predictable ability to tap into our inherent creative and intuitive potential, but also for the sake of our health and mental and emotional well-being in general!


Of course, there’s no denying the importance and value of the rational mind. It’s an extraordinary thing, and there’s great brilliance and beauty to be found in it. It’s capable of understanding the most intricate scientific and mathematical theories, and it can carefully weigh ifs, buts, pros and cons when having to make complex decisions.

But there’s also great absurdity that often comes along with it, as the same mind can get caught up in the most useless trivia and nonsense, and become upset and bewildered over a seemingly harmless remark. It can in fact completely run out our lives by pushing us in all directions and creating endless dramas around its plethora of insecurities, fears, anxieties and pet peeves.

As such, on the paths to making our dreams reality and expressing our unique creativity, many times the interplay of thoughts that goes on in our minds only generates confusion, or even becomes blatantly destructive to our aims.

That’s why our greatest breakthroughs come not through the intellect primarily, but rather through intuitive hunches, epiphanies, flashes of insight, and gut feelings. These are then followed up by the intellect and typically found to be valid.

Many really creative and highly influential people throughout history, including the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein, have noted how their best inspirations came after they had made great conscious effort to solve a problem and then took a break when they were initially frustrated with failure.

French mathematician and theoretical physicist Henri Poincaré put it like this:

Logic versus Intuition

The tragedy is that we often consider the cacophony of conflicting thoughts that go on in our minds, as well as their often emotionally-charged interplay, to be normal. We become exhausted from our mind’s business and then act as if this attests to our significance and is actually something to be proud of:

“I’m juggling lots of things at the same time, my mind gets so busy that it drives me nuts!”

But when we get out of our minds more often and tune back into our heart and intuition, we leave the insecurities, worries, colored judgments and self-centeredness of the mind completely out of the equation, and open ourselves up to flashes of insight and understanding that catapult us forward on our paths with the kinds of jumps that our minds typically can’t even imagine.

In this light, synchronizing with our ultradian rhythms and leveraging the natural Ultradian Healing Response gives us a straightforward and pretty much automatic way to allow our ‘mind/body’-systems to ease into the kinds of silent and relaxed modes that in turn enable us to effortlessly tune into our inherent creative and intuitive potential.

You can bet that this is exactly what happened to our old pal Archimedes when he took his bath – an activity that’s well-known for its relaxing effect on body and mind. And by the same token, let’s face it: how many times have we heard (and perhaps even experienced ourselves) that the best ideas come while taking a shower?

So when the signs kick in that herald another ultradian recovery period, here’s what you do:

  • Take a bath, a shower, a walk, or even a quick nap…
  • Play an instrument or listen to some music…
  • Read some relaxing material, meditate, or just hang around and be lazy for a few moments (<-- preferably in ‘observer’-mode)
  • But above all: get out of your own way and take it easy for a few moments.

As we’ve seen, whatever we can do to accommodate the ‘Ultradian Healing Response’ will enhance our creativity, intuition, and even our health and mental and emotional well-being in general.

Such simple ways to synchronize with our ultradian rhythm will help us to go ‘out of our minds’ more easily and effortlessly. And as we do so, we’ll find that ‘Eureka’s Beat’ will hit us in the head on a much more ‘rhythmic’ basis.

In other words, such deliberate acts will soon serve as implicit request for intuitive insight, kind of like the song by Ian Dury & The Blockheads used to put it:

“Hit me with your rhythm stick
It’s nice to be a lunatic
Hit me! Hit me! Hit me!”

And what’s best:

You’ll find that they get answered too.

Alright, gotta bounce now – I feel an Ultradian Healing Response settling in…


[1] Lloyd, D. and E.L. Rossi (Eds.) (2008), Ultradian Rhythms from Molecule to Mind: A New Vision of Life, Springer Science Business + Media B.V.;

[2] Nadel, L. (2006), Sixth Sense: Unlocking Your Ultimate Mind Power, ASJA Press, Lincoln, NE, USA, p. 133;

[3] Rossi, E.L. (1993), The Psychobiology of Mind-Body Healing, Norton & Company, New York, NY, USA

This inspirational short film nicely illustrates the gist of the article I wrote on the transformational power of the heart.

Take a few moments to watch it here, and share this with others you think will enjoy it too:

(or: ‘The Power To Light Up’ – Part 4)

This article suggests a straightforward method to quickly transform both your own world and that of others in ways so far-reaching, that you probably can’t even begin to imagine its profound (potential) transformational effects because of its perceived simplicity.

It’s the simplest thing to do, and it has endless personal benefits for anyone who does it with at least a minimal degree of genuineness.

But before we get to the actual ‘how to,’ let’s first put this whole thing into context.

Matters of the Heart

Let me begin by asking you this:

Have you ever paid attention to the words we use when referring to feelings and emotions of gratitude, appreciation, love, passion, and so on?

We say things like:

  • “It’s coming from the heart.”
  • “A heartfelt thank you!”
  • “I love you with all my heart.”
  • “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
  • “I put my heart into this.”


  • “It broke my heart…”
  • “It’s a real heartache…”

So in this context, what is this ‘heart’ we keep referring to really?

Let’s explore…

The Human ‘Heart’

The human ‘heart’ is actually very much misunderstood:

  • Most people see it as nothing more than a muscle that mechanically pumps around blood to circulate it around in the body through all its veins and capillaries.
  • Others have a more expansive vision of it, and refer to it as the ‘heart chakra’, which – according to tantric and yogic traditions – is the central ‘spinning wheel’ in a larger system of subtle energy vortexes that permeate the various physical and ‘energetic’ layers of our bodies.

Either way, few people have a really clear and tangible image of what the heart really is and does, and its crucial importance and impact on the overall state of our ‘mind / body’-system on all its various levels.

So let’s go over a few interesting facts about the ‘heart:’

  • We all know how changes in emotions are accompanied by predictable physiological changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and other bodily functions.

    In this context, for the longest time it was assumed that it was only the brain that was responsible for the bodily reaction to a certain stimulus by interpreting the environmental incentive and signaling the response it deemed appropriate via the central nervous system.

    However, research has shown that the heart actually has its own logic, which often turns out to deviate from the ‘regular’ direction of communication in the central nervous system that goes from the brain to the body.

    Later on, neurophysicists discovered a neural pathway and mechanism through which the heart is able to inhibit and/or facilitate the brain’s electrical activity, and thus influence the way we perceive the world, make decisions, and other cognitive processes that determine how we react in response to environmental cues [2]. (<-- The latter process is explained in more detail in the second study guide in the ‘Crack Your Egg’ introduction series.)
  • Later research has shed light on what has become known as the ‘heart brain,’ a complex and sophisticated nervous system that’s intrinsic to the heart and consists of around 40,000 neurons called ‘sensory neurites.’ With this nervous system of its own, the heart can independently learn, remember, feel, sense, and make functional decisions without involvement from the brain [3, 4].
  • Another study on the heart revealed that it not only communicates information physically to the brain through the extensive neural pathways mentioned above, but also through electromagnetic field interactions.

    According to Rollin McCraty, Director of Research at the Institute of HeartMath, it turns out that the heart’s electromagnetic field is the most powerful and most extensive one in the human body, and about 5,000 times stronger than the electromagnetic field of the brain.

    With sensitive measuring equipment called ‘magneto-meters’ it can be detected several feet away from the body, of which the image below gives a schematic impression [5]:

    Electromagnetic Field of the Heart
  • Moreover, today we have concrete evidence of a subtle, yet highly influential electromagnetic or ‘energetic’ communication system that operates just below our conscious awareness.

    Research by the Institute of HeartMath has shown remarkable evidence that the heart’s electromagnetic field can transmit information between different people. At the time of writing, such energy exchange has so far been measured between individuals who were standing up to five feet apart.

    McCraty proposes that energetic interactions through this field contribute to certain ‘magnetic’ attractions and/or repulsions that may occur between people, and may thus also significantly affect social relationships [6].

    It has also become clear that one person’s brain waves can synchronize with another person’s heart. This happened most notably when a person was generating a coherent heart rhythm, suggesting that when our ‘mind / body’-systems are in a harmonious state, we may become more aware of and attuned to the information encoded in the heart fields of those around us.
  • In addition, the heart turns out to be more than just an organ in other respects too: it appears to operate as an actual endocrine gland that secretes hormones with various important functions.

    One of these hormones is called ‘Atrial Natriuretic Factor’ (ANF), which significantly influences our bodies’ blood vessels, kidneys, adrenal glands, and a large number of regulatory regions in the brain.

    The heart also contains cells known as ‘Intrinsic Cardiac Adrenergic’ (ICA) cells, which release noradrenaline and dopamine neurotransmitters.

    Moreover, it secretes a hormone called oxytocin, which is commonly referred to as the ‘love hormone’ or ‘bonding hormone.’ This hormone is involved in childbirth and lactation, as well as in cognition, tolerance, adaptation, complex sexual and maternal behaviors, the apprehension of social cues, and the establishment of enduring pair bonds.
  • Furthermore, an interesting fact came out of research by David Vesely, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, molecular pharmacology and physiology at the University of South Florida, as well as chief of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at the James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa (at the time of writing).

    He discovered that heart hormones were able to get rid of up to 97% of all cancers in cell cultures within 24 hours [7]!
  • Additionally, the Institute of HeartMath has established that the heart plays a fundamental role in stabilizing and destabilizing emotions, and harmonizing and disharmonizing the interaction between itself, the central nervous system and the brain. When these three systems are out of synch, we ourselves feel completely incoherent (<-- or in scientific jargon: like crap) [8, 9].
  • Beyond all the above, considerable research has demonstrated that low-vibrational emotional states generate imbalanced heart rhythm patterns. This, in turn, distorts the relationship between the heart, the central nervous system and the brain. As a result, all proverbial hell can break lose mentally, emotionally and even physically.

    In fact, this is how stress and other emotions can cause heart attacks, and why people can actually die from a ‘broken heart.’ The emotional impact of a particular traumatic or shocking experience can trigger severely incoherent heart rhythms. This is also what underlies so-called ‘heartache.’

    To wit: love, compassion, caring and appreciation have been shown to do the opposite: they actually lead to coherent heart rhythm patterns, of which the graph below gives an impression:
    Heart Rhythm Response To Emotion
  • To conclude this enumeration of facts on the heart (at least for the time being), another interesting finding is that the heart is involved in the processing and decoding of intuitive information.

    Its electromagnetic field turns out to be directly involved in intuitive perception through its coupling with an energetic information field that resides beyond the boundaries of space and time [10].

    And brace yourself for this one:

    Other research revealed evidence that both the heart and the brain receive and respond to information about a future event before the event actually happens!

    Even more surprisingly, the heart appears to receive this intuitive information before the brain does [11, 12].

    That’s why we say “I knew it in my heart” and “follow your heart.” This is where we actually feel ‘intuitive knowing;’ when we intuitively know something, we don’t sit down and think it through. We just know it; it’s there, in an instant.

    With this type of knowing, there’s no need to ponder the ‘ifs,’ ‘buts,’ ‘pros,’ ‘cons,’ etc. in an attempt to try and work it all out on an intellectual level – that’s what the mind does with the help of the brain. By contrast, the heart knows instantaneously.

There’s a lot more to be told about the heart, but what we’ve covered clearly illustrates how the human heart is much more than a muscle that merely pumps around blood in the body.

Evidently, it has a huge impact on the overall ‘vibrational state’ of our ‘mind / body’-systems, and influences our health, our ability to tune into our capacity for intuitive knowing, and even our subtle connections with other people and ‘life’ in general. It actually has perceptive and ‘broadcasting’ abilities of its own.

And that brings us to a related area of interest…


It’s not just the heart that plays a central role in the ‘subtle’ connection and communication with others and the world around us.

There’s a phenomenon known as ‘hypercommunication,’ which basically comes down to a phenomenon where individual minds connect on a ‘psychic,’ intuitive level to form a joint communication network.

To get a clear understanding of how this works, think of an ant colony, which appears to be coordinated through a particular form of this type of subtle communication:

  • When a queen ant is separated from her colony, the worker ants continue to build and construct the colony as if nothing ever changed, and as though they have some sort of blueprint for what to do. It doesn’t really matter where the queen ant is, as long as she’s alive.
  • However, when the queen ant is killed, then all work in the ant colony ceases, as if nobody knows what to do anymore because the blueprint they used to be able to access has been taken offline.


So apparently, there’s some type of communication going on between the queen ant and the worker ants on ‘subtle’ levels that we’re unable to directly perceive.

They don’t need to be in physical contact or proximity for this communication to occur; it takes place on a more ‘energetic’ level, outside the bandwidth of our threedimensional reality’s frequency range.

Because of this aspect of ‘non-locality,’ a different way to describe such ‘hypercommunication’ could be ‘quantum communication.’

The research into the heart mentioned above suggests that aside from on a ‘physical level’ alone, we humans can connect with each other through this kind of quantum communication as well (<– for example: when one person’s brain synchronizes with another person’s heart).

And to add to that, contemporary research into the nature of DNA suggests the same thing [13]:

  • Russian biophysicist and molecular biologist Pjotr Garjajev has found that the 90% of DNA (probably even more) that’s often so ludicrously explained away as ‘junk’ (as if more than 90% of this stuff is all there for nothing) does indeed have complex properties.
  • According to him and his team, DNA is not merely used to coordinate protein synthesis in our bodies (<– which is what the 10% that mainstream science focuses on is for). Instead, the other parts of our DNA seem to actually be used as a medium for storage and reception of information and for hypercommunication.
  • Garjajev and his group analyzed the vibrational response of DNA and concluded that it can function much like networked intelligence, and that it allows for hypercommunication amongst all sentient beings. They demonstrated how DNA operates through resonance and vibratory frequencies, and how it can be modified through the impact of external frequencies.

There’s a lot more to say about Garjajev’s studies, and truth be told, it doesn’t seem like they’ve been replicated at the time of writing this article. Nevertheless, it could be a first stepping stone towards the scientific explanation for some pretty amazing phenomena (such as spontaneous remission and self-healing, remote acts of healing, intuition, etc.).

Either way, the information about the heart and DNA outlined above clearly illustrates our inherent ability to mutually connect and influence the world around us in subtle, yet truly astonishing ways that we may not always realize because it takes place on levels outside of our conscious awareness.

This ability allows us to pull off surprising feats that might be regarded as almost ‘magical’ from our common perception of reality… both for ourselves and others… especially when we consciously join, connect and align on a more collective level.

To illustrate this, check out examples like these:

  • You’ve probably heard of the group of transcendental meditators in Washington D.C. that collectively focused on the intent to increase their mental and emotional harmony, thus contributing to an overall decrease of stress in the area.

    The study was just a temporary experiment involving 4,000 meditators, but still it turned out to significantly decrease in Washington D.C.’s crime rate during the experiment.

    But moreover, based on the study’s results, the long-term effect that a permanent group of 4,000 participants in the meditation program would have, was calculated to be a 48% reduction in the number of homicides, rapes, and assaults in the District of Columbia [14].

    That’s huge, especially considering the fact that nobody really did anything but to meditate and work on their own mental and emotional harmony to elicit this effect!

  • And then there’s the ‘Global Consciousness Project.’ This endeavor was initiated in 1998 out of Princeton University to study the impact of human consciousness on the ‘real’ world.

    The project uses so-called ‘random event generators’ (<– ‘electrogaiagrams’ or EGGs) that are installed on every continent and with nodes on more than 50 locations. The goal is to observe if human consciousness can influence the outcome of random events.

    The project still continues till this day and has concluded so far that…:

    “The results are evidence that the physical world and our mental world of information and meaning are linked in ways that we don’t yet understand.” [15]

    Or maybe we actually do understand it. As you can read in the second study guide of the Crack Your Egg Introduction Series, experiments have demonstrated that DNA can imprint information into energy fields (<– referred to as the ‘DNA phantom effect’), and the explained ‘hypercommunication’ could be a valid clarification of this ‘link.’

So in summary, it seems like we can communicate and connect with each other through heart and DNA transmissions, and probably on deeper levels of consciousness as well.

It appears that we’re all seamlessly connected to everyone and everything else, which offers fascinating and mind-boggling opportunities to ‘pull’ and ‘create’ amazing things into our experience, at least once we take conscious control of our energy fields and their ‘hypercommunicative’ broadcast.

This way, we can establish amazing transformations in both our own lives, and the lives of everyone else.

Let’s explore how…

How To Get More Of What We Really Want

To deliberately influence our lives, realities and destinies in order to get more of what we really want out of life, as a prerequisite we need to establish inner coherence and harmony, thus automatically establishing more harmony in other people and the world around us as well.

Such integrity is the basic state from where we can ‘manifest’ increasingly rewarding experiences and build such forward momentum as to instigate ‘upward spirals’ of ever-growing positivity.

So how do we get into such a state of integrity, coherence and harmony?

There are various aspects and caveats to the process (<– outlined in detail in the Crack Your Egg Program), but in short it requires a shift in consciousness. And there’s an extremely simple way to instigate one. Look at it this way:

  • Physicists know how a wave can propagate itself quite far through a medium. Think about throwing a stone into a pond; the resulting waves will continue to affect the water long after the stone has sunk to the bottom.

    We experience something like this every day through all the negativity that’s constantly imposed upon us, for example through the constant fear mongering of the mass media.

    The repetitive stings of ongoing reports that almost invariably communicate the implicit message that we need to constantly be on guard for bad things to happen and distrust other people keeps the great majority in the same state of mind that merely originates ‘waves of negativity’ that cause the kinds of events reported through this ‘news.’

    While such a current keeps propagating and more people pick up on it, it merely grows stronger, much like the amplitude of a wave grows when multiple waves resonate and synchronize. Before we know it, things get worse and worse.

    What most people don’t realize is that this doesn’t just occur on an individual level, but also on a ‘collective’ level. While we have our own individual consciousness and perspective of reality, the research outlined earlier in this article illustrates how we’re also seamlessly part of a ‘collective consciousness.’

    Thus, what we see happening on a global scale can be seen as a reflection of the overall state of the collective human mind. Put simply:

    If humanity as a whole doesn’t like itself, love itself, and respect itself, it’ll create a reality that reflects that state of (collective) mind on this planet. It’ll bring about the physical manifestations that reflect its own sense of self-worth and potential. In straightforward terms:

    Take a look at the overall state of the world, and you’ll have a good impression of the overall state of the collective human mind.

    But because of this seamless connection, there’s always something we can do ourselves that can have a huge, positive effect on our individual state, but also extend to a collective scale, even though it may not be immediately apparent (<-- and then come back to us with increased amplitude, i.e. with enormously increased strength!).
  • In this context, it’s worth realizing that everything we think, say and do makes waves in the collective human mind in a way that’s akin to throwing a rock into a pond. For example:

    If you walk into a shop and you’re nasty and unpleasant to the person working there, he or she’ll get angry and upset. After you’re gone, he’ll be less than pleasant to his next customer or his wife and kids. This will upset them too, and so it goes on… The ‘wave of nastiness’ keeps propagating.

    But on the other hand, if you knock on the door of the boss that no one likes and say you think he’s doing a great job and what a pleasure it is to work for him, you’ll probably make his day. No one will have said that to him before.

    He’ll be uplifted by the compliment, and chances are that that’s going to be reflected in the way he treats the rest of his staff. In turn, these people feel happier and enjoy their work, and so they’ll be more pleasant to their families when they go home. The ‘wave of being nice’ keeps propagating.

    So how you treat other people in the supermarket, at the office, at the bar, or wherever may not appear to be revolutionary… but it is. It starts with the little things, and before you know it, the small waves you make can turn into a tidal wave of consciousness transformation impacting the whole of humanity.

    This is akin to what’s dubbed the ‘Butterfly Effect:’ a butterfly that flaps its wings on one side of the world might ultimately be the source of a typhoon on the other end of the world.

You can instigate such a process to your own benefit and to the benefit of many others. And if momentum does build indeed, it can mark the beginning of a tidal wave of a consciousness shift.


Simply by throwing a small (symbolic) rock into the pond of collective human mind.

Making Waves In The Collective Human Mind

Here’s an extremely simple way to instigate a shift, both in your own world and that of others:

  • Give another person a compliment. Be sure it’s genuine and comes “from the heart.” Make some waves this way, and deliberately spread the good vibes.

    This will not only instigate a current of ‘pleasantness’ that will eventually return to you in a shape that’s much more powerful than the one you started, but it’ll also implicitly make you focus on what’s good in your world right now, and thus automatically put you in a ‘positive vibe.’

    For example, think if the genuine laugh and the sparkling eyes of a kid when getting a genuine compliment or hearing rewarding words of encouragement after doing something good; you can actually see them ‘lighting up’. KidLaugh
    Giving a compliment can have a similar effect on yourself too, if you do it genuinely. Just try it and see for yourself.

    Do this once every day, at the very least. But realize there’s no upper limit to the frequency, provided you do it genuinely and ‘from the heart.’

    And secondly, by the same token:

  • Every time someone gives you a compliment or does something nice for you, say “thank you,” and mean it. In addition, immediately affirm to yourself: “I deserve this.”

    Much of what you ask for is delivered through other people, so be ready to receive it that way. Responding as described above is a simple way to learn to open yourself up to receiving the good things in life, which happens to be something a lot of people struggle with and one of the main reasons they never seem to be able to ‘manifest their desires.’

    Don’t act as if you don’t deserve it or say things like “oh, it was nothing” or “I can’t accept this,” because you can, and you will, and you need to train yourself to do so as quickly as possible if this is a challenge for you and you want your life to get better.

    Act a bit like you’re a kid whose perception isn’t yet distorted through all kinds of filters that make you come up with all kinds of justifications for not deserving it or distrusting the other party assuming they’re just saying it to make you feel better and don’t really mean it.

    Stick to this practice, and such resistance will soon fade.

If done genuinely and consistently, a routine as simple as this can make a huge difference for yourself, those around you, and even the world in general:

  • For one, giving out genuine appreciation and gratitude works wonders in generating harmony in the ‘vibrational state’ of your own ‘mind / body’-system. It’ll expand your heart and increase the power of its electromagnetic field.
  • We’ve also seen how this in turn positively impacts your health, your ability to connect with others, your capacity to tune into your inherent intuitive perception, and the nature of your life experience in general.
  • Finally, we’ve seen the limitless potential for such coherent and harmonious vibes to spread out to the rest of humanity… even to those way beyond your physical proximity.

And the best thing is that it’s the simplest thing to do. So let me do the honors of kicking this thing off:

You, my friend, are amazing! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being part of the experience. I think you’re awesome. There’s a magic running through your soul, I believe in you, and I can truly see great things happening for you!

Now go out there, make some waves of your own, and spread the good vibes!

P.S. Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below, and share this article with others you think might benefit from and/or enjoy it.

P.P.S. One last thing: Here’s a short film that became popular a while ago, which makes up an entertaining illustration of the contents of this article (<– IMHO it starts off a little cheesy, but the story takes off after about four minutes in and is definitely worth watching):


[1] Lacey, J.I. and B.C. Lacey (1978), “Two-way Communication between the Heart and the Brain: Significance of Time within the Cardiac Cycle,” American Psychologist, pp. 99-113;

[2] McCraty, R. (2002), “Influence of Cardiac Afferent Input on Heart-Brain Synchronization and Cognitive Performance,” International Journal of Phychophysiology, Vol. 46 (1-2), pp. 72-73;

[3]Armour, J.A. (1991), “Anatomy and Function of the Intrathoracic Neurons Regulating the Mammalian Heart,” in: Zucker, I.H. and J.P. Gilmore (eds.), Reflex Control of the Circulation, Boca Raton, FL, CRC Press, pp. 1-37;

[4] Armour, J.A. (1994), Neurocardiology: Anatomical and Functional Principles, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, pp. 3-19;

[5] McCraty, R., Bradley, R.T. and D. Tomasino (2004), “The Resonant Heart,” in: Shift: At the Frontiers of Consciousness, 5, pp. 15-19 (PDF);

[6] McCraty, R. (2004), “The Energetic Heart: Bioelectromagnetic Communication within and between People,” in: Rosch, P.J. and M.S. Markov (eds.), Clinical Applications of Bioelectromagnetic Medicine, New York: Marcel Dekker, pp. 541-562;

[7] Vesely, D.L. (2012), “New Anticancer Agents: Hormones Made within the Heart,” Anticancer Research, Vol. 32 (7), pp. 2515-2521;

[8] Rein, G., McCraty, R. and M. Atkinson (1995), “The Physiological and Psychological Effects of Compassion and Anger,” Journal of Advancement in Medicine, Vol. 8 (2), pp. 87-105;

[9] McCraty, R., Atkinson, M., Tiller, W.A., Rein, G., and A.D. Watkins (1995), “The Effects of Emotions on Short-Term Power Spectrum Analysis of Heart Rate Variability,” American Journal of Cardiology, Vol. 76 (14), pp. 1089-1093;

[10] Childre, D. and R. McCraty (2001), “Psychophysiological Correlates of Spiritual Experience,” Biofeedback, Vol. 29 (4), pp. 13-17;

[11] McCraty, R., Atkinson, M. and R.T. Bradley (2004), “Electrophysiological Evidence of Intuition – Part 1: The Surprising Role of the Heart,” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Vol. 10 (1), pp. 133-143;

[12] McCraty, R., Atkinson, M. and R.T. Bradley (2004), “Electrophysiological Evidence of Intuition – Part 2: A System-Wide Process?” Journal of Alternative and complementary Medicine, Vol. 10 (2), pp. 325-336;

[13] Fosar, F. and F. Bludorf (2001), Vernetzte Intelligenz, Omega-Verlag, Düsseldorf, Germany;

[14] Hagelin, J.S., Rainforth, M.V., Orme-Johnson, D.W., Cavanaugh, K.L., Alexander, C.N., Shatkin, S.F., Davies, J.L., Hughes, A.O., and E. Ross (1999), “Effects of Group Practice of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Preventing Violent Crime in Washington, D.C.: Results of the National Demonstration Project June-July 1993,” Social Indicators Research, Vol. 47 (2), pp. 153-201.