Steve Pavlina https://stevepavllina.com Personal Development for Smart People Wed, 13 Mar 2019 16:23:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://stevepavllina.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/cropped-Steve-Studio-32x32.jpgSteve Pavlinahttps://stevepavllina.com 32 32 109235568 Conscious Growth Club Surges to More than 150 Membershttps://stevepavllina.com/news/conscious-growth-club-surges-to-more-than-150-members/ Fri, 03 May 2019 14:51:01 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?post_type=news&p=16816 Our recent Conscious Growth Club launch went well, growing the group by more than 60%. Now we have more than 150 members teaming up to create an incredible growth-oriented year together, which is terrific. The current mix in the club is roughly 60% previous members and 40% new members who just joined us. That’s a…

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Our recent Conscious Growth Club launch went well, growing the group by more than 60%. Now we have more than 150 members teaming up to create an incredible growth-oriented year together, which is terrific.

The current mix in the club is roughly 60% previous members and 40% new members who just joined us. That’s a really nice blend. The new members are bringing a delightful infusion of fresh energy into the group, and the continuing members are enthusiastically welcoming them and helping them get oriented.

I also feel like the group just received a major intelligence upgrade in the process: more smart people, wider and deeper skills represented, more experience, and more resourcefulness all around.

Some members are already meeting up in person too, which is great to see. Part of our roadmap includes incorporating live events (possibly starting in 2020), so we can all get together in person as well. This year I intend to continue making the online experience of Conscious Growth Club even better since that keeps it highly accessible.

Most likely we’ll reopen for new members in April 2020. So if you didn’t join this time, you may want to mark your calendar to check in with us then. Or you can join our email list to be notified.

I especially love that we’re a global group. We have members on every continent but one. I’m sure you can guess who the holdout is. Perhaps we’ll eventually recruit a member from McMurdo Station. 😉

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Conscious Growth Club Private Portal Walkthrough Videohttps://stevepavllina.com/blog/2019/05/conscious-growth-club-private-portal-walkthrough-video/ Thu, 02 May 2019 04:17:51 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?p=16802 Here’s a short walkthrough video showing what the Conscious Growth Club member portal and forums look like on the inside. Enjoy! Enrollment is only open till midnight Pacific time today (May 1st). So this is your last call! Update May 4, 2019: This year’s enrollment window is closed. We intend to open again for new…

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Here’s a short walkthrough video showing what the Conscious Growth Club member portal and forums look like on the inside. Enjoy!

Enrollment is only open till midnight Pacific time today (May 1st). So this is your last call!

Update May 4, 2019: This year’s enrollment window is closed. We intend to open again for new members in April 2020. So if you didn’t join this time, you may want to mark your calendar to check in with us then. Or you can join our email list to be notified.

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Why Would 100+ People Pay $2K to Join Conscious Growth Club?https://stevepavllina.com/blog/2019/04/why-would-100-people-pay-2k-to-join-conscious-growth-club/ Tue, 30 Apr 2019 21:09:14 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?p=16776 For some people it seems unfathomable to invest such an amount on a one-year membership to an online personal growth program. Seriously… you should see some of the reactions people are having to the Facebook and Instagram ads I’ve been running for the past few days to promote the launch. Those ads are actually doing…

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For some people it seems unfathomable to invest such an amount on a one-year membership to an online personal growth program. Seriously… you should see some of the reactions people are having to the Facebook and Instagram ads I’ve been running for the past few days to promote the launch. Those ads are actually doing well, and we’ve gained many great members in the past few days, but sharing such an invitation with a wide audience sure does unearth a plethora of limiting beliefs and irrational assumptions. So I’d like to address that since I know the price is a sticking point for many people.

Of course the exterior perspective looking in is often very different than the interior perspective looking out. I actually see my past self in a lot of those limiting beliefs, back when I had no clue about what such groups were really like on the inside.

I’ve personally been a paid member of private groups that range in cost from $2K to $30K per year, and all of them have been worthwhile. The first one I joined was in 2009, and as you might imagine, it was a stretch experience to spend that kind of money. But having done this multiple times now, I always felt like I got my money’s worth and then some.

These experiences helped inspire me to create and launch Conscious Growth Club, which has been going since April 2017. We have more than 100 paying members, so there are indeed plenty of people who like the idea enough to join, more than enough to make the group viable, sustainable, and abundant on the inside. (Updated May 4, 2019: We now have more than 150 members.)

Let me share a bit of the interior perspective, in the simple form of a bullet list. By the time you read to the bottom, you should have a better idea of why people actually do this sort of thing, including me.

Why would 100+ people pay $2K per year to join Conscious Growth Club?

  • For accessible connections with other people willing to do the same (which is an unusual group of people)
  • To immediately immerse yourself in a strong peer group
  • Filling your social circle with smart, fascinating, wickedly creative people
  • For the energy, excitement, and enthusiasm
  • Because it stretches you as a person
  • It changes your self-image, makes you think more is possible
  • Because the payoff from such an investment is worth it, often hugely so
  • Getting results you otherwise wouldn’t have gotten
  • Getting results faster
  • For the increased accountability of putting your money where your mouth is
  • Feeling fully committed to growth and change
  • Feeling certain that you’re going to move forward and make progress
  • To shatter your old limitations
  • It’s highly motivating and stimulating
  • It gets you taking action in a way nothing else will
  • Becoming more ambitious and goal-oriented
  • Feeling compelled to step up to the level of peers you respect and admire
  • Being surrounded by people who take lots of action and getting swept up in their energy
  • Because it will turn out to be one of the best decisions of your life
  • Having tons of fun playfully achieving your goals
  • Channeling your powerful heart energy instead of being stuck in your head
  • Going after bigger goals that you wouldn’t dare to pursue before
  • Having to redefine how you relate to yourself because you’ve blown through so many limitations
  • Because initially you think you can’t afford it, and then you somehow observe yourself joining anyway
  • Because you’re at your best when you do things you don’t feel ready for
  • Because you like speed
  • Because you like pausing now and then to appreciate the opposite of speed
  • Because you want to be fully present
  • Because you realize that this is an invitation from your simulation
  • Because you can’t stop thinking about the possibility
  • Because you want to explore what’s on the other side of “What if?”
  • Because achieving big goals can be so much more fun if you share the journey with good friends
  • Because lots of people have to stretch their possibility space to join, and befriending people who can and will achieve their stretch goals is inspiring
  • Because it upgrades your relationship with reality
  • Because the alternative is to say yes to a limiting belief instead
  • Because you’re done taking the blue pill
  • To keep inviting you to refocus on action steps towards your goals when you might otherwise have a tendency to drift
  • Finally letting that unapologetic genius inside you come out and play
  • Getting more clarity about what you want than you ever had before
  • Seeing your spiritual side being fully expressed into the world
  • Bearing witness to positive ripples you’re creating
  • Feeding and fueling the very best parts of you
  • Surrounding yourself with “Yes, and…” people
  • Enjoying the company of health-conscious friends who don’t need alcohol to socialize playfully
  • Staying consistent as you make progress
  • Getting used to a faster rate of growth and change
  • Future-proofing your career path
  • Feeling that your life is finally aligned
  • Really discovering what your best looks like instead of knowing that you could be doing better
  • Watching your social circle sculpt and chisel you into your best self
  • Observing that you’re finally becoming the powerful person you’ve always dreamed of being
  • Belonging to a caring and generous tribe that supports you in being your best
  • Waking up each morning feeling excited by the progress you’re making
  • Working, living, and connecting in the space of deep meaning
  • Looking back on the past year and thinking, “Wow… how did I do all of that?”
  • Feeling super secure because you always have smart, caring friends who’ve got your back
  • Having smart people you can immediately turn to for help and advice
  • Finding the best creative flow of your life
  • Receiving some of the best invitations of your life, which flow through your frictionless social network
  • Meeting an outstanding relationship partner and falling in love
  • Solving long-term problems you’ve been stuck with for years
  • Actually having those experiences you almost gave up on
  • Having friends who will raise you up
  • Having close friends that you respect, admire, and find inspiring
  • Deeply appreciating what you have
  • Expecting your life to keep getting better year after year
  • Seeing clear evidence that your life really is getting better
  • Leveraging your social abundance to upgrade your financial abundance
  • Easily affording experiences that were previously out of reach
  • Knowing what it feels like to live in abundance
  • Tackling meaningful creative projects and finally getting them done and published
  • Proving your critics wrong and making them lose all their hair and cry
  • Creating a new normal for yourself
  • Because that $2K will soon seem ridiculously small to you

The exterior perspective is that you’d have to be crazy to do this. The interior perspective is that you’d have to be crazy not to. That’s basically why the border is hard to cross. The first time is the hardest, and after that it’s a lot easier because then you know what it’s like.

It’s not the price that matters per se. It’s the value derived from belonging to such a group, and that value can be tremendous.

What’s really interesting is that the objections to being in such a group are usually irrational. They’ll seem like rational objections at first, but it’s really your emotional brain fooling you.

Many people see the investment as an unfathomably big expense, yet they actually could afford it if they wanted to. And even if they couldn’t do so right away, the challenge of coming up with an extra $2K is an interesting one. It’s a solvable problem. It may take some creativity, but even children have been able to solve that type of problem if they’re motivated enough. If a highly motivated child could do it, why not an intelligent adult? In some ways it’s harder for the adult because their mental baggage makes it harder than necessary. It probably won’t surprise you to know that on the inside of such a group, you’ll find a lot of people who are willing to let go of their mental baggage and start blowing past their previous limitations. That’s how they were able to get themselves to join.

I share this from personal experience because I had much the same limiting beliefs about these types of experiences as anyone else. I had my financial comfort zone, and I stayed within its boundaries. But then I started getting some invitations that challenged me to question those boundaries.

People see that price tag as a big, scary risk. It feels unsafe. And yeah, it is a bit of a risk, but there’s an even bigger risk to assess. Considering the full breadth and depth of benefits that can (rather predictably) arise from belonging to a motivated and committed group of people, isn’t it a much bigger long-term risk to never test this? Wouldn’t it be wise to test it at least a few times, just to be sure? That’s how I framed it – what if a group like this is even more amazing and beneficial than I imagine on the inside, and I never allowed myself to have that experience in my entire life? I figured that if I took the risk and it didn’t pan out, oh well, I could always earn more money. It would be a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of my life. But what if it did pan out? What if the potential gain turned out to be one of the best bets and biggest wins of my whole life?

After all, it’s fairly predictable that if you were to join a group like this, you’re going to get lots of value out of it. And that’s because you’ll do your part to make damned well sure that you do. You wouldn’t let yourself waste that kind of money. You’ll push yourself to extract the value, if only because you don’t want to look like an idiot for making a bad decision. So you’re going to do what it takes to get your money’s worth. That’s always been true for me when I’ve joined such groups. I realized that if I’m going to do this, I’d better be all-in with it and do what it takes to extract the value. Otherwise I’m going to look really foolish. Believe it or not, this is actually good motivation for getting the value. We’ll often work harder to avoid looking like a fool than we will to look like a genius. In this case the risk of loss is your friend, as weird as that may seem.

I almost didn’t join an amazing group a few years ago because I thought it wouldn’t be good timing for me. But that was actually another irrational objection, as I soon realized after pondering it more deeply. When I was invited to join, the timing wasn’t great because I had a lot of things going on at the time, but beyond that the timing was actually decent because I could always dive into it when I was ready, and I could still get plenty of value from the one-year membership even if I was only going to get 10-11 months worth. I’m really glad I didn’t miss out on that whole year just because I wasn’t going to be as available for the first month.

When is the timing ever going to feel right when you’re making the decision to create a major discontinuity in your path? Joining a group like this can feel like taking a hard turn – most likely an amazingly beneficial one – but where on your calendar have you made space for such a thing? In other to really think about this rationally, you must recognize and accept that the timing for a decision of this nature is most likely never going to feel like it fits all that well. If it does fit perfectly into your life, that’s unusual. Most people have to do whatever it takes to make it fit, as opposed to having it feel like a natural fit as soon as the invitation comes up.

In terms of making the decision to join Conscious Growth Club, I encourage you to think about the decision rationally, especially when it comes to the cost-benefit calculation. For many people, the price really isn’t such a big deal as they initially make it out to be. It feels like a big deal emotionally at first – I get that – but how does it look when you consider the big picture from a more rational perspective? Is it really such a huge expense relative to the potential gains you’ll invite into your life? Could the value be worth it to you?

That’s how I made the decision to start buying into such groups. Initially my emotional brain exploded with objections, and I almost got stuck there. Then I actually wrote down those objections and began analyzing them with my best logical thinking. I realized that if I was in a group of 100+ people who’d all paid the same amount, it was highly likely I’d get my money’s worth and then some. I knew I’d participate and make an effort, and so would the other members most likely. I knew I’d be in a group of smart people who were willing to risk some cash for the chance to team up and help each other make real progress. We’d all be on the same side, all wanting to help each other get the value we were paying for. We’d be so committed that we’d co-create the experience. Even if the program itself was only so-so, the kinds of motivated people it attracted would step up and help each other get results. The math added up. And really when I joined and reached the other side, my calculations were validated. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised that I’d vastly underestimated the full range of benefits. Hence the bullet list I shared above, which covers a lot but not even all of them.

So I encourage you to do the same. This isn’t really an emotional choice. There’s actually a very rational assessment to be made in order to make an intelligent decision. And because of the rationality it takes to join this kind of group, what you’ll find on the inside of such a group are lots of very grounded, rationally minded people. They’re enthusiastic and motivated of course, but they’re also sharp, intelligent, and down-to-earth.

You see… the $2K price for Conscious Growth Club is actually something of a rationality filter. People who can’t get past their emotional blocks aren’t going to join. They’ll get hung up on some reflexive objection like I can’t afford it or it’s not good timing. But those who can calm themselves and look at the big picture are more likely to determine that joining a group like this is a good bet with a positive expected value.

Just look around at other forms of social media these days. Haven’t you noticed that there’s been a brain drain from these services since you first joined them?

I remember when Google+ first launched some years ago. I was an early adopter and signed up right away. I actually liked it because the people I encountered there seemed very bright, especially compared to what I saw on Facebook and Twitter. But the Google+ community gradually died off, and Google finally shut it down. In the rest of the social media world, it’s been feeling like we’re stuck in a race to the bottom. They’re good places for interacting in quantity, but are there lots of quality interactions focused on making real progress towards full self-actualization? Not so much…

More and more, what I’ve found is that the smart, successful, and ambitious people are flowing into paid, private communities to connect with each other away from the constant noise and drama of social media. It’s in these private communities that people genuinely help each other to make intelligent progress. Such communities favor quality over quantity, and this is perhaps the main reason they pay off so well.

I’m not saying there aren’t good free communities out there – we hosted a large one several years ago – but they seem increasingly rare these days. By pushing for quantity over quality, these services just don’t provide very good value for smart, ambitious, growth-oriented people. They’re more likely to distract you from focusing on your goals and making real progress. This is partly why I’ve been seen paid community participation on the rise – and also why I created one.

Conscious Growth Club can’t compete with what Facebook and Instagram provides in terms of quantity, but we can and do absolutely, positively blow them away in terms of quality. Seriously, even our cat pics are better. 😉

When I ask most reasonably intelligent people, “Do you still see yourself being active on Facebook 5 years from now?” I can never seem to get a yes. Well, those who use it for business will often say yes, but not those who use it on the personal side. If you’d rather not be on Facebook for the rest of your life, then what other doors are open to you. I can think of one…

Join us or don’t join us. There are no fence sitters inside the group.

Our enrollment period for 2019 ends at midnight Pacific time on May 1st, so if you’re going to join us, please do so soon. There’s something of a welcoming party for all the new members happening inside the group right now. 🙂

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Conscious Growth Club Q&Ahttps://stevepavllina.com/blog/2019/04/conscious-growth-club-qa/ Tue, 30 Apr 2019 02:32:26 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?p=16758 I’ve been receiving some interesting questions, feedback, and comments since the launch of Conscious Growth Club started a few days ago. I think it makes sense to answer them all in one place since I imagine that more people have similar questions about the group. I didn’t pre-write this in advance in case you’re wondering.…

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I’ve been receiving some interesting questions, feedback, and comments since the launch of Conscious Growth Club started a few days ago. I think it makes sense to answer them all in one place since I imagine that more people have similar questions about the group.

I didn’t pre-write this in advance in case you’re wondering. In fact, I hadn’t decided to write such a post till I woke up this morning and had some ideas swirling in my head regarding recent questions and comments about the group.

How many members does Conscious Growth Club currently have?

Updated May 4, 2019: Presently we have more than 150 members.

Could you offer a monthly membership option?

I don’t intend to ever offer a monthly option for Conscious Growth Club. I’ve always intended this to be a yearly membership with the invitation to renew at the end of each year.

A monthly membership wouldn’t serve our purpose nearly as well. This is a group for people who really want to invest in their personal growth. A monthly membership would attract a lot of short-term dabblers, which isn’t a good match for people who are long-term committed. Given how this group works, catering to those with a more casual interest would be a distraction.

An annual membership requires a higher commitment level. That makes for a smaller yet more tightly bonded group. When you join, you’re joining a group of people who are also willing and able to make at least a one-year commitment. Most people aren’t going to do that, but if you are that kind of person who really wants to invest in your self-development for meaningful, long-term improvements, you’ll probably get a lot of value from being involved in a community of people who are highly committed to this aim as well.

This group is designed to provide the most benefit to members who choose to renew year after year – for 3 years, 5, years, 10 years, and beyond. And that’s because this is how self-development tends to work. Short-term gains can happen, and that’s part of the group too, but for long-term gains it’s all about consistency – making intelligent choices and taking focused action over a period of years. It takes time to develop good habits that serve us well for life.

Maintaining a low churn rate, at least over the course of a year, serves our purpose well. It allows sufficient time for members to get to know each other, to care about each other, and to relate to each other as friends and peers. The ability to make dozens of intelligent, growth-oriented friends and to maintain those relationships over a period of years is a significant part of the value of Conscious Growth Club. We’re providing a service to actively help people develop and maintain those relationships.

I’d join if there was a payment plan. Will you consider offering one?

We tested a payment plan during the Early Access period – it was offered from the start when we first opened in April 2017. It did attract more members who might not have otherwise joined, but unfortunately it didn’t work out well enough to make me want to continue offering it, so I’ve decided not to offer a payment plan going forward.

The payment plan added more complexity and distraction, which I disliked and would rather not deal with anymore. Some members overstretched themselves financially and didn’t complete their payments, and they had to be dropped from the group. Sometimes people wanted to put their payments on pause. Other times people decided they could just quit after a month or two, trying to treat it like a monthly pay-as-you-go plan, despite the fact that they’d agreed to commit to the full year.

The actual experience of offering a payment plan was disappointing to say the least, even though it did result in a net gain from a numbers standpoint, including some people who’ve been excellent members. Alignment matters more to me though, and offering a payment plan ran contrary to that purpose.

Most members chose to pay in full anyway, so the payment plan wasn’t as popular. I fully expect that if we offered a payment plan, we’d attract more members, perhaps as much as 20% more. But to me it’s just not worth all the problems and distractions it creates.

It’s not as good for the community to have some members dropping out along the way for payment related reasons. When other members invest in you and then you drop out, you let everyone down.

It feels more aligned to get everyone’s payments handled up front as they join. Then everyone inside knows they’re fully paid up for the year, and we can be fully present with investing in each other for the year. Then no one has to wonder who might drop out along the way because they couldn’t or wouldn’t honor the payment plan.

I especially disliked having to drop someone from the group because they didn’t make their payments. It would be unfair to other members to keep them in the group though.

If people want to finance their memberships some other way, that’s up to them. I no longer wish to be involved in extending credit though. I seemed like a good idea at the time, and I’m glad that we at least tested it, but I like the dynamic a lot better without it. I think it yields a healthier community inside. And people can always save up and join in a future year if they so desire.

$2K is a lot of money!

Is it really?

For many it seems so. For some it’s a fairly small sum. Whether it seems big or small isn’t absolute but is of course relative to one’s situation, priorities, resources, and resourcefulness.

This amount works out to $5.47 per day for a one-year membership – basically a daily Starbucks. Is that a lot to invest in one’s personal growth each day? We can say that it’s a matter of perspective, but given the choice between forming a group of people who value their personal growth more or less than coffee, I think I’ll go with those who will prioritize their Conscious Growth Club membership over a vanilla latte.

On the inside many members are leveraging their Conscious Growth Club membership to help increase their financial abundance, such as by developing new income streams. Some members maintain progress logs to keep us posted on how they’re doing.

It’s good for all of us to help such members succeed. If members do better financially, they’re more likely to renew and less likely to drop out. And of course people would rather not see their friends in the group have to drop out due to a lack of funds if they can help prevent that. So there are good incentives for us wanting to help each other prosper financially.

I’ve seen a similar dynamic in other paid groups. People tend to be more invested in helping each other succeed, so they can all continue to leverage the ongoing benefits of being in the group. I find it especially fascinating that maintaining access to positive peer groups can be very financially motivating too. That’s been the case for me as well. It’s fun to hang out with ambitious, action-oriented, and playfully abundant people, especially when you get to do so on a daily basis.

I invest a lot more than $2K per year in my own personal growth, and if someone else had formed a group like this, I’d pay to join it. Such groups can pay off really well. My positive experiences in other paid groups helped motivate me to get Conscious Growth Club up and running, especially when I saw that I could offer something unique that didn’t exist yet.

I’m currently a member of the Transformational Leadership Council (Jack Canfield’s group, also seen in the movie The Secret), and the dues for that are $2K per year. With the costs of attending their retreats twice a year and Rachelle going with me (they charge extra for guests), it really costs me more like $7-9K per year for the membership. I think it’s a good deal.

Last year I spent $30K for a one-year membership in a mastermind group, and I spent about $12K on a related group the year before that. I also maintain some other memberships with varying prices. To me this is just a perfectly normal and intelligent thing to do. Of course it took me a while to reach this point, but I feel pretty solidly planted in this type of reality now. Such investments generally pay off very well, both personally and professionally. Given what I know, I’d only stop investing in these kinds of groups if I deliberately wanted to slow myself down.

I’d be hard pressed to think of intelligent and successful friends who don’t continue to invest in their self-development. Personally it’s one of my favorite areas to invest my own money as well. The long-term gains from doing so are excellent. I started with free books from the library, then progressed to books and audiobooks, then live events and courses, and eventually clubs and mastermind groups. This is actually a fairly common progression, although today people are likely to leverage the Internet a lot more than I did when I started.

I realize that putting a price tag on this isn’t a perfect filter, but it’s a simple one to implement, and it works reasonably well in practice. It helps us form a stable group of people who are genuinely willing to help each other get results. It’s also easier than having a complicated application process.

For one reason or another, most people will not invest $2K or more in their self-development. Conscious Growth Club wasn’t designed for most people though. I designed it to serve people who are willing and able to invest $2K per year – and to serve them well.

I can’t afford it.

That is okay. You may be right. Life is full of items and experiences we can’t afford to buy, even for the wealthiest in the world.

Just do your best to fully leverage the value of what you can afford. Conscious Growth Club will be around a long time. Maybe you’ll join us at another time. The door remains open for you when you’re ready.

In the meantime, be sure to fully leverage what’s already been provided. I’ve spent a decade and a half of my life writing about 1400 free articles and recording dozens of free audios and videos. These are also uncopyrighted and donated to the public domain, and I keep them available for people to access freely. You don’t even have to opt-in to anything to access them.

The first major course we developed was designed to help people improve their abundance alignment, hence the title Deep Abundance Integration. It’s an in-depth 36-hour program and only costs $97. As people have noted, it feels more like a $1K program. I deliberately priced it low to make it more affordable for people who want help in this area of life. We recorded it live over 30 days in August 2018, and hundreds of people have already taken this course with more still enrolling in it each month. I’m keeping it available indefinitely because it serves people well; it helps them take more steps in the direction of abundance. You can see the feedback people have shared about it if you’re curious.

Additionally, some people treat the affordability issue as a personal challenge. It creates a conflict between their desire to participate in a personally meaningful experience and their current self-image that’s still keeping them stuck in some ways. Such inner conflicts are common in life, and they actually help us grow – if we allow ourselves to accept them as invitations instead of rejecting them as punishments or taunts.

There are active members of Conscious Growth Club who found it challenging to afford their membership, and they decided to see if they could make it happen anyway. For some people there can be a personal growth journey just to join such a group. This often involves some reframes about what’s personally possible. For some people it was a big stretch experience to attend one or more of our previous live workshops as well. Just getting to the hotel can feel like a major accomplishment.

When I was younger, I would have found it difficult to pay $2000 for any sort of personal growth program. But eventually I did begin to invest. In college I paid $500 to attend a 4-day speed reading course. The following year I bought into a 6-month coaching program, which I think was around $900. Later I attended some seminars that were $500 to $800. Sometimes the money seemed like it was well spent, but not always. There is some genuine risk in these kinds of investments. Over time the payoff is very good though.

For some people to be able to join Conscious Growth Club, they have to go through a bit of a self-image upgrade as well, being able to see themselves as part of a community of 100+ people who are very growth-oriented.

Years ago when I was just getting started in Toastmasters, a wise mentor told me that he found it empowering to keep joining groups where he barely felt qualified to be a member. He said that had helped him grow tremendously in life. At the time he was inviting me to consider switching from my fairly typical Toastmasters club to an advanced club that he was in. I went to one of the new club’s meetings as a guest and was immediately intimidated by the quality of the speakers there. There were some amazing pros in the group – eloquent and dynamic speakers that I could scarcely hope to match. I joined anyway, realizing that I wouldn’t feel too comfortable at first but that it would surely be a growth experience if I stuck with it, and it was. Less than 5 years later, I confidently delivered my first 3-day workshop for 115 people at Harrah’s Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. That was also the event where Rachelle and I first met – a nice reward indeed. 🙂

Some of life’s rewards can be challenging to access. Conscious Growth Club isn’t meant to be easy for everyone to access. It is accessible in that it’s within the reach of plenty of people, including those who are already inside. But that doesn’t mean that the journey to get there will be easy. For some it will be quite challenging. Is that a problem or an invitation? It depends on how you want to frame it.

What you’re doing with Conscious Growth Club could really impact a lot of lives if it were free and available to everyone. People shouldn’t have to pay for transformation. It should be free.

Transformation is free. A membership in Conscious Growth Club is not.

If I offered something similar in design and made it free, and we invited people to join for free, it might still be interesting, but it wouldn’t be Conscious Growth Club.

Conscious Growth Club is a paid program, and delivering it in this form has many advantages. The investments people make help to ensure that the group has ample resources, making it more sustainable. This also make it easy to investment in its ongoing development. Having a price to join attracts more committed, ambitious, and action-oriented people than a free community would. It keeps the group more manageable in size, so we can give members more personal attention, such as the many hours I’ve spent coaching people on our coaching calls. This also creates a sense of accountability among members to do their part to get their money’s worth from their memberships.

From 2006 to 2011, we ran free public forums for 5 years (at a loss to provide the service). More than 50K people created accounts, and there were more than a million posts. That experience ran its course for me.

In free circles, people mostly talk about personal growth. They discuss and debate quite a bit. They usually hesitate when it comes to bold action though.

Our free forums were quite possibly the best of their kind anywhere. We had a good run, but that ship has already sailed.

Give this some thought: Would you rather participate every day in a free forum with 50,000 members, where no one has invested a dime to be there? Or would you rather participate every day in a paid forum with about 100 members (1/500th as many as the free forum), knowing that they all invested $2000 for access? That isn’t a trick question, and there’s no single answer that’s right for everyone. It’s simply a question of what’s right for you, right now. I spent many years of my life having the free experience too, but right now I very much prefer the paid community experience. It’s just a better match all around.

Free is a good start for many people. I also benefitted from other people’s free content and free communities when I first began on this path. But eventually I saw that I benefitted more when I paid money and had some skin in the game. The risk of loss motivated me to try harder and take more action. And paid communities tend to have very different dynamics inside than free ones.

When someone pays $2K to be part of a group with 100+ other people making a similar commitment, it raises the accountability bar for everyone. Free doesn’t provide much accountability to take action and get results. No one needs a result when they aren’t invested. If people aren’t getting results but there was no significant risk to them anyway, people are frequently okay with that. They just move on to something else that’s also free. In the long run though, this approach is limiting. It can feel pretty circular after a while.

It would be wonderful if people would routinely make powerful progress just the same when they pay nothing, but that usually isn’t the case. We frequently need some risk to drive us. We’ll often do more to avoid losing than we will to accomplish something risk-free.

Having some risk of loss isn’t a bad thing. Risk can be stimulating and motivating. It’s what drives many entrepreneurs.

When you invest financially, you feel that pressure to act. You sense the risk of loss if you don’t do your part. And that works well for a lot of people, including me. It gets us taking action and testing ideas, and from that we eventually get some meaningful results.

I’ve invested a lot to make Conscious Growth Club a reality. It was a risk to attempt to create such a group. It required a lot of nurturing, careful decision-making, and co-creative solutions. It hasn’t been an easy project, and I never expected it to be. I feel very good about what we’ve built thus far and how it will continue to evolve.

I’ve explored a lot of ways to provide value to people for free. For the past couple of years, I’ve felt inspired to explore the paid side. I genuinely like both, but these days I feel more fascinated and inspired to invest more time and energy on the paid side. I like working with smaller groups of highly committed people. I like the exchange of value and the mutual support. It all feels very aligned to me right now.

People don’t have to pay for transformation, and if anyone prefers to remain in the free space, that’s totally fine of course. I expect to be working mainly on the paid side for the coming years though. I really like how it’s going so far, and I feel motivated to keep exploring it. I think it’s been a very healthy exploration for my own path of growth too. I feel very excited and alive at the prospect of continuing along this path. It’s a compelling type of experience to explore.

I loved your invitation video, but there was one thing that triggered me, which was that you used $1997 for the price instead of an even $2000. That seemed gimmicky since it’s so common in marketing circles.

I did actually give this some thought when someone else made similar comments at the start of the Early Access sign-ups in 2017.

I don’t really know whether a price that ends in 7, 9, 0, or any other digit would yield more sign-ups because I haven’t split-tested it. So I can’t claim to use prices that end in 7 for optimization reasons due to any testing. I do remember reading in an ebook years ago that people generally like prices that end in 7. If there’s any truth to that, I have no problem doing what people might like. Why should I deliberately do something they may not like as much? The actual price difference isn’t going to matter much to myself or anyone else. But if someone didn’t join Conscious Growth Club because some part of their brain subconsciously rejected a price that ended in 0, that would kind of suck for all involved, wouldn’t it? No one benefits in that situation.

$2000 feels okay to me, but $1997 genuinely feels more aligned. Somehow $1997 feels slightly more fun to me, maybe because I’ve bought other items at that price, felt good about those purchases, and got some solid value from them.

To me the $1997 price helps convey a sense of value, like you’re paying a bit less than expected, but you’re actually getting more value in return. I think that’s very true of Conscious Growth Club, so I feel this framing fits. For whatever reason, when I see other programs prices at $1997, I figure they’re likely to be good values and that I’ll probably get my money’s worth. When I spend $1997 on a course, for instance, it’s probably worth at least 10X to me in terms of the value I receive from it.

Using an exact price of $2000 feels like it sends a flatter message, such as: You get only what you pay for. What’s inside won’t impress or surprise you. It will merely match your expectations.

I think where a flat price would convey a better message would be if we were pricing something a lot higher, and part of the value proposition is that people are willing to pay this much. If we had a $25K per year mastermind group, for instance, I’d rather price it at $25,000 even instead of $24,997.

I also mentioned in the video that I like prices that end in 7. In Las Vegas where I live, it’s considered a lucky number because 7-7-7 is a win on local slot machines. Many places have phone numbers here that include lots of 7s, like numbers ending in 7777. Then again, maybe I like prices that end in 7 for the same reason that a lot of other people do.

Nevertheless, I do understand the negative reaction to all things that connect with marketing. I do put a lot of thought into making decisions that feel aligned, sometimes to the point of overkill. Keep in mind that I don’t have the same negative reactions to marketing that some people do. I find many aspects of marketing to be fun, especially the creative side. At its best it’s about helping people do what’s in their best interests anyway. Once I saw that, it helped me develop a certain appreciation for it.

What’s the difference between coaching and therapy?

I like to think of it as the difference between training and healing. There is some overlap between the two though, and coaching can often be therapeutic.

Think of this as the difference between a personal trainer and a doctor. If your health is basically okay and you want to improve your fitness, you’d probably favor the trainer to help you get certain results.

But if you have a broken arm, the doctor would be a better choice. If you go to the trainer instead, that’s going to be messy and painful until you get your arm fixed first. It’s also likely to be messy and painful if people try to treat me as their therapist.

If you’re in a mental and emotional condition that you’d generally describe as okay or decent, and you’re functional enough to be able to take some actions in a new direction if you felt motivated to do so, then coaching and an empowering peer group could be terrific additions to your life. They can help you achieve better results than you otherwise would on your own.

But if you can barely function, such as if you’re dealing with deep depression or other serious mental or emotional issues, therapy or some other form of help would be more practical than coaching.

I have a lot of experience with coaching and helping people improve their lives, and I’m good friends with dozens of other coaches as well, so I’m very well immersed in that space. I continue to invest in up-leveling my skills in this area too. I want to keep getting better and better at it.

I love working with people who are generally okay, but they know they could be doing better. I like helping people progress from moderately functional to thriving, prosperous, and inspired. For a variety of reasons, I feel that’s my role to play for now.

Consequently, Conscious Growth Club may not be the best place for healing deep-seated traumas and such if you perceive a real need for that right now. There are other people and groups who specialize in trauma, but I don’t count myself among them. My life has had its ups and downs, but overall it hasn’t been particularly traumatic.

I do feel a lot of compassion for people who are dealing with trauma and a lot of stuckness surrounding it, but I don’t feel I have as much to offer such people. I can offer listening and understanding, but I don’t feel I possess the skills to directly help people with trauma-based issues. I feel much better equipped to help people who are generally okay, and they want to keep making improvements beyond that.

Even so, my work has helped a lot of people with healing. It has apparently prevented many suicides, based on the feedback people have shared about that. I’m glad that it’s capable of having that effect, and it’s good to know that such ripples are being created. I cannot say that this was deliberate on my part though, other than perhaps being a result of holding the intention to create positive ripples in people’s lives.

There are other ways to frame the difference between coaching and therapy too. Some say that coaching is future facing while therapy delves into the past. I’m not sure it’s so clear cut as that, however. Past issues, such as limiting beliefs, often arise in coaching too. And I think healing can be approached in a future facing way as well. If you have a broken arm, you may prefer to focus on getting it fixed as opposed to delving in the reasons why it happened and how to forgive yourself. 🙂

What do you see as the future path for Conscious Growth Club? Where do you think it will go in the years ahead?

This year the main focus will be on improving the online experience. I’d also like to help more of our members resolve alignment issues that are holding them back from really hitting their creative strides, which will help with their abundance alignment as well.

On the inside, it’s actually a very creative group. Sometimes Conscious Growth Club feels like a creative playground, especially when I check the forums and see new songs or photographs or launch ideas that our members are working on. There are lots of creative projects in motion inside the group, and I expect we’ll see more popping up in the months ahead. I think this is a very positive energy to foster.

I expect that over time, the creative energy and alignment of the group is going to increase. If I had to make a prediction, my expectation would be that more members are going to move away from doing less creative work, and more will allow themselves to be swept up in the desire to express more of who they really are into the world. I think there will be more music, writing, art, films, designs, software, and other forms of creative work spiraling towards fruition inside the group. This kind of energy is already there, but it feels like it hasn’t fully unfolded yet.

I feel the presence of this creative energy inside the group myself a lot. It’s fair to say that the recent Deep Abundance Integration and Submersion deep dives were largely inspired by this creative energy swirling around inside Conscious Growth Club. I love this kind of energy so much. It gives me a feeling of creative limitlessness. I feel like it would be so much fun to keep creating more deep dives and challenging myself to deliver them in different ways.

I think that Conscious Growth Club is going to help a lot creative projects move from imagination to reality in the years ahead. Many members are already moving in this direction. I think this place is gradually evolving into something like an artists’ community from the Renaissance period. There’s going to be a lot of cross-pollination of interesting creative skills, and that’s going to lead to some really interesting developments.

We’re investing a lot in helping our members grow stronger as creative human beings. Month by month the shifts can seem like baby steps, but over a period of years, they’re going to build up more and more. I can already see how far many members have come since they first joined (and how far Conscious Growth Club has come since we started), but we’re still very much in the early game of this beautiful unfolding.

I think that bringing members together in person semi-regularly will be an important part of our path going forward. We do have that capacity, having done 16 live events since 2009. Many attendees from previous events are now members. So if you’ve been to one or more of our workshops before, you’re likely to feel right at home inside the group. The vibe is similar in some ways.

For this year, however, I want to keep investing in improving the online experience for our members. We have a strong foundation already, and I’d like to strengthen it with more deep dive courses, and by testing and polishing some new features we’ve recently added.

This launch is our first significant infusion of new members since we started, so I’d like to make sure we help them feel welcome and get acclimated too.

Conscious Growth Club is very much an evolving organism – very fluid and dynamic. I feel lucky to be watching it develop.

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Creating the Peer Group I’ve Always Longed forhttps://stevepavllina.com/blog/2019/04/creating-the-peer-group-ive-always-longed-for/ Sun, 28 Apr 2019 17:22:25 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?p=16756 For more than a decade, I’ve tried in various ways to create the kind of conscious, growth-oriented community I envisioned being possible – a high-trust group of dozens (perhaps hundreds) of interesting, caring, ambitious, honorable, and creative people who’d love to connect with each other, share their paths of growth together, and basically encourage the…

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For more than a decade, I’ve tried in various ways to create the kind of conscious, growth-oriented community I envisioned being possible – a high-trust group of dozens (perhaps hundreds) of interesting, caring, ambitious, honorable, and creative people who’d love to connect with each other, share their paths of growth together, and basically encourage the heck out of each other every day. The idea is to have one unconditional support group for every type of personal growth challenge.

That’s the kind of group in which I feel most like me… a place where I can breathe… a place where everyone understands that we’re here to learn, grow, explore, and embrace the rich possibilities of existence.

I’ve belonged to some incredible growth-oriented groups over the years, such as Toastmasters, but I eventually moved on. Sometimes I just outgrew them. Other times I got bored with them because their focus was so narrow, and I wanted to shift my attention to other parts of life for a while. It’s always difficult to move on from an empowering peer group, knowing that I must do so in order to keep growing, even with the awareness that some great relationships will fade as a result. Those endings are always bittersweet. I get excited about the new path, but I still miss my friends from the old path.

Eventually I decided that I really want both. I want to be able to follow life’s many twists and turns while still being able to connect with a single, relatively stable peer group. I needed a peer group of like-minded people who are also dedicated to learning and growing across all areas of life, not just mono-focused on one.

I just can’t maintain decades of enthusiasm for a peer group that’s solely aligned around improving in one area, such as public speaking or entrepreneurship or marketing. Initially such groups are inspiring, but after a few years, I feel this mounting pressure to move on and explore elsewhere. And so I leave. And then I start again with a new inspiring group. And repeat. And I end up with a long trail of fascinating friends that I always miss.

Trying to maintain a strong social network one person at a time can be daunting as well. Good relationships with good people matter a lot to me. But trying to manage too many online connections via social media, email, phone calls, texting, Skype, and more is just so fragmented. Good relationships always fall through the cracks, and I can’t stay connected with all of the wonderful people I’d like to.

For many people the idea of connecting with interesting, ambitious, growth-oriented people every day seems extraordinary or unusual. Some can’t even fathom it, nor do they even understand why they’d want that. I think what scares some people is that when you have such a group, you feel a lot more accountable to doing your best, so you can feel worthy in that kind of peer group. In order to raise your social standards, you also have to raise your personal standards.

For me it’s just normal to have a strong peer group of growth-oriented friends. It’s been my reality for many years. I could move to a new city in a different country, and I’d get involved in such a group quickly. Sometimes that just happens automatically when traveling.

I recall many fond memories of an amazing 3-1/2 weeks in Bucharest in 2013 with a group of enthusiastic, growth-oriented friends, most of whom I’d just met when I got there. Even though I was just visiting friends and trying to be on vacation for a while, they convinced me to do a spontaneous live event with them while I was there. I kept saying no, and they kept moving it forward anyway, like they were just waiting for me to come around. I joked that the word “no” in English must somehow translate to “yes” in Romanian. But they completely out-goaled me, and we put on a delightful event for 50 people, giving them only 4 days advance notice that it was happening. We even had a few people attend from other countries, including Bulgaria and Denmark. I didn’t  know that kind of speed was possible since I’d always started planning live events many months in advance. It was a potent lesson about the power of alignment.

Around the end of 2016, I had one of those moments of clarity where I decided to do whatever it takes to make this idea of a stable group of growth-oriented friends. I thought about what it would really take to overcome this challenge that’s been a part of my life for so many years. It dawned on me that such a group needs to exist – not just for me but for all of the other people who will benefit from it. I kept getting tastes of what such a group could be like through a long string of related experiences going back at least 25 years, almost like I was being groomed to finally put the pieces together properly.

Despite getting aligned with the idea, it still took months to figure out how to actually make it real. I knew it should be an online community, so people could stay connected to the group no matter where they travel or move. And I knew it would have to be outside of the usual social media channels, so we could maintain a pure space that aligns with our values – no outside distractions or incompatible energies intruding.

In April 2017 I was finally able to make this social group a reality, when Conscious Growth Club opened for early access, and dozens of people joined in the first few days. It’s been going very well ever since, evolving a lot during the past two years both in terms of structure and organic elements.

I love being a member of this group myself, and I’m active in our private forum pretty much every day. It sometimes stuns me to think about how we’ll continue to connect, explore, and grow together over the next several years and beyond.

I know that some members will come and go over the years, but I also sense that we have a strong enough core group that intends to stick around and keep investing it, especially since they’re personally gaining a lot from it.

For the past two years, Conscious Growth Club has been evolving and growing, almost like it has a mind and an intentional energy of its own now. I often feel like it directs me rather than the other way around.

Genuine friendships have formed. Members are connecting with each other daily. There are frequent group video hangouts. There’s a lot of excitement about our future directions together, especially as more members are now signing up during the launch that’s happening now. It was a long learning process to reach this point, but the group works, and it’s sustainable. I expect that it will continue for decades to come. What it will look like it 10 or 20 years from now, I can’t say, but I’m delighted to witness its continued evolution.

There’s something about this goal that just seems like I had to do it personally, like I was supposed to do it. When I think of the wide variety of skills I needed to make this happen, it all seems so strange. The pieces fit together a little too well. The skills I had to lean on from my past include: a wide variety of tech skills, programming, writing, speaking, coaching, community management, marketing, networking, and even game design and improv. And then there’s having a direct communication pathway to a big enough group of the right people all around the world, which stemmed from years of blogging about personal growth.

When I think about all of the skills that had to be woven together to make this happen in just the right way… and all the other ways this could have failed to work… it all seems a bit magical sometimes. One side effect is that it encourages me to trust this universe even more. I sense there’s some kind of energy working in the background, and when I really tune into it by following the path that feels aligned to me, no matter how difficult or impossible it seems initially, somehow life just works really well.

One of the hardest things in life is learning how to grow beyond the misaligned, so we can experience real alignment. That requires a lot of letting go of the old and stale, so we can invite something fresh and new.

It was an especially powerful realization to learn that I really needed a peer group that I wouldn’t outgrow, and the only way to accomplish that would be to form a peer group based on growth-oriented people.

It’s actually similar to the same reason I started my personal growth business in 2004. I’d previously been running a computer games business since 1994, but after 10 years, I felt like I’d outgrown it, and I wanted to explore something new. But I didn’t like the idea of being a serial entrepreneur, always starting over from scratch in a new field. I wanted to figure out some kind of business that I could invest in for decades, so I could get really good at it and make a meaningful contribution to my field over time. That’s when I realized that if I made personal growth the core of my business, I could never outgrow it since I can’t outgrow growth. I could always keep it feeling fresh and new. That worked. I’m in my 15th year now and still going strong, and I feel no loss of motivation for continuing to work in this field. It feels like home to me, if only because it’s a home that’s always shifting and evolving and keeping me on my toes.

I’m really glad I didn’t settle, both socially and in business. That would have been easier in the short term but so much harder in the long term. Oddly, in some ways the long term is actually harder for me now since I feel this huge responsibility for this thriving community, but it’s a good kind of challenge because I feel super supported in following this path. It was a powerful lesson to realize how good it can feel to take on a tremendous responsibility when you also know that a lot of good friends have your back, and you have smart people to turn to whenever you need help.

I wrote this post spontaneously… just in stream of consciousness style, not even having breakfast yet. I’ve noticed that when I tend to trust that kind of inspiration, somehow it provides value for other people too, often in ways that are beautifully synchronous for them as well.

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Conscious Growth Club Launcheshttps://stevepavllina.com/blog/2019/04/conscious-growth-club-launches/ Sat, 27 Apr 2019 16:03:05 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?p=16745 Conscious Growth Club is officially launching and is open for new members to join, from now through May 1, 2019. Two years in the making, this is the most comprehensive personal growth program and support group we’ve ever created. It’s also the biggest creative project of my life – actually co-creative is more accurate since…

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Conscious Growth Club

Conscious Growth Club is officially launching and is open for new members to join, from now through May 1, 2019. Two years in the making, this is the most comprehensive personal growth program and support group we’ve ever created. It’s also the biggest creative project of my life – actually co-creative is more accurate since so many people have contributed to it.

What Is Conscious Growth Club?

Fortunately this isn’t Fight Club, so I can tell you all about it. 🙂

Conscious Growth Club is a private online club and coaching program to help growth-oriented people make faster and more consistent progress. It transforms personal growth from a solo pursuit into a team game.

The essential purpose of the group is simple: We help each other grow into smarter, stronger human beings, whatever it takes.

Structurally this is an annual membership that includes:

  • A private member forum – Our forum is active every day (more than 45,000 posts so far). It’s completely ad-free, spam-free, and troll-free. Each day members share intentions and goals, update progress, help each other solve problems, and encourage the heck out of each other.
  • A 24/7 member-to-member video chat channel – Imagine a continuous group Skype or FaceTime call that never ends. Any member can connect immediately to talk live with other members at any time. The group also hosts weekly “campfire” hangouts in this channel. Meaningful conversations with conscious, growth-oriented friends are always available.
  • Member progress logs – A popular feature for support and accountability, members can maintain progress logs to share their actions and results in the pursuit of their goals. I also record progress logs for my own creative projects such as the recent deep dives, so you can see how they’re developed. The progress log for Conscious Growth Club itself spans more than two years and 500+ posts. This is great for people who love seeing how goals get accomplished behind the scenes.
  • Group video coaching calls – We do live coaching calls 3x per month, and there are different days and times to accommodate all timezones. You also get access to all previous coaching call recordings going back to August 2017.
  • Quarterly planning sessions – Every quarter we invite members to participate in a structured 5-day process to assess recent progress, refresh 90-day goals, define action steps, and start building momentum into each new quarter. The quarterly beats will help you stay on track towards your goals, as you align yourself with the ambitious energy of people who are committed to improvement.
  • Course library – Members get access to all deep dive courses past, present, and future, including Deep Abundance Integration, Submersion, and two new deep dives to be co-created with our members this year.
  • Monthly challenges – Similar to my well-known 30-day trial experiments, we invite members to do 12 different challenges per year for exploration, skill building, and habit improvement. And we all support and encourage each other as we go.
  • Club emails – We send a few emails per month to remind members of upcoming coaching calls, share forum highlights, and to keep everyone in the loop on upcoming happenings.
  • Many extra bonuses – Lots of extra support material, including a 10-day creative challenge mini-course.

Conscious Growth Club is a unique program that was carefully designed and tested to help growth-oriented people support and encourage each other to keep improving their lives. I know of nothing else like this anywhere.

This group serves a powerful need that many of my blog readers have expressed – the need for a strong, stable, conscious, and ambitious peer group to support and encourage them every day. People especially need help staying focused and making consistent progress. I realized that this was a problem I could realistically help people solve – a significant yet achievable goal. And so now Conscious Growth Club exists.

Learn More and Join Us

Here’s a web page to learn all about Conscious Growth Club, so you can decide if you’re a match for joining us. For the condensed version, just watch the first 16 minutes of the video on that page, which will give you all of the key details up front:

The intention for this launch isn’t to gain as many members as possible but rather to attract and build a strongly aligned community. Actually we already have that community now, so the intention is to grow the community while still maintaining the alignment with our core values (which are listed on the page above).

Alignment is really important to me. I work with our members every day – and have been doing so for two years now. I expect this community to still be going strong 20 years from now. I have good cause to believe that to be achievable since I’ve been blogging about personal growth since 2004, and we’ve done 16 live events since 2009, so there’s already a strong community around this work, and I’m committed to this path for the long term.

Enrollment Is Open Through May 1st

We’re opening enrollment for a 5-day window, from now through Wednesday, May 1st. This will be our only enrollment period for 2019. So if you want to join this year, now is the time. Watch the video on the Conscious Growth Club page to learn the details.

The reason for opening just once for the year is so we can welcome new members all at once and help them get acclimated to the group. And then we can focus on serving them well for the rest of the year.

Incidentally, the invitation video also announces the topics for our next two major deep dives, so if you’re curious to know what’s coming up this year, watch it and find out. 😉

I invite you to join us. It’s fun inside. 🙂

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Conscious Growth Club Now Open for Enrollmenthttps://stevepavllina.com/news/conscious-growth-club-now-open-for-enrollment/ Sat, 27 Apr 2019 02:11:23 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?post_type=news&p=16736 After two years in early access mode, I’m happy – okay, delighted! – to announce that Conscious Growth Club is officially launching and is open for new members to join, starting now. This is the most comprehensive personal growth program and support group we’ve ever created. We’re only opening for a short time though, just…

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After two years in early access mode, I’m happy – okay, delighted! – to announce that Conscious Growth Club is officially launching and is open for new members to join, starting now. This is the most comprehensive personal growth program and support group we’ve ever created.

We’re only opening for a short time though, just through May 1st, and this will be our only enrollment period for all of 2019. So if you want to join this year, now is the time. Watch the video on the Conscious Growth Club page to learn the details.

Conscious Growth Club

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Interview with Know Pain Know Gain Podcasthttps://stevepavllina.com/news/interview-with-know-pain-know-gain-podcast/ Mon, 08 Apr 2019 21:54:01 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?post_type=news&p=16616 Jay Rooke recently interviewed me for his Know Pain Know Gain: Entrepreneurship Made Real podcast. We talked about personal development, transformation, entrepreneurship, and trust-based marketing. The episode is about 55 minutes, and you can listen to it at the link above.

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Jay Rooke recently interviewed me for his Know Pain Know Gain: Entrepreneurship Made Real podcast. We talked about personal development, transformation, entrepreneurship, and trust-based marketing. The episode is about 55 minutes, and you can listen to it at the link above.

The post Interview with Know Pain Know Gain Podcast appeared first on Steve Pavlina.

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30 Days of 16/8 Intermittent Fastinghttps://stevepavllina.com/blog/2019/03/30-days-of-16-8-intermittent-fasting/ Tue, 26 Mar 2019 16:12:58 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?p=16588 On Sunday I finished a 30-day trial of intermittent fasting, testing the variation where one fasts for 16 hours and eats only during an 8-hour window each day. In this post I’ll share what the experience was like. Of the various 30-day trials I’ve done, this was one of the easiest, especially after the first…

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On Sunday I finished a 30-day trial of intermittent fasting, testing the variation where one fasts for 16 hours and eats only during an 8-hour window each day. In this post I’ll share what the experience was like.

Of the various 30-day trials I’ve done, this was one of the easiest, especially after the first few days of adjustment. I messed up on one day for logistics reasons, eating in about a 10.5-hour window that day, but otherwise it was pretty smooth sailing. Some days I got the eating window below 7 hours. The tightest eating window I tried was about 6 hours.

I’ve had some previous fasting experience, including a 17-day water fast in 2016 and and 40-day water fast in 2017, so I’ve gone for longer stretches without food before. In each case it didn’t take much discipline except for the first few days. The same was true of intermittent fasting, although I still had to be watchful of the eating window each day.

Calibrating the Eating Window

I started this trial by figuring that I’d just skip breakfast each day, so my first eating window was 12 – 8pm. That was a decent place to start, but in practice it would be shifted later. When noon rolled around, I’d wrap up whatever work I was doing first, and then I’d also have to make something to eat. So when I used this window mentally, I didn’t actually start eating till 12:30pm or later.

That was okay, but I disliked the long morning stretches with no food, and I didn’t need to have dinner so late since I normally go to bed by 10:30pm. I got used to skipping breakfast, but I felt that I operated better with some food in the morning, especially when getting up early and exercising.

I tried moving the eating window earlier to 9am – 5pm. That was okay too, but coordinating with Rachelle to have such an early dinner didn’t work well. I didn’t feel like eating the last meal around 4:30pm. By the time I tested this earlier window, I’d already gotten used to waiting longer till breakfast, so I found it hard to stick with an earlier window, and my first meal naturally drifted later anyway.

Eventually I settled into a pattern I liked, although I still varied it a little. I’d simply wait till after 10am for the first meal. By the time I took the first bite of food, it was usually around 10:30am, which gave me till 6:30pm to finish dinner. That was a nice window, and it didn’t feel like such a long wait when getting up early. If I was hungry in the morning, I might eat shortly after 10am. But if I wasn’t feeling as hungry or if I was deep into my morning work, I might not get around to eating till 11am or later.

So after some testing and practice, instead of thinking about the window, I found it easier to just think about the start time and not go any earlier than 10am for the first bite of food. When 10am came around, I could easily make a game of pushing it back a little – by 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or sometimes an hour or more. The benefit of pushing it back was that I could eat a later dinner that day if I wanted.

The Experience

I can’t say that this trial was too beneficial, but it wasn’t bad either. I had heard a lot of hype about this way of eating, but my experience seemed pretty bland compared to some.

Some days I felt like I could really use something to eat in the morning, but most of the time those thoughts were easily dismissed. I just had to occupy my mind with something other than food. Getting wrapped up in a creative project did the trick.

When the first meal finally came around each day, I appreciated it more than usual. It really felt like breaking a fast, even though it had only been 16 hours with no food.

I also felt more conscious about what I was eating, especially for that first meal of each day. When eating around 10:30am, I’d think about whether I wanted to call it breakfast and have some steel cut oats with fresh berries and coconut milk… or call it lunch and have a salad with air-baked tofu or tempeh.

Since this experience broke my previous eating routine, it made me think about when to eat and to pay more attention to how hungry I was, instead of just eating because it was the usual meal time.

Mentally I didn’t notice any meaningful improvement from eating this way – no gains in mental clarity that I can discern, but no decline either. By not having an early breakfast though, I save time on food prep and eating, so I’ve been able to get started on my workday earlier when I want.

Weight Loss

I lost a little bit of weight during the 30 days, just 1.6 pounds. But that was mainly in the last 10 days. Throughout the first 3 weeks, I was close to my starting weight the whole time. Even so, if that rate of weight loss was extended for a whole year, it would be 19 pounds, which isn’t bad for an approach that’s fairly easy to maintain.

Eating in an 8-hour window didn’t seem particularly beneficial if I just ate the same amount of food that I previously would. It was surprisingly easy to still eat about the same amount – for those first few weeks. But then I gradually noticed that I was eating less food than before. And that’s when I started seeing my weight nudging down. In the long run then, I think this form of intermittent fasting could make it easier to lose weight because you’ll likely eat less food this way. After a while it began feeling more effortful to try to pack in the same amount of food into an 8-hour window.

I think the key here was to relax into this way of eating and not to be to controlling with it. Initially I focused on that 8-hour window and thought about when I should eat my meals during that window, as if I had to pre-decide when to eat. Later I just focused on getting past 10am and letting my appetite dictate when to eat, and that’s when this experience became easier, and I began losing a little weight.

Sometimes I just didn’t seem as hungry as before. One evening I only ate a banana with some peanut butter for dinner, and I didn’t want more than that. Other days I noticed myself going for longer stretches without eating. I’d feel empty inside, but I wasn’t hungry per se.

Final Thoughts

For the first 20 days, this experiment felt pretty useless. I couldn’t discern any benefits, and I was still calibrating to find the right eating window for me. It was only in the last 10 days that I began to notice some shifts. By then I had aligned with an eating window that worked well (roughly 10:30am to 6:30pm), and I stuck with a simple rule: Wait till after 10am before having any food.

Overall I think that 30 days was too little time to draw any conclusions about what the long-term effects of this way of eating may be. The effects were slight relative to other dietary experiments I’ve done over the years. The shifts from going vegan were far more profound and noticeable (like losing 7 pounds in the first week when my body finally shed years of dairy clog).

This experience made me curious about intermittent fasting though, so I’ll likely continue to experiment with it. Some people have suggested shortening the eating window even more, like to 4 hours or less. And there are many other variations to try as well.

I like flexibility, so I don’t expect to be as strict about intermittent fasting when traveling or on a busy schedule, but the simplicity of not eating till after 10am has been working reasonably well, and it seems fairly easy to continue.

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Submersion Playlists Addedhttps://stevepavllina.com/news/submersion-playlists-added/ Sat, 16 Mar 2019 21:27:27 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?post_type=news&p=16572 The Submersion Playlists bonus is published. All Submersion participants now have access to it in the Submersion portal. There are 15 different playlists to choose from, each containing 8 to 16 of the 60 core lessons. This gives you another way to explore the material, especially when you’d appreciate a refresher in one or more…

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The Submersion Playlists bonus is published. All Submersion participants now have access to it in the Submersion portal.

There are 15 different playlists to choose from, each containing 8 to 16 of the 60 core lessons. This gives you another way to explore the material, especially when you’d appreciate a refresher in one or more areas after completing the full course.

The last two playlists include the 10 shortest lessons for when you’d love a quickie (most are under 15 minutes), and the longest lessons for when you’re craving a deeper lesson (most are over 35 minutes).

Submersion Playlists

Text transcripts for lessons 1-16 are published too, and transcripts for lessons 17-24 will be added soon. We’ll continue adding more transcripts until all 60 lessons are transcribed from audio to text, so you have multiple ways to engage with the material. And there are several more bonuses to be added as well, including the Submersion Summary Guide and the Subjective Reality Explorer’s Guide. Submersion members will receive these bonuses automatically as soon as they’re ready.

Currently there are 597 people enrolled in Submersion, many of whom have already finished the core 60 lessons, and more continue to join every week, so we’ll be passing 600 soon. I love and appreciate the fascinating feedback that members have been sharing about this unique course, so please keep it coming! 🙂

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Physicists Demonstrate That We Don’t Have a Shared Objective Realityhttps://stevepavllina.com/news/physicists-demonstrate-that-we-dont-have-a-shared-objective-reality/ Wed, 13 Mar 2019 16:23:51 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?post_type=news&p=16483 A real experiment based on a previous thought experiment from Nobel Prize winning physicist Eugene Wigner was recently performed. The result demonstrated that we don’t live in a single common objective reality that we all observe the same way. The experimenters observed two different but conflicting realities from a 6-photon experiment. Read about the experiment…

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A real experiment based on a previous thought experiment from Nobel Prize winning physicist Eugene Wigner was recently performed. The result demonstrated that we don’t live in a single common objective reality that we all observe the same way. The experimenters observed two different but conflicting realities from a 6-photon experiment.

Read about the experiment from MIT Technology Review here:

A quantum experiment suggests there’s no such thing as objective reality

And you can read the abstract and download the PDF report of this experiment from a Cornell University website here:

Experimental rejection of observer-independence in the quantum world

Perhaps you don’t just see reality differently than others do. Perhaps you are indeed living in a unique and different reality.

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How Are You Helping Us to Socially Advance?https://stevepavllina.com/blog/2019/03/how-are-you-helping-us-to-socially-advance/ Fri, 08 Mar 2019 20:14:30 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?p=16472 It’s easy to point to the various problems of the world, but have you put much thought into what role you could play in helping society to advance in a positive direction? What does it mean to advance society? That’s a value judgment of course, but it’s one you’re free to make. You’ve surely picked…

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It’s easy to point to the various problems of the world, but have you put much thought into what role you could play in helping society to advance in a positive direction?

What does it mean to advance society? That’s a value judgment of course, but it’s one you’re free to make. You’ve surely picked up many of your own values from your interactions with the world. Have you thought about teaching more of the world what you value in a deliberate and conscious way? Have you thought about sculpting the world to become a more aligned place for you to live?

It’s easy to under-estimate the impact you can have if you embody and promote certain values to the world. You can truly make a difference if you’re reasonably consistent over a period of decades.

What do you care about? What value shifts do you think would make the world a better place? What do you notice that doesn’t seem right to you? What would you like to change or fix?

Pick a value that’s important to you. How could you increase its presence in the world? Seek to more fully embody that value within yourself, and you’ll soon run into the issue of social alignment. In order to get yourself aligned, you’ll see that your social environment needs to be adjusted to become more supportive (and less resistant) of your path. By working on the social alignment, starting with the social circles that are most accessible to you, you’ll begin to create social ripples. And these ripples can and will impact the world. The more you do this, the more you’ll see reflections of those ripples coming back to you. And you’ll begin to notice that you are indeed changing the world to become more like you.

Your responsibility is to live in alignment with your values. But in order to fulfill that responsibility, you will end up creating social ripples too. You’ll need to help the world get its act together, so it can become a more supportive place for you to embody the values you hold most dear. Otherwise the world will become too much of a drag on your values.

Let me share some examples of values that have been important to me and some ways I’ve sought to increase their presence in my life. Just by doing that, social ripples were created too.

Creativity

I’ve long thought of myself as a creative person. When I was young, a teacher told me that left-handers such as myself are known to be more creative than most. Sometimes I had to use left-handed tools like scissors because the right-handed ones didn’t work for me. I figured that meant that I wasn’t supposed to solve problems the same ways that right-handers did. I’d learn how a right-hander would solve a problem, and then I’d have to think about how a left-hander would solve it. Since left-handers were less common, I interpreted that to mean that I had to find and apply uncommon solutions. To my childlike mind, that wasn’t even a choice.

If most people would solve a problem a certain way, I presumed that must be the right-handed solution since most people are right-handed. So I associated standard solutions with right-handedness and non-standard solutions with left-handedness. Since I was mostly taught the standard solutions but not as many non-standard ones, that often put the onus on me to figure out a left-handed solution, whatever that was supposed to mean.

This framing from my childhood had a big effect on me. Because I was taught by someone else that I should be more creative than most, I pushed myself to embody that expectation. I think this is one reason that I haven’t had a job in 25 years. Getting a job is the right-handed approach; it must be since it’s the popular solution. As a left-hander I have the embedded expectation that I must be more creative in how I make a living. By expecting that I was supposed to do things differently, I ended up doing so.

While I’m grateful for the positive effects, adopting this value from such a young age has been a mixed blessing. Sometimes it’s led me to reject standard solutions even when they might work pretty well. It’s tough to keep trying to do things differently, and there’s a tendency for creativity to slide into random rebelliousness – being different just for the sake of being different. So I’ve had to temper this inner drive to be different and unique with other values like intelligence, reasonableness, and cooperation.

To this day I still have a lot of respect – and love – for creative and unconventional approaches to problem solving, especially when they lead me to more elegant or clever solutions than I’d have inherited from a right-handed world. Despite the challenges of this path, I feel it’s done more good than harm, especially in terms of helping me find my place in the world where I can be helpful to others. When I was in high school, I recognized that there would always be plenty of people available who could solve problems using the standard methods, but sometimes there would be problems that only a left-hander could solve, so to speak. So I figured that I’d be able to provide more value to the world if I focused on learning and developing unconventional approaches to solving practical problems. In my mind right-handers were like standard cogs in the machinery of the world; they were the workhorses who kept the world running, but as individuals they were easily replaced by similar parts. Left-handers were the heroic geniuses who’d swoop in to solve the problems that stumped the conventional right-handers.

So that’s how this value evolved in my mind, and it wasn’t even my value to begin with. Someone else had this way of framing reality, and she infected me with her viewpoint. And she probably learned it from someone else too.

I think this value also helped draw me to Las Vegas, which has been my home for 15+ years now. It’s an unconventional and creative city that doesn’t solve problems the standard way. It owns – and even flaunts – its uniqueness. Having this city as my personal backdrop has been great for me, serving as a constant reminder that there’s a place in the world, including the world of business, for unconventional people and non-standard solutions. It also reminds me that creative approaches to life can be fun.

By sharing my own unconventional approaches, reframes, and solutions, this has created a lot of value for people around the planet. Many people have told me over the years that reading my articles created some powerful shifts in them, helping them to make changes or solve problems that were previously keeping them stuck. So this of course encourages me to keep exploring and sharing unconventional ideas and solutions.

In fact, I’ve been betting bigger on this lately by hosting group deep dives into the space of creative solutions to real life challenges. A prime example is the recent 60-day Submersion course, which is about unconventional ways of relating to reality, so you can generate unconventional results. Some people have told me this was the best personal development course they’ve ever taken, and I think that’s partly because it’s one of the most unusual, very different from anything that existed previously. It’s rich in counter-intuitive solutions to tricky problems. This course has already impacted hundreds of lives and will continue to impact many more in the years ahead.

When I think about summing up the many ripples generated by some off-hand comment about left-handedness about four decades ago, it’s almost unfathomable. I have to consider not just my own life but the lives of the millions of people who’ve encountered my work directly, and then the millions of people they’ve influenced as well. It really drives home just how powerfully we’re able to inject our values into the world. Imagine how much more powerful this could be if we do it consciously and consistently. That one teacher could have created a veritable army of unconventional left-handers by now. And what would have happened if she’d given similar invitations to explore unconventional solutions to the right-handers she taught as well?

Personal Growth

I didn’t think much about personal growth till I absolutely had to. After being arrested 4 times when I was 18-19 years old, I was facing a felony charge with the expectation of going to state prison for 1-2 years. Sitting in a county jail for 3 days after the final arrest gave me time to think about where my life was heading and what a mess it was at the time. It was hard to see any good paths forward, and I didn’t feel like I had the power to change much.

I did realize something important though. I realized that even if things looked pretty dark and gloomy, they didn’t have to be that way forever. There was always the future, and if I looked far enough ahead, change was always possible. Eventually I’d be released from prison, and then I could rebuild my life. That would take time and effort, and I’d have to work at becoming a better person. If I came out of prison as the same person who went in (or worse), I’d likely be in and out of prison for the rest of my life. More arrests would be inevitable if I kept doing what I was doing.

It was too unpleasant to think about what prison would be like, so I spent more time thinking about what I might do with my life afterwards. Thinking about a brighter future was a lot more pleasant, and it gave me a newfound sense of hope. I did my best to surrender to the reality of what was coming up, and I finally started feeling good about the kind of person I could work on becoming afterwards – an honest person, a contributor, someone who achieved something with his life. This is where I truly began to embrace the value of personal growth – in a jail cell of all places.

Thanks to a court error which mistakenly processed my case as a first offense, my felony charge was reduced to a misdemeanor, and I was sentenced to 60 hours of community service – no prison time. I almost couldn’t believe it. But I also took it as a powerful invitation to invest in the work of turning my life around, and I’ve been deeply invested in a lifelong path of personal growth ever since. Initially this was a very private, individual journey, but of course this type of journey has a tendency to expand beyond that. I had no idea at the time how many ripples would eventually be created by the decision to get myself aligned with personal growth – envisioning the type of person I wanted to be and then doing the work to become such a person.

Changing oneself can be really hard, and I respect the difficulty of this journey. I think my own challenges on this path have made me feel very accepting towards people who are just getting started with a conscious commitment to personal growth.

We can only grow so much as individuals working on our challenges in private, especially if the world doesn’t support our efforts very well. When I began seriously working on myself in the early 90s, trying to become a better human being, it often felt like I was the only one who cared about this aspect of life. From time to time, I’d meet someone else who was into something similar – a rare pleasure indeed – but mostly it was a private pursuit. I’d read books written by people who were clearly into conscious growth, but I couldn’t just sit down and chat with such people whenever I wanted. I didn’t know how to find them.

Growth became a key value that I really did want to see more of in the world. One reason I began blogging was to invite more people to share in this exploration together. I’ve also connected with many other people in this field. And these days I regularly have growth-oriented conversations with growth-oriented people. What once seemed extraordinary has become a very normal part of my life. Friends no longer look at me like an alien or a clown if I try to talk to them about life purpose or the nature of reality.

This particular value has done so much good for me and those I know, including literally saving some people’s lives.

I keep exploring ways to help others who are still in solo growth mode to open up to the benefits of participating in a growth-oriented community. Beyond this, however, I’d love to see personal growth become even more common on earth, so that this value is pretty much seen everywhere. A more growth-oriented world means more progress and more solutions to our problems.

Since we keep creating problems for ourselves, we have to keep coming up with solutions. But many of today’s problems were created by yesterday’s mindsets, such as the mindset that we can throw our trash “away” and have it just disappear with no consequences. We have to outgrow those old mindsets and adopt smarter frames. Newer generations have to become more invested in conscious growth to compensate for the problems created by previous generations that made questionable decisions without enough regard for the long-term consequences. Younger people need to speak up more and get the world aligned with their values instead of permitting it to continue down the path of misaligned values from earlier generations who didn’t know any better. When someone from an older generation suggests that your progressive values are wrong or tries to pressure you to toe the line just as they’ve been doing, respond with a firm no, and then cut that line… using a pair of left-handed scissors of course. 😉

The pace of change is accelerating, which means that we have to keep adapting. Fixed mindsets don’t serve us these days. Misaligned mindsets from older generations are dead on arrival in today’s world. This changing world will soon violate the assumptions that stem from such mindsets, if it hasn’t already.

I accept that I’ll never be done with my own personal growth. I’ll never realistically reach the point where I have my life and my values all figured out perfectly, and then I can just be who I am till I die. There’s a relationship between who I am and the reality I inhabit, and since reality won’t stand still, neither does that relationship. I have to keep engaging with reality and letting it push and prod me to grow, and I can also choose to consciously cooperate with this process instead of resisting it. I can play a role in leading and directing some of this growth. We all have that option.

As we continue to grow, this path doesn’t get easier. It actually gets harder. As you become more capable, harder problems will come your way, and you’ll feel increasingly responsible about doing something to solve them – because maybe you can have an impact.

Which do you think is easier: figuring out how to pay your bills or figuring out how to create a more growth-oriented world? In the grand scheme of life, learning how to cover your expenses isn’t a particular impressive problem, but it’s easy to get stuck there if you naively expect life to get easier after solving such a problem. If you believe that once you solve the easy problems like earning enough money to support yourself, then you can just relax and be comfortable, I think that attitude is more likely to keep you stuck in scarcity for a very long time. No, life will get harder still for those who embrace a path of growth, but more challenge is a good thing. Do you recognize that it’s easier to solve the simpler problems when you’re willing to welcome even harder problems into your life? It helps tremendously if you learn to fall in love with problem solving.

Welcome problems because the work you must do to solve those problems will sculpt you into a better human being. Those problems exist to help you grow, so don’t bemoan their existence in your life.

Caring

Another value I’d love to see more prevalent in the world is caring, as opposed to pretending to care.

The value of creativity was ushered into my life from a young age and not really by choice. The value of personal growth was consciously chosen, but largely under duress. The value of caring was one I chose both consciously and freely, not because of so much outside influence or pressure. I chose caring because I recognize that if I can do a better job of embodying this value, I’ll eventually create ripples to help more of the world align with this value, and I think that will be a very positive development for us all. I would like to live in a more caring world. Would you also like that?

For me this includes caring about the people I serve, caring about my work, and caring about the ripples I create in the world.

What do you genuinely care about? Have you figured that out yet, or is your life stuffed with too many forms of pretending to care? Do you ensure that your life is richly connected to your true sources of caring? Do you shamelessly express your true sense of caring into the world? Are you at all ashamed about that which you really care about?

It’s so easy to get caught up in non-caring activities, going through the motions of life, dealing with people and situations because we have to, obeying what’s expected of us, and not getting ourselves aligned with sustainable contribution and impact. To reach long-term sustainability, we have to find something we truly care about, something we still expect to care about 10+ years from now. And that’s where we invest.

I give a lot of thought to the overlap between caring and business. Which projects do I truly care about? How can I market and promote my work from a place of genuine caring? Which people should I focus on serving? If I give careful consideration to genuinely helping people transform their lives for decades to come, how does this inform my business decisions?

How do you feel about dealing with someone who doesn’t seem to care about what they’re doing? Have you ever interacted with someone who clearly didn’t care? How did that make you feel? Now, are you doing the same thing by any chance? If I asked the people you work with if you really care about them, about your work, and about the impact you’re having through your work, what would they say? Is it obvious to other people that you care? If it isn’t obvious to other people, do you understand how much people are holding back from investing in you? Who’d want to invest in someone who doesn’t seem to care? Find the space of caring for yourself, and you’ll find that other people want to invest in you too.

Caring can be a tricky value to bring into alignment, but it pays huge dividends. By serving people I actually care about serving, it makes my work a lot more pleasant, which boosts my motivation to do more of it. If I tried to serve people I didn’t really care to serve, or if I tried to help people solve problems that were uninteresting to me, that would drain my motivation for doing this type of work. If I try to do work that isn’t aligned with caring, it kills my drive and ambition. Have you experienced this as well?

What I care about is a moving target too. I have to keep asking: What do I care about now? Where’s the caring? Maybe it’s a person. Maybe it’s an idea. Maybe it’s a form of expression. Maybe it’s a big new project that’s grabbing my attention. Wherever my inner compass of caring directs me, it keeps leading down a beautiful path. Being able to do work I care about each day is a particularly wondrous gift. Spending each day with a woman I deeply care about and who deeply cares about me is another incredible joy.

One reason I’d love to see this value injected even more into the world is that I absolutely love it when I see it. When I interact with someone who clearly likes their work and obviously cares about doing a good job, I can’t help but notice it. It’s just a huge delight. By contrast when I feel like I’m dealing with someone who doesn’t seem to care, it’s deflating.

Even with a relatively simple task like writing this article on a rainy Friday morning, I make sure to bring the value of caring along for the ride. I chose a topic I care about, and I wrote it for people I care about. I wonder if that value comes through from your perspective. I can affirm that it’s present during the creative process.

Set a good example for others by doing work that you care about. Hold yourself to the standard of working with people who care about their work, their teams, about the people they serve, and about the impact they’re having on the world. Don’t settle for less. Don’t suck it up and succumb to misaligned values. Help me co-create a world where the norm is that people embrace and express a much higher degree of caring.

Owning Your Values

I could share many more values that matter to me, but I think you get the idea. The values you hold dear aren’t just about you. As you express them, you create ripples throughout the world as well. What you can’t necessarily see is just how many ripples your values will create during the decades ahead.

Where would you like to see us socially advance? Which values would you like to see more prevalently in the world? How are you embodying and expressing those values?

If you think you can keep your values bottled up inside you, then that too is a form of expression, like it or not. By being relatively quiet, you’ll be expressing and promoting values like keeping to yourself or hiding your shame from the world. And you’ll be encouraging the world to adopt those values as well. You’ll see the world become quieter, more ashamed, just like you. So think carefully about what you adopt within and the willingness you have to promote and defend your values publicly. Encourage the ripples, so you can enjoy the reflections.

And be nice to left-handers.

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Your 10-Dimensional Selfhttps://stevepavllina.com/blog/2019/02/your-10-dimensional-self/ Mon, 25 Feb 2019 18:25:59 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?p=16445 If you think of yourself as a complete being outside of time – like a 10-dimensional version of you that has facets in all dimensions and all times simultaneously – it bestows a different perspective on what it means to be you. Some aspects of you are temporary, perhaps contained within a single decade of…

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If you think of yourself as a complete being outside of time – like a 10-dimensional version of you that has facets in all dimensions and all times simultaneously – it bestows a different perspective on what it means to be you.

Some aspects of you are temporary, perhaps contained within a single decade of your human life. They may sculpt your personality but don’t serve to define you as a timeless being. For instance, I was in Toastmasters for 6 years, but I’m not in Toastmasters today. So I can’t say that the timeless version of me is a Toastmaster in all dimensions and all times.

But I do notice that certain patterns generate tremendous flow in my life, and I sometimes have the sense that these patterns connect with my 10D self along major facets. So if my 10D self were compressed to a 3D cube, these patterns might align with a whole face of that cube or overlap a significant part of its volume, instead of just lightly brushing one of the corners or edges. I might say that my Toastmasters experience was part of an edge at most. It’s a relatively small part of a greater whole.

One of those patterns that connects with a lot more of my 10D self is playfulness. When I make work playful, I experience great flow and productivity. Playfulness makes my social life flow well too, especially as a way to bond with people. And I find it easier to generate income through playful means. So when I simply remember to connect with my playful nature, life works well. If I have an expansive 10D self, then playfulness is probably a significant part of his nature. It’s hard to imagine a version of me that isn’t playful and still have it feel like me.

What’s the practical value in this line of thinking?

From a linear perspective, moving forward through time, this can be hard to see. But when pulling back to a timeless perspective and looking at the totality of existence outside of time, it’s easier to identify some of these big picture patterns – the patterns that look like stitching, weaving through multiple decades of your human life.

Playfulness itself has many facets: exploration, discovery, wonder, engagement, experimentation, action, focus, happiness, accomplishment, friendship, love, sensuality, and more. This stitching shows up in every decade of my life in significant ways, and I have every reason to believe that these patterns will continue as I move forward through time.

By recognizing these stitching patterns, the practical value is that we can remind ourselves to apply them more consciously – because they work for us. But these patterns often work in nonlinear ways. Playfulness, for instance, doesn’t necessarily generate results with a linear flow of cause-and-effect, at least not in a predictable chain that we can easily see. But a playful way of relating to life can generate positive results in many areas of life and across multiple decades.

When we think too linearly, it’s easy to miss these 10D patterns that can be highly beneficial. When we lose sight of how our lives look from a timeless perspective, we become overly time-bound – caged in a way. And we succumb to less intelligent decisions in the here and now. For instance, we may make decisions that create chronic stress for decades to come, but from a timeless perspective we would see this stress stitched into every decade. Same goes for depression.

If you thought of yourself as a 10D timeless being, would you still show up to your current job? Would you remain in your current relationship? Imagine this job or relationship helping to define your timeless self. They’re not temporary; from a 10D perspective they’re always present, like permanent body parts. The only question is how big they’ll be.

You may also find value in asking how your timeless self would solve a particular problem or challenge. How would your 10D self deal with financial pressure or a health challenge?

My 10D self knows that money isn’t a power source. In fact, money is pretty damned weak compared to a 10-dimensional being, barely worth fretting over. Isn’t your 10D self powerful enough to solve any financial issues with relative ease? A 10D being has a lot more creative power than a 3D one. Can you access some of that power? For starters, a 10D being is probably a lot more patient than a 3D one, able to apply long-term solutions that actually work without worrying so much about short-term bruises. A 10D being isn’t overly concerned about the next 3 months and is more considerate of the next 3 decades.

Note that your 10D solutions will often involve reframes that are difficult to grasp from a 3D perspective. These 10D solutions will often seem risky, but risk depends on your time scale. For instance, a 10D perspective may nudge you to drop a misaligned social connection because the next week of adjustment is really nothing compared to the much greater risk of letting that connection drain you for years to come. Similarly, the risk of doing misaligned work for decades is huge compared to the risk of unemployment for a relatively short stretch of time.

If you tolerate a misaligned situation in your life today, you may still be tolerating something similar a week from now… and then a month, a year, a decade, and beyond. If you become a person of delay in 3D linear time, you invite a major degradation of your 10D self as well. Tolerating misalignment today is like chopping off a limb when you extend it to your 10D self.

Another element that can make your 10D self stronger is to weave in some self-love stitching. Love and appreciate your past selves as well as your future selves. Encourage your 10D being to have high self-esteem because all versions of you in time and space contribute to that self. Love yourself as a whole being outside of time. Appreciate the totality of your existence, which is truly wondrous from a 10D perspective.

When pondering decisions in your 3D life today, ask yourself, “Which path would align with my most beautiful 10D self?” Or ask, “What is the perspective of my expansive 10D self here?”

You can even do a journaling session – Q&A style – with your 10D self. Just type questions, and channel the answers from the part of you that feels in tune with all 10 dimensions of you (or however many dimensions you prefer). This can be an especially good tool for inviting fresh insights when solving problems in your 3D life.

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When Objective Reality Beats You Downhttps://stevepavllina.com/blog/2019/02/when-objective-reality-beats-you-down/ Tue, 19 Feb 2019 20:24:40 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?p=16434 Have you ever felt that the objective world was beating you down? Ever felt like you’ve been dealt a pile-up of problems and annoyances to deal with? If this is an objective universe, then unfortunately the universe doesn’t actually care. But what if this universe isn’t objective? What if you actually live in some other…

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Have you ever felt that the objective world was beating you down? Ever felt like you’ve been dealt a pile-up of problems and annoyances to deal with? If this is an objective universe, then unfortunately the universe doesn’t actually care. But what if this universe isn’t objective? What if you actually live in some other kind of reality, such as a simulation?

Furthermore, what if the simulation is deliberately sending you extra problems and challenges, perhaps in an attempt to discourage you from continuing along the path you’re on? What if you’re living in some type of virtual world, and the world itself is trying to steer you onto a different path with more rewards? And what if your own belief in the objective nature of reality is actually getting in your way, causing you to run patterns and behaviors that actually invite the world to keep punishing you? What if you’re playing against the rules of the world simply out of ignorance?

This Reality Could Indeed Be a Simulation

If you think that you live in an objective reality instead of a simulation, consider that any purported evidence of the objective nature of reality can also be simulated.

A powerful enough simulator can simulate science. It can simulate religious experiences. It can simulate death and an afterlife. It doesn’t need to simulate an entire objective universe all at once, just a limited window into that universe – only what you perceive right now.

A simulator could potentially simulate thoughts, feelings, and beliefs as well, including a belief or bias for assuming that reality is objective. And a simulator could potentially change those thoughts too.

To prove that reality is truly objective and not a simulation, you’d have to show evidence of reality’s objective nature that couldn’t also be simulated by a powerful enough simulator – an impossible task, much like trying to prove you’re not dreaming while you’re dreaming. As part of your proof, you’d have to prove that you’re not inside a simulation. Good luck with that.

Imagine actually being in a simulation, and then the simulation tries to present you with proof that it’s not a simulation. How would it do this? Maybe it would simulate some highly objective characters to try to dispute the possibility. But would their arguments constitute valid proof? Of course not.

You can’t even prove that something outside your current perceptual field is currently instantiated without shifting your perceptual field to do so. And even then, you can only sense what’s coming through your current limited sensory ports.

For instance, you can’t prove that Paris exists right now. You could load up an image or video of Paris, but then you’re merely instantiating an image or a video, not the actual city. Any game world could do the same thing, rendering images of Paris within its world. Even if you are in Paris and can see some of it right in front of you, you can’t prove that the whole city exists. You can only sense what you sense right now, and that could be just a projection of sorts. You can’t prove that anything outside of your current viewport into reality is currently being rendered. If Paris was just a simulation, you’d have no way of knowing.

What if you truly believe that reality is objective in nature? Note that believing that reality is objective is actually a faith-based decision. There is no actual proof of it – and never will be – for the simple reason that a powerful enough simulator could simulate a reality that appears to be objective. So if you go that route of turning a potentially erroneous assumption into a personal belief, then you’re playing the role of a faith-based character and shifting further away from being a person of reason.

Now within a simulation, you can still be very scientific, practical, and grounded, but you’re not doing objective science. You’re doing simulation science. Since you can never know what kind of reality you’re inside of, it’s wise to weave into your exploration and experimentation the possibility that you may be working within a simulation the entire time.

Exploring the Simulation

The understanding that reality could be a simulation also serves as an invitation to explore what else may be possible inside a simulation. What more could you do? What’s inside that rabbit hole?

As it turns out… lots of rabbits.

It wouldn’t be so interesting if, when someone explored this possibility, the result was essentially nothing. That would be an easy way to retreat back to the objective presumption. If it was just an interesting thought experiment with no practical value, you could easily dismiss it as a dead end and return to the familiarity of your objective life as you continue advancing towards your biological death.

However, this is rarely the case. Usually what happens when someone starts to explore the simulation-like qualities of reality, waves of change occur, as if you’ve just granted permission to the simulation to reveal more of its true nature to you. A typical experience is that lot of weird shifts start happening, often very quickly, and it actually gets a lot harder to retreat back to the objective mindset. Depending on how attached you are to objectivity, this can be unsettling, or it can feel magical – or both.

What I like about the simulation model of reality is that it incorporates both objectivity and subjectivity within it. A simulation still follows rules. We could say it has a code base with certain predictable features and functions. But a simulation also allows for flexibility and freshness. Code can be altered.

I especially find value in thinking of myself as a simulated being within a larger simulation, as if I’m a piece of self-aware code. This helps me think about what role I’d like to play and how I might desire to reprogram myself, such as by changing behaviors, shifting my identity, altering my circumstances, etc.

Shedding Personal Weakness

One especially common pattern I’ve seen in those who begin to explore the simulation-like nature of reality is that they start shedding various forms of personal weakness. Certain weaknesses don’t make a lot of sense if you consider that this reality may be a simulation, and so people tend to drop them and progress faster.

For instance, many people conclude: If this might be a simulation, then why the heck am I going along with simulating such a boring job each day? What a waste of life! Others say something similar with regards to relationships: What am I doing investing in this mismatched relationship for so long? I really need to get out of here and connect with more aligned characters. Upon such realizations people often transition quickly.

The simulation perspective often leads to practical and meaningful changes, especially in the areas of work, finances, relationships, and health. People commonly experience better results when using this model versus the objective model. One key reason is that they stop objectifying themselves so much. They consider that if this is a simulation, then surely more is possible, and they’re probably meant to live more interesting lives here. They’re meant to live out some interesting story. They’re not meant to waste the simulation’s impressive processing power rendering dull story and dealing with boring, repetitive problems.

Powering Up Your Relationship With Reality

People also change how they relate to reality itself. The universe is no longer cold or indifferent. The universe is now a fascinating game world of malleable code. There’s a tremendous possibility space to explore. It’s also a world of many challenges, but like any game world, the challenges are meant to be interesting. Good challenges can help you sculpt a rewarding character to play here.

If you think of the universe as purely objective, you’re likely injecting a lot of stubbornness and stagnation into your reality, perhaps without realizing it. In particular, it’s hard to have a meaningful relationship with an objective universe. Consider that it’s easier to have an interesting relationship with an immersive game world and with its characters, and so many people do exactly that. People tend to achieve more in their gaming lives than in their objective lives. And this is partly because objectivity is disempowering.

Why is objectivity so disempowering? What makes objectivity disempowering is its lack of interesting goals. A good game world has interesting goals and quests. They’re programmed into the world by design, and you’re rewarded for accomplishing them. Your character improves and gets stronger. You unlock new prizes. You gain access to fresh challenges. The game world rewards you for playing by its rules.

What does an objective universe reward? Essentially nothing. In the end it just punishes everything with death. An objective universe doesn’t care what you do or don’t do. This is unsettling to say the least, which may explain why 4200 religions have been invented so far. Lots of people are clearly desperate for a more interesting and meaningful alternative. And at least when you add in some other goals (which religions typically introduce), this can make life feel more interesting and meaningful.

Fortunately we don’t need the baggage or irrationality of religion to get us there. We can actually create a more meaningful relationship with reality largely by paying closer attention. Notice what reality rewards, and do more of it. Notice what reality doesn’t reward (or even punishes), and do less of it. Then study the patterns of when reality rewards you versus when it doesn’t. This will help you align with the rules of the simulation, and then you’ll begin getting a better sense of how to live a more rewarding life.

Now this sounds almost too obvious, doesn’t it? But the truth is that you probably aren’t practicing it very well yet. You’re probably still doing things that reality is likely to punish. And you’re probably not doing enough of the things that reality would actually reward. Moreover, you’re probably not yet clear on what those patterns are. I’ll bet you’re still getting surprised more than you care to admit, or you’re stuck circling through patterns that just aren’t unlocking the real flow you’d like to see, and you’re probably blind to what alternatives are possible.

The main issue is that if you’re too objective, you’re not going to take enough risks. You’re going to play it too safe. A good game world rewards risk. A simulation can reward risk as well, sometimes lavishly. Risk makes life fun and engaging, but risk must be rewarded often enough to make it worthwhile. And consequently, people tend to take a lot more risks with their character when they’re in a game world, but if they think they’re in an objective world, their risk tolerance goes way down (and so do the rewards).

What are the rewards of this reality? They’re numerous – emotions, friends, money, good health, self-esteem, relationships, physical pleasure, fun experiences, accomplishments, social status, and more.

These may seem like objective rewards, but an objective universe doesn’t care if you achieve them or not. An objective universe doesn’t care how much money you have. It doesn’t care about your personal health. It doesn’t care how you feel. It’s completely indifferent towards you. You don’t matter to it.

If you believe that you live in a universe that doesn’t care about you, your personal goals, or your happiness, what effect does that have on you? Well, for most it seems to be deeply demotivating. Why bother to play this game of life if life itself doesn’t care? Using this model virtually guarantees a lot of problems that will block you from experiencing and accessing life’s rewards.

A Dreadful Game World

Imagine playing an immersive video game where none of the other game characters actually care if you do anything? Suppose that no one is asking you to save them from Ganon or Voldemort or Zuul. The princess doesn’t care if you save her; she’s okaying being in a D/s relationship with the bad guy. Some characters may whine about their lives, but no one invites or expects you to do anything about it. Even if you try to help save their world, still no one really cares, and there are no rewards for doing so. If you complete a mini-quest, no one will gift you with anything afterwards because they don’t appreciate your efforts. Some of the other characters may call you a dork for trying. Some would say, “You’re just going to get yourself killed, and you’ll probably makes things worse for all of us. And besides, the barn needs cleaning, so maybe you should make yourself useful.”

What kind of game would that be? Would you enjoy playing it? Probably not, but this is how many people attempt to play the game of life. And it goes about as well as you’d expect.

When you consider, however, that we could be living in a simulation, it makes you wonder: What are the rules? Where are the quests? Where’s the treasure? What do I have to do to unlock access to more interesting parts of the world? And this leads to a whole new way of relating to life.

Quite often the first thing people do is to question: What the hell am I still doing in this barn?

If you’re primarily using the objective lens for making decisions in your life, how’s that going so far? Have you figured out the patterns of what life rewards and what it doesn’t reward? Are you living in alignment with those patterns? Do you feel you’re taking enough risks? Are you investing enough in your character growth? Are you creating interesting story? And do you feel that reality cares about any of this?

When you explore the simulation lens, you still grasp that the simulation has rules to play by, but you also see a greater purpose in being here. There’s some flexibility in how your align with that purpose. My current favorite is to focus on living in such a way that creates interesting story. When the story progression of my life starts to stagnate, that’s when I sense that the simulation is about to start kicking my ass to start moving the story in a more interesting direction. But as long as I keep the story development progressing, life tends to reward that. I also feel a lot more engaged with life when I use this model.

By comparison an objective universe doesn’t care about story. When I lean too hard on the objective lens, I typically lose touch with the story progression of my life. I succumb to the trap of creating boring or repetitive story. But I rarely notice this right away. Instead what I notice is this feeling that the rewards that were previously flowing nicely through my life are starting to dry up. I notice that more annoyances (punishments) are beginning to pop up. I experience more frustration and start fighting with reality. And then I realize: Oh dammit… if this is a simulation, I’d be doing things differently. And almost immediately once I start acting in alignment with that co-creative spirit of making interesting story, the feeling of flow returns.

I use the simulation model a great deal for making decisions for one simple reason: It works. It’s an effective way to create desirable results.

I’ve been especially pleased to see that so many others also experience strong results with this model (as per our recent Submersion deep dive, which is still ongoing). For me this has been an interesting story progression too. By inviting other people into this exploration, it’s been showing me that even more is possible – if we cultivate co-creative, cooperative relationships with reality and each other.

We can model this reality in many different ways, and no model is the actual truth. The true nature of reality is unknowable – for the simple reason that we can devise multiple possible ways of mapping events to meaning, and none can be proven true or false. But some mappings are more empowering and useful than others. Some mappings make it easier to experience desirable results. And so it makes sense to lean in the direction of exploring, practicing, and using the most practical mappings.

Objectivity has its place, but since it maps events in ways that are generally meaningless on a personal level, it’s not as useful as some other models for making important decisions. We gain more leverage by using mappings that invite purpose, meaning, and motivation.

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Submersion Transcripts Now Being Addedhttps://stevepavllina.com/news/submersion-transcripts-now-being-added/ Wed, 13 Feb 2019 02:32:22 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?post_type=news&p=16413 Lesson transcripts are being added to Submersion this month. The first transcript for lesson 1 has already been published to the Submersion portal. Many more will follow in the weeks ahead until we’ve published all 60 lesson transcripts. These transcripts are only being lightly edited, so they’re essentially word for word transcriptions of the audios,…

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Lesson transcripts are being added to Submersion this month. The first transcript for lesson 1 has already been published to the Submersion portal. Many more will follow in the weeks ahead until we’ve published all 60 lesson transcripts.

These transcripts are only being lightly edited, so they’re essentially word for word transcriptions of the audios, which can be nice for those who’d like to review the lessons as text.

I estimate that Submersion’s transcripts will total around 250,000 words when they’re completed, so it’s a substantial amount of material. It’s easily digestible in audio form though since it’s only 26 minutes per day on average.

For the ebook version of Deep Abundance Integration, we’re editing the content a lot to make it flow better in written form, which is considerably more work. I anticipate that we’ll have the first volume of 10 lessons published sometime next week. It’s coming in around 65,000 words presently (just for volume 1), but we’re still doing some editing on it.

There’s a lot of overlap between Submersion and Deep Abundance Integration participants. Most people who take one course are also signing up for the other. Some have shared that when they’ve finished one course, they want to continue the journey.

Our main focus for the rest of this month is to continue creating and publishing more supporting material for these two courses.

I expect that these courses will likely still be available 10-20 years from now since the content of both is timeless and universal. So far people from about 70 countries are currently participating, which is great to see.

I’m really enjoying creating these long form courses since it provides the opportunity to explore a topic very deeply and to do so with the most interested people.

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Depthhttps://stevepavllina.com/blog/2019/02/depth/ Mon, 11 Feb 2019 16:49:37 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?p=16408 I remember years ago when interest in lifestyle design was surging. Many people were escaping their 9-5 jobs, becoming digital nomads, traveling extensively, exploring open relationships, embracing wild adventures, and stretching the limits of what they could do with their lifestyles. Some people thrived in those explorations while others quickly burned out. Many who went…

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I remember years ago when interest in lifestyle design was surging. Many people were escaping their 9-5 jobs, becoming digital nomads, traveling extensively, exploring open relationships, embracing wild adventures, and stretching the limits of what they could do with their lifestyles.

Some people thrived in those explorations while others quickly burned out. Many who went this route seemed to get a tremendous amount of value from it initially, but soon they began feeling that something was missing.

The results people shared were all over the place, but few people regretted this type of exploration. They usually learned a lot about themselves, and eventually the path was pointing them in a different direction. Soaking up more lifestyle adventures became less important after a while. That was still present for many people, but it wasn’t the most important aspect of life to them anymore.

Many turned in different directions. Some wanted to explore spirituality more deeply. Others wanted more depth in their relationships. Still others wanted to make a mark on the world in a meaningful way.

I’d say that the common pattern was that these people wanted more depth. Up-leveling your lifestyle can be fun for a while, but it tends to feel shallow and repetitive if that’s your primary focus. Even though it can seem really exciting to soak up lots of experiences, in a way it’s like social media applied to the real world. There’s a tendency to get swept up in consumption. Instead of consuming through devices, you head out into the world and consume in-person experiences. Either way, if you overplay the consumption card, life can feel pretty hollow after a while, and you’re likely to crave more depth. You may even begin to dread the lifestyle experiences you once craved because you’ve learned that those experiences won’t fill you up inside.

The way many people approach lifestyle design is often about breadth rather than depth. Add new experiences. Meet new people. Travel to new places. Rinse and repeat.

There’s nothing wrong with this. Breadth is great. But if that’s all you have, most likely you’ll be craving more depth – in your experiences, in your relationships, and in your work.

And of course you don’t need to go the lifestyle design route first in order to crave more depth in life. Perhaps you’ve intuitively recognized that lifestyle changes are unlikely to sufficiently address the depth problem.

What Gives You the Experience of Depth?

Think like an investor. Depth takes time and patience. It requires consistency and clear decisions. It aligns with many of the same qualities that work for investing.

If you want more depth, think about where you’re willing to invest. Where are you willing to plant some roots? In which ares of life are you willing to nurture investments over a long period of time?

Here are some areas of life where people experience depth:

  • Investing in long-term, growth-oriented relationships with friends, family, romantic partners, team members, neighbors, etc.
  • Investing in a long-term career path, business, or creative outlet
  • Building skills to a high level of competence and regularly applying those skills
  • Contributing to the world in ways that feel important and worthwhile
  • Investing in a long-term spiritual practice
  • Investing in home improvements
  • Investing in community service or volunteering
  • Investing in a long-term fitness program
  • Investing in rewarding habits and behaviors

I encourage you to create your own list, and make it more specific. What gives you the experience of depth?

I experience a lot of depth from my creative work. Writing a new article can give me that experience, especially if it helps me think more deeply about a topic. I know that when I’m craving a deeper experience, writing is one way to get there. Publishing what I write can also be a pathway to connecting with people more deeply when they resonate with the work.

Another way I experience depth is through certain forms of exercise like running. Going for a morning run helps me feel connected to the earth, to nature, and to my body. If I try a new type of exercise, I usually don’t experience the same level of depth. But since I’ve been running for decades, that investment takes me deeper into a feeling of connectedness, including with my own past.

I also experience greater feelings of depth when I invest in connecting with people who care about what I care about. If I spend time with people who have priorities that don’t resonate with me as much, the experience tends to feel less investment-worthy and more like a one-off experience, even if the interactions are pleasant.

Addictions and other unwanted behaviors can serve as substitutes for depth. A long-term addiction is still an investment. Some people invest in substances or habits that may have negative side effects, but this may still provide a sense of connecting to something deeper, especially relative to other areas of life where long-term investments aren’t being made to the same extent.

Incorporating More Depth Into Your Life

If you think like an investor when it comes to depth, you can apply the practice of rebalancing your portfolio to life decisions as well. Notice which investments are giving you good returns and which aren’t. Consider the riskiness of each investment too. Which investments are paying off consistently, and which are hit and miss? Then consider how you’d like to rebalance your investments going forward. Shift time and energy from weak investments to other investments where you see more potential.

Where are you over-investing? Where are you putting in a lot of time and energy, but you aren’t experiencing much depth, fulfillment, and long-term satisfaction in return? Where do you need to withdraw some time and energy and maintain stronger boundaries?

Where are you under-investing? Which areas of life have you been neglecting, denying yourself the long-term, accumulated benefits?

Take a look at your habits, relationships, tech usage, career path, and more. Is the depth where you want it to be? Is the long-term payoff satisfying?

The market shows commercial investors the results of their decisions. Similarly, your inner experience of depth tells you the results of your personal investment decisions. Accept this as valuable feedback. Blaming life for unwanted results is akin to blaming the market – tempting at times although not particularly helpful as part of an intelligent investment strategy. If you want better results, you’ll need to make different decisions. The feedback is always there. It’s up to you to listen to it.

Don’t beat yourself up for past decisions either, again because it’s not helpful. The feedback is there to serve you, not to beat you down. Use the feedback you receive to improve your current decisions. If a certain path isn’t producing the depth you’d like despite a serious investment, try a different path. As with commercial investing, it often takes years to find the right investment vehicles that will work for you.

Among my most growth-oriented friends, one pattern seems pretty clear: Those who invest in depth tend to be a lot happier and more satisfied with their lives as they get older.

When I see friends in their 70s and beyond who are happy and fulfilled, I pay attention to what fuels their sense of depth. In each case they’re getting the payoff from some form of investment. For some it’s engaging in creative work and contribution. For others it’s the decades-long friendships they’ve maintained. For still others it’s their investment in family. Many benefit from multiple investments across these areas, but even one close friendship can create that effect.

Lifestyle design often focuses on quantity – more experiences, more travel, more hacks. But depth tends to come from quality more than quantity, and sometimes it’s easier to create depth with less. A few good friends, a solid creative outlet, a deep relationship – even just one of those can serve as a wellspring of connectedness for decades. Now combine such depth with the breadth of an engaging lifestyle, and you’ll have the best of both worlds.

Where will you invest in creating the long-term experience of depth and connectedness that help you feel truly at home here? How do you need to rebalance your current investments?

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All 60 Submersion Lessonshttps://stevepavllina.com/blog/2019/02/all-60-submersion-lessons/ Wed, 06 Feb 2019 20:26:24 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?p=16393 As of January 31st, all 60 lessons for the new Submersion deep dive are published. Here’s the complete list of lessons: Your Best Thinking Your Mysterious Reality Modeling Reality Humanizing Reality Upgrading Your Relationship with Reality Healing Trust Wounds Overcoming Shame and Guilt Playfulness Listen to Reality Follow the White Rabbit Only One Consciousness Purifying…

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As of January 31st, all 60 lessons for the new Submersion deep dive are published. Here’s the complete list of lessons:

  1. Your Best Thinking
  2. Your Mysterious Reality
  3. Modeling Reality
  4. Humanizing Reality
  5. Upgrading Your Relationship with Reality
  6. Healing Trust Wounds
  7. Overcoming Shame and Guilt
  8. Playfulness
  9. Listen to Reality
  10. Follow the White Rabbit
  11. Only One Consciousness
  12. Purifying Subjective Reality
  13. Directing Reality
  14. Subjective Goals
  15. Aligning Your Goals
  16. Ambition
  17. Aligned Behaviors
  18. Social Alignment
  19. Creating Your Character
  20. Simulated Emotions
  21. The Money Game
  22. Accepting Reality’s Answers
  23. Direct Engagement
  24. Trusting Death
  25. Being the Simulator
  26. Aligned Intentions
  27. Visualizing Intentions
  28. Creating Interesting Story
  29. Thinking Bigger
  30. Solving Recurring Problems
  31. Being Judgmental
  32. Being Judged
  33. Self-acceptance
  34. Feeling Grounded
  35. Finding Flow
  36. Multiple Universes
  37. Feeling Connected
  38. Learning from Mistakes
  39. Exploring Your Dark Side
  40. Sex and the Simulation
  41. Reality Distortion Fields
  42. Hitchhiking the Galaxy
  43. Subjective Relationships
  44. Causing Pain
  45. Expectations
  46. Connecting the Dots
  47. Life Purpose
  48. Subjective Productivity
  49. Staying Aware
  50. Subjective Spirituality
  51. Psychic Interfaces
  52. Increasing Lucidity
  53. Navigating Transitions
  54. Consistency
  55. Creative Transformations
  56. Pure Imagination
  57. Inviting Space
  58. Sculpting Reality
  59. Loss
  60. Oneness

All 60 audio lessons add up to 26 hours of material, so the average lesson is 26 minutes – perfect for a reflective walk or commute.

The original intention here was ambitious: to provide a seriously deep and immersive exploration of Subjective Reality, delving into the perspective that we may be living in a simulation or dream world and connecting this perspective to the results we’re able to create and experience.

There’s clearly a lot of leverage in questioning, carefully considering, and upgrading how we frame and relate to reality. This core relationship affects how we interact with every part of life – work, personal relationships, finances, productivity, emotions, and more. Wherever we succumb to trust wounds, we hold back from fully engaging with life, and we drag down our results as well. When we heal and strengthen this core relationship with reality, we frequently unlock improvements in multiple areas of life.

Although it took two months to design and create the recordings, it was more like 15+ years of exploration and deep thinking about Subjective Reality that went into this.

Creating this course was time well spent. There have been lots of appreciative messages about the transformational effect this has had on people. Some of this feedback was really incredible to read, involving extraordinary shifts in people’s realities. Some have had experiences that blew their minds, especially the fascinating ways in which reality seemed to acknowledge (or even scream) that this is more than just a world of objects.

On a personal note, I went through some major shifts myself in the process of developing this course. I feel like a different person today than I was in early December. I’d say the biggest shift is that I think of myself as less of a separate individual and more like part of a loving, caring, flowing, brilliant, creative community. I felt like some greater co-creative energy flowed through me to bring this course into existence, like my role was to serve as an instrument for its creation as opposed to pushing the project forward with individual will.

My social life has shifted a lot as well. Two months ago I was in a top business mastermind group. As I shared previously, I left that group in December. Then in January I rejoined the Transformational Leadership Council and attended a five-day retreat with them in Mexico last month. After six years away from TLC, I felt very welcomed back and had a fabulous time reconnecting with many conscious, caring friends that I’d lost touch with over the years. So I went through my own process of re-engaging with reality in a more heart-aligned way. This one shift really alters my life path going forward. These social connections feel much more aligned with what I want to explore this year and beyond.

So I experienced a very powerful example of the Submersion course in action. As I improved my own relationship with reality throughout the development of this course, including lots of engagement with the people taking the course, I saw my own results taking a powerful turn in a more aligned direction. Consequently, I feel like the alignment of my social circle has really taken a huge step forward from where it was a few months ago.

A key lesson I learned, which may be hard to grasp if you haven’t gone through Submersion yet, is that trusting my intuition and trusting reality are essentially the same forms of trust. I really can’t do one without simultaneously doing the other.

What’s Next?

We’re not stopping at the 60 published recordings. To really build this out into an even more supportive program, I’ll be spending the rest of February creating and adding additional material, including:

  • Text transcripts of all 60 lessons
  • A Summary Guide
  • Personal stories of applying these ideas (videos)
  • Playlists (subsets of the 60 audios to serve as mini deep dives on different subtopics)
  • An Explorer’s Guide with step-by-step application exercises
  • Audio walkthroughs of powerful practices
  • Text transcripts of the audio walkthroughs

Some other bonus material has already been published, so this is going to be a serious treasure trove of resources for anyone wanting to do a major deep dive into the subjective nature of reality.

If you’d like to experience Submersion for yourself, I invite you to join the 555 other deep divers who’ve already started. The door remains open, and you can begin the lessons right away. I recommend listening to one lesson per day for the next 60 days to make it a truly immersive experience. It’s fair to say that you’ll emerge a different person when you’re done. Some people have already started on their second listening to capture more of the benefits.

Every lesson includes an exercise for you to do that same day. Most of these exercises are pretty easy, and they add up to 60 progressive shifts in the direction of a more engaging and empowering life.

I’d recommend going through the 60 audios in their published order the first time through if you want the full cumulative effect. You can also listen to any audio independently though; each one serves as as a complete lesson on a specific subtopic.

Submersion serves as an invitation from your reality to lean into a stronger, closer, more trusting relationship. You’re likely to experience some major shifts when you engage with life more directly instead of cocooning yourself or hiding from the world.

Consider especially the idea that trusting your intuition is essentially the same as trusting reality. Can you actually trust yourself without also trusting reality to support you? Have you ever tried to trust reality while not fully trusting yourself? I had to lean into both forms of trust to make this program a reality, and recognizing this relationship was a tremendously useful and practical insight. Leaning into such trust is a key reason that all 60 lessons are now published.

What more could you experience if you trusted yourself and reality more than you do now? If that trust is weaker than it could be, Submersion is your invitation to strengthen it… whenever you’re ready.

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Your Best Workhttps://stevepavllina.com/blog/2019/02/your-best-work/ Wed, 06 Feb 2019 00:04:27 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?p=16391 Do you have a job or career path that supports you in doing the best work of your life? If I were to ask this of various people, some would laugh at the ridiculousness of this question because it’s a standard they’ve never come close to experiencing, so a jaded reply is all they can…

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Do you have a job or career path that supports you in doing the best work of your life?

If I were to ask this of various people, some would laugh at the ridiculousness of this question because it’s a standard they’ve never come close to experiencing, so a jaded reply is all they can muster. If I ask certain friends who are very fulfilled by their work, their answers would be something like, “Of course… why would I tolerate any less?”

Consider that if you’re not aligned with this standard of doing your best work, then you’re currently tolerating a lesser standard. For some reason you’re currently okay with not doing your best work. Maybe that doesn’t sit well with you, but you’re still tolerating it.

Why is that? What’s stopping you from doing the best work of your life this month? Why not take on a project that requires the very best you have to offer?

If you do less than your best, you know that you aren’t playing the game of life very well, and that awareness haunts you, and it drags down your motivation and self-esteem.

You’ll likely avoid connecting with more ambitious people as well since you’ll probably feel uncomfortable being reminded that your standards are lower than they could be. If you stick with less ambitious friends, however, you’ll only reinforce the lower standards that keep you stuck. Low standards tend to encourage social cocooning and hiding.

Motivation for High Standards

Where does the motivation come from to maintain high standards then?

Maintaining high standards just for our own personal gratification is tough. It’s also tough to maintain false standards for other people, like pretending to care about issues that don’t align with our values. The sweet spot of motivation is when we can satisfy our most important values and also connect with people who truly care about those values too. This encourages us to maintain high standards because we’re immersed in a circle of caring. We care, and the people around us care.

So there are two parts to a pattern of highly engaged work that brings out your best. First, your work needs to align with your values. Choose projects that matter to you personally, so you’ll care about doing quality work. Second, you need people who will deeply appreciate your work. These people could consist of co-workers, clients, customers, family, or friends, as long as they appreciate and support you in doing your best work.

What if you can’t choose your own projects? Perhaps you’ve temporarily granted someone else the authority to assign work to you, but you retain the option to reclaim that authority whenever you want. You’re not powerless. You can renegotiate the arrangement to get your work aligned with what you really care about. Or you can switch to different work where you can find that alignment, which may involve switching jobs, teams, or companies.

If your boss doesn’t support you in doing your best work, admit that you hired a bad boss, and let that person go. A key reason for hiring a boss is to serve you in doing your best work, so don’t tolerate a boss who falls below this standard. At least talk to your boss, raise a discussion about how to do your very best work, and offer suggestions and guidance for how to make this a reality. Be committed to getting what you need. If your boss isn’t (1) motivated and (2) capable to help you do your best work, that boss needs to go. And if you choose to remain beyond that realization, you can’t possibly continue to blame your boss since you hired that person to begin with, and you can un-hire that person when you’re ready to commit yourself to real professional growth. People of high standards don’t tolerate low performing bosses. If you tolerate a low performing boss, you proclaim to all around you that you’re a low standards person.

What if you got yourself trapped in a situation where no aligned work is possible? Then chalk that up as a bad decision on your part, and lean into the challenging process of correcting that mistake. This is a common mistake indeed, often accompanied by difficult lessons, and it usually takes serious effort to unwind it. But you can unwind it, and it’s wise to do so. The worst thing you can do is keep investing in a misaligned path. Shifting directions will bring relief, even when you must take a step back financially and/or professionally to get unstuck. There’s no shame in taking a step back to adjust course; this is so much better than investing another year being loyal to low standards.

Quite often you won’t even be able to see an aligned path while you remain stuck pursuing a misaligned one. There are many reasons for that. One of the most significant reasons is that people who are doing aligned work won’t normally be interested in making offers to those who maintain lower standards. When you do misaligned work, what you may not realize is that you’re advertising to everyone else that you’re a low standards type of person, and high standards people are likely to avoid connecting with you. In other words, the cool people won’t invite you to be on their teams because you’re making yourself look like a bad investment.

Misaligned work drags down your energy, and people pick up on this. In fact it’s pretty obvious if you shift between circles of high standards and low standards people. People who are doing their best work tend to broadcast certain frequencies of emotional energy and enthusiasm. Those who aren’t aligned with such standards tend to broadcast some restlessness or discomfort with their work instead, often without being consciously aware of it.

You almost always have to say a genuine no to the misaligned path before life will show you what the aligned path looks like. Quit the old first. Then work on building the new. I know that seems scary sometimes, but it works. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your energy and self-esteem can pop back up once you leave misaligned work behind. Life tends to respect those who commit to keeping their work standards high.

Aligned Appreciation

It would be nice if this alone were enough, but it isn’t. The next major point of stuckness is when you gain the freedom to do aligned work but still don’t feel the drive and motivation to do your very best. This is especially common among people who quit unfulfilling jobs to do something independent. After the newness of the transition wears off, they’re struggling to be productive.

The issue here is that even though the work itself may feel aligned, there may not be a strong enough connection to the people who will most appreciate it.

Initially you may try sharing value with the people that are most accessible, but you’ll usually get a ho-hum response in return. Selling can feel especially difficult when you’re trying to sell to people who are only semi-aligned with what you’re doing, even if many of those people are generally supportive of you (like old friends and family).

This is a good time to pause and ask questions like these:

  • If I do my very best work, which people would deeply appreciate and value it?
  • If I do my very best work, which people will only semi-appreciate it?
  • How can I scare off the second group, so I can only deal with the first group?

I imagine that the first question sits well with you, but the third question probably seems a bit harsh. Why should you scare off people who will semi-appreciate your work? Can’t you serve them too? Isn’t it better to serve more people, even if some aren’t receiving 100% of the value?

I understand this type of reasoning. It seems reasonable to want to serve as many people as you can. Of course some people will deeply appreciate your work, and some will only semi-appreciate it. But there’s a serious risk if you try to serve both groups equally, and that risk is that your standards will drift downwards.

The people who semi-appreciate your work will likely to be the larger group. You’ll get more feedback from them over time than you will from the most aligned people. They’ll influence your standards more than any other group if you let them. This is true of semi-appreciative bosses, teams, friends, relatives, co-workers, customers, clients, etc. Semi-appreciative matches are more common than deeply appreciative ones.

Semi-appreciative ultimately means misaligned though, but the misalignments won’t all be in the same direction. In order to improve at serving the semi-appreciative people, you’ll have to make concessions in opposing directions. You’ll always be trying to balance degrading your service to some of them with upgrading your service to others. The realization that it’s impossible to really please this group will degrade your own alignment with your work. You can’t powerfully serve the semi-appreciative group and still do your best work. By definition if you do your best work, the semi-appreciative will only semi-appreciate it. Usually this leads to blocks like procrastination and perfectionism.

Being semi-appreciated is only semi-satisfying. If you try to achieve more satisfaction or appreciation from serving this group, you’ll have to do work that feels less aligned, but that won’t satisfy you internally. There’s no way to win with this approach. At best you’ll have to disconnect from caring about serving these people and just do your own thing regardless of how they feel. But wouldn’t it be better if you could have both: inner alignment with your values and deep appreciation from the people you serve?

That’s possible, but in order to get there, you’ll want to focus on serving the most aligned people. When you do your best work, those people are delighted. However, you’ll get more feedback from the semi-appreciative, and they won’t be fully pleased with your best work, so they’ll suggest lots of conflicting changes in different directions. They’ll invite you to become someone you’d rather not become. And you’ll be tempted to serve them because there are more of them, and their feedback is the most frequent. If you prioritize numbers over alignment, you’ll automatically drift away from doing your best work. How many times have we seen this pattern play out in creative fields?

Instead of trying to serve the semi-appreciative outright, it’s easier and more fulfilling in the long run if you make it clear that you’re not going to adapt to serving them. This may seem like a bad idea at first, but the positive side effect is that when you demonstrate that you’re not aligned with serving the semi-appreciative, you’ll demonstrate that you’re an even better match for the deeply appreciative.

By making a bigger commitment to doing your best work, you may repel some semi-appreciative folks, but you’ll become that much more attractive to the deeply appreciative. This will make it easier for the most aligned people to recognize you as someone rare and special. It will help them feel more excited about investing in a long-term professional relationship with you. Quality invitations and opportunities will flow through them. You’ll also see more referrals from these deeply appreciative people.

Over time this will change the flavor of your life and work. The semi-appreciative may still engage with you, but they won’t be as front and center as before. Their presence will tend to recede into the background, crowded out by lots of highly engaged and deeply appreciative people. You won’t feel motivated to connect as much with the semi-appreciative when your life is rich in people who deeply appreciate your work. Most of your creative energy will flow into serving the deeply appreciative.

You won’t necessarily need a huge volume of deeply appreciative people, although this depends on what kind of work you do. Even if you only have a few people who deeply appreciate your best work, like a few co-workers or team members, that can make all the difference in the world. How many people would you really need to sustain yourself professionally?

Maybe you could even have a great career serving just one person – if it was the right person who had the motivation and the means to fully support you professionally. If you only served one person on earth in the most powerful and aligned way you could, who would that person be? If you can gain some clarity on that answer, it may help you identify a larger group of people who’d deeply appreciate your work as well.

All else being equal, would you rather serve the people who will deeply appreciate your work, or would you rather serve those who won’t? Do you really think you’ll do the best work of your life without the flow of that appreciation? If so, how’s that mindset working for you so far?

Saying No Before Finding the Yes

How do you reach the point of aligning your work with your values and serving the most appreciative people? Usually this involves saying no to the misaligned and the semi-appreciative. Stop capitulating to misaligned invitations. Stop trying so hard to please and satisfy the semi-appreciative.

If you have an offer to do something that won’t bring out your very best work, decline that offer. But also learn from that offer. What was misaligned about it? What would a better offer look like?

Tolerating lower standards isn’t a path to higher standards. So think about becoming less tolerant of the misaligned. This will reclaim some wasted energy that you can reinvest in a more aligned path. A common complaint from those who are doing misaligned work is that they don’t have the time and energy to pursue anything better. Of course they don’t – their time and energy is being drained away. It’s wise to plug that drain first, and then the energy and motivation can start to rise.

There are consequences when you shift directions, but the consequences of staying stuck are generally much worse. You may have some bills that go unpaid for a while, which is really no big deal in the grand scheme of life. A difficult transition is still a transition. What matters is simply that you make it happen. It doesn’t have to be pretty.

I’m not suggesting that you adopt a “screw the world for not appreciating me” attitude and just do your own thing regardless of what people think. We live in a social world, and we depend on each other. I invite you to engage with the world, not to retreat from it. No one engages with everyone on earth; we all engage with subsets of humanity. Which subset would most appreciate the work you could do? Which subset would you be delighted to serve?

If you find a subset of humanity that deeply appreciates your best work, that’s a good arrangement for you and for the people you serve. But it’s also good for the semi-appreciative and others who may seem less aligned with your work. By setting a high standard for serving the most aligned and focusing on them first and foremost, you’ll still serve many of the semi-aligned anyway. Moreover, you’ll be setting a positive example that will encourage others to raise their standards as well. This is generally good for all of us. We’ll all benefit from seeing more people doing their best work in the world, even if their specific work doesn’t inspire us personally.

Have you ever felt elevated and inspired by a world class performer in a different field than you’d ever pursue? Can you still appreciate and respect when someone does their best work, even if it doesn’t completely align with your values and preferences? If you follow the path of doing your own best work, you’ll elevate and inspire many more people along the way, including people in different fields. But if you hold back and tolerate misalignment instead, you may long regret that you missed out on a deeper level of fulfillment, despite many invitations from life to play in a bigger game. In the long run, the difficult alignment work is worth the effort, especially when you consider the types of ripples you’ll create either way.

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Creative Ambitionhttps://stevepavllina.com/blog/2019/02/creative-ambition/ Fri, 01 Feb 2019 22:29:35 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?p=16384 In the past several months, I’ve been stretching my creative muscles, taking on more ambitious projects including the 30-day Deep Abundance Integration video course and the 60-day Submersion audio course. The former was recorded in Aug 2018, and the latter was recorded in Dec 2018 and Jan 2019. I just published lesson 60 for Submersion…

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In the past several months, I’ve been stretching my creative muscles, taking on more ambitious projects including the 30-day Deep Abundance Integration video course and the 60-day Submersion audio course. The former was recorded in Aug 2018, and the latter was recorded in Dec 2018 and Jan 2019.

I just published lesson 60 for Submersion yesterday. I still have more bonus material to create for Submersion in February, but all of the core lessons are now complete. Currently there are 550 people enrolled in Submersion, and more are joining every week since we launched in early December.

For their core lessons, Deep Abundance Integration has more than 36 hours of material, and Submersion has about 26 hours. In terms of word count, I’d estimate at least 500,000 words for both combined, not counting the bonus content. By comparison my book Personal Development for Smart People was 83,000 words, and many books published in this field now are around 55,000 words. My entire blog is around 2 million words. So each deep dive is a major work equivalent to multiple books.

If this volume of material seems like it would scare away the timid, indeed it will, and that’s intentional. I’m a depth guy, and I love engaging with people who appreciate serious depth. Real life is varied and complex, and simplistic answers that might have seduced me a couple of decades ago don’t appeal to me these days. I want to dance inside the chaos and do my best to explore and express the hidden order within in. This is really difficult work, and that’s the space in which I thrive.

For years I’ve been wanting to create larger works on rich and complex topics, so these projects have been lighting me up inside. I like that they challenge me to delve into my best thinking, connecting more dots than ever before. I love ending the day with the feeling that I pushed my mind to operate at full capacity and squeezed as much deep work out of it as possible.

I especially like the edginess of tackling a creative project that I don’t actually know how to complete when I begin it. It feels good to commit first. I know I won’t be bored because there will be so much to figure out along the way. I can be fully engaged with this kind of work because it demands that I do my best.

Co-Creation

A key to unlocking this creative flow was to frame these projects as co-creative experiences. I launched them first, sharing the ideas and intentions as honestly as I could. Those who signed up had the ability to share feedback, suggestions, and questions as we went along. Lessons were published shortly after they were recorded. Each batch of lessons generated new feedback which informed the design of future lessons. Those who shared feedback during the development process truly influenced the creative process. If different people had signed up, these courses would have turned out totally differently.

There was a substantial volume of feedback shared along the way. For Deep Abundance Integration, the daily commentary during the live calls added up to about 900 pages, and more was shared via email as well. I spent dozens of hours reading this feedback, taking notes, and considering suggestions. I found this process incredibly valuable; it helped me understand the mindsets and frames that people used. I especially came to see how certain frames cause people to get stuck. Both courses involve adjusting our mental models to unlock more flow. Our frames often impose limits that reality needn’t obey, and better frames that remove these blocks.

Creative Obsession

Over the years I’ve experimented with different ways of working on larger creative projects. What seems most effective for me is to approach them as obsessive deep dives, much like tackling a personal growth challenge like the 40-day water fast I did in 2017. I put almost everything else on hold to clear the space, so I can focus on the creative work as my #1 project for a while. Even when I’m not actively working on it, my mind obsesses in the background. Everything links to the project. Little else exists except that one core project.

Some people can write a page a day and go on with their lives, and after a year they have a book. That doesn’t work for me. I find it way too slow. I work much better in creative bursts, and I mean that in a fractal sort of way. I like having 1-3 month creative bursts spread throughout the year, separated by breaks to resurface and attend to other parts of life. And within those larger bursts are shorter bursts of a few days to delve into specific subtopics. And within those are bursts of some hours to delve into a particular lesson or two.

The space between these bursts is critical to the creative process. It takes time for my mind to chew on ideas, ponder possibilities, and make new connections. Much of this happens subconsciously. A highly effective way to stimulate creative insights is to take in seemingly unrelated input. In these spaces I travel. I see movies. I read books. I play games. I attend events. I talk to people.

I didn’t create a 200,000-word course in 2 months by working for 8 hours a day x 5 days a week. I worked with the flow of inspiration. Sometimes that meant working 12 hours a day, occasionally for a few days in a row. Sometimes that meant working 2 hours, taking a break, and then working a couple more hours in a day. Other times it included traveling (San Diego in December and Mexico in January) or doing something unrelated for a day or two.

Even during the apparent breaks, the obsession still gripped me. While working on Submersion, I couldn’t help but interpret every experience through the lens of Subjective Reality. My mind would dwelling on the project while brushing my teeth, while driving, while watching a movie, or while on an airplane. Everything links to the project’s ideas, partly because the ideas are expansive enough that everything in life can link to them.

Aligning Intentions

I find that creative work is very sensitive to my intentions. If my intention is to create something for the money, I’ve killed the flow before I’ve even begun. That’s a needy and pathetic intention that reality doesn’t respect. The result will be some form of punishment.

Here are some intentions that work:

  • Add something unique to the universe
  • Help people undertake some major personal transformations
  • Pursue a path that hasn’t been fully explored yet
  • Dive into the unknown
  • Create something that I’d appreciate if someone else were to create it
  • Commit to traversing the whole tunnel before the end of the tunnel is visible
  • Co-create the experience with very aligned people
  • Attempt a creative project that requires me to do my best to even have a chance of success
  • Create something that might be useful to future AI, not just for humans
  • Seek answers to the hardest questions I could ask

Reality seems immensely supportive of these types of intentions.

There’s a real sense of satisfaction that comes from adding something unique and different to the world, and the feedback shared by people going through these courses has been tremendously positive. I don’t see how anyone could go through all 30 Deep Abundance Integration lessons or all 60 Submersion lessons and not be significantly changed by these experiences. Each one represents an intense tunnel of transformation. For those who complete both, I doubt their friends and family will recognize them afterwards.

Submersion in particular is one of the most ambitious creative projects I’ve ever attempted, representing some of the best work of my life. The universe seemed to support its creation in the most beautiful and synchronous ways, leading me to the right insights, resources, and connections at just the right times.

Reframing Creativity

I’ve noticed that many creative types tend to frame creativity as a private pursuit whereby one cocoons oneself in a sanctuary of solitude and nudges one’s brain to output something interesting. That framing proved problematic for me and not nearly as productive as alternative frames.

My current framing is that creativity is inherently co-creative. Instead of withdrawing from the world to create in silence, I prefer to lean into more engagement with life, with people, and with experiences throughout the creative process. Creativity flows beautifully from a high level of engagement with people, places, and events. This engagement is best when it happens in waves, and between these waves are stretches of time to record and structure the insights that arise.

I have more ideas for upcoming deep dives, and of course people continue to suggest new ones as well. We’ll get to those in good time. For now I want to allow some space for people to continue going through our last two deep dives, and during this time we’ll also finish filling out the bonus content.

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Are We Living in a Simulation?https://stevepavllina.com/news/are-we-living-in-a-simulation/ Mon, 31 Dec 2018 22:13:03 +0000 https://stevepavllina.com/?post_type=news&p=16252 Here’s an interesting video shared by a Submersion deep diver about the possibility that this reality is actually a simulation or virtual world: More than 500 of us are actively exploring and experimenting with this very real possibility in a 60-day Submersion deep dive experience. As you might expect, we’re discovering that this rabbit hole…

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Here’s an interesting video shared by a Submersion deep diver about the possibility that this reality is actually a simulation or virtual world:

More than 500 of us are actively exploring and experimenting with this very real possibility in a 60-day Submersion deep dive experience. As you might expect, we’re discovering that this rabbit hole is indeed full of rabbits. You’re welcome to join us, but only if you’re feeling brave since it will probably break your old reality. 😉

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