I’m about to ask you a question. This question might very well change your life. So please consider it thoughtfully:
Where is your behavior taking you?
Now your life probably hasn’t changed in a single instant just from considering that, but that question CAN change your life if you’re asking yourself regularly.
In fact, you probably can’t even imagine right now how much your life could transform if you make it a habit to check in with that question daily.
Tony Robbins has said that behaviors are actually vehicles. Every behavior you make is a vehicle that’s taking you to some outcome. Even if you’re not aware of it, and even if that outcome is not where you want to go.
Most of the time, we don’t even consider where our behaviors are taking us. We’re only thinking about experiencing them in the present. And it’s even rarer that we adjust our behavior so it becomes a vehicle steering you to a bigger, grander, richer, happier life. But…
Your Daily Behavior Is
Taking You On A Journey
So where is it taking you?
Is it leading you on a journey that can secure your life in a healthy, normal way that anyone should want?
Is it leading you on a journey to a better state of consciousness? That makes you happier? That offers value to the world?
Or is it leading you somewhere else?
Because if you can take advantage of your behavior — and view everything you do as a vehicle that’s taking you somewhere — then you can create a LOT of amazing things for yourself and others in your life.
But there’s a trick to getting action-taking right:
Because most people are NOT in the same mental state every day. Which makes controlling your behavior a lot harder.
The reality is…
We All Fluctuate Between
Different Personality Styles:
When I’m running on 2 hours of sleep for example, I act more irritable, bitter and petty than when I’m well-rested.
I’m also more likely to fall into short-term thinking and instant gratification instead of long-term.
All human beings have these “multiple personalities” we fall in from day to day. And when you can identify them, you can use them to your advantage. And there are three broad categories.
First, you have your higher self:
The higher self wants your life to thrive. And it also wants you to use your life to offer value to the world. It wants to contribute something.
And it wants to embody something that has meaning for you.
Your higher self is not petty.
When you’re living in your higher self, someone could insult you and you wouldn’t care. You’d say, “That’s just their level of consciousness right now. That’s okay. I can be the space to just let them get that out of their system, and move on.”
Then you have your mid-level self:
Mid-level desires are when you say “I just want to have security for me and my family, or future family.”
You’re concerned about making ends meet. And surviving. And eating the food you like.
Your mid-level self just wants your needs to be met. But it doesn’t necessarily want you to thrive, like your higher self does.
And finally you have your lower-level self:
Your lower desires are basically when you want to be a guy in a music video.
You want to make it rain, be the boss, destroy anyone that ever doubted you to prove them wrong. You want to show off your big house, and have a heated golden toilet seat.
Your lower-level desires are also short-term and instant gratification-focused.
The thing is — everyone has desires that are on some level, trivial. And that’s okay. Those desires can actually HELP you achieve in life.
So you don’t want to get rid of your lower-level desires. If you read this all the way through, you’ll discover how they can actually dissolve on their own.
Instead… you just want to be able to identify them.
We have to acknowledge that we all fluctuate through these different levels at different times.
And you want to angle everything to go in your favor as much as possible. So that all the behaviors and desires you have are lining you towards your goal.
Life, Overall, Is A Constant
Journey Of Doing This.
So when you take action, take action with a foundation in these concepts of inner understanding. You won’t always be in a higher-level paradigm. Sometimes you’ll have to operate from the lower-level.
Just remember to be introspective. And have a context for where that action is taking you.
And no matter which level you’re at at any given time, the one thing you DON’T want to be doing, is…
Not Taking Action:
Because when people are NOT taking action, their way of navigating reality becomes too stuck in their head.
When people don’t take action, they get all these principles and values and ideas about how they think things should be. And these ideas are not really based in reality. We just come up with them as thoughts.
If you’ve studied history at all, you know there have been many governments throughout the world that decided to govern based on ideas that sounded great on paper.
Communism was one of them:
In theory, that’s a great idea. It’s brotherly and sisterly love, man!
But communism in practice ended up ruining the lives of millions of people. And a top-down, centrally-planned economy did not create prosperity.
There are still people who look at the idea of how communism has played out in the USSR for example, and they’ll tell you:
“That wasn’t real communism. They should have made XYZ changes, and THAT would have worked.”
Now I’m not here to get into an argument with anyone. Those can get heated. But this is still an example of an idea that works really well in your head.
That’s something that sounds great but hasn’t really worked in reality.
Business Owners Do
The Same Thing:
If they’re not taking action, you’ll see them fall off their business instead of being on top of it.
Because they’ll get an idea they came up with totally in their head:
They’ll say: “You know, I just think people value THIS.”
And the problem is the “I THINK” part:
They haven’t gone out into the world to test any of those ideas in reality before they dive into them.
Thousands of little independent bookstores that were going out of business have said, “I just think that people value a corner bookstore.”
And believe me — as an avid reader, I LOVE corner bookstores.
But there’s a reason thousands upon thousands of independent corner bookstores have gone out of business over the past 20 years. Despite the fact that I love corner bookstores, I admit I’ve spent much more money on books from Amazon.
Is that a sad thing? Yes. Absolutely. Breaks my heart.
But it’s still a result of too many business owners — even BIG corporate businesses like Borders Book Store — who do not base their ideas in reality.
It’s based on some idea someone came up with in their head. Maybe it’s an outdated idea that isn’t adapting to how the world is changing. Or maybe it’s just an idea that sounds nice so you want it to be reality.
You simply can’t trust your own thoughts about what will work until you test them in the real world.
Here’s How To Fix That
What’s interesting about taking action on literally ANY goal you have — is that you’ll try the stuff that’s based in your head, and you’ll keep getting hammered down by reality, over and over.
You keep bumping into walls.
And that’s a GOOD thing.
That’s what you WANT.
Because you have a kind of journey you’re trying — say you’re trying to get good at a skill, or creating a business, developing a talent, or you want to contribute something — whatever it is you’re doing, the BEST part of that journey is that you’re going to keep hitting walls.
And in order to pass those walls, you will HAVE to become more grounded in reality than you were when you started out. You will HAVE to understand reality better than you previously did.
Sometimes you can stay ahead of the curve by learning from other people, reading books, or studying. But that’s actually an imperfect way of doing it.
The Fastest Way To Tune
Yourself To Reality Is
To TAKE ACTION.
Bump into those walls! Do it unapologetically. When you do, you’ll have to take the lens you’re seeing the world through that got you to where you are right now, and switch it around completely.
That’s the only way you’re going to be able to continue to the next level of achievement.
By doing that, you’re peeling away the layers of delusion about how the world works. And you’re becoming closer and closer to an accurate sense of reality.
Which of course, you’re never going to get a FULLY accurate sense, but you’re always getting closer and closer. And what’s interesting is — as you go through the pain and frustration of doing this…
Petty And Low-Level Thinking
Gets Stripped Away From You.
Most people start businesses for reasons that, in their head, might seem petty to an outsider.
They want to make a lot of money and show off.
They want a big house to show the people who bullied them in high school they “made it.”
They want to look “cool” to everyone in their lives on social media.
There’s nothing wrong with any of that.
But what they discover when they commit to the process, is the value it gives them changes meaning over time. Through taking action, they go into new paradigms of losing the need for seeking approval.
Does that mean they become some kind of enlightened monk who doesn’t need approval? Not at all. Nobody’s perfect.
But the process of taking action on a big lofty goal is the only way to shed a large majority of your petty, lower-level paradigms — and build a more accurate model of how the world works.
It Forces You Into A
More Accurate Paradigm.
And when you’re operating from a more accurate paradigm, that’s when you’re more effective at making money, getting healthier, having better relationships, and reaching whatever goal you could ever dream of.
And there’s even more levels after that.
Once you’ve made more money than you could ever use… money doesn’t hold the same meaning to you that it used to. So your paradigm has to change from being titillated by “getting stuff”, to being titillated by the person you can become in the process of achieving.
You have to change the paradigm to where you enjoy the process of creating value itself. You have to get to a paradigm where your love is simply the process of reaching the next new level.
Your orientation changes with each new level. Your love is oriented toward inspiring people. Because when others see you performing at a high level, how does that affect their performance?
It makes it better.
It Pulls Everyone Up.
And It’s Amazing.
In the Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance, Jordan says once he got to a high level of performance in basketball — the only thing that drove him to improve and perform even better was inspiring other people.
Especially his younger fans who were watching him.
This is what motivates most people who are performing at a high level.
When you talk to people who have achieved a lot in life, you’ll find that their love is inspiring others through their own performance. They no longer care about having time off. Or about getting titillated by new things they could buy.
They want to go out and completely kill it on the field of play. In whatever domain they’re in — athletics, business, or anything else.
And they simply don’t register with petty lower-level energy anymore. Not because they’re some kind of “superior” human, but because the process of taking action over the years melted all that away from them.
When they see someone that’s getting bent out of shape about “So-and-so doesn’t respect me…” it doesn’t register with them. Because you HAVE to accumulate haters in order to do anything exceptional in life. So past a certain level, it just doesn’t bother you anymore.
They’ll see people getting mad, saying, “I went and did XYZ and it didn’t produce the result I wanted right away…” But if you’ve bumped into thousands of walls over the years, you experience it differently. To you…
That Actually Seems
A Bit Naive.
Because when you’re in it for the LONG HAUL, you simply don’t care when you do something that doesn’t produce the result you want.
You love the journey. Because the journey is what grounds you to reality. It’s what helps you become present to the moment. It makes you surrender.
So here’s the point:
The journey is going to take the person you are, and it’s going to kill that person. And it’s going to make you transform.
You’ll level-up and evolve. Like a Pokemon. Only better.
And if you continue to take action, bump into walls, and seek the next level after that — you’re going to have to eventually kill that new person you became… and transform it into the next new thing, too.
It’s incredibly powerful when you decide to play at a high level for your state of mind. You can develop a profound love for it.
Ask anyone who has come into a lot of wealth. Anyone who has gotten whatever they want. Who has eaten at every nice Michelin-star restaurant in the world…
Usually… they just gain a lot of weight at first.
When people get a lot of material success, they become jaded and depressed. Because they’re numb to everything. They’ve gotten all the material things they want. And there’s nothing left.
That’s when you’re forced to change paradigms once again.
And love shifts from material things… to the process of creativity.
The love comes from the flow state you get while seeking the next level.
The love comes from the state of mind. The sharper perception of reality. From a greater, broader, and different experience you can get excited about.
It’s heavy stuff.
So the process becomes your love. And…
That Becomes Why You
Wake Up In The Morning.
And ALL of it comes from the continual process of action-taking.
Here’s the last thing to drive this point home:
The psychologist Abraham Maslow came up with a hierarchy of human needs. Most people have seen this hierarchy — it’s insanely popular and widely taught in undergraduate psychology classes.
But the problem I have with Maslow’s hierarchy is that it STOPS.
It claims that self-actualization is the highest point you can get to, and then you’re done.
That’s actually not true if you look into the world.
There are successful people you can meet all over who achieved self-actualization 15 or 20 years ago. And they’re STILL finding purpose in life and new levels to go to.
So what comes after self-actualization?
The psychologist Dr. Clare W. Graves came up with a model that, in my opinion, is much much more accurate than Maslow’s:
Dr. Graves’ model is a “double helix” theory of personality and culture…
And It Never Ends.
He wrote about it in the book “The Never Ending Quest.” Which is actually some pretty heavy reading. If you’re interested but not into heavy reading, there’s an abridged version that summarizes it very well, and gives you a more pragmatic way of applying the Graves model to your life.
It’s called: “LEAP! How to Think Like A Dolphin & Do The Next Right, Smart Thing Come Hell Or High Water.”
Anyway, I digress:
According to Graves, there are infinite levels of human needs. And as long as you’re taking action and improving your performance, there’s always another level to reach.
Most of us are on levels 4 through 6 of the Graves model.
Elon Musk is probably at 7 or 8. He got bumped up because he’s trying to expand humanity to mars. But Graves even theorized 20 more levels above that — which no human alive ever gotten to.
There’s always a next level.
You’re never “done.” Not if you don’t want to be, anyway…
It’s a powerful and exciting feeling knowing this. Nobody is ever truly finished.
So here’s what that means:
All you really have to worry about at any given moment… is thinking of your daily behaviors as vehicles that help you reach the level above where you’re at — knowing full well there’s also going to be another level after you get there.
So if you’re still trying to get your basic needs met, knowing that you are capable of going so much farther — simply by taking action daily — is a powerful paradigm to hold.
Even if you can’t see or imagine it for yourself yet… once your basic needs are met, you’ll be automatically tuned to the next level. It’s how our psychology works.
This provides a grand vision of your life. And it’s an ever-present reminder that anything is possible for you.