You’re probably here because you also believe that the purpose of life is to make it better.
Once one comes to this realization, it is difficult to know where to start. There is an overwhelming amount of ways we can improve our life. Which one is most pressing? How do I most efficiently prioritize what to do?
There is no manual on how to be successful at all aspect of life.
The closest I’ve found to trying to do this is Ken Wilber’s work about integral theory. He does a decent job of trying to bring everything together, and while I appreciate his work in many ways, it’s not that accessible because it’s way too dense, academic and jargon-filled. It’s also not that practical. His work is more of an intellectual masturbation than practical implementation, which is why the integral movement was mostly a big circle jerk.
Ken tries to fit everything ever into his model.
My work, on the other hand, attempts to ignore as much as possible, because most of it is irrelevant for most people. Instead, I focus specifically on the what is important for all humans.
The goal is to create a simple structure of general education, of what we need to be good at to feel fulfilled.
The best model I’ve found to present all this information is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow how are needs as humans follow a hierarchy. As lower needs are met, we feel a stronger craving to fulfill the higher needs.
While Maslow talks about what our needs are, he doesn’t explain how to best fulfill them. What I’ve found is that everything in the self-help niche fits somewhere along the pyramid.
The most interesting part of this system is how the whole is exponentially greater than the sum of the parts.
These concepts are all helpful by themselves, but when brought together in this structure, it connects so many dots in a way that cannot done in isolation.
Besides the details to the specific topics covered, it also answers questions like, how do we get people to be less selfish? How do we get people to care more about the environment? How do we get people to stand up for what’s right? And also more personal questions like, why am I not thrilled to be alive? What’s missing in my life? What are my blind spots? Where are my weaknesses?
To further understand Maslow’s Hierarchy, let’s briefly go over the different levels and what parts fit where.
Physiological – If we don’t get it, we’ll die.
- Homeostasis (not overheating or freezing)
Meeting these needs, in modern society, mainly falls into having money.
Safety – Structure your life so that you continue to live.
- Finances – how to be smart with money (to continue to meet your physiological needs)
- Health and well-being – how to make sure you don’t die from poor health or stress
- Emotional well-being
- Accurate mental models
- Personal security – how to make sure you aren’t killed
Long and Belonging – People skills
- Authentic connection
- Making friends
- Being a good lover and romantic partner
Esteem – Feeling good about yourself (confidence)
- Autonomy – making your own decisions, independence, freedom
- Mastery – getting better at things
- Self-respect – honesty, integrity and being a good person
- Prestige – recognition, appreciation, attention
Self-Actualization – Actualizing your potential
- Maximizing creativity
- Solving problems
- Helping people
- Confronting the shadow instead of avoiding it
- Becoming enlightened
The hardest part about writing this book is what to prioritize and how to give as much information as concisely as possible.
Many books have been written about the mere sub-chapters. The difficulty in summarizing all of these topics in a way that flows from one into the other has been an amazing brain exercise for myself.
I’m learning so much just by organizing my thoughts and summarizing these abstract concepts in a simple and succinct way. And I already feel like I “know” this material. I can only imagine the impact it will have on others who have not spent so much time studying and contemplating about all of these concepts.
The more I write, the more excited I get about the end result. I’m hoping to release the written book and the audiobook by the end of September at the latest.
If you’re anywhere as excited as I am, and you’d like to watch the progress, enter your email below. I’ll send out updates every full and new moon.