Habits

The Joy of Purposeful Work

Whether it’s putting in solid work for my company Oh My Green, working on closing a new exciting deal, or working on a creative project for Alchemize Life there is just so much joy & satisfaction to be found in the journey & process backed by an authentic purpose.

Old me used to be purposeless & so focused on reaching some self-centered specific goal that I would be completely unaware of all the awesomeness that was abundantly surrounding me throughout the entire process of reaching the goal. This purely self-centered focus on the end goal sabotaged my happiness. I had a limiting belief that until I reached the goal I wasn’t good enough & I could not be happy. Even after goal completion, happiness was fleeting as a new goal arose.

Now I realize two important factors: (1) we must have a purpose greater than ourselves & (2) when we have a strong personal mission the process becomes the prize. Putting in good work is a gift. There is boundless fruit in the labor when we approach it with the right mindset.

Once I developed my personal mission of “empowering people to transform” I finally had a mindset that made all work joyful & gratifying as long as it was in line with my mission.

With a strong purpose, all work becomes similar to a super amped sweaty physical workout. You know it’s hard, but going hard is fun, exhilarating & damn satisfying!

With that in mind, I strive for all my work to be purposeful & filled with meaning. And when you live a life on purpose filled with meaning... happiness & satisfaction is a natural byproduct!

So if you find yourself dreading work, unhappy & unfulfilled it may be time to develop a personal mission. If you don’t know what your personal mission is then YOUR MISSION IS TO DISCOVER & DEVELOP YOUR MISSION! This is truly one of the most awesome missions as it empowers you to use everything & all work to explore & refine your purpose. If you accept this mission you will embark on one of the greatest adventures of your life—self-discovery!

And if you already have a strong mission then I’m preaching to the choir. Like me, you probably love putting in the work just as much, if not more, than crushing the goals!

If you have a mission & feel like sharing it in the comments please do so! It is always inspiring for myself & others to hear all the awesomeness people are up to in this world!

END NOTES:

  1. This post was originally an Instagram Post last week, but I thought it was quite fitting to republish on LinkedIn. Give me a follow on IG @justindavidcarl if you would like to be inspired with daily stories of #mindset #motivation #entrepreneurship #fitness & much more!

  2. Some good resources for developing a personal mission: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, Living Forward by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy, The Fire Starter Conversations by Danielle LaPorte.



More empowering creative work from my Instagram:


Optimizing Life: A Foolproof System For Continuous Improvement

At some level, everyone wants a better & more optimized life. Yet, it is so easy to get lost in the hustle & bustle. Many of us find ourselves just trying to survive the work-week (traditional or entrepreneurial). I know this has often been the case for me.

Instead of overly worrying about my life improvement process I focus on a simple system that consistently moves me in the direction of a life that is continuously improving. 

My life optimization system is composed of three related principles:

  1. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
  2. You are a product of your environment.
  3. You are what you consume.

 

1. You Are The Average Of The 5 People You Spend The Most Time With

This is a quote by Jim Rohn, a pioneer in the field of personal development. Tony Robbins got his start working under him as well.

They've done studies that show our fitness level & net worth is highly correlated to those we spend the most time with. If we take a deep look at our own life we will realize that this principle applies to just about every area of our life. Regular weekly activities are highly informed by those we spend the most time with. We tend to pick up all sorts of behaviors of those we spend time with. Ultimately, good & bad habits are built & reinforced by those we are around.

This is awesome & scary at the same time. 

How many of the life-enhancing activities & habits that you regularly participate in are related to those you hang out with often?

On the flip side, how many of the destructive things you do are accepted & encouraged by the people you spend the most time with?

Seriously, take a few minutes and deeply think about this.

 

2. You Are A Product Of Your Environment

Again, massive research has been done on this. Our environments are a huge influence on our product of being. 

Different environments attract & produce different types of people. The environments in which we spend the most time almost always include the people that we actually spend the most time with (work, home, community, extracurricular activities, etc).

Our environments also dictate our activity & behavior. People who spend time at the gym tend to exercise, those who attend church pray, those who go to the library read, those who go to the bar drink, so on & so forth.

Take a moment and think about what kind of behavior your regular environments encourage.

 

3. You Are What You Consume

This one is really powerful. And can be really disturbing when we look at it in a detailed manner. 

Our consumption includes food & information. This includes all types of media--books, blogs, news, television, movies, music, auditory programs, video games, etc. Furthermore, information is picked up through conversations, environments & all types of experiences.

At some level, everything we ingest into our body and mind is programming us for better or worse. This holds true no matter which of our physical senses it enters into our domain of existence. Taste, touch, sight, sound & smell are all viable access points for consumption programming.

Think about this. What are you consuming on a regular basis?

Now that we've taken a moment to analyze these three related fundamentals let's look at...

 

How To Implement These Life Optimization Principles

  1. Self-checking: Regularly ask yourself how you are doing in each area.
    • Are the people I am spending the most time with calling forth the highest best version of myself?
    • Do the places I spend the most time encourage continuous growth & improvement?
    • Does the food & information I consume naturally lead me to grow in positive ways or am I slowly poisoning my body & mind?
  2. Work: Optimize your income generating field of endeavor.
    • Typically we spend the most time with the people we work with. We spend the largest majority of our time in our work environment. And we consume a majority of our weekly intake of food & information at and around work. 
  3. People: Pick your life-partner & friends wisely.
    • Tons of ultra-successful people credit their good fortune to picking an amazing significant other.
    • Same goes for friends. Successful, smart, happy, inspired & growth-minded people choose to spend time with people who facilitate these qualities naturally.
  4. Communities, Environments, Personal Interests & Hobbies: Choose groups, people, places & activities that foster growth.
    • Humans are built for connection & community. A lot of what we think, say & do come from the communities, personal interests & hobbies we are involved in (both online & in real life).

 

How To Hack The System

What if you're reading this and you realize that the 5 people you spend the most time with are showing a strong indication of actually being detrimental to your personal growth, health & fitness, personal finances, etc? In other words, what if the people you spend the most time with are ensuring a shitty life?!

Or what if after pondering these related principles you realize that your work environment & other environments you regularly frequent are contributing to a path to nowhere? Or worse, are leading to a steady decline?!

And what if your consumption (food, information, & otherwise) is killing your life?!

Here are a few ways to quickly hack the system:

 

Lifehack #1

Focus on what you are consuming. The easiest hack for this system is to immediately up the quality of content you are ingesting on a regular basis. It is a crucial step you can take & the first key to transforming your life at any time.

When you are commuting to & from work what are you doing? Are you listening to the fear-inducing news? Or maybe radio & music that is telling you to spend money to achieve happiness, buy more shit, do more drugs, sleep around, etc?

Instead of poisoning your mind you can listen to life-empowering audiobooks, audio programs & podcasts during your work commute.

This same thought-thread can be applied to all types of commutes and mindless activities where you can add in auditory learning/programming without negatively affecting your performance. This includes things like chores (cleaning, laundry, yard work, going to the grocery store, etc) and certain types of repetitive activities & exercise where you don't require music for motivation or have to keep track of performance metrics (reps, sets, times, etc).

During your free time you should definitely be reading books & blogs that empower & transform your life. Additionally, it pays to think this through with your viewing habits. What you regularly view informs your programming just as much as what you read & listen to. TV, movies, internet videos, public performances, etc.

Wise-minds actively curate their social media feeds so the content actually enhances their life. [here are my socials in case you need some instant reprogramming: Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter]

Even the experiences we consume program us.

Seriously! Think hard about what you are putting into your consciousness at all times.

Life-enhancing curated reading, listening, viewing, & experiencing is one of the most powerful habits you can cultivate in your life!

In disguise, this is a radical hack to create a virtual powerhouse group of people you spend the most time with. Want better friends to hang out with? Find the people you admire (or envy) and consume their content. Get inside their head & hang out with them virtually every day. Go to their workshops in person & consume experiences that can literally transform your life.

You can consciously & proactively manufacture a virtual group of friends that truly empower you to live a life worth living on your own terms.

This hack can be done quickly & easily without suddenly cutting people out of your life, quitting your job, or doing any major re-hauling of your day-to-day life.

This habit will then lead you to naturally seek out and connect with other people in your physical environment that are on similar growth paths.

 

Lifehack #2

Proactively manage how, where & with whom you spend your free time. After you have consciously redirected what you are regularly consuming the next step is to take a deep look at what exactly you do in your free time.

Even at work we have free time. What do you during your lunch break or other downtime periods at work? Are you having life-enhancing conversations, starting a personal finance interest group, learning from a colleague who is further along in a particular area of life, sharing articles that act as catalysts for positive transformation?

Or are you staying comfortable?

Proactively seek out interactions & experiences with people at work who will encourage you to grow. Even the worst workplaces have diamonds to be mined. Career development programs, training programs, etc. In the least there are at leas few colleagues who are kick-ass in some endeavor if you dig. Explore the edges at work. 

Outside of work how do you spend your time? If you're not consuming empowering content you better be spending the time doing something that is actually improving your life. This means getting involved in activities and communities that are aligned with your goals & values (current or aspirational). Proactively seek out experiences that will force you to grow whether you are ready to or not.

Find people who are interested in or working on things that you know you're into. Having trouble finding those people? Join a local Meetup group that is aligned with a life-enhancing interest. Other ideas include a local yoga studio, Crossfit community, dance crew, book club or any group that fosters growth. This can include a place of worship or anything else that brings together people with common interests, goals & aspirations.

Want to really supercharge your transformation? Do something wild like a weeklong Vision Quest or attend a weekend workshop like the Landmark Forum. Both of those can be pretty intense, but there are loads of workshops out there covering all avenues of life. 1440 Multiversity has a ton of them throughout the year and it can be just the personal investment you need to make a major shift in your life.

When you consciously spend your free time doing life-enhancing activities & hanging with empowering groups your life will optimize itself. And when you program these into your daily/weekly/monthly/yearly life you will naturally develop friends that reinforce the habits & behavior you want to build, hypergrowth your learning & you will be consistently challenged to grow in positive ways.

 

Lifehack #3

Change your everyday environment. This can include where you live and/or where you work. This can seem dramatic and challenging but it works.

When I was stuck in life & lost working in Hollywood Nightlife I had no idea what to do next but I knew if I went back to Stanford University I would be in a place that would force me to figure it out.

Was the transition easy? Hell no! It was godawful scary! Not to mention I was addicted to the money, social power, & the lifestyle of a career in nightlife. However, when I got honest with myself I knew it was not leading me towards the life I wanted. It was fun while it lasted, but deep down I felt I had more to give to this world. So, I took action in the face of fear. This is the definition of courage. And wow! Did it pay-off!

This major leap of faith led to my current career in wellness/tech and a work environment that has countless benefits such as a strong emphasis on all aspects of wellness--healthy eating, regular meditation, exercise, learning & personal development, and more.

Again, most of us spend more of our life energy with the people at work than with anyone else in our life, including our family. We also consume a majority of our daily life's food, information & experiences at and around work. This is why I cannot emphasize enough just how paramount it is to consciously choose the best possible place to live & work. Then double-down and proactively lobby & take action to make your community & company culture as life-enhancing as possible.

 

Conclusion: Build The System & Then Let It Do Heavy Lifting

In the beginning, it can take a bit of effort to redesign your life to optimize your growth. You may need to change daily habits, discover new activities, find new friends, find another career/company or even move to a new home. Nonetheless, I guarantee you it will be worth it! I know from personal experience.

Once you've proactively designed your life to automatically create positive change, transformation & ongoing growth it becomes a simple matter of minor maintenance. It's like you have this mini magical optimization machine tucked into your pocket & it's constantly pulling forth your highest best most authentic Self. And all it needs is the occasional winding to stay on track.

In alchemy & service,

Justin David Carl 🌒

P.S. This article encompasses one of the major systems of my personal life optimization program, but as a lifelong Seeker I am always looking for additional tools, systems, ideas, etc. Got anything to add? Please shoot me a message or leave me a comment below (at the very bottom)!

Related: Books That Have Radically Transformed My Life




ALN4: How Do You Unblock Yourself?

Greetings my fellow Life Alchemists!

Here are 9 things I thought were worthy* to share:
*worthy defined as having the potential to alchemize/transform your life in some positive way if you take action on it.

1. Three Simple & Powerful Tools To Create Breakthroughs In Your Life

  • Morning Pages: This is 3-pages of unfiltered stream-of-consciousness hand-written (with pen or pencil) within 30-minutes of waking.
  • Artist's Date: This is a date by yourself (alone) for yourself (aka your inner child). Anything goes. The guiding rule is "fun!"
  • Walking or Moving Meditation: Take your problem, challenge, life-blocker on a walk (or bike-ride, swim, run, etc). Any repetitive movement will work.

For a more in-depth explanation of these powerful tools watch my video-blog:
 


2. YOUR ALCHEMICAL OPPORTUNITY ⚡️
Try out the tools above. I use them daily/weekly to move through blockers in my own life & to continuously improve upon my commitment to living a life worth living for!

Creative work is play. It is free speculation using the materials of one’s chosen form.
— Stephen Nachmanovitch

3. TOOLS & TECH ⚒
Apple Airpods. I would not quite call myself an audiophile but I am pretty adamant about listening to super high quality sound. I've been a longtime Bose user so I wasn't expecting the Apple Airpods to beat out both my wireless & wired Bose headphones on sound quality. In fact, I was kind of shocked.

Another amazing feature of the Airpods is they actually cancel out much of the wind-noise for the person you are talking to when you use them as a phone-headset. This is a game-changer for me because I have a rule that anytime I can take a phone call while walking I do. I was constantly apologizing for wind. No longer the case thanks to the genius of the Airpods!

4. WOD (Workout Of The Day) 💪🏼
A lot of people have been asking for my daily workouts so I decided to start sharing them on my Instagram Stories. This is version one of me attempting to share my workouts. Let me know what you think! And if you have ideas for ways that I can better share, shoot me a note via emailInstagram or twitter with suggestions!

5. BOOK 📕
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. This book unleashed me in so many ways. The tools that open this newsletter are from Julia. I dreamed of being a blogger for over 10-years even though I had never written for myself. In other words if it wasn't for class or work I had never actually written creatively on my own. I read this book and started a blog within a month or so. It's that powerful.

6. RUN FREE: The Paradox Of Cultivating True Freedom
A recent blog article about freedom & cultivating it in our daily life.

Run Free:

The Paradox of Cultivating True Freedom

7. HOMAGE 🙌🏼
If it isn't obvious by now this ALN's homage goes to Julia Cameron. She transformed my life. And she has transformed the lives of creators across all major life categories (not just artists) including business professionals, entrepreneurs, athletes, spiritual leaders & more.

She's published 40+ books in addition to her other creative work--plays, music, scripts, & more. Start with The Artist's Way. It's a powerful reminder that we are all Artists and it will create major movement in many areas of your life.

I recently had the privilege to learn from her in-person at her workshop at 1440 Multiversity. It truly was a transcendental experience. If you ever get a chance to take a workshop with her or visit 1440 do not miss it! Both are goldmines of life empowerment!

8. LEARNING 🤓
The only person or thing that is blocking us is our self. The ego wants us to blame some "other" person or thing for holding us back or holding us down, but really that is just an illusion designed to keep us stuck. The truth is that the only person that can un-block us is the one who looks back at us in the mirror.

9. READER REQUEST 🙏🏼
I am always looking for new ways to unblock myself. Got some good tools? Please send them my way! One of my greatest joys from my work with Alchemize Life is how much I personally learn & grow from interaction with my brilliant audience. 

Thanks for reading! If you liked this newsletter and want to support it please forward it to a friend!

If you're seeing the newsletter for the first time, you can signup here.

In alchemy & service,

Justin David Carl 🌒

--
SPECIAL NOTE: Readers often comment that ALN (Alchemize Life Newsletter) is "dense." To graciously clarify: it is designed that way so that you can come back to it again & again whenever you need some empowering energy for your life (until the next issue arrives). I do NOT recommend trying to read & do everything in one day. Take what grabs your attention first and bookmark the html version and pop it open whenever you need some more creative fuel!

Photos by


ALN2: What's Your Vision?

When the communication & contact between self & the Creator become pure, then this we call Vision.
— Stalking Wolf 🐺

Greetings my dear Life Alchemists! 🙌🏼

Here are 10 things I thought were worthy* to share:
*worthy defined as having the potential to alchemize/transform your life in some positive way if you take action on it.

SPECIAL NOTE: Several readers brought up the point that my last newsletter was very "dense." To graciously clarify: it is designed that way so that you can go back to it again & again throughout the month whenever you need some empowering energy for your life. I do NOT recommend trying to read & do everything in one day. Just bookmark the html version and pop it open whenever you need some creative fuel.


1. For my 35th birthday last month I went on a Vision Quest. I wanted to kick-off a new phase in my life & this was the most powerful way I could think of. This experience included an entire week spent in the wilderness. For 4 of those days I was FASTING (water only) in complete solitude & silence. This is an ancient form of experiential transformation. And oh my God! It was the most powerful experience I've ever undergone! Curious? Send me a message with any questions. I am compiling my thoughts on Vision Quests and would love to cover any common questions/concerns. Also, I would be happy to refer you to where & with who I did my Quest if you feel the call. I highly recommend going on a Vision Quest if you feel lost or stuck in life.  They are designed to make you remember why you came here (to Earth). If you want to do your own research here is an awesome book on Vision Quests (opening quote is from the book).

2. I finally started vlogging (video blogging) and I am loving doing it "Live" on Instagram & Facebook (please follow me to see my "Live Stories" -- always full of empowering content!). Here is one episode I saved & posted on embracing fearmistakesfailure & creating empowering meaning in your life:



3. My most popular Instagram post in the last month. A short snippet about "choosing your possibility." 

4. My current favorite tool/toy... a fat-loss monitor! I use this to track trends in my body-fat levels. They say "what gets measured gets managed" & I can attest to this! By tracking & logging my body-fat daily I've managed to stay well under 10% body-fat (visible 6-pack) for over 2 years.

5. Why it is so empowering to have people that are HONEST with you (aka Why I Was Killing My Relationship & My Life). Especially when you are in a rut (yes, I am human and fall into slumps as well).

6. Monthly homage: Shout-out to my dear friend & fellow blogger Kevin Gao (also serial entrepreneur). He was absolutely pivotal in my personal unfolding as a blogger. He is brilliant, funny, a very deep thinker & is always sharing life-enhancing material. Check out his creative work at kevinhabits.com!

7. Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins - book I'm re-reading for awesome personal growth & development. 🔥 Yup, still re-reading this! Old me used to rip through books as if speed was the only way to read. I still consume massive amounts of books but lately I have added slow & deliberate re-reading into my personal growth repertoire. I was inspired by Kevin (above) to do this. I will read 1-3 pages and deeply think, write & talk about what I read and learned. I personally discovered that this facilitates deep learning (meaning I actually use the ideas/concepts in my real life AND they stick with me).

8. Speaking of books I finally put together my personal list of Books That Have Radically Transformed My Life! 📚 Do you have any life-changing books that are NOT on this list? If so, please share with me! I am looking for the next epically life-impacting book(s)!

9. Here is an awesome & brilliant short read about The 6 Human Needs. Two of them are: (1) Certainty & (2) Uncertainty... LOL! No wonder we always feel so conflicted in life!

10. My biggest recent learning: Experiment, test & play with everything that you think may even have a slight chance of empowering & enhancing your life. You never know what will really "work" for you until you try it. This has been a game-changer for me! It unlocked me from only writing & creating on my blog. My sense of creative freedom jumped ten fold. I have been testing (and playing) with every publishing platform I can get my hands on. I've completely fallen in love with Quora and still learning how to best use Medium LinkedIn. And yes, totally obsessing over Instagram & Facebook stories (Live & otherwise)

Your alchemical opportunityDo something today or this month that SCARES you! Explore those edges! That is where all the awesome growth & transformation happens! 🤘🏼

Thanks for reading! If you liked this newsletter and want to support it please forward it to a friend! 🙏🏼

If you're seeing the newsletter for first time, you can signup here.

In alchemy & service,

Justin David Carl 🌒

P.S. If there was one thing I could write, podcast, or make a video about what would it be? Email me or send me a tweet with your suggestions! Use hashtag #ALN (Alchemize Life Newsletter) for any tweets or Facebook & LinkedIn posts!

P.P.S. If you missed the April edition of my Newsletter please check it out here! Plenty more awesome material to EMPOWER YOUR LIFE! 🤘🏼

Habit-Stacking: How To Get More Life Out Of Good & Bad Habits

I'm obsessed with habits.

Ever since I read the book Willpower almost 4 years ago I have been studying them diligently.

I've been studying them in my own life, both the good ones & the bad ones.  I've also been studying the habits of people I admire & aspire to be like - both living & dead.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
— Will Durant

This quote (often mistakenly attributed to Aristotle) sums up the "why" behind my obsession with habits.

Habits can be a vast subject when you get into all the nitty-gritty, but in this article I want to cover just one strategy. Something I like to call Habit-Stacking.

Habit-Stacking: Combining two or more habits together to build, support & reinforce each other and/or to negate the effects of potentially negative or undesirable habits.

In its simplest form habit-stacking is combining two or more habits together.  This empowers you to do more in the same amount of time.  It also empowers you to reinforce good habits as well as use a bad habit to encourage good behavior.

There are two major themes of habit-stacking in my mind:

Plus/Plus (+/+) Habit-Stacking

This is using two or more positive habits to build, support, & reinforce each other.  Some personal examples in my life are:

  • Listening to audio books & educational programs while commuting (driving, flying, train, subway, biking, walking, etc). This one habit-stack radically increased the rate at which I get through books & high-quality personal development programs
  • Flossing with a floss-pick while driving, biking, walking, etc. Basically, anytime I am commuting where I don't feel too self-conscious flossing. Combine this with the habit-stack above & you have a ménage à trois habit-stack!
  • Reading on a cardio machine. This includes paper & electronic books as well as online articles. I save as much of my online reading (with the Pocket app) for the cardio machines.
  • Work email on a cardio machine--elliptical, stationary biking, treadmill on incline, etc. I've trained myself to get through massive amounts of email on my iPhone while moving. I even do it while walking outdoors in low-traffic, safe areas where I don't need to worry about walking into dangerous things like cars. Work email will be there every week guaranteed. Make it work for your fitness.
  • Anytime I can take a phone call while walking outdoors I seize the opportunity. This simple habit-stack adds up huge over time (5-10+ hours of walking per week). I use a headset and take notes on my iPhone when needed.
  • Exercising outdoors while getting sunlight (see title picture). There is a ton of published research that supports the mental/emotional/physical benefits of exercise (movement) & spending time in nature. Why not combine the two together and maximize your life?! I also claim there is a huge spiritual benefit as many of my most divine moments happen while moving in nature. 🌲😇⛰

Plus/Minus (+/-) Habit-Stacking

This is taking a potentially negative, mindless, or undesirable habit and using it to reinforce positive life-enhancing habits. Here are some of mine:

  • Combining social media with some form of cardio (stationary cardio machine or walking). I have a personal rule that I spend at least 80% of my social media time moving in some form. Like many people I can freely admit social media is addicting and I easily lose track of time. It's pretty awesome to come up for air from the black-hole of social media and realize you just did over 30 minutes of cardio.
  • Audio books, podcasts & other personal development auditory material while cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, yardwork, & other weekly chores. For some, these habits/tasks, such as cooking, are pleasurable. For me they are undesirable, but necessary in life. When I throw on a positive & transformative audio program suddenly these mundane tasks become awesome to me.

My current favorite habit-stack:

Doing everything I can think of on my FitDesk - brushing my teeth, flossing, email, writing/blogging, social media, talking on the phone, reading books & online articles, watching videos, etc. Over a week this adds up. I easily get in 5-10+ hours of additional low impact exercise each week because of this. This leads to greater weekly calorie burn & supports optimal year-round fitness (more strategies like this in my free Fitness Guide: How To Be An Ultra Fit Entrepreneur).

Here I am on my  FitDesk  doing the final edits of this article.   🤓🚴🏼💻  #habitstacking    Shoes by  Android Homme  | Painting by  Carly Lyn Wise

Here I am on my FitDesk doing the final edits of this article. 🤓🚴🏼💻 #habitstacking

Shoes by Android Homme | Painting by Carly Lyn Wise

Habit-Stack Every Area Of Your Life

The beautiful thing about habits is that once you have them built you do not have to burn precious willpower trying to do them. They become second-nature.  And then you can apply that freed up resource of willpower to tackle more difficult projects (or build new awesome habits).

There are an infinite number of habit-stacks you can create. Chances are that you already have some awesome ones in place.  As part of my never-ending quest to optimize my life I am always looking for new habit-stacks so if you have any that you would like to share please email me, tweet me with #habitstacking, or leave a comment below.

In alchemy & service,

Justin David Carl 🌒

P.S. The 3 best books I've read on habits so far are: Willpower by Roy F. Baumeister & John Tierny, Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin & The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Got any other good books/resources on habits? Please share! 🙏🏼😄💓

 

 

The Four Universal Forms of Meditation: Why Sitting Isn't The Only Way To Meditate

Can't stand the thought of sitting for 20 minutes to meditate? 

Can barely fathom sitting still for even 5 minutes?

Does your brain & body hurt just thinking about trying to sit & meditate?

Is your consciousness f***ed?!

Definitely not. Maybe your mind, body & emotions are calling for a different mode of meditation. One that accesses another physical posture other than sitting.

There are other modes of meditation that are just as powerful and harness different, equally important, aspects of human development. 

Even if you have been hardly awake the last few years, chances are that you have noticed that meditation has become popular in our society. If you haven't noticed and are reading this then you are now caught up with the rest of us. :)

Honestly, it seems like there has been an epidemic of meditation in the U.S. in recent years. All of the en vogue celebrities & gurus are touting it, there are numerous meditation apps available, and many companies offer it to their employees as a benefit (mine does).

I think it's awesome that we have reached a point in our society where the emphasis on the development of our consciousness is widely accepted and encouraged. Definitely a tipping point in our evolution as a species in my opinion.

But what if you've tried traditional seated meditation and for whatever reason can't stick to it or cant stand it no matter how many times and types you've tried . . .  ?

According to the late Angeles Arrien, PhD, there are four universal forms or postures of meditation found among almost all societies across the globe and throughout our collective history.

If seated meditation has not been working for you, maybe you are trying too hard or maybe it is time to embrace one of the other ways below. Chances are you already do one or more without even realizing it.

The Four Universal Forms (or Postures) of Meditation:

1. Seated Meditation

According to Arrien, seated meditation accesses WISDOM.  Something all of us could always use more of. 

Seated meditation embodies the Teacher-Archetype.

Think of the great wise teachers throughout our history -- Ghandi, Einstein, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Buddha, Aristotle, Socrates, etc. All of them spent a lot of time in seated meditation. Within they found deep & profound insight that they in turn shared with the world, elevating all of us to higher states of consciousness and greater ways of being in our shared-world.

For many of us, these figures may appear to be superhuman and beyond our personal relate-ability. This is often due to the fallible thinking of comparing one's place on their journey to the journey of another. This kind of thinking almost always creates self-doubt and leads to stagnation.

I believe we all have something to teach & we all have innate wisdom that we can tap.

I also believe that we often make things way too hard. Especially, seated meditation. I was guilty of this. Making things harder than they need to be is something I constantly have to guard against (see here for insight on how I've began to overcome this life-challenge).

The seated form is what most people think of when they hear the word meditation. And unfortunately many of us think that if we cannot sit cross-legged or in full or half lotus pose then we are not cut out to meditate. I was one of these people up until about 2 years ago.  

Spiritual hipster incarnate... Seated meditation under a tree harnessing inner wisdom.

Spiritual hipster incarnate... Seated meditation under a tree harnessing inner wisdom.

Many people can't sit crossed legged, in lotus, or upon their shins in the traditional Japanese sitting posture "seiza" (see picture above) for more than a few minutes without experiencing mild-to-major discomfort (myself included unless I have been practicing yoga regularly).

Fortunately, I discovered that sitting in some "proper" way is just societal conditioning & the over-marketing of how meditation "should" look. This was spawned from our idolization of those monastic people who spend all day doing yoga, martial arts and seated meditation. People who have deliberately physically trained their body to sit for long periods of time in "traditional" seated meditation postures.

In truth, if you can sit in a regular chair or couch or can sit upon a bed with your back against the headrest and your legs stretched straight out in front of you (my preferred way) then you can do seated meditation. The key to seated meditation is to keep your spine & neck straight, but relaxed. Almost everyone can find a sitting position that personally works for them that achieves proper spinal alignment.

 

2. Lying Meditation

This is another important posture of meditation that we often forget about. Or we don't realize that it is an awesome way of meditating because we associate it with sleeping.

And in our society if it is too easy or not difficult enough then we faultily think that we are doing it wrong or that it isn't working.

Lying meditation is all about HEALING & LOVE, keeping with Arrien's framework. Intuitively, this makes a lot of sense. It is what most of us do naturally when we feel physically unwell. It is also what we do with our loved ones to cultivate love. Also known as snuggling or cuddling.  

This form of meditation is part of the the Healer-Archetype

Shavasana or "corpse pose" in yoga is a lying meditation most yoga classes use to integrate the session at the end while cultivating healing & recovery.

Shavasana or "corpse pose" in yoga is a lying meditation most yoga classes use to integrate the session at the end while cultivating healing & recovery.

We can use this posture of meditation to heal beyond just the physical aspect of our nature. Mental, emotional, and spiritual healing can be accessed and accelerated in this position.

Shivasana, aka corpse pose, is used in most yoga classes and is probably the most common form of lying meditation.

Lying massages of all types can also be used to meditate. I've personally experienced many transcendental moments during a great massage.

Another, more advanced, but fairly accessible modern day version of this lying form of meditation is Holotropic Breathwork, pioneered by Stan Grof.

"Holotropic Breathwork is a powerful approach to self-exploration and healing that integrates insights from modern consciousness research, anthropology, various depth psychologies, transpersonal psychology, Eastern spiritual practices, and mystical traditions of the world. The name Holotropic means literally "moving toward wholeness" (from the Greek "holos"=whole and "trepein"=moving in the direction of something).

The process itself uses very simple means: it combines accelerated breathing with evocative music in a special set and setting. With the eyes closed and lying on a mat, each person uses their own breath and the music in the room to enter a non-ordinary state of consciousness. This state activates the natural inner healing process of the individual's psyche, bringing him or her a particular set of internal experiences. With the inner healing intelligence guiding the process, the quality and content brought forth is unique to each person and for that particular time and place. While recurring themes are common, no two sessions are ever alike."

To date I've undergone two Breathworks and both times had incredibly healing and transformative experiences. I was blessed because my Mom is trained in this particular healing modality. [Send her an email if you live in WA and are interested otherwise see here for worldwide Breathwork events]

This type of lying meditation may sound a bit out there, but it's growing in acceptance. Founder & CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, speaks openly about Breathwork's transformative power in The New Yorker.

Ayahuasca, LSD & magic mushrooms have grown in popularity among the in-crowds the last few years in our ongoing humankind search for healing & meaning. Breathwork is an awesome way to discover this and reach similar (or better) altered states of consciousness without taking drugs. Unlike drugs, there are no negative side-effects with Breathwork.

 

3. Standing Meditation

Standing meditation is rarely openly discussed in our current culture, yet it is incredibly powerful.

In a way, standing meditation has been repackaged into "power-poses" and standing affirmations. Two ideas that are talked about more often in our society.

I like to picture myself in a powerful superman silhouette upon a sky-scraper looking upon the city with the wind holding my cape afloat.

Or sometimes I picture myself upon the ledge of an Arizona red-rock cliff with the camera doing a 360-degree pan.

And sometimes I stand in a classic Wolverine pose in front of the mirror and just harness wild-beast energy.

Standing meditation accesses PRESENCE and cultivates our ability to honor boundaries and limits, as stated by Arrien.

This is the meditation of the Warrior-Archetype. Something that has always been programmed into our consciousness.  

Throughout history and all civilizations we as a human species capture this warrior energy in our pictures, paintings, and statues of powerful humans in powerful poses.

Heroic statues stand guard around the globe. They often mark the entryway to our homes, institutions, various sacred areas, and even our country (statue of liberty).

Standing meditation overlooking Silicon Valley.

Standing meditation overlooking Silicon Valley.

 

4. Walking (or Moving) Meditation

Walking and moving meditation accesses INNER CREATIVITY (VISION) and it harnesses the Visionary-Archetype.  

It should come as no surprise that many of mankind's most visionary artists, writers, scientists, and thinkers had a daily practice of moving meditation. Many of them were habitual walkers.

Mason Curry covers many of these famous minds and their daily moving meditations in his book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.

Moving meditation can also come in the form of cooking, cleaning, swimming and various physical sports.

I even think driving can be a moving meditation. Not stuck-in-traffic-driving, but the kind where you are cruising along.

Same goes for bathing in the shower, a place where ideas seem to flow through our bodies like the water cascading over us.

There is something magical about moving and letting your mind unwind itself.  Whether it's working through a current problem and finding a creative solution or ideating for all areas of life there is something naturally powerful about meditative movement.

Whether by conscious design or happenstance we have all had this experience and as Arien states, " When our body is moving & open, we become vehicles for creative problem-solving."

Many cultures use this type of moving-meditation to reclaim one's authentic Self.  Aboriginals of Australia have their "walkabouts" and Native Americans use "vision quests". Even in our modern day, people of many first world countries go "backbacking" through Europe or road trip through America to rediscover themselves.

Through movement we can remember who we are and why we came here.

No matter the type of preferred movement we can all get into altered states of consciousness. The trick is to notice which ones work especially well for you in your life as it is right now.

If you have the time & resources to go on vision quest, walkabout, backpack, road-trip, etc.  Go take a journey that reconnects you with your Self.

If an extended meditation of that type doesn't fit your life how can you cultivate moving meditation in your life today?  It's fairly easy if you don't make it harder than it needs to be.

I go on walks and ride my bike daily. I body-build and practice yoga weekly as well--two more awesome moving meditations.

Friends of mine practice martial arts like kung fu & tai-chi.

My fiance goes to SoulCycle and has regular "spiritual experiences" and emotional breakthroughs during class. 

Runners & marathoners are classic modern moving-meditators.

My fiance & I rollerblade together. Another favorite moving meditation of mine. It feels like flying to me and my mind always feels free & expansive as I journey through urban landscapes.

Hiking through nature is another personal favorite moving meditation. Whether in the foothills, through a park, deep in the mountains, or along a beach. [Side Tangent: Nature is an especially powerful amplifier and cultivator of all types of meditation.]

Moving meditation empowers me to remember what has heart & meaning to me in my life. It helps me remember who I really am and always provides creative answers that are endowed with personal integrity. Answers that help me move through whatever beguiling situations I find myself in during the course of my time here.

My walking meditation includes looking like a badass . . .  😎😜

My walking meditation includes looking like a badass . . . 😎😜

Alchemical Learnings:

  1. Meditation is a natural phenomenon that everyone experiences.
  2. The key to regular meditation is doing it in a way that truly works for you.
  3. We can consciously harness different types of meditation to access different archetypes & powers. In review:
    1. Seated Meditation: Archetype = Teacher, Power = Wisdom
    2. Lying Meditation: Archetype = Healer, Power = Love & Healing
    3. Standing Meditation: Archetype = Warrior, Power = Presence & Boundaries
    4. Walking (Moving) Meditation: Archetype = Visionary, Power = Inner Vision (Creativity)

Alchemical Resources:

  1. The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer, & Visionary by Angeles Arrien, PhD.
  2. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey.
  3. Awakening Spirits: A Native American Path to Inner Peace, Healing, & Spiritual Growth by Tom Brown Jr.
  4. Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom by Rich Hanson, PhD with Richard Mendius, MD.
  5. Have some other awesome meditation related resources? Please reference them in comments, email me, or tweet me! 🙏🏼

Alchemical Opportunity for the reader:

  1. Consciously identify the types of meditation you already naturally do in your life. Notice which of the Four Universal Forms of Meditation they fall under.
  2. Choose one of the Four Universal Forms of Meditation that you currently do not practice and find an easy & fun way to add it into your life as it is now. [more on choosing easy & fun here]
  3. If seated meditation has been difficult for you try it in news ways:
    • Use a personally comfortable sitting position.
    • Try out different types of seated meditation. I.E. Breath-based, guided, body-scan, mantra-based, chanting, listening to binaural beats, etc.
    • Try using an app like Headspace.
  4. Want to go deeper? Try a breathwork, go on a vision quest, partake in a weekend meditation or yoga retreat, take a road-trip, or even go backpacking through a part of the world that has been silently calling to you.
“As gold purified in a furnace loses its impurities and achieves its own true nature, the mind gets rid of the impurities of the attributes of delusion, attachment and purity through meditation and attains Reality.” – Adi Shankara

Developing our consciousness is a worthy cause for all of us. It empowers our lives in so many ways and there is a huge growing body of scientific evidence that supports the positive effects of meditation on all areas of life.

But more importantly, meditation does not have to be hard. It is something all of us can do. If we take a little conscious energy to explore we can find ways to meditate that suit us particularly well. And in doing so we can return to our Self, mine our inner gold, and be of the highest benefit to everyone we come into connection with. Including ourselves.

In alchemy & service,

Justin David Carl 🌒

P.S. My mission is to empower people & organizations to transform & self-actualize. Meditation & consciousness development is a huge part of that. If you enjoyed this article please share it! 🙏🏼

 

 

 

Rebel With A Cause: How To Meet Internal & External Expectations & Build Good Habits When You Resist Everything

In short, it has been god awful frustrating.

All my life I've struggled against internal and external expectations never really understanding when and why I would meet resistance.

This includes simple & complex expectations as well as habits (exercise, family obligations, work tasks, all types of personal & professional goals, etc.)

Some of the times I encounter little to no resistance. Other times massive resistance despite knowing that meeting the expectation would be awesome for me and my life.

I didn't understand why sometimes it was easy and other times incredibly difficult (even when the expectation itself was fairly easy).

It's been like having a super powerful machine that only turns on sometimes. When it turns on it is incredibly efficient, diligent, and reliable. However, it only turns on sometimes no matter how I hard I "try." 

For some things, like exercising regularly, I have basically zero resistance and it is incredibly easy for me to do this every week with an almost fanatical zeal. This holds true for me whether the expectation comes from within myself or from an an outsider (people, society, etc.).

Yet, other things, like doing my taxes on time or early have been incredibly difficult. This is despite consciously knowing that it is in my best interest to get them done on time at the least.

I've often been bewildered by fact that I am so diligent with exercise, something many find difficult to stick to, and yet I still run into resistance for other things many would consider much easier than regular exercise.

Along the same vein, for the longest time I could not understand why I resisted great suggestions from my partner, family, and friends. A prime example of this is journaling. I always secretly wanted to be a writer. And yet I resisted my mother, partner, teachers, books, etc. until finally I began at the beginning of 2014 (more on that here).

I've run into similar issues with my own good ideas for myself in all areas of life.

If it is my idea I found that I have at least a 50% chance of following through on it. This is a rough estimate.

If the idea was suggested by someone else in the frame of "you should do _______" my internal resistance flairs up immediately most of the time and the chances of me meeting the external expectation go down a lot.  

I often resist whether someone tells me to do something or kindly suggests it.

Yet, sometimes someone makes a great suggestion and I immediately implement it.

Like I said before. Ridiculously frustrating.

I can't even imagine how annoying that has been for the people in my life. Especially my Mom and significant other.

Despite how frustrating it must be for others I always felt like my Mom did an amazing job parenting me. She gave me a ton of freedom and created an environment where I could truly thrive through my own self-direction. With the freedom there were reasonable boundaries that I had no trouble respecting (most of the time).

I've come to somewhat understand how she did this for me in the last few years through many deep talks. The basic gist is that she always gave me options and let me make the choice.  

She almost never (if ever) made the choice for me. And since I made the choice I was able to meet the expectation (most of the time).  

A fiercely independent individual like myself has always bucked hard against anything that felt like it was limiting my freedom. Fortunately, my Mom who also highly values freedom never did this to me.

The CEO of my company Ohmygreen has also created an environment where I am constantly asked "what do you think you/we should do?" We almost always discuss options & related consequences. Then ultimately, I am always empowered to make my own choice. I'm not even sure if he's ever specifically told me what to do.

This has resulted in the most fulfilling career/calling of my life thus far and I have been massively successful in my role at the company as a result of this personally empowering environment.

I have a highly similar "pro-choice" environment in my home life with my fiancé -- one of the big reasons I know we are going to be successful and happy in the long-run. Basically, my significant other never tells me what to do, always explains the reasons behind anything and everything we are doing (often before I even ask for the reasons), and ultimately I am always left with the power to choose.

To some, this need to understand and choose may seem somewhat unruly and rebellious. To others you may see yourself in this. Regardless of the personal resonance, almost all of us know someone like this (whether we are consciously aware of it).

Well, thanks to an awesome podcast interview by Chase Jarvis along with the developing work of the Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin (author of The Happiness Project & Better Than Before) I believe I am finally coming to understand myself in a new & deeply profound way.

And holy hell I am grateful!

I may have just stumbled upon the missing pieces for the keys to consciously understanding & empowering my ability to meet both internal and external expectations.  

I am still personally testing this, but I wanted to share now because I am so excited about this discovery and I want to up my rate of understanding & learning by interacting with others who may be going through the same thing with themselves or someone they know. . . so please leave comments!

According to Gretchen's Four Tendencies quiz I am a Rebel (take quiz here). And according to her framework as a Rebel I resist all expectations, outer and inner... Wait, what?! This sounds so familiar!

In Gretchen's words she says the following about Rebels [my comments in italicized brackets]:

  • They choose to act from a sense of choice, of freedom. Rebels wake up and think, "What do I want to do today?" [LOL! This is too familiar. I usually have a running list of a dozen or more things I want to do daily and each day I wake up and intuitively do what calls to me the most.]
  • They resist control, even self-control, and usually enjoy flouting rules and expectations. [I definitely resist any sort of outer control, bending rules does often appeal to me (that doesn't mean I always bend them), and expectations often drive me crazy. I often consciously and subconsciously subvert outer expectations placed upon me. Nonetheless, I have serious self-control when it comes to things related to my identity. More on that below.]
  • Rebels place a high value on authenticity and self-determination and bring an unshackled spirit to what they do. Rebels work toward their own goals, in their own way, and while they refuse to do what they're "supposed" to do, they can accomplish their own aims. [Definitely agree. I often find myself purposely trying to do things in my own way, different from the usual way. I get a strong sense of satisfaction doing things uniquely. And "unshackled spirit" couldn't ring more true.]
  • Rebels often frustrate others because they can't be asked or told to do anything. They don't care if "people are counting on you," "you said you'd do it," "your parents will be upset," "it's against the rules," "this is the deadline," or "it's rude." In fact, asking or telling Rebels to do something often makes them do just the opposite. [I had to teach my fiancé how my Mom parented me in order to avoid the chaos this could cause in a relationship.]
  • The people around Rebels must guard against accidentally igniting their spirit of opposition--particularly challenging for the parents of Rebel children. [Both my parents, CEO of my company, and fiancé all do an incredible job of avoiding this.]
  • In fact, Rebels sometimes frustrate themselves, because they can't tell themselves what to do. [Definitely run into this too many times. I believe I've finally consciously discovered solutions & strategies to overcome this (see below) . . . Amen!]

Three important strategies Gretchen brings up for the Rebel are [my comments italicized, but much is paraphrased from the reading of Better Than Before & scouring Gretchen's blog]:

1. Strategy of Clarity

  • This is all about having a strong "why" behind why you are doing something. This includes the "why" related to your corresponding values & the "why" related to the action.
  • I.E. I exercise because health & fitness is an important value to me and I exercise because it makes me feel energized and I love looking & feeling fit. 
  • By being able to powerfully articulate in your own words why you are doing something the impetus to follow through in a way that actually brings satisfaction and a sense of looking forward to meeting the expectation can be consciously created.

2. Strategy of Identity

  • This is consciously tying the expectation (inner & outer) to who you see yourself as and who you want to see yourself as. This strategy of Identity is PARTICULARLY POWERFUL for me personally (more on that in the "Alchemical Learnings" at the end).
  • Case in point #1: When I finally read The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron I was able to deeply tie my personal identity to journaling, writing, and reclaiming myself as an artist. Her work struck such a strong chord within me that after more than decade of resisting the suggestion of journaling by teachers, family, & my partner I have now been journaling & writing with consistency ever since reading her book at the beginning of 2014.
  • Case in point #2: When I first started Transcendental Meditation (TM) I decided that this was who I was and wanted to be (a meditator) and almost two years later I've meditated every single day (twice a day for 20 minutes) without ever missing a single session. Even I am surprised at this commitment to meeting an expectation. This identity was reinforced by the fact that people I aspired to be like also did TM (Tim Ferriss, Oprah, Hugh Jackman, George Lucas & many other powerhouses). 
  • Another personal example is my fitness. A huge part of my personal identity is being incredibly fit so I have no problem exercising regularly and eating in a way that supports optimal aesthetic fitness.

3. Strategy of Other People

  • Rebels pride themselves on being "different" from other people. This has been the story of my life. I've always enjoyed taking the path less traveled and doing things people either said I couldn't do or doing things that I "thought" other people thought I couldn't do. Whether they actually do doubt me doesn't even have to be true as long as I "think" they are doubting me. Ludicrous, but true for me many times in my life. Proving "other people" wrong and breaking societal norms brings me joy and action-taking energy.
  • Case in point #1: It was uncommon for people in my high school to go to Stanford University (or equivalent level University). I even thought that most "other people" I shared this dream with doubted me. Whether they actually did doubt me is totally up for debate, but since I thought they did I had infinite energy to pursue this goal and even after being denied the first time I made it into Stanford on the second try.
  • Case in point #2: It was uncommon for people who went to Stanford to go work in nightlife . . . I ended up working in Hollywood Nightlife for 7 years.
  • Another personal example is my bodybuilding and yoga dual nature. I consider myself both a bodybuilder and a yogi -- a combination that isn't commonly found. I find it personally gratifying that I can be both when often a bodybuilder has no interest or sees no point in doing yoga and vice versa. And I personally get a kick when I am met with a surprised look after explaining my passion for both physical disciplines.

 

Part bodybuilder, part yogi, all Rebel 🌓 

Part bodybuilder, part yogi, all Rebel 🌓 

 

These strategies (Clarity, Identity, Other People) have value for all Four Tendencies. A brief overview of those Four Tendencies from Gretchen are:

Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

 

  1. Upholder: "I do what others expect of me--and what I expect of myself"
  2. Questioner: "I do what I think is best, according to my judgment. If it doesn't make sense, I won't do it."
  3. Obliger: "I do what I have to do. I don't want to let others, but I may let myself down."
  4. Rebel: "I do what I want in my own way. If you try to make me do something--even if I try to make myself do something--I'm less likely to do it."

Curious what you are and want to know more? Go take the quiz & find out! Takes less than 5 minutes.

Alchemical Learnings

  1. I finally have found a framework that makes sense as to why it is so easy for me to form and keep some habits and so difficult to create and keep others. Same goes for internal and external expectations set my by myself and other people.
  2. I now have three strategies (Clarity, Identity, & Other People) with which I can consciously use to strategically build empowering habits and meet internal & external habits. [I am still testing so will update this article if I come upon deeper insight or new & improved Rebel strategies. Please leave me a comment if you have any!]
  3. The strategy of IDENTITY seems to be the most powerful tool for me. Despite being a rebel I've always been highly successful in business because I've always considered being a topnotch businessman and entrepreneur an incredibly important part of my core identity. Same goes for my fitness. I am now testing this strategy more thoroughly seeing if I can tie my identity to areas and expectations I've resisted in the past.
  4. I can easily give the following getting-a-Rebel-to-meet-expecations-framework to anyone who is looking to personally or professionally work with me in a co-empowering way. Discovered by mother originally in my life and personally consciously re-cognized by Gretchen during her interview with Chase Jarvis where she says, "Information, Consequences, Choice." The framework for working with a rebel is:
    1. Go over ALL the information behind and around the expectation (or habit).
    2. Go over ALL the consequences (good, bad, & neutral) of various choices and possible outcomes.
    3. Let the Rebel make the final choice once step 1 & 2 have been thoroughly vetted.

Alchemical Opportunity for the reader:

  1. Go take the quiz & find out what your tendency is!
  2. If you are a Rebel try out the strategies of Clarity, Identity, & Other People with an expectation you have (internal or external). I am trying these strategies out with my taxes (which I have notoriously avoided and been late on way too many times in this lifetime).
  3. Think you interact regularly with a Rebel? Try the Information-Consequences-Choice strategy and see how it works.
  4. Leave any/all comments below about Rebels (yours personally if you are Rebel & your experience working/dealing with a Rebel in your life).

Life is full of expectations and habits. Our own. Other people's. And society's.

Self-knowledge is such a powerful tool. Deeply understanding what and how we are motivated is an incredible way to bring effectiveness, more grace and increased happiness to our very own lives so that we can meet inner & outer expectations and build & break habits with the least amount of friction possible and in the most efficient way for our individual way of being.

In my own life I’ve discovered that despite being a Rebel I can be effective with meeting internal & external expectations and build awesome life-affirming habits as long as I have strong reasons behind me. This is why I consider myself a REBEL WITH A CAUSE.

Despite your tendency two maxims hold true & empowering for you and for me . . .

As Socrates said, “Know thyself.” And as Shakespeare said, “To thine own self be true.”

In alchemy & service,

Justin David Carl 🌒

P.S. I am looking forward to Gretchen more fully drawing out this empowering framework in her upcoming book on the Four Tendencies.

P.P.S. Positive transformation is an ongoing never-ending part of an empowered life. Why not mechanize the process by joining my NEWSLETTER?!