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The past two weeks have been incredible. Joining Mindvalley University has shifted my identity, taught me countless life lessons and created deep connections with people that will be lifelong friends.

What follows are 12 lessons I extracted from 31 sessions and two weeks of journaling and reflection. They’re the best of the best, but filtered and structured so they can be ingested in one go.

Treat yourself like someone you truly love.

Your body and soul hear everything you say to them. They might just be what determines how you feel so maybe it’s a good idea to be kind to them. Speak kindly. Respect them. Negotiate for win-win situations: ask if doing something is okay, or thank them with a gift after they’ve done something difficult.

You don’t live in the real world, but the world created by your mental chatter. When you get shot by an arrow, why shoot yourself again by berating yourself?

Anything that is alive has basic rules of “hygiene,” including yourself. Fragility, insecurity and fear are symptoms of accumulated neglect of yourself. Take care of your inner garden, every day.

Connect with all the love and kindness you can muster.

A huge part of Mindvalley University is the connections you make with others. I set the intention to go into every connection here with all the love, attention and kindness I could muster. There was nothing to lose, only depth to gain.

And boy did that have an effect. I felt love break open from inside of me. It came out and deepened every second of eye contact, let me feel every bit of touch twice as much and created this tingling energy floating through the air.

Seeing and hearing someone say “I see you. I see you’ve been through so much and you’re trying so hard. Just know you are enough the way you are right now,” from the depths of their heart, is incredible.

Keep coming back to presence.

Being present is not something you get to and then “lose.” It’s a process of returning, over and over again.

To return to presence, you can feel for a connection to either your internal intuition (grounding) or a connection to others and feel love. Or just both at the same time.

When you walk around through life, create micromoments of love. See the life and inner beauty through the eyes of every person you pass by.

Photo by Karen Harms

Practice letting go with gratitude and forgiveness.

In the end you don’t have control over anything. You never had and never will have. Striving for control focuses your attention on how your life is different from how you want it to be and thus creates dissatisfaction.

Regularly practicing gratitude and forgiveness help you let go of this and increase your positivity quotient (ratio of positive vs. negative thoughts).

In brain scans it was also found that forgiving is the most effective way to induce the same mental states as monks who have been meditating for 40 years.

Act from a deep grounding in your intuition.

Your subconscious has way more processing power than you can even think of, but we’ve lost being in touch with it. Practice listening to it. Open up and receive what comes up. Act from those impulses with conviction, as they are probably your truth. (Make sure you have studied ethics too, so you can trust yourself in that your ideas are good ones.)

When you say “no” to someone, don’t do so from a rebellious space. Say no from a deep connection with your sould and knowing what’s right for you.

The more you enjoy what you’re doing, the more rocket fuel you have to do it better. Trusting your instinct and following it will make you feel like you’re doing the right thing.

Surrender to the energy that’s already flowing through you. It’s all about presence with that energy.

Believe in a higher guiding power.

Magic, serendipity and luck all seem to appear more when you try to experience them.

Is the universe friendly? Regardless or whether or not, believing that it is will greatly amplify your experience of life. Practice this by looking for reasons that show it. Keep a journal with proof that the universe is friendly.

You’re not a part of the universe; the universe is something that exists in your mind. You’ve got it the other way around—the universe is in us, we’re all made of the same energy that created everything there is. The only thing that is everywhere, and there is only one of, is consciousness. It keeps existing outside of each of our minds, even though it seems to come from there, like how a rock band seems to exist inside of a radio but their music actually lives in the electromagnetic spectrum.

Understand you might be wrong in what you want.

You don’t want to get rich, you want the feeling you’d get if you were rich. Actually, you want the feeling you think you would get if you were rich. Would you rather get what you want or outgrow your need for it?

Your life with all the problems you have, and all the problems you think you have, is just as perfect as those moments where you’re suddenly in awe and happy seeing a beautiful scenery in nature. What matters is whether you accept the universe exactly for what it is.

Consistently point your subconscious towards the future you want.

If your subconscious is not aligned with your goals, it will be a constant struggle. Our beliefs define the limits of what we can achieve.

Create multiple alignments. Big picture goals that break down into microgoals for months or weeks.

Becoming wildly successful with the serenity of a Zen monk doesn’t work if you do it transactionally. It only works when you’re on the spiritual path and let the material success happen organically as a byproduct.

The benefit of chasing goals is not the outcome, but rather our learning and growth as we do try our level best to achieve it. If we succeed, great. If we fail, great. Failure just means the growth is not fully embodied yet.

Apply constant gentle pressure to the world.

Love and embrace your masculine energy.

Masculine energy is still, solid, penetrating and immovable. It is structured and singularly focused. Feminine energy is everything that moves. It is wild, emotional, multi-focused and deeply sensual.

At the core of masculine energy is chasing a mission, and relentlessly focusing on that. It is more important than anything else in life.

The feminine wants masculine attention all the time but loses respect if it gives that. “If I can’t distract him I know he’s a provider. I want you to go fucking kill the world, and not let anything distract you from it—not even me.”

The work we need to do every day as men is creating our inner power. For life to flow through us we need to do the work. But once you open up with this energy it’s going to be amazing. Sex life, business life, 10x.

Are you holding space for me? I am space.

Know you’re not an asshole, then allow yourself to be a little bit of one.

Photo by Mardo Männimägi

Learn to hold useful paradoxes.

It seems like one of the crucial capacities for happiness is the ability to hold certain paradoxes in the mind.

Accept the universe exactly as it is, and simultaneously strive relentlessly to shape it into what you want it to be.

Enjoy the process instead of chasing the outcome. That will increase the likelihood of getting the outcome you want.

Know in your deepest sense that you control nothing, then act as if you can control everything. Take ultimate responsibility for everything in your life.

Repeat and embody this work.

What you repeat is what matters.
Excellence is not an act, it is a habit.
Don’t just do this, embody it: become someone for whom all of this comes naturally.

The six-phase meditation helps create a good habit of these two states of mind we need: being happy in the now, and having a vision for the future.

Walk the path, lead the way, and bring along them who are open to it.

Your problems are systemic and are also others’ problems.

Become the healthiest, wealthiest, happiest person in your neighborhood so the people around you know all of this can happen through love.

Do not settle. There is so much inside of you. You can still grow so much.

Once you taste the nectar of your genius, nothing is going to stop you from chasing it.

We need the good people to be louder in the group.

Photo by Rene Lutterus