One of my favorite books is The Way Of The Superior Man by David Deida.
David has some transformative ideas on modern masculinity. He brings a unique light to the misconceptions surrounding it and a spiritual approach to relationships. My favorite aspect of David? His writing.
There’s something different about it. Some of it doesn’t make sense… yet it still makes sense. You can tell that Deida isn’t writing from his mind, he’s writing from his heart. He isn’t only talking the spiritual talk, he is walking (or writing) the spiritual walk.
He is channeling from his deepest source by immersing himself in the present moment. Connected to the infinite, God, the universe, a higher intelligence… fully conscious. Deida is writing while hovering a few feet off the material ground. He is painting a picture. He is “showing, not telling.” He is attempting to explain his present, direct experience by explaining what it is like, not what it is.
This has taught me a lot about writing in itself. I write my best when I can sit down, no distractions, present, and speak in words that may not make sense to the unconscious eye.
Little thought. From source to screen.
What hold’s people back from reaching this state? I’ll let Watts set the scene.
Human consciousness is at the same time as being a form of awareness and sensitivity and understanding it’s also a form of ignorance.
The ordinary everyday consciousness that we have leaves out more than it takes in.
And because of this, it leaves out things that are terribly important.
It leaves out things that would if we did know them, allay our anxieties and fears and horrors. And if we could extend our awareness you see to include those things that we leave out we would have a deep interior piece because we would all know the one thing that you mustn’t know… what is profound, what is mysterious, what is in the depths.— Alan Watts
Like Deida, Watts is describing what he sees in these “depths” of human consciousness.
Let’s discuss. Maybe this can make all of us better writers (and open us up to a new dimension of human life.)
Warning: This is going to be one of my more spiritual or philosophical letters. I would encourage you to read through it with an open mind and curiosity to understand.
The Focus Matrix
I am writing my book, The Art Of Focus, to expose people to the depths of something we don’t appreciate enough, focus.
Focus is vastly misunderstood for this exact reason.
People only see it from a surface level and decided to leave it at that. Most people — especially those in the self-improvement space — see it as a once-in-a-while tool for deep work.
In reality, focus is the entirety of our lives.
Learning how to get into deep, focused work is an incredible way to introduce yourself to the power of harnessing attention.
- You can get 8 hours of work done in 2.
- You can utilize the finite energy you have in the day.
- You can make a habit out of making massive progress on your goals.
We’ve talked about all this before (and to be frank, the focused work is getting a tad repetitive on social media).
But that’s not what I meant by the tweet above. It has nothing to do with focused work… yet everything to do with “focused work.”
Let’s dive deeper.
Focus, in my definition, is conscious attention.
Consciousness is the essence of the human experience.
Attention is how we process information within the infinite realm of consciousness.
Focus is how you maneuver your attention to navigate reality towards optimal outcomes.
In my book, I present an argument for what I call The 3 Pillars.
This is the overarching meta concept that I conduct my life by.
Your vision, purpose, hierarchy of goals (mission), and priority actions are focus anchors. These “anchors” must be cultivated, refined, and revisited to give you consistent intrinsic energy.
Now that you have something of importance to dedicate your time and attention to, everything else must follow suit. All inputs. Food, thoughts, money, information, etc. Every stimuli you encounter either aids your future (that includes collective impact) or it is ignored.
You can expand, contract, narrow, or widen your focus on these specific entities to “tap in” to their level of energy. If a negative thought pops into your head, you can transmute that negative thought into a positive experience through polar thinking.
With accurate focus and an open energy channel, you conduct yourself from your direct conscious experience right now. That is, you anchor your focus to the present moment. While connected to source, you “give your gift” or “fuck the world” as Deida would say with your full ability. Nothing held back. Impacting the minds and hearts of the world, thus impacting the collective mind and heart.
Think of this in the aspect of writing or communication. Deida is “giving his gift” fully in the present moment in his writing. He encourages you to give your gift fully while communicating and interacting with the world.
This is only the tip of the iceberg of course. It is taking an entire book to explain. For those wondering, it will be dropping sometime next year. I am in no rush.
Focal contraction and expansion is how you live a life of meaning, enjoyment, and progress. It is an art form. No matter how “negative” the situation is to the untrained eye. All Is Mind.
Narrow, unconscious focus leads to stress, anxiety, reactivity, and annoyance.
When you find yourself projecting into the predictable future, it is easy to narrow your focus on a stressful upcoming situation and pull that future experience into your present experience.
Open, unconscious focus leads to feeling lost and overwhelmed with where your life is headed.
There are tasks, goals, and life outcomes that trigger thoughts, emotion, and experience unless caught by the watcher.
Conscious focus — both narrow and open — have an entire lifetime of use cases, but I want to focus on one that has radically transformed the way I navigate relaity:
Depth, appreciation, and love.
Don’t worry, I used to be the guy that would cringe at all of the “good vibes only” lingo. For the rest of this letter I want you to set your labels, judgements, and reactions aside. Open your mind beyond words as I challenge the way you think for a bit.
Mid Koe Letter reminder: readers can join Modern Mastery for $5 here. MM contains 170+ life and business strategies, live trainings, and step-by-step roadmaps from people who have built sustainable and passionate one-person businesses.
There is one thing that separates human beings the most from other species:
Depth of focus.
Expansion and contraction.
Expansion being a large area of attention.
Contraction being a small area of attention.
Like a circle that gets larger and smaller depending on what you are directly conscious of.
Focus is the most important skill that has flown under people’s noses.
It isn’t tangible. It isn’t material. It is near impossible to pinpoint the exact state of your focus. You can’t quantify it.
For that reason, and multiple reasons we have discussed before, the majority of the human population are asleep. Living out pre-programmed unconscious lives. Habitual actions, thought patterns, emotional reactions, and decisions that result in their direct experience in this present moment.
Conscious living is another layer deeper. Through practice, you enjoy life in an entirely new dimension. You begin to see this world from another dimension.
What is stopping people from tapping in to this new dimension?
It sits above the surface of the water.
Now imagine that iceberg as anything you were to come in contact with in reality. Infinite icebergs that create the fabric of reality.
A thought, emotion, phone, glass, plant, computer, word, letter, design, social media profile, tattoo, keyboard, key, shirt, belt, button, room, cloud, chair, smell, or anything else you can become directly conscious of through your sensory experience.
This is how most people conduct their lives. They see what they see (or feel what they feel) and forget the rest. There is no depth. There is no understanding. There is no awareness of the interdependence of life itself.
How do you dive deeper?
Through conscious attention and awareness.
Can you become aware of the EMF frequencies that your phone is emitting? I’m not asking you to see or feel them. I am asking you to become aware of them. Visualize them. Know that they are there. Let your curiosity take you on a learning spree. Understand how it impacts everything it touches.
Can you become aware of the coffee that is in your hands? What is the chemical composure of the coffee? Whose hands were involved in the manufacturing process of the coffee? What about the glass that it is held in?
Can you see how you are focusing your attention on one specific figment of consciousness throughout this? You can separate the coffee from the glass, the molecules from the liquid, and as you expand and contract your focus — you become more or less aware of infinity.
Can you contract down to a valve in your heart, expand out to everything within your field of vision, and manipulate your focus to everything in between?
Like driving a car. Sometimes you are happy, windows down, singing your favorite song at the top of your lungs. Other times you are scared for your survival, hyper focused in a moments notice of the deer that just jumped in front of your car.
You navigate, appreciate, and thrive in life by mastering your focus.
A Thought Exercise
We talk a lot about my concept of The Unknown.
It is a dark, scary place where infinite opportunity lies.
A layer beneath your perceived reality.
Think of your ego as a flashlight that your being is holding.
Think of the beam of light being emitted as your perception.
Think of your life as being a culmination of everything you have become directly conscious of by shining your flashlight on it.
Think of yourself as an explorer on The Unknown.
(All understanding is metaphorical, you have experienced this before. Language is how we communicate our experience. Your direct experience is a manifestation of infinity.)
You are in a dark room that spans in infinite directions.
Your vision is the north star, the tiny light at the end of the tunnel.
Your goals are dimly lit candles that outline your mission. The path to actualizing your vision.
The limited consciousness that comes along with holding the flashlight will not serve you well on this journey.
The ego, or flashlight, is in a common state of narrow focus. What the light reveals is what you see. If you turn your back on (or forget) your vision, you will be lost in the dark.
Throw the flashlight away for a second. No, it’s not that easy in reality. Just imagine with me.
There is a ball of light in your chest that you can contract and expand.
Stop. Imagine a ball of light in your chest. Can you sense it’s warmth? With your conscious attention, can you move it slowly down your body and into your stomach? Can you move that ball of light down and out into the middle of your legs — feeling the edges of the ball radiate on the inside of your calves?
Now, can you slowly expand that ball, wider and wider, it has engulfed your entire body now. Feel it “brightening” your blood, veins, brain, and anything else that you can become conscious of in this moment.
Expand your focus further and out into the room. How far can you go? Can you bring everything within a 50 foot radius of you into your open focus?
As you are navigating The Unknown, can you become more present, conscious, and aware of the path in front of you?
When you “zoom out” are there any worries in the world?
Can you see the big picture?
When you hit a roadbump in your path and your inner light goes out, are you going to pick up the flashlight and narrow in on the problem — making it your entire world?
This is one of my favorite meditations I like to do on my daily walks. It’s fun contract and expand your focus and visualize your path to a better life.
Maybe I’ll create a true process, even a guided meditation for this one day to solidify it even further.
This letter was fun to write.
I hope you enjoyed it — although it’s not hyper practical — which I would see as a good thing for breaking more people out of their surface-level existence.
Until next week,
— Dan Koe
What Happened This Week
There are no podcasts or YouTube videos this week in preparation for the Digital Economics Masters curriculum.
I will be building out and launching a product live with everyone that is enrolled.
You will get a “behind the scenes” look at how simple it is to build out a product that sells with the knowledge you already have in your head.
If you’re interested in building a leverageable brand for the future, creating original content around your interests, and solving your own problems to earn an income — enroll in the next Master’s curriculum here.