Society is a mass hallucination.
Ask yourself this:
How did you determine what is true or false when you were growing up?
Meaning, how did you interpret the positive or negative feedback that programs the complex systems that compose your mind? This leads to your unconscious decision-making, thought patterns, how you perceive reality, and everything else that makes up your direct experience right now.
Systems learn from the ‘bad’ and double down on the ‘good’ to hardwire neural networks relating to the survival of the human race.
The question again, how did you determine what was true or false from the time you were born?
You learned from your parents, school system, mass media, possibly university, and other societal constructs like religious organizations, right?
Now ask again, how did your parents determine what is true or false when they grew up?
How did your school teachers determine what was true or false? University professors? Google search results that are heavily manipulated and favor university-level information? Maybe Wikipedia? Created by universities and those that went to university, used by university students to create the research papers that will go up elsewhere on Google?
If you question your beliefs enough, you end up with nothing but the pieces of a game. You end up with an understanding that everything that we can make sense of with words is a human construct that does not have a base of absolute truth.
These constructs are what anchor your mind to reality. These constructs create the game that we’ve unconsciously built ourselves into.
When you are aware of this game, you can learn to win it.
When you are unaware of this game, you are just another construct. An anchor to help the players navigate and win the game. An NPC.
See: keyboard warriors, political zealots, bible thumpers, flavor of the day drama, and others that are brought to the attention to the minds of many (usually by the media) either causing an emotional reaction in them (consumers, unaware, unconscious, mindless, etc) or being used as feedback on what to avoid (creators, aware, conscious, mindful, etc).
Contemplate this. You may not be as unique as you think you are. I am not excluding myself from this. Nobody is excluded.
Breaking Free Of The Conditioned Path
It is rare to see somebody that is living a passionate, zestful life.
It is even more rare to see somebody that willingly “works” all day.
Building, writing, contemplating, curious, experiencing, diving deep into the unknown, and meditating on the problems that keep them up at night.
Something has to change.
If your future is the result of societal education and conditioning, it is safe to say you will have the same future as everyone else. And to be frank, that doesn’t seem very enticing.
You will feel lost when you start pursuing your own path.
Nothing worthwhile is predictable. There is not a set path. You cannot expect one, because if there were one, it would be taught in schools. The people that get paid the most are not those that are trained into an occupation constructed by society. Anybody can do that. That is how you become a “cog in the machine.”
You’re reading this letter because you have a (good) desire for more in life. You want to bridge the gap between work and life. You want to live a life of zest, passion, and deep satisfaction for the domain you decide to pursue with full force.
I may not be able to give you an exact path to more money, passion, and satisfaction — but I can give you a rough guide.
The first step you need to take when going down a new path in life is education.
Self-education to be exact. You have to revive your child-like curiosity, feel into it, and let it guide you throughout life. Some people use the words intuition, your “calling,” your purpose, or anything else that refers to tapping into the intelligent voice inside you (that everyone is born with).
A good place to start is to think about your childhood. Did you have a natural affinity towards anything? Did you gravitate towards specific interests? Some people may have a slight inclination towards sound, making them want to get into music.
I recently realized that I had been suppressing my curiosity for a long time. As a teenager I was obsessed with weird people like Frank Yang, a spiritual bodybuilder, that would spout off about consciousness and other esoteric topics. I’d like to entertain the thought that I understood what he was talking about, I didn’t.
If I had dove deep into that interest, it would have opened new paths for my curiosity to explore:
- How can I make an income out of this? If I became obsessed with figuring that out for a year — it would happen.
- How does consciousness work help with bodybuilding? Or vice versa? How about yoga? Is there a benefit to it beyond physical health?
- What nutritional protocol, if any, would help raise my level of consciousness?
Another reflection – I’ve always been hell-bent on avoiding the corporate life and doing “what I love” for a living. I knew it wasn’t impossible, so why not dedicate my life to figuring it out?
Diving DEEP — and I mean DEEP (over time) — into a particular interest is how you pursue a truly unique path.
If you chose email marketing, your curiosity could pull you in 1000 different directions. You would have to learn copywriting, email marketing software, sequences, social media to grow the newsletter, etc. All of these open up new paths again for your curiosity exploration.
Your curiosity would eventually lead you to something that seems completely unrelated to your the interest you initially chose. This differentiates you from the sea of individuals pursuing a set path — giving you informational leverage that you can charge big bucks for.
Can you see how simply adopting the habit of self-education (and execution, of course) will lead to the life you want? It is the simple commitment to never rely on anything but yourself to actualize your potential.
Money is no longer optional. The need for money is encoded in the system. We don’t live in huts or hunt our own food anymore. Our psyche remains the same — wired for survival — but the environment we live in is completely different.
The first thing you should begin educating yourself on is a skill that will eventually help you make money. This can be anything really, but marketable skills are usually the best option (and beginner-level information is readily available online). We will talk more about this later.
The Domain Of Mastery has you choose 3 interests. These can change at anytime. These are just a starting point for pursuing your curiosity. By studying these and improving your skillset, you are diving deeper into the unknown. You are exposing yourself to information that schools won’t teach you.
The thing that most people don’t understand is that in order to be a Master Of One, you have to be a jack of all trades. You have to dive deep into the iceberg of awareness if you want to be creative in that domain. A health coach without deep knowledge in psychology will not be able to get client results. They will think its a calorie intake problem when the root problem is societal conditioning and habit formation.
Being a specialist can be trained. We are not trying to do something that others can be trained into.
As you dive deeper into these interests, you will realize that they all lead to the same thing — which is life itself. The universe is a giant mind. A network of complex and creative systems.
Here are 4 tips to begin your curiosity exploration:
1) Study The Principles
When you learn Photoshop, aside from knowing how to navigate the software, there are only a few things you need to know — the principles.
Selections, masks, and adjustment layers.
When you understand those, you can pretty much create anything you would need (unless the project demands something more.
This is true with almost anything. When you understand the principles, you can accomplish 80% of the work you would need to get done in that domain.
2) Find “Mentors”
When I say find mentors, I mean find a congruent voice that you can learn from. Some of you are attracted to the philosophical or spiritual aspect of this newsletter even though I talk about business.
You may or may not get useful information from someone who talks strictly about business.
Search for books, social media accounts, podcasters, YouTubers, and any other information you can find on your topic of interest. If what they teach does not register with you, find another mentor that has a congruent voice you can make sense of (and are excited to learn from).
3) Start A Real-World Project
I always recommend starting a personal brand to post your learnings online. That alone will force you to understand money-making skills if you want to see real progress. Copywriting, marketing, persuasion, sales, etc are all necessary to put out an impactful message and turn your interests into income.
Remember, you can only learn so much by learning. You have to apply what you learn if you want to open new mental pathways to explore.
If you keep things in your head, you will get stuck in a loop of learning the same thing over and over without moving to the next level. You need real world feedback.
4) Be Observant Of Connections
This leads into our next point, but once the principles are solidified in your head and you are actively struggling / failing with your real world project — you will start to recognize patterns in everyday life.
Creating content brings an entirely new sense of enjoyment to life. Pattern recognition increases dopamine levels in the brain (because you are hunting for your survival). You start to recognize things you never have before — because they actually have a use case now.
You start to appreciate the depth that life has to offer when you have something to apply your everyday experiences to — writing content online.
This all falls within the Intelligent Imitation process — in short, immerse yourself in an environment conducive to your goals and relentlessly eliminate distractions that do not serve your development.
Side note: my free 7 Days To Genius challenge will help you study, dissect, and take notes on your interests in a way that is unique to you. This is how you come up with unlimited content ideas, 10X your creative output, and raise your consciousness by diving deeper into your Domain Of Mastery.
The private community, Modern Mastery, will help you write engaging content, grow an audience, and monetize your knowledge (like you see other’s doing, but think they are any more experienced than you) — Koe Letter readers can join for $5 here.
The Experience Model
Ken Wilber — possibly the most conscious man alive — talks about developmental states and stages.
States are temporary.
Stages are permanent (ish?).
You can have a high month in business — which is a state — but it may not be maintained month to month.
But, if you develop your business leverage to a point where it’s near impossible to dip under $20K a month, that is a stage.
You can enter a flow state, or you can develop yourself to a point of being in a perpetual degree of flow (see: enlightenment).
You can have a burst of creativity, or you can develop yourself to a point of having a baseline level of creativity.
This is true for most traits, skills, and domains of life.
Let’s think of it like a video game.
You can get powerups and buffs — states that allow you to perform better temporarily.
Or you can increase your XP, add points to your talent tree, and unlock new stages of the game that you didn’t know existed at a lower level.
This stresses the importance of self-development. It is not optional. If you want to make it in a world where low-skill labor jobs are consistently being phased out — self-development, continuous skill acquisition, and mental expansion are not optional.
This is why I recommend “development” being one of the interests in your Domain Of Mastery.
Specifically cognitive or mental development.
One more thing before we move on:
When you max out a specific trait, do you just stop?
Of course not, you move on to the next trait and aim to max that one out as well.
Not to mention, in order to max out any specific trait, you need to make some form of progress in related traits.
This is why some unhealthy businessmen suffer. They are financially wealthy — but they lack the physical, mental, and spiritual wealth.
This is also why some dictators are corrupt. They’ve surpassed multiple stages of development in communication and leadership — but their moral development lags behind significantly.
Now, how does this all relate to business?
As you dive deeper into your Domain Of Mastery, it will demand a certain amount of cognitive development to reach the next “stage.”
When you reach this first stage, you are ready to start monetizing.
Your job is to help people reach that stage of development faster than you did with what you learned along the way.
You do this by selling a creative solution that will help someone navigate your path in less time.
The funny thing — by helping others reach that developmental stage that you have (whether it’s free or paid) you are forced to organize the information and make connections.
This is why writing online is so powerful. You HAVE to struggle with organizing information (or ordering consciousness) to pass along to others.
The teacher learns more than the student.
This will open up room to reach your next developmental stage faster.
When you have everything you’ve made sense of packaged up and hosted in the digital world — you don’t have to worry about it anymore. You get to build on top of it. Iteration.
By doing this consistently over a 2-3 year span, you will bust through new stages of development, help others get there, and gain a deep satisfaction for life in general.
Discovering Your Life’s Work
If you are reading this, I am assuming that you don’t know what your life’s work is.
NOBODY can tell you what it is. NOBODY can tell you exactly how to find it. NOBODY can help you discover YOUR life’s work. This isn’t mine. This isn’t your professor’s. This isn’t your parents. This isn’t any other entity that is projecting its wants and needs onto you. It is up to you to embrace the inevitable uncertainty that comes with ‘forging your own path’ and picking up pieces of the ‘life’s work puzzle’ over years of exploration.
I cannot give you a clear path to discovering it. That is the beauty in it. Only you can find it through consistent self-development, putting your message out into the world, and iterating on your creations until the perfect idea pops into your brain (just for you to continue iterating and refining what you think your life’s work is.
However, there are a few questions you can begin contemplating to prime your brain.
According to Joe Dispenza:
Contemplation builds the circuits in your brain in preparation for the experience.
Meaning, if you are intentional and actively expanding your awareness in search for your life’s work, you will find it. I “found” mine last year after outlining a book I’ve been wanting to write. I can’t explain the feeling.
Until then, here are two questions to meditate on:
- What is the BIG problem you want to solve in the world? The one that keeps you up at night.
- What is the BIG problem you want to solve in your life? The one you know is holding you back.
If you want to take it a bit further — if you could have any question about the world answered and hand-delivered to you, what would that question be? Start there.
This is how you develop yourself as a human.
You start asking questions to uncover problems.
You solve those problems through self-education and self-development.
You uncover problems that you can solve for others by pursuing your genuine curiosity (your Domain Of Mastery).
Once you solve enough problems, you will reach new stages of development.
Now you can help people 1 stage under you navigate those same problems in a creative fashion.
If you are able to stay on this path (once you start, it’s near impossible to stop) you will understand every aspect of this letter.
Here are some problems I see people encounter that prevents their growth:
- They don’t take themselves or their message seriously. They are too afraid of external judgement, it dilutes their message, and they get stuck in a developmental stage.
- They are too focused on the money. Which is fine at first, but given time leads to a lack of meaning and fulfillment in the work you’ve built yourself into. It becomes another 9-5 instead of your life’s work (work + life combined for a deeper satisfaction in the balance)
- They do not see the value in consistent self-development (or they refuse to develop critical aspects that hold other aspects behind). Hence limiting their personal, creative, and professional potential.
Choose 3 interests that you are genuinely curious about.
Begin studying them via books and online content from a congruent voice that you are excited to learn with.
Build a real-world project and do not suppress the problems that come up. YOU will need to change at some point. You will lose some people and things from your life as your development demands.
If you stay on the unconventional path for more than 6 months — you will understand on a deep, internal level that it is impossible to fail.
— Dan Koe
What Happened This Week
A YouTube video just went live on how to make an income as a creative with the infinite leverage that the internet presents.
2 podcasts went live (they are only 10 minutes each). One will save you years of emotional turmoil and upset from other people. The other will reveal the path to making as much money as you want.
Listen to both here or search “The Koe Cast” on your podcast platform of choice.
Dakota Robertson came on for a training in Modern Mastery HQ. We gave tips on how to break into Twitter ghostwriting as a freelancer.