Tag Archive | Self-Actualization

Extraordinary Life

If you want to live an extraordinary life, you have to give up many of the things that make up an ordinary one. (Srinivas Rao)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“I want to live an extraordinary life.”

“What do you mean by extraordinary life?”

An extraordinary life is a Creative life.

An extraordinary life is a life of Meaning.

An extraordinary life is a continuous and never-ending process of BECOMING.

An extraordinary life is a Heroic life, 
a life dedicated to Perfecting and Transcending the Self,
to becoming ALL you can be, in Service to the World.

To live an extraordinary life you must BECOME EXTRAORDINARY.”


On Self-Actualization and Mastery

The study of forms leave forms (Josh Waitzkin, The Art of Learning)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What does Mastery look like in the context of Self-Actualization?”

“One way to think of it is by analogy with Chess.

Over the years, the Chess-Master accumulates a vast amount of chess-related knowledge and integrates it so profoundly, that it allows him to intuitively find the best move in any situation in an instant.

In the same way, over the years, the Sage accumulates a vast amount of practical knowledge and integrates it so profoundly, that it allows him to intuitively make the best decision in any situation in an instant.”

On Growth and Learning

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I better myself?”

“Learn from your mistakes.

Realize that mistakes are an integral part of the process. Without mistakes there is no process.

“How about learning from the mistakes of others?”

“That can only be a supplement. There’s no substitute for making your own mistakes.

Growth means learning from mistakes and constantly making new mistakes.

It’s an incremental open-ended iterative process, an infinite upward spiral. Every mistake a potential growth cycle.”

Essentialist 3

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How do you want to feel consistently?”

“I love Brian Johnson‘s way of phrasing it:

Radiantly alive and in love with life

Does doing x help you achieve that?

“If I’m to be honest with myself, not really. It’s just highly pleasurable.”

“Tell me, would you consider eating sweets pleasurable?”

“Yes, I would.”

“Yet you choose not to eat sweets.”

“That’s different.”

“Is it?

My point is, you’re willing to forego something pleasurable for a higher end.”

“But doing x does not detract anything from my higher end.”

There’s an opportunity cost to everything we do.

Something that does not directly detract from your goal may still detract by distracting you from pursuing your goal, so by diverting away precious resources (time, energy, mental space, willpower).”

“Reminds me of the core tenet of Essentialism:

Whatever decision or challenge or crossroads you face in your life, simply ask yourself, ‘What is essential?’ ELIMINATE everything else.

That’s so hard.”

Self-Actualization is all about making the hard choices.

The Obstacle is the Way 4

Life happens FOR me not to me. (Tony Robbins)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“I remember the first time I read this quote. It didn’t make sense. All I could think of were counter-examples.”

“Did it start making sense?”

“I’ve since realized that man is a Creator of Meaning.

There’s a concept I like a lot from Alan Watts, what he called ‘axioms of living‘, an implicit set of rules and assumptions that guide our life. As a side note, I’ve expanded the concept to include what I called ‘axioms of being‘, implicit metaphysical assumptions about the nature of reality.

Even if the quote did not make sense back then, I realized there’s a huge potential in it. I realized how powerful it would be if integrated as an axiom of living.”

“Did you manage to realize that potential?”

“To a large extent, yes.”


“EVERY challenge we face in life can be metaphorically viewed as an obstacle.

EVERY obstacle is an opportunity to learn and grow.

We NEED obstacles in order to grow and realize our potential. Obstacles are ESSENTIAL.

In Ryan Holiday’s words, ‘The Obstacle is the Way‘. This has become one of my central axioms of living, which I now have tattooed on my left forearm.

Obstacles are essential to our growth, and life constantly presents us with obstacles. I choose to believe that life presents us with obstacles SO THAT we may grow. This has become another of my central axioms of living.

With this axiom in place, EVERY obstacle becomes a Gift, something to be profoundly grateful for.

Can you see how powerful this can be?”

The Philosophy of the Obstacle

The Obstacle is the Way
(Ryan Holiday)

The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way. (Marcus Aurelius)

For me, Parkour is the Philosophy of the Obstacle, which is grounded in ancient Stoic wisdom.

I see the Obstacle as fundamental for Self-Actualization. Not just as something to overcome. But as something to joyfully and playfully embrace, and endlessly seek out.

I see the Obstacle as a Gift, as something to be profoundly grateful for.

Not just the Outer Obstacle, but, more importantly, the Inner Obstacle.
Not just the Macro Obstacle, but, more importantly, the Micro Obstacle.

Your relationship with the Obstacle shapes your destiny.