Xavier Jared


Two brothers on personal development, philosophy, and being awesome

Levelling Up Life


Personal development covers any conceivable way to improve your life. If you make a change that gets you to a more positive state, whether it is mentally, physically, financially, or relationshipally, then you’ve just got your personal development on.

It’s all too easy to mistake personal development as something that people who read “The Secret” are into, i.e. wankers. Or it can conjure up images of business men in power suits who get up at 5am every day just so they have more time to listen to power audio books about power marketing. That’s not who most of us are, and viewing personal development as a means to get to that point is going to be a frustrating and unsuccessful journey. Most of us just want to be a bit more happy.

Let’s have a quick look at a case study before we really kick into things. Do you think Xav just rolled over one day and decided to quit his job? Well, to be honest, it probably did go something like that, I should really ask him, but the point is there were years of learning and applying personal development that got him to that point in the first place. How do you think he landed a six figure job to start with?

A Video Game Analogy

I’m going to lay out a mental framework that you can use to help bridge the gap between personal development covering fuck-off everything and practical everyday changes you can make. Imagine we’re all part of a giant personal development MMO (you’re all geeks, don’t pretend you don’t love it) and you can learn a bunch of different skills. These are available to anyone and once you’ve got one your character will have it forever. Here are some examples of the skills you can learn:

These are what makes the foundation of your character. Things like earning 10k in a month, working abroad or converting your sleeping patterns to a polyphasic cycle are like large quests you can undertake, or flashy achievements you can unlock. Either way you look at it, it’s the fundamental skills of your character that determine how much success you will have.

Breaking it down into smaller manageable skills makes it easier to pick something and really work on it. Just like in video games, once you’ve learnt a skill, you’ll have it forever. So the sooner you master one skill, the sooner you can get to work on the next.

So pick something you guys!

You know better than anyone what skills your character is weak in. There’s going to be a ton of them (notice how I’m still running with the video game analogy? It’s so I don’t hurt your feelings). Make a list of all those things you are always justifying: “I always sleep through my alarm, I’m just not a morning person”, “I want to eat healthy, but I’m too busy to eat right”, “I always leave assignments til the last minute, I must be…” ok, I’m stumped with this one. I do it all the freakin’ time and still can’t figure it out. Maybe you folks in readerville can email some suggestions…

Now pick one! Pick one and jump straight in the deep end. Do everything you can possibly think of that might help you out, then go online, get everyone else’s suggestions, and do them too! If you struggle to get up in the mornings start getting strict with your bed time. Set an alarm and see how many days you can go without missing it. Play around with sleeping for different amounts of time. Start taking a siesta after lunch. Get up with the sun. Only sleep when you’re tired. Throw so much shit at the wall that it’ll have no choice but to start sticking. Thats how evolution works and now we all have opposable thumbs. Hi-5!

This is going to take a lot of time and energy at first. With most things though, it’ll only take a few days of figuring out what works and it becomes much easier. And it only takes a few weeks from there for it to become a habit. When I first became a vegan it was tough to figure out what to eat. I spent a lot of time reading up on different foods to eat and experimenting with what to buy and cook. This was something I really wanted to work on so I put a lot of energy into figuring out what would work for me. Nowadays I’ve gotten it to a high enough level that I don’t need to worry about it anymore. I could always revisit my eating habits and level them up some more but because I put the time and energy into getting them to this stage I can focus on working on other things.

Personal development is easy. Just pick something simple you want to work on and keep doing it until it becomes a part of you. At first you’ll fail a fair bit and you might have to spend a bit of time and energy into doing it consistently. The longer you stick at it though the easier it will be and before you know it that rewarding “ding” sound will go off and your character will be just that little bit more awesome.

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