Leo's Trap Video Formatted Into A Word Document

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I took the youtube generated transcription and used AI to format the messy transcript into paragraphs that have correct spelling, punctuation and grammar. I think this is a very meta video and one that has a lot of rewatch potential and reread potential so I made it into a PDF. Enjoy! There may be some errors and inaccuracies but I think the general message counts.

Let me know if you find any.



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Alternatively I'll paste it here.

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Posted (edited)

This is a very practical episode. Here, I want to present you with a powerful conceptual lens to help
you navigate all of life, and that lens is traps. Think of life as a dungeon full of booby traps, and
your job is to use intelligence, wisdom, consciousness, intuition, and experience to foresee and
avoid all of these traps. Traps are not so much set by evil people, although sometimes they are, but
the most important traps are the traps of your own mind. Of course, the psychological traps, and
really, you're learning to navigate the trickeries of your own mind and the mind at large, which is
what the universe is. Mind or consciousness, as we've discussed many times before, is a very tricky

A general theme of our work here has been seeing how reality is all about illusion, deception, and of
course, illusions create traps. And intelligence is your ability to see through those traps. But what is
a trap really? A trap isn't just something that's bad; it's not just a mistake. A trap is something that's
bad but seems good. Traps are enticing; a trap presents you with some large gain and value only to
cost you greatly in the end. Think of how a mousetrap works. You get that juicy piece of cheese for
the rat, but what's the cost? Instant death. So, it's that alluring quality of these traps which got me
thinking about this whole theme and starting to look at reality through this kind of lens.

This is a powerful, practical lens that I want to share with you. A trap can be thought of also as a
kind of illusion. Like, think, for example, of a mirage in the desert. That's a trap or something that
seems true but is actually false. So, there's these kinds of intellectual traps that we can fall into. For
example, this is a kind of a silly one that you can try out on a child (won't really work on an adult),
but something like, what weighs more, a ton of gold or a ton of feathers? See, if you're not careful,
you'll fall into that intellectual trap. A child might also. You should notice that animals, children, the
immature, the inexperienced, and the desperate are the easiest to trap.

Speaking of children, I read a story a while back, a few months ago, about a girl in Florida. She was
with her family at the beach, digging around in the sand, building sand castles, digging holes and
stuff like that, as children do. And she dug a hole so big she crawled into it, and then, of course, it
collapsed. She got trapped under the sand; nobody could hear her screams, and she was found there,
buried alive. The perfect illustration of how you can entrap yourself.

And that's really going to be our focus here, is how your own mind traps you. But just think about
that, just imagine being that child, digging this hole, having fun in the sand, and then this whole
thing just collapses on you. But see, she wasn't thinking that far enough ahead about the
consequences of her actions. And this, of course, turns out to be how most traps work. There's
another story, I forget where it's from, Africa someplace where they have monkeys. They have these
monkeys in the forest, small monkeys. And then the way that hunters trap them is that they'll get a
bottle with a narrow neck, they'll take a small little nut, coat it in honey, put it in the bottle, and then
they'll throw this bottle out into the forest.

The monkeys come by, they want the nut, they reach in there with their little paws, grab the nut
through the bottleneck, but then their fist is clenched, they can't let go of the nut, and then they're
stuck to that bottle. And then the hunter comes by and clubs them over the head. Traps can also be
thought of as fantasies that you have, fantasies you've constructed in your mind which puts you out
of touch with reality, which leads us into this whole separate side issue of fantasy, which I want to
have a whole episode on in the future. It's really a pretty advanced topic of how your mind uses
fantasy to avoid reality and to create all sorts of problems for itself.

Also, traps work by subverting assumptions. I have a whole episode called "Assumption is the
Mother of all Fuckups" where we discuss about the trickeries of assumptions and how they get you
into trouble. Well, of course, those come into play here as well. So, we're connecting a lot of threads
in this episode, you'll see a lot of connections with prior episodes that I've done, I'll be pointing
those out to you as we go. A trap is often painting yourself into a corner with short-term thinking. I
wouldn't worry so much about others trapping you, and I would urge you to focus more on how you
trap yourself. And, of course, you trap yourself not just as an individual but also collectively.
So, we're going to take a look at traps of individuals but also collective traps. How do you trap
yourself as a society, as an organization, as a tribe? That's also a common problem. And one of the
greatest meta traps is not seeing yourself as your own greatest enemy, of course, which is what you

You know, trying to externalize the enemy out there somewhere. So, we're going to be
interconnecting a lot of these themes here, and I'm going to be giving you many examples, hundreds
of examples literally, of traps that I've come up with, that I've discovered, and to help get your mind
jogging to understand what's really being talked about here, the depth of this lens and how much it
can do for you, how powerful it is. And then also, I'm going to, afterwards, share with you a list of
ways to avoid falling into these traps, like what are the principles for avoiding traps in general.
So, every domain in life that you go into will have traps, that's one of the general principles. And
throughout your life, you'll be entering new domains periodically. Every few years, you'll be
entering into something new. You'll be entering a relationship, you'll be entering a new business,
you'll be entering a marriage, you'll be having children, and each of those domains come, of course,
with its own traps. And there are newbie traps, intermediate level traps, then very advanced traps.
So, you could break it down that way as well, make those kinds of distinctions.

But wouldn't it be wise from this point forward, you know, up until this point in your life, you've
probably been going into various new domains not very consciously and not explicitly looking and
thinking of them in terms of traps. Wouldn't it be more intelligent, though, to study and contemplate
the common traps in every new domain that you enter before you enter it? From now on, that alone
right there can save you a lot of trouble. Here are some of the top domains to consider in terms of
traps: business, employment, and career; investing and managing your money; dating, relationships,
sex, and marriage; family, raising children; education, schooling, and university; academia, science,
philosophy, epistemology; spirituality and religion; politics; creativity in doing your art; health,
healthcare, medicine, and nutrition; martial arts or sports; marketing, advertising, and sales; buying
a house; socializing, learning the whole social world and how to socialize, how to relate with others;
the pursuit of happiness; the traps of each spiral stage of development; the domain of emotions;
psychedelics, drugs, and intoxicants; geographic domains when you're traveling around the world.
Each country you travel to has its own traps.

This brings me to Florida. You know, it seems like every year, I read news stories every month I
read news stories about a crocodile grabbing somebody, some old granny walking down the street
near the pond gets snatched up by a crocodile, dragged under. I watched a video on TikTok or
Instagram recently where some old man was walking his little lap dog near the pond and a crocodile
jumps out, grabs the little dog, swallows it, and then retreats back into the water. And the old man,
he jumps into the pond, grabs this crocodile or alligator, whatever it was, and is just prying its jaws
open to get his dog out. I don't know what happened after that.

But the reason I bring up this Florida crocodile thing is because to me, crocodiles are a great
allegory, a sort of a symbolism of traps. When I think about traps, I think about crocodiles. To me,
that's like nature's trap, is the crocodile. And to me, crocodile represents also truth and reality.
Because see, a lot of, again, one of the ways you fall into traps is by avoiding truth, as humans
characteristically love to do. And so, what ends up happening is you avoid enough truth, eventually,
reality comes to bite you. And so, the way I visualize that in my mind is with crocodiles. Crocodile,
to me, represents truth, reality. And then, your head is filled with fantasy, naive foolish fantasies.
You're just kind of like traipsing along near the pond, you know, innocently minding your own
business, skipping along. And then, a crocodile snatches you. That's truth. That's reality. Reality is
harsh, that's how it is. It doesn't play games with you, it doesn't compromise, you can't negotiate
with it. Once your head is in a crocodile's jaws, you can't negotiate your way out of that, you can't
fuck your way out of that, all of your human bullshit flies out the window. That's what I love about
this crocodile metaphor so much because it cuts through all the human bullshit in the social domain.
Humans love to bullshit so much. But then, when you're in nature, when you're facing a powerful
animal, when you're facing the forces of nature that you can't negotiate with, that's when you really
see the truth of who you are. Bestselling books could be written about the traps in each of these
domains. For example, you could have a million-dollar book titled "The Traps of Spirituality," "The
Traps of Academia," "The Traps of Politics," "The Traps of Business," "The Traps of Investing,"
"The Traps of Dating," "The Traps of Mainstream and Alternative Medicine."

These are all million dollar best-selling book ideas right here.

And also extremely practical. Think about it, if you saw one of these books on the bookshelf, you
would instantly snatch it up. So, if you want a great book title or a video title, just "Traps of
[blank]," and then fill in the blank with whatever thing you're interested in. But, of course, to be
able to write an effective book on any of these topics, you would need to have deep experience with
each of these topics, which can take years and decades to acquire and at great cost as well. So, I've
spent the last years patiently compiling a list of over 250 traps on this topic. I've been wanting to
shoot this episode for two years now, and finally, here we go. Let's jump into it.

Edited by Agrande

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We have literally over 250 traps to cover. So, I'm going to be breezing through some of these. I want
to give you a big picture overview, so I'm not going to be delving into each point too much here.
We're going to be going quickly. And also, keep in mind that I have episodes already on many of
these points, multi-series episodes I have already on some of these points. All right, so here we go,
the master list of traps.

First is, and this is we're going to start with some of the biggest ones here,
very general ones, is chasing money, sex, power, fame, status, approval, luxury, pleasure, and
intoxicated states. I mean, that right there is like 80% of all the traps that humans fall into.
Next is trying to get the easy life. Next is thinking you can get value for nothing. This is fool's gold
right here. Within investing, within dating, within business, people try to get value for nothing,
trying to leech value rather than being a massive value provider. And of course, this ends up hurting
you in the end.

Next is avoiding work and procrastination. Procrastination gets worse and worse the
more you do it, like a Chinese finger trap. Next is avoiding responsibility, and one of the best ways
we do that is by blaming others. That's a trap. Next is ignoring problems and letting them fester,
sweeping problems under the rug, and then, closely related to that, is the next one, which is
addressing problems but only at the surface and not at the root, such that your problems keep
recurring over and over again for years, for the rest of your life, rather than just investing the time
and energy to solving it permanently.

I've talked about that in the past; it was actually one of my first videos that I ever recorded was on
that topic. Next is being indecisive and avoiding making decisions and then getting stuck without
direction, rudderless. I have an episode about how to become more decisive.
Next is the trap of scientific materialism, logical positivism, reductionism, rationalism, and
scientism. Of course, I've covered that topic a lot so I won't delve much deeper into it here. But we
should also mention here closely related is atheism, the trap of atheism, and the trap there is the
dismissing of religion as superstition and fantasy.

Of course, that leads us to the next step which is religion itself. Religion is one of the biggest traps
there is. So how can it be the case that atheism is a trap and religion is also a trap? Well, of course,
the atheists are right; there is a lot of nonsense within religion, but not all of it is nonsense. I want to
do an episode just about atheism; I don't think I've ever discussed it deeply enough at this point. I
mean, it's, I would think I have, but I don't think I have a specific episode on atheism yet. Long

Next is consuming too much media: television, video games, news, and then of course, closely
related and deserves its own mention and special category of social media and all the kind of rabbit
holes you can go down with the conspiracy theories, various kinds of ideologies, TikTok, Facebook,
Instagram, Twitter, all this kind of stuff. The overconsumption of this to the point where it drains
hundreds and thousands of hours of your life that you should be investing in building yourself and
developing skills. I think a lot of young people are falling into this trap right now; they're just
spending way too much time on TikTok, way too much time on Instagram. It's spoiling their mood,
but also they're spending a lot of time playing video games, thousands of hours of online video
games and so on, instead of really spending the first decade or two of their lives, the most important
decade or two just laying their foundation.

The next trap is junk food and processed food. The next one is outsourcing crucial functions to
others. So there are certain things that you should outsource and delegate to others, and in fact, it's a
trap if you don't do that, trying to do everything yourself rather than specializing, delegating, and
outsourcing is itself a problem. And I suffer from that problem because I tend to want to do
everything myself because I subscribe to that adage that if you want something done right, you got
to do it yourself. But of course, that makes you very limited in what you're able to do. So you have
to learn how to delegate and work with others to accomplish larger goals.

But there are certain things you should never outsource, for example, outsourcing your inner
problems to a therapist. Now there's nothing wrong with going to a therapist; in fact, I recommend it
for everybody if you can afford it. They're pretty expensive, but the problem here is what I see is
that a lot of times people are going to a therapist, but then they're not actually doing all the self

actualization work that we talk about here on this channel. They're not really getting involved in
that; they're just going to a therapist in a sort of like, "I'm just going to go to the therapist once a
week, and they're going to solve all my problems." It just, it's not going to work this way. Therapists
can help you, but really, this is, you know, when we're talking about therapeutic type stuff, we're
talking about the mastery of your own mind.

This is self-mastery we're talking about ultimately.

And no one, this is not something you should be outsourcing to anybody. This is stuff you've got to,
this is like your main job in life is doing this. So if you're not doing that, this is the trap of
outsourcing that I'm talking about. Or for example, outsourcing your marketing for your business to
somebody. Now, of course, if you just have some sort of low-level marketing stuff like you need
somebody to post some stuff for you on Twitter or whatever, of course, you can outsource that. But
I mean, like your marketing strategy, see marketing is the heart of your business. That's not
something you should be outsourcing; that's something that you got to take charge of, you got to be
a master in because that is what determines whether your business will succeed or fail. It's mostly
your marketing strategy, see that's why they pay you the big bucks if you're the owner of the
business, if you're the founder of the business, if you're the CEO. That's your job is to take care of
that, not to expect somebody else to do it for you.

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Posted (edited)

Another trap that I've fallen into and I see a lot of people falling into is too easily trusting doctors,
scientists, experts, and gurus. There's this habit of just going to an expert like a doctor and just
blindly listening to whatever he's telling you. You know, he writes out some medications for you,
you just take them, you don't read the label, you don't do your own research because hey, you're
paying the doctor a lot of money anyway, so just might as well trust him, right?

Well, wrong,
because of course, the reality is that most doctors aren't looking out for you, they're looking out for
themselves, and they don't have a lot of time to worry about your problems, and they're just going
through the motions, writing out medicine prescriptions. Not to mention that they're also pressured
by pharmaceutical companies, they're given free samples and special deals and stuff like that. So it's
really in your interest to take responsibility for your own health. When you go to a doctor, your
attitude should be that you've already done the research and you know more than the doctor about
your specific condition, whatever you have. And these days, with all the online information that we
have, with Reddit, with forums, specific forums on every medical condition you can imagine on the
internet, and now we have AI as well that you can leverage.

So with all that, within a week, you can
research your whatever condition you have better than most doctors, unless you have some
exceptional doctor, which is pretty rare. They do exist, but generally speaking, most doctors are not
exceptional, and they don't know more than what you can research by self within a week on the
internet. And they often times give you the wrong advice, give you the wrong medicine, mislead
you. Not intentionally, just because it's a system, right?

They're part of a corrupt system.

And of course, too easily trusting spiritual gurus is a big trap. This is one of the problems I have
with the whole guru model. You know, these days in the west, we misuse the label guru; we call
everybody guru these days. Like, that guy's a marketing guru, and this guy's a love guru, and then
Leo's some sort of self-actualized guru. It's like, no, I'm really not a guru. What a guru really means
in the classical sense, it's a very specific kind of relationship. It's a master-apprentice relationship,
like the sort of Jedi Padawan, you know, Master Jedi Padawan relationship, where you find a
spiritual master, and then you resign yourself, consign yourself to him for the rest of your life, and
then you follow him very diligently and do what he tells you to do, sort of kind of like blindly,
obediently, and then just in the hopes that that would lead you to some ultimate enlightenment or
whatever. And while that can work, I think there's a lot of ways that can go wrong. I mean, because
when you're a newbie student, when you're an apprentice, when you're a padawan, you have no idea
of what guru is a good guru, and who's a corrupt guru.

There's plenty of corrupt gurus out there, cult leaders, and people who will sexually abuse you, and
whatever, and it will not lead you to any kind of enlightenment. But you don't know any better as a
newbie, and then you consign yourself to that, and then where does that lead you? So that can be a
trap. Now, is it always a trap? Of course not. I'm sure there's cases of success where that works. But
look, this is a general point about all the traps on this list, is that you might start thinking to
yourself, "Well, Leo, I've done some of these things you're saying, and I'm okay. And in fact, it
worked out for me, I'm doing good, I benefited from it." Well, look, a trap doesn't mean that it's
100% always a trap.

A lot of times traps are like something that works 75% of the time, and then
25% of the time, it's a disaster. And then that's the trap. And in fact, what makes it such a trap is that
the first few times you do it, it's like, "Hey, people were telling me this thing is bad." You know, the
first few times maybe you snort some cocaine or whatever, it's like, "Well, it's fun, it's good, I don't
feel bad the next morning, I don't have a hangover, it's fine, what's the problem?" It's people were
just fear-mongering to me about cocaine. But then you get down that road, and then you get into the

Next trap, not diversifying your information sources. Whether it's news, politics, religion,
philosophy, a teacher, a guru, an expert, if all you're relying on is that one source of information,
this becomes a huge trap, which is why a theme of what I try to teach is multi-perspectivalism. I
share so many diverse perspectives with you precisely because I don't want you to get trapped and
locked into any one perspective, including my own perspective. And we've been doing that since
day one with

The next few traps: sleeping with your guru or spiritual teacher, very obvious if you think about it.
Sleeping with, also of course, your employees, your students, your followers, your coworkers, your
bosses. In other words, thinking with your dick or your ovaries. Next is joining a spiritual
commune. Now, that's kind of a euphemism. I say spiritual commune, what I really mean is a cult.

But of course, I'm not going to say it that way because if I say joining a cult, everyone says, "Well,
I'm not dumb enough to join a cult." When people join a cult, they don't think they're joining a cult.
When people join a cult, they think they're joining a beautiful, new age spiritual commune with
advanced, far-out ideas about free love and other things like this. Classic trap. And then of course,
even worse than that trap is the trap of starting a cult, starting a spiritual commune yourself,
thinking that you know what you're doing.

Please don't start a spiritual commune, you're going to
screw it up. All of your corruption and ego and immaturity and inexperience, all of that will lead to
disaster unless you really know what you're doing, you're really mature, and you have a lot of
experience with these sorts of things. And even then, it'll be difficult, which is one of the reasons
why I never started a spiritual community. What we have with is not really a spiritual
commune. I mean, it's just a forum. It's not a proper cult, okay? You guys who call me a cult leader,
you don't know what a proper cult is. Go check out my two-part series, cult psychology part one,
part two, where we talk about what a cult really entails. It's not what you're seeing here. It's not
what you're seeing on the forum.

Edited by Agrande

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Next is sexual offers that sound too good to be true, To Catch a Predator with Chris Hansen, how's
that for a trap? Having unprotected sex, having sex with prostitutes, dating strippers or porn stars,
dating fuckboys, these are all classic traps. Pickup, of course, I've talked about pickup, I've taught
pickup in some of my videos, but pickup can be a huge trap if you do it in the wrong ways. In my
three-part series, how to get laid, I cover some of the traps that come with pursuing getting laid in
the wrong ways, the ideology that can come with it and so forth. Sleeping with lots of people in
general is a trap, treating sex casually, this sort of liberal idea that sex is just this free love and you
can have open relationships and sex is no big deal and it's just casual and it's all okay. I mean, this is
a fantasy. The reality is that sex is a big deal, it can be dangerous, it can have serious consequences,
emotions get hurt. Sleeping with drunk girls, there's a trap for you if you're doing pickup. Trying to
act macho and invulnerable, a lot of young men fall into this trap, trying to attract women with
money, trying to attract women by being extra nice to them, that's a trap, bragging or trying to
impress women, that's a trap, keeping track of how many girls you've slept with, that's a trap, and in
general, just chasing women is a trap.

Like, it took me a long time to realize that if a woman likes you, you don't need to chase her. If
you're chasing a woman, that means she's not interested in you, and you're not going to get her, and
all this effort you're expending is just making you look desperate, it's not going to actually attract
you women. Stop chasing women. This is one of the simple, essential, fundamental lessons of
pickup, is just stop chasing women. Now, you might say, "Well, Leo, isn't pickup chasing women?"
No, there's something that chasing women means. It's like, when I say stop chasing women, that
doesn't mean that you don't go out to a nightclub and socialize and flirt with women. What I mean
by chasing women is like you need to develop a sense of when a woman is receptive to you or not.
And if you don't have that sense, then you can be one of these sort of clueless, inexperienced guys
who just tries to, you know, like, you're texting the same girl over and over again, like, "Hey, what
are you doing tonight? You want to come out?" And she doesn't respond, and then you text her
again the next night, and the next night, and the next night. It's like, what are you doing? If she
wanted you, you wouldn't need to be badgering her over text messages. It took a long time for me to
realize that. So that's a trap. Not handling your sexual needs and repressing your sexual desires,
that's a sort of an alternative trap here.

What you should notice is that the traps are usually not just one-sided; they're usually two-sided.
There are two sides to a situation, and if you go too much into either extreme, like for example with
sex, if you go completely abstinence in celibate route, then that's going to be a trap. And if you go
completely the "playboy" manor route, just sleeping with everybody indiscriminately, hundreds of
girls, that's going to be a trap, right? So, you need to find the Middle Road there, and so it is with
most situations and traps.

Not learning how to socialize, that's a big trap. A lot of young men are falling into that trap these
days because they're chronically online. They have atrophied social skills; they never developed
social skills. They're playing video games too much, thousands of hours on video games but no
social skills. And also, more and more people are neurodivergent, autistic, having these kinds of
problems, which makes them bad at reading social cues, bad social intelligence, and of course, this
is related to diet, related to chemicals in our environment, and so on.
Next trap is trying to control and manipulate people, that's a big one. When you realize that you
shouldn't control and manipulate people anymore in your life, and you stop doing that, that's a huge
shift, a huge inner game shift for you. But it can take a while; it can take a decade for you to really
have that sink in and click for you. And also related to that is treating people transactionally,
treating people with disrespect, trolling and bullying others, that's a trap. Authoritarian leadership
style, and that can be if you're a politician, if you're a corporate executive, if you're the leader in
your family, or even in a romantic relationship. You can adopt a sort of authoritarian leadership
style where you just try to dominate the other person. In your marriage, in your business, you know,
you dominate your partners or your coworker or whatever, your co-workers, and this will end up
backfiring on you.

Another trap is being destructive, trying to hurt others, getting revenge, getting even, even
something like torturing others, people fall into that trap. You might think, well Leo who tortures
people these days? Well, you'd be surprised. When I say torturing others, it doesn't necessarily mean
that you literally have to be as something as gross as tying someone to a table and then slitting them
with razor blades. I mean, it can be, you know, you can get pleasure out of torturing people in subtle
ways over text messages, you know, some girl who scorned you, you know, you could try to torture
her over text message. This kind of destructive vent that you develop, especially if you've been hurt,
if you've been traumatized, if you feel bitter because you've had failures in your life and life is not
going very well, you're in a bad mental state, you can get down this kind of destructive path where
you actually get joy out of hurting others. This is a big trap; nothing good comes with this.

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Next trap is distracting yourself with social games, the entire social domain, political kind of games.
And I don't mean political in terms of like political ideology, we'll get to that in a minute. I mean
political in terms of like, you know, whatever social situation you're in, if you're just at a party, if
you're at somebody's house party, you understand that politics is going on, right? Social games are
being played, that's what I mean by politics here. And then, the next trap related to this is petty
human emotional drama. It's so easy to get trapped up in this, especially if you're watching the
news, you know, some current event, people getting outraged over this thing or that thing, they're
protesting this or this and that.

And it's like when you really zoom out and you take a look at, like,
the Earth, you look at the entire galaxy as a whole and the Earth as a spec within it, and you look at
a Thousand-Year time frame, it's like, what is this little outrageous petty human trivial drama? What
does it matter in the end? It doesn't. And a year from now, none of this is going to matter. But you
invest so much of your attention and focus into this, wasting your mental energy, wasting your time.
The next trap is one about raising children. I think this is one of the biggest traps with raising
children, is that you tend to then push your values on the child, brainwashing your child with
content. Like, if you're a Christian, then you'll want to brainwash your child with Christianity. This
is a mistake.

Your job as a parent is to guide your child in a meta way. And what that means is that
you teach them higher principles by which to live, the sort of meta principles of self-actualization,
and maybe some spirituality, and maybe you give them different perspectives, and you teach them
how perspectives and epistemology works, and then you let them make their own decisions about
the content and about what their values are, what their biases in life should be, you know, what kind
of spirituality they want to do or don't do, rather than pushing some specific flavor of it upon them.
So, it's very tempting to kind of wrap your hands around your children and then kind of like overly
control them because you want what's best for them and you think you know what's best for them,
but really what's best for them is to discover for themselves what's best for them. And that's a
discovery process, and you can't assume that your child will be interested in spirituality or your
flavor of spirituality, or in being a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer the way you want them to be, or
pursuing a business degree the way you want for whatever reasons. These are classic traps of

And in general, this is actually there's a general point here, which is just about teaching. If you're
trying to teach effectively, there's traps that come with that. If you're sort of a beginner teacher with
little experience, you're going to be wanting to just kind of brainwash your students with facts and
information and get them to memorize it. That's a poor form of Education. A good form of
education is when you are teaching your students how to think for themselves, and you're
facilitating them. The key word there is facilitation. You're facilitating a process of them having
insights for themselves. It's the difference between belief and ideology and insight. And I've
covered that topic in my episode called understanding Insight. I believe something something
Insight search for insight and you'll find it.

The next trap is becoming politically radicalized. Far-left, far-right, but also anti-mainstream
political ideologies which are in vogue these days, especially on social media. These are huge traps.
If you fall into that trap, then you're going to be engaging in partisan politics and what I call tier one
politics rather than tier 2 or conscious politics which I have a whole four-part series on called
conscious politics part 1 2 3 4. You're going to miss out on all that if you get sucked into the far left
or the far right. And this is one of the reasons why I will say that political activism on college
campuses is a trap.

We're seeing this right now in the news with these college kids protesting the
Gaza situation. Which look, I'm not telling you it's a trap on the grounds of the content of your
protest. So, in terms of the evil stuff that Israel is doing, I'm giving you that. I'm not disputing that.
That's not the issue. What these young college kids don't realize, though, is that even if you're right
on the issue, even if Israel is evil and all that and you go with that, okay, fine. But even if all that is
true, there's a deeper issue here. The deeper issue is that you're young, you're in your early 20s. You
should be spending that time educating yourself, developing technical skills, career skills, learning
to self-actualization, basic spirituality, personal development, this kind of stuff, learning to date and
socialize, get your love life in order. See, you should be handling all that. That should have you so
full that you don't have time to go protest. 

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When you're out there protesting, even if you're right on the issue, even if you're right about climate
change or you're right about saving the animals or whatever, what you don't realize is that this is
radicalizing your mind with tier one unconscious politics. And it doesn't matter that you're right on
some particular narrow issue. It doesn't matter because the larger issue is that your mind is going to
get radicalized for the rest of your life, and then you won't be able to take in information like my
conscious politics series. That's the bigger trap that you're missing. Now, of course, look, in the end,
I'm not here to tell you how to live your life. I have my opinions. They're just my opinions and
biases and I don't know you and you have your own. So, if it's really important and your values tell
you that you gotta go out there and you gotta protest and get arrested on a college campus, if that's
really your path, fine, do that.

You know, I'm not going to tell you how to live your life. And some of these things that I say are
traps are not traps for all people. They're traps for some people or they're traps for most people, but
you might be the exception to that, right? So, you have to be nuanced here.


But in general, I don't see that these young college kids who are politically active are thinking about this

deeper meta issue about how their mind is getting radicalized. I don't see them understanding that, which is why
I bring this to your attention. See, I'm not coming at it from this position of like, the sort of cess
position of like, oh, we got to crack down on college protest. No, college protest, I have no problem
with that per se. To me, it's just a shame that these young minds are being radicalized, and what
people don't realize is that even when you're right on an issue, your mind is still being radicalized.
That's still a bad thing. That's still a mistake. People sometimes think, well, if I'm right, then I
should be as radical as possible about it and then it's just going to be better. The more radical I am
about the right thing that I have my right position, then the better it is. No, the radicalization itself is
the problem regardless of your position.

Next related trap is assuming that the left or the right wing are all bad, evil, and wrong. See, what's
going to end up happening is that as you do this radical protesting, eventually you're going to adopt
the attitude that some group of people or political actors are evil and wrong, and then you're going
to be wrong. By thinking that way, you're going to get locked into your little perspective, you know,
stage green, you're gonna get stuck at stage green and I want you to get beyond that, so that's the
trap here that I'm putting out.

Another trap here is single-issue voting. Some people vote, they're not very politically engaged, but
they can get politically engaged on one issue that they're passionate about. Maybe you smoke weed,
and then some politician promises you to legalize weed so you get really passionate and now you've
never voted in your life but you'll go out and vote for them. Or normally you don't vote but then
Trump promises to ban abortion and then now you're excited to vote for him because of that one
narrow issue. See, this is a trap. And in fact, politicians, they know that most people are stupid and
most people are not politically educated or informed and they don't go out and vote. So instead,
what politicians do is they try to find these little like these very little selfish little personal issues
that they can kind of hook you with to get you out there to vote for them. But really when you're
voting for a leader of a country, what you should be considering is the leader as a whole. You need
to think holistically, not narrowly focused on one particular issue, otherwise you might win on that
one issue with that one person but you're going to lose out more generally in the bigger picture.

The next trap is cheating, lying, and stealing. Also not paying your taxes, just ask Wesley Snipes.
Building a life around your physical appearance, girls fall into that trap more than guys do. Selling
your body for money, you know, the problem with selling your body for money and building a life
around your physical appearance is that, of course, your physical appearance is very fleeting. You'll
lose it pretty quickly. So you want to build your life and your career on something more A than that.
The next trap is not following your passions, also not following your intuitions and your hunches.
Now that doesn't mean that your intuitions are always correct. It can take years for you to hone your
intuition and until then it'll have some mistakes in it but that's a process you go through to hone
your intuition. I have an episode about how to develop your intuition but it's better to listen to your
intuition than to ignore it. But there's also another trap here, and that's the trap of always trusting
your intuition. Every hunch, every intuition you think is correct, and of course that's a trap because
you will have bad intuitions. How do you learn to distinguish the good ones from the bad ones? By
honing it over decades of experience.

The next trap is having a fantasy of what a job entails, like a dream job. Maybe you want to be a
rock star or you want to be a video game designer or you want to be a YouTuber these days. I
recently read a poll that they did and they said that the latest generation, gen Z or whatever it's
called, that their dream job is to be a YouTuber. It's funny when I hear this, it's funny 'cause as a
YouTuber myself and one of the original ones, I was pretty early to YouTube. I've been on YouTube
since 2013 so I've been here for a while. Let me tell you, there's nothing glamorous about this job.
Now, there's perks to it and that you get to work from home and so forth that's nice but it's not as far
as a dream job goes, you know, that's a fantasy. So, anyways, the trap here is that you can develop
sort of a fantasy of what a job entails without looking at actually like what's the minute-to-minute,
hour-to-hour, day-to-day grind of a job rather than your fantasies of it. You know, you want to be an
actor, Hollywood actor, I promise you that the actual daily minute-to-minute life of a Hollywood
actor is not as glamorous as you think it is from watching the movies. Behind the scenes, it's, you
know, it's a lot of God knows what their life is really like. I don't even want to know.

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The next trap is doing criticism as a career. You know, speaking of YouTubers, there's a lot of social
media personalities out there and just, you know, radio talk show hosts and news hosts and so forth
who develop criticism as a career. It's like every day they're criticizing somebody, some group. And
what they don't realize is that as you do this kind of criticism day after day after day for your work,
that has an effect on your mind that poisons your mind slowly over time because you're just
judging, you're judging, you're judging, you're criticizing all the time but you're not aware of how
this is going to trap you in 10 years, make you a bitter, close-minded, dogmatic, toxic person. This
is the sort of Alex Jones effect. You don't want to be Alex Jones, I promise you. He doesn't have a
good life.

Identifying with a religion, nationality, or race. Oh, of course, this issue of identity is so profound
and central. In a sense, it's the mother of all traps. But if you identify with a religion, nationality, or
race, this is a problem. Your identity should be bigger than that, broader than that. Now, of course, if
you do identify with the religion, nationality, race, you're going to say, "Well, Leo, what's wrong
with that? I'm a Jew," or, "I'm a Hindu." I'm telling you that eventually you'll realize, you know, you
live 10, 20 years playing that out, playing out your identity. Eventually, you'll realize the limits of
that. It'll be a very limited life. This is kind of a we might say stage blue or could also be stage green
sort of way of life.

The next trap is wasting time hating others, and there's a corollary trap here which is hating an
entire gender, race, or group of people just because you've been hurt by a few individuals from that
group. This is a trap that we saw Kanye West fall into recently in the last couple of years. He had
some bad experiences in Hollywood, in the music business, with some unscrupulous, let's say,
Jewish business people. Okay, but then the mistake he made is he's overgeneralizing, and then he's
turned that into anti-Semitism. And I don't mean the kind of anti-Semitism that they're accusing the
college protesters of right now. I mean like the real anti-Semitism. Kanye West has really gone off
the deep end in that regard, and so that's a mistake, right? So, the correct thing for Kanye West to
say is to say, "Look, I've been screwed over in my career by some really unscrupulous Jewish
business people, a handful of them. Right? Five, ten of them, how many of them has he interacted
with? Not more than 20, I promise you. But that does not mean that all Jews are like that. See, that's
the mistake, is when you take it to that next level.

Next mistake is not mistake but trap is partying too much. And here we're getting into the chemicals
and intoxicants category, using chemicals to make yourself happy. This is the broad theme of this
category. Of course, let's list all the chemicals here that you could trap yourself with:

antidepressants and benzos, those can be a trap, just ask Jordan Peterson about how that worked out
for him. Taking steroids to boost your self-image, a lot of young men fall into that trap, especially
from watching these sort of alpha gym rats parading themselves around on Instagram. Of course,
these guys are taking $10,000 worth of steroids every month to maintain their looks and then you
gotta keep up with that. I mean, this is foolishness. Drugs and intoxicants such as smoking, alcohol,
chronic weed use, cocaine, heroin, vaping. Why are you vaping? For what? What does it do for
you? Realize that your vaping is completely unnecessary, just a waste of time. I mean, I hope you
get conscious one day that you realize that when you're vaping, it's just, you're just being a monkey,
like it's stupid, what you're doing is just stupid. Now again, I'm not telling you how to live your life.
You want to vape, go ahead and vape. I don't care. But like, but really, one day, just like sit down
and like look at what you're doing, like why are you doing it? Psychedelics, of course, are near and
dear to my heart, but there's a lot of traps that come with psychedelics, and I have videos that
address and point out many of those with psychedelics, thinking that you can use psychedelics as a
shortcut to the personal development work that we talk about here. Of course, that's a trap.

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Posted (edited)

Taking psychedelics without proper research and protocols, without knowing exactly what you're
taking, that's a trap. Using psychedelics in public spaces, especially at raves and nightclubs, that's a
trap. Assuming that psychedelics will affect your friend the same way they affect you, like you
might take a gram of mushrooms and you're all happy and in a good mood, it's a light trip. Then you
give your friend a gram of mushrooms and he's freaking out on the floor, going ape[expletive], and
having an existential crisis, wondering, "Well, how can this be?" Well, because you assumed that
psychedelics affect everybody the same, and they don't. This is the trap of assumptions that we
talked about, right? Your naive assumptions are getting subverted, and psychedelics are the mother
of the subverting of assumptions.

But basically, you can recognize, I hope, that any addiction is a trap. Addiction is the trap we're
talking about here, and then chemical addiction is just maybe the most severe form of it. Speeding
in the rain, that's a trap. I almost killed myself doing that one time. Texting while driving, that's a
trap. New technology can be a trap. Notice that every new technology brings with it new traps that
come, whether it's nuclear weapons, whether it's the internet, social media. Now we have AI. What
are the traps that are coming with that? A lot of potential traps, but also, of course, a lot of
opportunities too, right? So it's not all bad.

Cynicism and nihilism are traps. I have an episode about nihilism called "Understanding Nihilism"
that addresses that, and then cynicism, I'm going to have an episode on cynicism. That's an
important trap that I haven't talked about yet. Skepticism can be a trap. People misuse skepticism a
lot. I have an episode called "True Versus False Skepticism" which addresses that one, especially. A
lot of atheistically minded people, scientifically minded people, rationalists misuse skepticism.

The next trap is being a contrarian or being anti-mainstream. I've actually noticed that this is
something that I've been doing for a long time. The psychology of this trap is very interesting
because the reason fundamentally that you're trying to be contrarian is that you want to feel unique
and special. Your ego wants that, and so to feel that specialness and uniqueness, you adopt the
opposite views of everybody around you. But then this can be a trap because a lot of times the
mainstream has correct views. It is actually not the case that the mainstream is usually wrong.
Usually, the mainstream is right about most things, but then it's those things that they're wrong
about that really do matter. They can be significant. So it's not really an issue of quantity. It's an
issue of accuracy. How accurate are you at identifying what the mainstream is wrong about, which
is different than just rejecting the mainstream?

Edited by Agrande

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The next trap is debt: loans, credit cards, payday loans, and of course, student loans. A lot of young
people are getting trapped with student loans because they're like that girl in Florida, you know,
digging in the sand. That's kind of what university is these days. You're just digging in the sand.
Society tells you to go to university, you're just digging in the sand, and then you get buried under a
mountain of debt. You don't even think about it until you've graduated, and now you've got
$200,000 in debt and you can't even get a job because you got some stupid degree that nobody is
even hiring for or the economy is not so great. Investing on margin, big mistake. Buying speculative
investments, gambling.

And then now we're going to move into the domain of romantic relationships. A lot of traps here, of
course, entire volumes of books could be written about this. But the big one, and the most obvious
one of course, is romantic infatuation. This falling in love, what humans call falling in love, this
kind of love, it's a very flimsy kind of love, very selfish kind of love usually doesn't work, usually
blows up in your face. So there's that one, which should be distinguished from the kind of
existential love that I talk about, spiritual love. That's a separate topic, of course they're connected,
but like humans abuse the notion of love selfishly and then they corrupt it and they just use love to
get good positive emotions for themselves, chasing emotional states, which of course is fool's gold.
It doesn't work for generating happiness. Which is not to say you can't fall in love or there's
anything wrong with falling in love, but you just gotta be careful about how that's happening.
There's a lot of fantasies that come with falling in love, especially if you're doing it the first few
times. You know, as you get wiser, you get more realistic.

Next is being a doormat, staying in toxic relationships as a trap. The trap of self-sacrifice where
your duty is to bend over backwards for everybody else, like a good boy or girl, and not take care of
your own needs. This is a trap women commonly fall into. Calling your romantic partner vulgar
names is a trap. There are certain red lines within a relationship that once crossed cannot be
uncrossed, and one of those is calling your partner certain vulgar names. You can't take those back.

Those get seared into their minds and then it toxifies your relationship going forward. Another one
of those red lines is threatening to break up a relationship. You should avoid doing that at all costs.
Do not talk about breaking up unless you are already fully decided that you're going to break up.
Don't threaten to break up. This is going to ruin your relationships, and it's hard to resist that, right?
Because if you're in a fight with your girlfriend or whatever, it's really tempting to start to think to
yourself, "Well, maybe this is not going to work," and you tell her that "We're breaking up and I'm
leaving" and this, right? And then the next day you apologize. But see, it's one of those red lines that
you've crossed and you can't uncross. Even if she takes you back, even if you get back together
again, still in the back of her mind, she's always going to be now worried that you're going to leave
her next.

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The next trap is staying with a man after he verbally abuses you. If a man is verbally abusive to you,
that's it. It's over. You're not going to fix that relationship. So one of the things that you do as you
mature and you wise up is that you get wise about what will and won't work in a relationship, and
then you stop having fantasies and kind of bullshitting yourself about relationships that won't work.
You just see it. Well, you know, this person's been verbally abusive to me a couple of times, it's
over. It's not going to work. Whereas if you're young and naive, you can start to think like, well, but
my feelings for him will make us work it out. Our love is so strong, we can work past that. It's like,
no, you're not going to work past that.

Another trap is getting into a romantic relationship with a mentally ill person. Now, look, this is
difficult because plenty of people who watch my content suffer from mental illness, and I'm not
trying to demean people with mental illness and difficulties in that regard, but also, we have to be
honest. Being in romantic relationships with people who have schizophrenia or BPD or bipolar
disorder, I mean, this can be a nightmare. It can be a nightmare. It can be one of the biggest traps of
your life, marrying such a person, having children with such a person. That doesn't mean these
people are bad or there's anything wrong with them per se. It's just that, like, being in romantic
relationships with people who have these kinds of conditions, I mean, it's going to be real difficult
to make that work. I'm not saying you can't make that work. I'm sure there's examples where people
with these kinds of conditions do find love and it works for them. But, like, realistically, there's
going to be so many problems there.

Just like, again, it's just about, I'm just trying to caution you about being realistic about what you're
getting yourself into. Another trap here is investing yourself completely into a relationship. Your
relationship should not be the thing that completes you. That's a mistake because a person can
always leave you, and then what are you going to be? And then will you be able to relate properly
with that other person if you're always afraid that they're going to leave you because you are so
completely invested in the relationship that if they leave you, to you, that's like death. This could
actually lead to suicide. A lot of people commit suicide this way because they're so overly invested
in a relationship. They got nothing else going for them in their life. They're not self-actualizing.
They're not developing their career, their business, and other stuff like that, their spiritual
connection to reality, that when somebody leaves them, their whole world collapses.

Me, I've developed such a rich life living alone so long that if I get into a relationship and then I
lose the relationship, it hurts. It can really hurt for a few weeks, for a month. It can hurt like a
[expletive]. But then after that, it's kind of amazing. Like, I'm like, "Wow, it's like I awoke from a
dream." And it's like, whether that person is in my life or not in my life, it doesn't impact how I feel
about my life almost at all. I'm as happy as I ever was. Like, my satisfaction does not depend upon
any person in my life. And that's because I've kind of designed it that way. Of course, there's sort of
an opposite problem is that you can get too independent. And in fact, I've fallen into this problem is
that I'm too much of a loner. I'm too independent. I'm too disconnected from people to the point
where then I struggle in intimate relationships to then, of course, to commit to those relationships
because it's the opposite sort of problem.

So that's a double-sided trap right there. You've got to watch out for. Get the balance right on that.
Of course, getting married to the wrong person can be a huge trap. Having children with the wrong
person can be a huge trap. Engaging in criminal behavior, that's an obvious trap. And the trap of
criminal behavior is that usually when you do it the first time, you never get caught. And in fact,
you can do criminal behavior 10, 20 times and never get caught. You can go shoplifting 20 times
and never get caught. And most likely, you'll get away with it. But then that 21st time, you get
caught, and your whole life is destroyed.

The next trap is getting physically violent. Violence is always a trap because violence begets
violence. And then that comes with criminal charges and that comes with regret and that comes with
retribution and negative emotions and drama. You don't want this in your life. And sometimes you
can be driven to such a rage that you just want to get violent, especially if you're faced with some
sort of very unfair situation. If you're treated very unfairly and you're at your wit's end and have no
other recourse, eventually you're going to lash out in violence. But you have to watch out and
prevent yourself from doing that because that can be very dangerous. Even just one time of that can
be very dangerous. Could ruin your whole life.

Next is expecting spiritual gurus to be perfect. Most of them aren't. Next is the trap of thinking that
enlightenment will be a cure-all for all of your low development issues, for your immaturity, for
your shadow, for your survival issues, for your money problems. Enlightenment is not going to fix
these for you. So the fantasy of enlightenment, that's a huge trap. There's a lot. A whole episode
could be made about just the fantasies of enlightenment and awakening.

Pursuing spirituality if you're too young without mastering the basics of survival, this is a big trap
that I've pointed out many times to you guys already. Sometimes I even think that even at my age—
I'm almost 40 now—even at my age, like, I sometimes regret getting into spirituality this young
because I think that, like, really, I still during my young years—you know, during my 30s, 40s, even
50s—I should be doing all the active stuff, the stuff that takes a lot of energy, that takes all of my
best health, and then later when I'm in my 60s and later, if I'm still kicking, then, um, that's where I
should be sitting on the couch all day meditating. That's really the proper order of things. So, you
know, be careful if you're in your 20s especially or even in your teens getting too heavy into
philosophy and spirituality, this kind of sedentary where you're meditating and contemplating but
you're not actually participating and engaging with life, you're not engaging in relationships, you're
not engaging in business, you're not engaging in money-making, you're not engaging in

This is a big mistake, which is not to say you should completely ignore spirituality,
but like, you gotta kind of think long term and plan out your life because when you're going to get
older, like I'm getting older now, I have less energy, I have less health, I'm less able to socialize, I'm
less able to do active stuff. And it's only going to get worse, right? So, like, your youth is so
precious, you need to really live it up, have the sex, go have fun, do the partying, go out there, work
hard on your business, this kind of stuff, which is going to get harder to do when you get older
because you're just not going to have the energy and the health for it. I'm telling you. And then,
once your health gets worse, then you can sit and meditate all day, once you have a pile of money,
you know, pile of money, you've had all the sex so you don't need sex anymore, you're not an
animal, you've done all the socializing so you're happy with that, you don't need to go to parties
anymore, you know, get that stuff out of your system. Use your 20s and 30s to get all that stuff out
of your system so that by the time you're 40 or 50 now, you can just chill out and enjoy life without
needing to have regrets about like, "Oh, well, I wish I had some more sex" or "I wish I went to more
parties" and now I'm too old for that kind of thing. You want to avoid those regrets.

The next trap is expecting one set of teachings to be all that you need. No one set of teachings will
be enough for you. You need a lot more than that to figure out life. The next trap is treating
awakening as a binary thing: either you're awake or you're not awake, on or off. No, that's not how
consciousness works. Treating all spiritual teachings as the same, all the different schools of
teachings, the Buddhists and the Hindus, and they're all talking about the same thing, and Leo's
talking about the same thing, no, we're not all talking about the same thing. Next is making yourself
too busy. You need downtime to integrate and contemplate. You need actually more downtime than
you think. It would be nice to have at least an hour a day to yourself where you just sit and
contemplate all the stuff that happened to you throughout the day. 

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Most people, I mean, a lot of people are too busy for that kind of thing and they're missing out on
lessons. The next trap is arguing and debating, especially online. These sort of Destiny debate bro
type of things, this is a trap. This is not how you develop deep understanding into issues is through
debating and arguing. Not backing up your data is a trap. Trusting someone to make you rich is a
trap. No one is going to make you rich. Only you can do that. Being cheap is a trap. I've fallen into
that trap a lot. I've improved, but, man, I could give you—I can make a whole episode about
ridiculous ways in which I've been cheap and how it's come back to bite me in the ass. I'll tell you
one real quick right now. So one time, this was like 10 years ago, I picked up this girl and then she
texted me out of the blue and she wanted to have dinner. And then I met her for dinner outside the
restaurant. And the first thing she tells me is that she wants to [expletive] and that she's horny. So
we go into the restaurant, and I just kind of ignore it, you know, because I don't want to make too
big of a deal of it. So we just kind of ignore it and talk about something else. But then, you know,
we go into the restaurant.

The conclusion of the story is that I was too cheap to pay for the meal. I didn't want to pay for her
meal. I said, "We're splitting the bill." So I said this as we sat down, right? I didn't wait the whole
meal. As we sat down, I said, "We're splitting this bill," because it was a—you know, she started
ordering some expensive stuff, you know, some fancy shrimp and stuff. I just said, "Okay, we're
splitting the bill." And she—I said it kind of jokingly, but then she kind of took it serious, and she
was taking it back, like, "What? I don't pay for anything." That's how she was thinking. And this girl
was like a 10. I'm telling you, this is like the hottest girl that I've ever dated. And then I was so
cheap that I just stood up and I left, and I left her sitting there with her shrimp. And, but like, to this
day, I regret that, 'cause like, that—I should have just—it would have been like 20, 30 bucks. But,
um, that would have been some good sex. I regret that. That would have been the hottest girl I've
ever had sex with, and I was too cheap to pay 20 bucks to do that. So, you know, that's—you live
and learn. That was a mistake I fell into. But see, now, now I'm not like that anymore. I'll pay 20
bucks. You get older, you start to appreciate sex more in a certain way, right? Because you can have
less of it as you get older.

Next trap is pretending like you know a thing when you actually don't.
Pretending like you know more than you really do because your ego doesn't want to admit that you
don't know. I have a whole episode about not knowing. The power of not knowing. The next rap is
straw-manning and demonizing perspectives that you don't understand. A lot of that going around
online. Next is speaking or opining on things which you have no experience with. Catch yourself
having a strong opinion about something you have zero experience with. That's a trap.
Next is defending yourself too much when you get criticized. The natural tendency when someone
criticizes you, especially unfairly, is to want to start to defend yourself. Like if someone calls me a
cult leader, I don't agree with that characterization obviously, but then my instinct is to start to
justify myself and kind of fight back against it. That's a mistake. That's a trap. Don't try to defend
yourself too much. Just realize that your reactivity to criticism actually creates a bigger problem
than criticism itself. That's the lesson there.

The next trap is confusing success and popularity for truth, happiness, health, or righteousness.
These are not the same thing. A lot of people, especially young people, they see older people
showing signs of success and popularity, some celebrity or some Instagram influencer, some sort of
Andrew Tate guy with a fast car and whatever, and this is their image of truth or happiness or health
or righteousness. This is a mistake.

The next step is believing in New Age miracle cures when you're desperate. If you get some sort of
difficult-to-cure medical condition, you start turning to some of these New Age miracle cures, and
then you realize that a lot of those are [___] and could actually be harmful, make your situation
worse. You've got to be careful. Just because mainstream Western medicine is bad in certain areas
does not mean that Eastern New Age medicine also can't be bad in certain areas. They're not
mutually exclusive.

The next step is trusting that God will take care of it for you. God will take care of my children,
God will take care of my money problems. No, God won't. You've got to take care of it, or nothing
will happen. Of course, get-rich-quick schemes are a trap. Thinking you can get away with lying,
falsehood, cheating, deception, and exploitation. You're not going to get away with these things.
These things have a cost, they have a psychological cost, they have a cost on your psyche, on your
behavior, on your whole moral system, everything. Even if you never get officially caught by the
police or something like that.

The next trap is arrogance, and of course, I've been very guilty of that. And the next trap is false
humility. I am not guilty of that, thankfully, but some people are, especially in the spiritual
communities. You can find this kind of thing.
False equivalency is a trap. You see in various kinds of political debates, discussions, dismissing
and rejecting a teacher or teachings just because it's not perfect. That's a trap. Again, it's about the
signal-to-noise ratio. You're never going to find 100% signal and 0% noise. You've got to learn how
to find the signal, throw away the noise.

The next trap is not testing your New Age claims and theories and paranormal powers. When you
get deep into these New Age circles, these New Age people, they start making all sorts of outlandish
claims about their healing abilities and their paranormal abilities and their abilities to predict the
future and this and that, but then you don't see them actually testing their claims in a rigorous
manner. Of course, because most of it is fantasy. I'm not saying you can't have some healing
powers, but a lot of people who think they have these healing powers are just kidding themselves.
That's a trap.

The next trap is expecting love to always be sweet and nice. No, love is a much more serious thing
than that, which I've explained in my "What is Love" part one, part two episodes. The next trap is
casting pearls before swine. That's a classic, especially if you consume a lot of this wisdom that I
share. You're going to want to go ahead and share it with everybody else, and then, of course, that's
a mistake.

Giving people unsolicited advice, thinking that you know what will work for them, that's a mistake.
Pushing self-help and spirituality onto others who are not interested in it, especially family and
friends. Pushing truth onto people, this becomes a trap. Acting superior to those who are not doing
self-help or spirituality, that's a trap.

Apocalyptic predictions and teachings are a trap. Be aware of that. A good example of this is U G
Krishnamurti. Overall, he's a very developed, very intelligent spiritual teacher. I like many of his
teachings, he says many wise things. However, there's an element to his teachings which have this
apocalyptic bent to them, that civilization is collapsing, there's going to be nuclear war, this kind of
stuff. You know, COVID-19 is going to kill us all, this kind of stuff. This is U G doing a great
disservice to his students and ruining his teachings. This is a classic mistake.

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And related to this is sort of doomer investment advice. You'll find this on the internet. This is an
evergreen thing. You know, on the internet, there's a whole subfield of investment advice, and then
there's an even subfield within that is what I call doomer investment advice, which is people telling
you that the stock market is going to crash next month, next year, this year, it's all crashing. So
invest in gold or sell all your stocks or invest in crypto or whatever. This is all nonsense. Nobody
knows when the market is crashing.

I've been hearing these kinds of ads and these sort of
apocalyptic investment predictions for years and decades, and they never happened. And then these
people never admit they're wrong, of course. They just keep because they're not making money on
the quality of their predictions, they're making money on suckers like you who buy into the
doomsday and then listen to them and they make money on the clicks, not on their the actual
success of their predictions or they're just selling you some alternative investment like they're
getting paybacks for selling you gold or some crypto or something like that. So that's a trap. Don't
try predicting the apocalypse. Don't try predicting the end of civilization. People have been
predicting the end of civilization since the beginning of civilization and they've never been right. So
this is not a good bet to make.

Now of course, periodically, we do have very catastrophic events like World War II, World War I,
you know, awful stuff like that can happen, you know, the dropping of nuclear bombs on Nagasaki
and Hiroshima, of course, these can happen. But you've got to appreciate that these are minor
events. None of these have led to the collapse of civilization. So the idea that COVID is going to
collapse civilization or some market is going to crash and it's going to collapse civilization, this is
preposterous. It's not going to happen. Don't bet against civilization so foolishly. And even with
climate change, some of these apocalyptic climate change predictions, look, civilization is going to
be just fine even if the climate rises 3 degrees. I'm not saying we shouldn't take action, we should.
But this idea that it's going to destroy civilization is just, it's not serious.

Next is starting too many projects at once. The key there is focus. You need to focus. Focus gives
you power. You need to focus. Don't spread your focus too thin.
The next trap is thinking that life is a dream or that everything is imaginary. As sometimes I say, it
means that anything just goes, you know? Like my ex-girlfriend once told me, you know, I, she
didn't have a job at the time and I told her, you know, so what are you doing? When are you going
to get a job? And she's like, well, and she was very into all this kind of new age stuff and all this
spiritual, you know, life is imaginary sort of stuff. And then she tells me something like, well, but
money is imaginary, you said so yourself in one of my episodes. Yeah, but that doesn't mean like
when I say money is imaginary, that doesn't mean that you don't need to worry about getting a job,

And then of course, sometime later she texts me asking me for money and then of I didn't say
this to her, but you know, if I wanted to be a dick about it, I could say, but hey, why do you need
money from me? Money is imaginary. So if I don't give you any, then what's the problem? What do
you, why do you need money from me? So all of a sudden, when you need money, now you're
texting me. But when I told you to worry about money, 'cause you know, she text me months later
when I was, you know, asking her about getting a job, that was like, me anticipating that she's going
to run out of money because she didn't have a job and she was low on savings. So yeah, I mean, that
was obvious that she was going to run out of money, but she rationalized it to herself as money's
just a dream, money's imaginary. Well, that's a misuse of that idea.

The next trap is meditation without rigorous technique. I've meditated, I've dabbled meditation for
over a decade now and my biggest lesson about meditation is that if you want meditation to really
work, you've got to do it seriously. Like retreat, hardcore, industrial-grade level meditation. Not this
sort of fluffy self-help version of meditation where it's like, oh, you know, you just sit there, close
your eyes, and you focus on your breath for 20 minutes. This is not going to do anything for you.
This is not meditation. You're just going to be, you could even make things worse for yourself
because you're going to be sitting there daydreaming, you're not really meditating.

The next trap is doing work for an employer on the promise of some profit-sharing once the product
ships. Never do that. If you're working for an employer, have them give you a contract that they are
paying you on a weekly basis, monthly basis, whatever it is so you're getting your money. Don't
take empty promises for your labor. If you're delivering, they should be delivering, not giving you
empty promises of what's coming years down the road.

Speaking of which, next trap is making promises you can't keep or overpromising. Of course, the
best example of this is Elon Musk. Elon Musk has shot himself in the foot a lot by overpromising
things. Now, of course, look, sometimes Elon Musk gets too big of a bad rap these days. I mean, he
says some stupid things, but also, you know, the guy does deliver as well. So it's not like he can't
deliver on his promises. He does deliver on his promises, sometimes they're just a little bit late. You
know, better late than never. But at the same time, he doesn't go a little overboard with the
overpromising stuff.

Next, yeah, in fact, you know, yeah, I've just learned I've overpromised things so much in my life to
people that like I'm just, I'm at this point, I don't want to promise anything to anybody. Like if you
ask me when's the next course coming out, my answer is I'm not promising you anything because
I've been promising a course for years and it hasn't come out. So like I'm just, I'm stopping making
any kind of promises. I'm done with promises. They're just like, why are you promising people
anything? Just don't promise any, don't promise people anything. It's just so much, it makes your
life so much easier. Promises are such a big trap.

But of course, you might need promises to lure in some investors, which is sort of like what Elon
Musk is doing. The reason he's making all these promises is because he needs to kind of keep the
gravy train going. It's like a cycle of promises, you know, ever-evolving cycle hype cycle and then
that gets investments. But of course, those investments can be good because you can use that money
to actually make a promise come true. So there's a trade-off there. But in general, I would say stop
promising people things if you can avoid it. Don't put yourself into those positions where you have
to make promises. That's the real lesson there.

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The next trap is being fake in order to get your way. Not worth it. Being fake in order to get sex.
Not really worth it. The next trap is not doing due diligence, not checking the sources or the
references out of laziness. The next trap is thinking that buying material things will make you
happy, especially luxury items and brands. Brands sell you this fantasy and it's rarely worth it.
Buying a boat, buying a yacht, buying a jet, buying a sports car, these are all traps. The traps that
come with buying a boat, with owning a boat, you guys don't even understand the fees you have to
pay to dock the boat, to maintain the boat. It's just not worth it. If you want a boat, rent a boat for a
weekend. Don't buy a boat. Likewise with a sports car, the fees, the maintenance, the insurance
costs, all this kind of stuff, it's just not worth it. If you want a sports car, go rent a sports car for a
few weekends. Get that out of your system. Don't waste six figures on a sports car. Silly.
The next trap is following the most popular trends and sources and confusing that popularity for
quality. The most popular books are not the best books. The most popular spiritual teachers are not
the best spiritual teachers. The most popular business advice gurus are not the best giving you the
best business advice. They're just the most obvious.

The next trap is not doing routine health exams and checkups. Of course, you should be doing
those. Not keeping, or rather keeping, all of your money in one bank, that's a trap. Loaning money
to friends and family, doing business with friends and family, this can be a big trap. Now, of course,
sometimes your family is in a very dire situation and they need a loan or sometimes working with
your family in a business can work out. For example, I've started a business, successful business,
with my brother, and we've made hundreds of thousands of dollars that way. We've had some
hiccups here and there, but overall, as partners, we managed that business pretty well and did well
for ourselves and came out both pretty happy in the end. But that's a pretty rare situation, I would
say that more likely, you're going to ruin your relationships if you do business, especially if your
business doesn't do so well. You know, we were lucky that our business was doing well. So when
your business is doing well, it's not so bad. But if your business is struggling, that can really put a
strain on your relationship, especially if you're like a husband and wife situation where you have a
marriage and you're doing business together, you're also business partners. That can be a big trap,
puts a lot of strain on your relationship, which is already hard enough as it is, you know,
maintaining a marriage.

The next trap is resisting arrest or running from the police. Just, whatever you do, don't do that,
especially in America. The next trap, this is an interesting one, exotic pets. This is a huge trap. I
used to have a lot of pets when I was a kid. I was really into animals and pets. I had snakes and
toads and a cat, of course. I had some weirder pets. I had some sugar gliders. I had two sugar gliders
when I was a kid. Man, these were the awful, awful pets. This is probably the most exotic pet that I
had, was these sugar gliders. Horrible creatures. They look cute. Like when you see on Instagram,
you see these cute exotic animals, you see some of these fenic foxes, sugar gliders, whatever it is,
you know, these little baby animals, oh, how cute it would be to own one of those. It's like, no, you
don't understand. These are demons. These are little fucking demons. This little fenic fox is a little
demon. They're not domesticated like cats, right? A fox is a little demon. It's going to be running
around, shitting everywhere, biting everything, chewing everything up. And then as soon as you
open the door, it's going to run away. That's what these exotic pets are like. There's a reason they're
exotic is because they're not suitable to be pets. In general, with pets, you've got to be very careful.
Pets are very alluring traps because they're so cute, especially if you're young, they're so cute, so


You don't think about all the maintenance you have to do, the cleaning up after their shit,
how they're going to destroy your furniture, and then you're going to get tired of them too, right? So
like a pet is a huge commitment. And then, especially, do not get a non-domesticated pet.
The next trap is audience capture. If you're a YouTuber, a social media influencer, audience capture,
big, big problem. Be careful about that. Also, chasing after clicks, likes, and views. This is a very
common trap. Mr. Beast is the prime example of this. I've posted about him on my blog. An article
came out recently about how miserable he's made himself just chasing after clicks, likes, and views.
And all for what? He doesn't need the money. He's got the money. Classic, classic trap.
Another is falling for charisma and passionate oratory, especially with politicians. Some of these
politicians can be very charismatic. Bill Clinton is an example. Barack Obama is an example of one.
Who else? In his own way, Donald Trump can be charismatic for those who are not too bright. Who
else do we have? Certain actors and celebrities can be very charismatic. This is, you realize, this is a
facade. This is sort of a deception. The more charismatic you are, the more you can bullshit your
way through life. And that's usually what these people do, which is why, you know, a lot of these
kind of used car salesman people, salespeople, are full of charisma. But then that ends up being a

And with politicians, they promise you, you know, they hype you up with this kind of these
charismatic speeches. But in the end, what they actually do policy-wise is very different from that.
What you actually want is a politician who is not charismatic. Like Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders,
to me, is the perfect balance there. He can give a good speech, like he talks good sense. But he's not
traditionally charismatic. And that's actually the kind of politician you want because, like, he's a

nononsense, just serious person who wants to govern properly. Whereas a charismatic person is sort of
a slick-talking bullshitter who's less interested in governing properly, doing the bureaucracy of
governing, and more interested in the trappings of power, the fame, the wealth, the status that comes
with this.

And these charismatic hustlers will fuck you. And you ladies, be careful about charismatic guys.
The most charismatic guys, you know what they are? They're fuckboys.

What you want is the noncharismatic guy. It's counterintuitive. See, the charismatic ones are the trap because they're using
that charisma against you. What do you think they're doing? They're not giving you that charisma
for free. There's a cost that comes with the charisma.
The next trap is taking credentials, titles, diplomas too seriously. Another trap is studying for grades
versus for understanding. A lot of kids in school, they're just copying, cramming, memorizing, just
kind of like brute force memorizing stuff rather than really engaging with the material to understand
it deeply. This will come back to bite you later in life. Cutting corners in your work is a trap.
Trusting salespeople in advertisements is a trap. Falling for gimmicks, hype, marketing, FOMO,
and not checking the fundamentals of the thing that's being hyped, this is a trap. Fads and pop
culture like the crypto bubble, now we have a lot of AI hype going around, real estate bubbles, this
kind of stuff, got to be very careful with.

The next trap is trying to impress others or qualifying yourself. Qualifying yourself means that
you're telling somebody why you're good enough for them. For example, you might try to qualify
yourself to a girl, telling her that you have this car, this house, you own this, you got good grades in
school. Don't be doing that. Let your actions speak for themselves. Let your poise carry you rather
than verbally qualifying yourself, because that's a sign of weakness. Strong people don't qualify
themselves to others; it's the weak ones that do.

The next trap is violent communication. Now that's a kind of a technical term. Violent
communication contrasts with another notion called nonviolent communication, which is a powerful
concept. I'm going to have a whole episode about that in the future. So, we have non-violent
communication, that's the right form of communication, then we have violent form of
communication, which is the wrong form. That's a trap. And by violent, I don't just mean like you're
screaming obscenities at somebody. Violent communication can be just normal communication in
terms of tone. It's not necessarily screaming, but I'm going to have to shoot an episode about this to
explain this properly.


There's sort of a violent intent in your communication. We'll get to that.
The next trap is assumptions in communication. How many times do you miscommunicate with
somebody because you made some assumptions, they made some assumptions, neither of you
expressed or verbalized those assumptions, made them explicit, and then that gets you into trouble?
Working too much is a trap, and then there's a trap of working a lot but also not actually enjoying
your work. See, it's one thing if you're just working a lot and you're enjoying it, okay, that's still can
be a trap but less so. But what's really a trap is you're working and you're not actually enjoying it.
Freebies, giveaways, sales are a trap. Trying to predict the future is a trap. High ROI investment
opportunities, that's the trap if ever there was one. Thinking you can beat the market, thinking you
can time the market, thinking you know that Bitcoin will reach 100,000 by the end of the year, day
trading, speculating, meme stocks, this is all classic foolish traps.

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Saying too much, texting too much, not knowing when to keep your mouth shut, that's a trap.
Losing your temper when your girlfriend asks you if her butt looks big, boy is that a trap. Software
development, in software development, there's something called scope creep and feature creep,
which is a big trap. It can destroy your whole project. Speaking of projects, underestimating project
size, scope, workload, time, and budget, the sunk cost fallacy, that's a trap.

Living by the values of others rather than your own, that's a trap. Trying to be like others, like your
friends, like celebrities, rather than owning your uniqueness, that's a trap, especially for young
people who are too busy conforming. There's a lot of traps in just survival in the wilderness. I watch
a lot of survival videos, stuff like Survivor Man, Bushcraft videos, that kind of stuff. For example,
Survivor Man, he shows you a lot of survival situations that are very counterintuitive and trappy.
How about the trap of celebrity, thinking that being famous will make you happy? Fame is a big
fantasy. Another trap related to this, posting too much of yourself on social media. Being a fanboy
or fangirl mesmerized by celebrity parasocial relationships. This is believing people who promise
you or guarantee you things that cannot be guaranteed.

The self-improvement treadmill, getting on this self-actualization treadmill and just doing it, doing
it, doing it, and then it just becomes the next rat race for you and it doesn't really make you happy.
The trap of profit maximization, milking your cow to death, a lot of big brands do that with their
franchises. They just keep releasing more and more squeal after squeal, and they just get lower and
lower quality, cut more corners, till it turns to [__]. Brands can be a trap, of course. Brands can sell
you these sorts of fantasies and exploit you.

Legal contracts are often traps, NDAs, arbitration agreements, various sneaky clauses that the
lawyers and the employers stuff in there. The legal world is full of legal traps. Backlash to terrorism
is a trap. This is what America experienced after '91 with the war in Iraq, the invasion of Iraq and
with Afghanistan.

This was an irrational response to 9/11, and it led to the weakening of America. Right now, the same
thing is happening, the same mistake is being repeated by Israel with Hamas. They are reacting
emotionally, irrationally, and ultimately, they're going to hurt themselves in the process. It's not
going to lead to anything good for the Gazan people, and it's not going to lead to good things for the
Israelis as well because the violence is going to continue. You're going to have many more terrorist
attacks from people like Hamas in the future just from the war that is happening right now and the
war crimes and so on that are happening. This is a classic trap, and of course, terrorism is employed
to trigger that trap. Terrorism is the laying of that trap; that's what Hamas did. They laid that trap for
Israel, and now Israel stepped into it despite all of their excuses and justifications.

The next collective trap is the tragedy of the commons. Tragedy of the commons is there's many
examples of it, but a classic example would be like a public toilet. Public toilets are nasty why
because nobody takes responsibility for the toilet. Everybody treats it as a public toilet, and that's
why your home toilet, you don't treat the same way that you treat a public toilet. This also leads to
classic tragedy of the common traps like pollution, overfishing, where everybody is acting selfishly
then collectively that adds up to destroying the fishing system, destroying the ecosystem, destroying
the environment, creating a toxic river system or whatever. So that's a trap.

The next trap is voting and lobbying selfishly for personal gain. Most people approach voting,
politics, and lobbying as like, what's in it for me? Every company is asking, how can I lobby the
government to change the laws to benefit me, the company, so we can maximize our profits even

This is a complete mistake, and many voters vote this way too. It's like I'm going to vote for
whatever is going to benefit my religion, I'm going to vote for whatever's going to get me a better
job, I'm going to vote for whatever's going to reduce my tax burden a little bit. This is the wrong
way to think about this; this is a collective trap, really. It's the wrong way to think about
government; government should be about asking ourselves what is best for the collective and then
doing that. Because when everybody individually is just selfishly lobbying the government, this
turns into a corrupt mess, dysfunctional mess like what we have right now because nobody's
thinking about the larger collective; they're all just trapped in petty selfishness, short-term thinking.

They don't really care about the government; what they care about is just themselves, and then the
government is just a vehicle to advance themselves. But then that leads to the debasement of
government; government can only be good when you actually care about making government good,
but nobody cares about that for the most part because they just want what they want; they don't give
a [__] about the government.

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Another collective trap is technology, this idea that we can invent our way out of problems that are
really human social, psychological, existential, political problems, and that technology will solve
this for us like AI will solve our lack of development, our immaturity. No, it won't. These things
need to be addressed more directly. Now, of course, technology can help with certain developmental
issues, especially technology can help us to meet our basic needs, technology can help feed
everybody on the planet and provide water to everybody on the planet, this kind of basic stuff.
Technology can also help to educate, especially now with AI, there's a lot of potential for education.
But what really matters is our immaturity, our stages of development, you know, our lack of
spiritual connection, this stuff, you know, our poor epistemology. And by and large, technology is
not going to fix this, which is why we have the kind of problems we have. Just thanks to Silicon
Valley who thinks that they can invent their way out of everything.

The next collective trap is trying to impose things from higher stages of development onto societies
of lower development. So this is the classic example of what happened in Iraq after America
invaded. This idea that we can just spread democracy to Iraq or this idea that stage green has that
we can spread feminism to Afghanistan. You're like but what about the what about the girls in
Afghanistan who can't go to school? The feminists will say or um some stage green people will say
well, you know um some people say well what about the LGBTQ rights in Palestine? It's like you
don't understand Iraq Afghanistan Palestine um these places are not developed enough to have
feminism to have democracy to have LGBTQ rights these people barely have food they barely have
jobs so this is the trap of you know trying to project your own development down onto others leads
to problems.

The next trap is political polarization tribalism of course especially what we've been seeing in
America lately. The founding fathers I forget who it was in The Federalist Papers it was was it
Madison or somebody like that in the Federalist Papers there's there's a there's a Federalist paper
that specifically talks about the dangers to America these Federalist Papers were written at the
founding of America and the founding fathers specifically identified that one of the biggest
problems going forward for America will be factions what they call factions in other words tribes
when when America breaks up into little fragments and factions and tribes that are then all fighting
against each other for selfish personal gain like the evangelicals are fighting against the um the
feminists and the feminists are fighting against the you know the Wall Street people and so and like
like this this kind of this kind of situation that we're seeing today especially on social media this is
what the founders identified as one of the biggest threats to American democracy and here we are in
the thick of it we've fallen into this trap even though it was identified for us 200 years ago.
The next trap is a never-ending growth mindset this idea that everything should be growing all the
time it's not going to be sustainable.

The next step is group thinking. Echo Chambers. The next step is a metrics fixation or
quantification, trying to, you know, trying to quantify everything. For example, the American
education system. We're killing our kids in the education system by forcing them to take tests every
year. It's like testing after testing after testing. You're measuring them all the time with these rigid
tests that don't really capture what education is really about. So you can then gain these metrics.

That's what schools do. They try to gain these metrics and they try to train kids to gain these tests
that the school can receive a higher budget next year for their education. And in the midst of all that,
kids are not getting high-quality educations because education is not about passing a test.
The next trap is the Trap of nostalgia for the past. A lot of times we can romanticize the past. That's
what Fascism and Maga is all about, scapegoating is also a trap. Communism, Marxism, socialism
are traps as we've seen in the 20th century. The Trap Of Constant progress narratives, this idea that
everything is always improving. That's not always true and I've been guilty of falling into this trap
myself especially, you know when you have a model like SP dynamics, you tend to think that well
every stage is above the next stage and we're always progressing upwards. Maybe I led you on
about that but the reality is more complicated than that, all right so that's the end of the social traps
we still have more to discuss.

I'm going to take a quick intermission here refresh myself and I'll be back in a second. The most
interesting traps I actually find to be the ones that are the most psychological and abstract and
epistemological as well. Here are some examples like, Rosie retrospection that one refers to when
you think about the past your mind tends to erase all the bad parts of your childhood or whatever
you're getting nostalgic over and then your past can look much better than your present. Another
one is confirmation bias, big bias of the Mind.

Another one is denial, denial is a huge psychological
mechanism defense mechanism that I'll have an episode about in the future. For example, the Trap
of grounding your happiness and Security in other human beings or getting fooled by your ego's
defense mechanisms and emotional reactions repressing your emotions or the Trap of reductionism
and unholy thinking. I discussed that one a lot in my two-part series holism and holistic thinking
postmodernism and relativism can be a very sophisticated kind of trap the Trap of thinking that truth
doesn't exist or is entirely subjective and relative conflating relative and absolute truths.
I'm going to have an episode coming soon about postmodernism. I also already have an episode I
released in the past about the issue of absolute and relative truths. Go look at that, "The Trap of Not
Caring About Truth". This is one that most people fall into, I find. See, what most people call truth
or when they say they care about truth, really it's not that they care about truth. What they're doing
is they're just taking their perspective and calling that the truth. That's very different than a real
commitment to the pursuit of truth.

The trap of avoiding facing truth, avoiding emotional labor, giving away your authority – check out
my episode "How Authority Works" or how that works projection, big big big tricky trap. So you
see, these are very classic psychological traps that they teach you about in psychotherapy. Another
one that I see that's popular now is treating gender as an entirely subjective concept.
This is a dangerous trap. Now, gender is not purely biological, but if you ignore the biology of
gender, then you're going to get yourself into trouble. People don't know what they're doing when
they're over-relativizing gender with this kind of postmodernist stuff. Which is not to say that there's
only two genders, but of course, there is a deep conceptual subjective aspect to gender. A lot of it is,
you know, fabrications of our own minds.

But again, see, fabrications of your own mind, that's a difficult concept to wrap your mind around
and to understand properly. Just like with that example that I told you about money being imaginary
and it's like, yeah, money is imaginary, but that doesn't quite mean what you might think it means or
it's easy to misunderstand the consequences of what that means.

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Other examples of traps here are various kinds of limiting beliefs. When you believe that you can't
do something, that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy and it can become true just by virtue of the
fact that you believe it, even though it may not be an actual reflection of your limitations. The
reality is that you don't really know what you're capable of until you try really hard at it.

Or something like telling yourself that it's too late to start. You know, it's too late to colearn art, it's
too late to pursue my dream career. Then that can become true for you and then that becomes a trap.
Another trap that's very interesting is not taking people's self-reports of their experiences seriously.
I see a lot of atheists and scientists doing this, like for example when people give them reports of
their psychedelic trips or their spiritual and mystical experiences. What these people do is they just
dismiss it as like, "Oh, it's just fantasy, it's hallucination, it's just delusions." That's a mistake, that
kind of attitude is a mistake.

Really what you want to do there is, of course, people can be deluded about all sorts of mystical
stuff, but you want to in general be more sensitive to how people report their direct experiences of
reality because what you'll discover if you take that stuff seriously is that people simply experience
reality quite differently from each other and from you.

That's a big revelation because if you assume everybody experiences reality as you do, as the
scientific materialist assumes reality is experienced, that's a mistake, that's a big epistemological
mistake and it prevents you from understanding reality at the deeper levels. And then that's why
you're so puzzled by all this mystical religious spiritual phenomena that people keep talking about.
Yeah, of course you're puzzled, it's not because they're deluded, it's because you have a very limited
conception of how conscious experience works. And then confirmation bias comes into play here
and then that gets you stuck in your materialist paradigm.

Another trap is repressing your problems with people and then acting passive-aggressively towards
them. This is the passive-aggressive trap. Another one is not communicating in relationships. To
have proper relationships, you need to communicate, exactly at those times when you don't feel like
communicating. Another trap is hearing what you want to hear rather than listening carefully to
what is being said.

Another trap is calling people crazy, deluded, and evil rather than seeking to genuinely understand
their perspective. It's so easy to dismiss a perspective by just calling somebody crazy. Another trap
is judgment. Judgment, judgment, judgment. Judgment is just like, honestly, the more I do this
work, the more I see that a giant chunk of the problems of my mind are just me judging reality and
judging other people. And it's so hard to stop doing that because it's just wired into our egos.
And then that brings me to the next point, which is the trap of morality. Morality is a huge can of
worms, and I'm going to have a new episode coming up on that as well. So yeah, morality is just a
trap. The whole field of morality is a trap, and then especially, I want to point out this kind of
feeling of moral righteousness and indignation that we get. That's a trap.

That feeling, whenever it comes up, that's a trap. And the kind of moralizing you do to others, the
demonizing of others, the kind of virtue signaling that you do, whether it's politically based or not,
spiritually based, all of this is a giant trap. Crusading, the Lesser Jihad, this kind of stuff, moral
crusading, big traps, really. It's a kind of projection.

Another trap is thinking that you're good when actually you're evil. I want to do a whole episode in
the future, which is something along the lines of "you're not good, you're evil." I had this epiphany
myself lately. You know, I've thought of myself as a good person for my whole life and then
realized recently, just during my long extended break, I realized all the evil things that I've done
throughout my life and just how big of a fantasy this whole idea of me being a good person really

Another trap is trying to save the world, having this kind of Messiah complex where it's like, "I
have to save the world, and if I don't do it, nobody else will, and the world will end in an
apocalypse." This is usually a delusion. Another trap is doing armchair philosophy, speculating, and
mental masturbation.

Another one is always taking the centrist view, taking the midpoint of any controversy, splitting the
difference between every perspective, as though the truth is somewhere down the middle. That's not
how truth works. If you have a pro-slavery position and an anti-slavery position, the truth is not
down the middle.

Breaking your integrity is a trap, and there's a lot of things in life that will lure you away from your
integrity and make you think like, "Oh, well, my integrity is not that important because I can get
some money, some sex, some this, some that, a promotion, some fame, some clicks on YouTube."
Excessive empathy is a trap. This is a trap that stay-AG, green Progressive leftists fall into.
Empathy, of course, is important, and a lack of empathy is its own kind of trap that the right wing
falls into. But the left wing falls into excessive empathy, and this can lead to problems.

Thinking that everyone experiences reality as you do, that's a trap. Overgeneralizing and projecting
your experiences onto others, that's a trap. Assuming that others have the same personality type as
you, strengths as you, and capabilities as you, this kind of simplistic idea that, "Well, if one man can
do it, then every man can do it, you can do it too."

No, that's just not true. A lot of things that great men and women in history have done cannot be
repeated precisely because they were unique genetically, they had unique personalities, unique
strengths, unique capabilities. That's what the world's geniuses, if they're true geniuses, are, a kind
of Albert Einstein, you know, the world's greatest mathematicians, logicians, physicists, musicians,
this kind of stuff.

An ordinary person doesn't have these capabilities, the visualization capabilities of a Nikola Tesla,
an ordinary human doesn't have the ability for Nikola Tesla to visualize an entire electric motor in
his own mind and prototype it in his mind before he even built it and then have it actually built the
way that he prototyped it in his mind.

That's beyond the capabilities of a normal human being, that's like alien levels of intelligence that
is, which is why he's revered as one of the greats of human history because he wasn't normal. And
you'll also find that that's true of many spiritual teachers, is that they're exceptionally gifted, they're
not just ordinary people who meditated a lot, they're way beyond that.
And that leads us to the next trap, which is assuming that everybody has the same spiritual
giftedness or level of talent. That's not true at all.

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Of course, then there's the trap of ideology. It's a very broad general trap. I have an episode called
"How Ideology Works" that explains that in more detail. Ideology is antithetical to everything we're
doing here with because it limits the functioning of your mind. Your mind is not
actually thinking originally for itself and having genuine insights and observations, but rather it's
just following some sort of laid-out trajectory or path and thinking along lines of conformity.
Regardless of what kind of ideology it is—left-wing, right-wing, religious, or scientific—irrelevant
capitalist, Marxist, all of it is limited and problematic.

The other trap related to that is being stubborn and close-minded. That's usually what you get when
you subscribe to any kind of ideology. The stubbornness and closed-mindedness come along with it,
and there's your trap, there's the cost. Another trap is taking your point of view as the truth,
confusing those two, taking your limited perspective as the best and truest perspective as absolute.
And then just a very basic epistemological trap is thinking that you are right and whoever else
you're dealing with is wrong. This is our default assumption in relationships and debates, whether
they're political, philosophical, religious, in various kinds of conflicts—political conflicts,
geopolitical conflicts—we just automatically assume that we're on the right side and they're on the
wrong side. This is a trap. I've talked about Paradigm Lock in the past, that's a trap, go see my
episode "How Paradigms Work."

Creating an echo chamber around yourself is another kind of trap, surrounding yourself with likeminded people.

This is really a sort of a variation on confirmation bias, not a paradox but a trap.
Because when you surround yourself with like-minded people, then of course, you're going to be
sharing your perspective and reinforcing it altogether.
Another trap is spiritual bypassing, which is using spiritual beliefs to avoid facing practical
responsibilities, real-life, and real-world business and uncomfortable emotions, shadow stuff, taking
only like the positive aspects of spirituality but avoiding the real difficult work that spirituality
should entail. Then there's the trap of happiness, pursuing happiness as a constant positive state.
Then there's the path of arriving, the attitude that one day in the future you will finally reach a point
in your life where you will be finally satisfied and at peace because you've achieved some XYZ
accomplishments. Then there's the trap of assuming that what makes others happy will make you
happy. Maybe that Hollywood celebrity is truly happy living that kind of life that he or she is living,
but that doesn't mean that you will be, that's the trap.

How about the trap of the perfect relationship, finding that perfect partner who will complete you
and finally you will be happy? There's the trap of pure rationality, which is thinking that the
problem of epistemology can be solved by just being hyper-rational and not seeing the limitations
of rationality itself. Scientifically minded people suffer from this one the most.
There's a trap of assuming that freedom is an absolute good. Libertarians fall into this trap. The
American right-wing also tends to fall into this trap, which is very ironic because they restrict
freedoms in many ways, so it's very hypocritical. Of course, the trap of positive vibes only, this is
sort of this kind of new-age spiritual attitude of like let's just be positive all the time, like you know
don't tell me that I'm out of money, that's negative, don't tell me I need to get a job because that's
negative, let's be positive about it, let's just look at the bright side of all these situations of not
having money and not having a job and not paying my taxes and just kind of like, again, this is a
kind of spiritual bypassing.

How about the trap of demonizing survival and selfishness because now you're so woke you've
supposedly transcended your selfishness to some degree and now you expect that of everybody
else? Well, of course, that's a kind of delusion there as well. So, these are some of the more
psychological traps that I personally find most profound to really contemplate and some of these
can be like the most advanced kinds of traps that will take you a decade to really appreciate.
Now, let's get to the topic of uh, let's stop listing out traps and let's get to the topic of how do you
avoid traps? So here are some tips for you. First of all, use this lens, this paradigm of traps that I'm
offering to you, so just that alone, making this explicit is helpful. Next, go in expecting traps.
Whatever domain you're going into, research that domain and study the traps that others have fallen
into and expect that every new domain has traps in it, especially newbie traps, that's where the most
traps are, is the newbie traps, but then there's like we said more advanced ones, intermediate and
then advanced.

The next point here is don't be a fool, don't expect free value. This is how you really get trapped is
expecting free value. Free value often comes with a hidden cost. Are you using Facebook for free?
Are you using some online service for free? Well, you better believe there's a hidden cost because
they're not doing it for free. Facebook's making a lot of money. Facebook is one of the most
profitable companies in the world, so where are they charging you? What's the hidden cost of
Facebook, of Instagram, and so on? Think about these things, businesses don't just do things for free
for you. In the end, a business does things because it thinks it's going to get more value out of it
than you will, that's how businesses operate. So if a business is offering some kind of sale, you
better believe that the business is earning more money on that sale than you are, so figure out where
they're hiding the cost from you.

Also related to this point is stop expecting things to be quick and easy, your desire to leech value
you and get freebies will be turned against you and then you're the one who's going to end up
getting screwed in the end. Beware of things that are high value but easy, free, cheap, quick, and
exciting and fun. See a lot of these traps are just fun, that's how you get trapped in there by them,
some of this stuff is fun and you might say well Leo if I don't, if I live my life avoiding all these trap
you know being paranoid about avoiding all these traps all the time where's the fun in life um you're
being a buzz kill, yeah in a certain sense I am, you know I'm sort of like that parent telling you to be
careful when you go outside well why do your parents tell you that because there's crocodiles
crawling around out there they might snatch you now of course in practice you know you don't want
to take it overboard and I'll have some more points towards the end about um you know the limits
of this traps paradigm because every paradigm has its limits every lens has its limits.

Another way to avoid traps is don't be desperate and needy. The more needy you are for sex, for
money, for power, for fame, for love, the easier you will be to trap, so live your life more
preemptively where you avoid putting yourself in these kind of compromising needy desperate
positions. Avoid traps by being a long-term thinker, short-term thinking is the mother of all traps,
learn patience, the get-rich-slowly approach rather than the get-rich-quickly approach. Another way
to avoid traps is get clear about your values and stick with them, don't betray your values.
That's a huge trap right there. Another way to avoid traps is to distinguish between what is truly
valuable and what is merely tempting or alluring. The distinction between fake value and real value,
or shallow value and deep value, is what you want to be going after. The real deep value probably
deserves its own episode. That distinction, just right there, also beware when people tell you, uh,
rather, beware when people are telling you what you know you want to hear. Salespeople, your
intimate partners, they will often tell you what they know you want to hear. Business partners will
do that, investors can do that, or people offering to bring you investments can do that in like
investment opportunities.

Another way to avoid traps is to contemplate. Just sit and contemplate the traps for every new
domain, make a list of them, make lists of traps in your commonplace book, and review it regularly.
Start with some of the ones I mentioned above in this episode, but then also find your own traps. I
mentioned some very kind of general traps, but then if you're going into very specific domains,
whatever you're doing, you'll have specific traps related to that domain. Make lists of those and then
review them periodically just to kind of refresh your memory because it's not enough to just look at
them once. You've got to remind yourself of it every year because you're going to get complacent.

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Another way to avoid traps is what's called the premortem technique. I have an episode about the
premortem technique. A premortem is like a postmortem except a postmortem is something you do
after you finish a project. You look back on the project and you say, okay, what went wrong, what
went right, what are the lessons? Well, you can do that even without starting your project. Whatever
project you have in mind, you can sit down and visualize a premortem. It's basically okay, visualize
yourself failing at this project and then ask yourself why did I fail and what could have been done to
prevent the failures? When I started 10 years ago, I did a premortem on what would it
look like if I failed at I discussed that in that episode, go check it out. It's kind of an
old one, but still relevant.

The other way to avoid traps is just by falling into them but then getting really good at learning your
lessons. Perhaps the biggest trap is not that you fall into traps but that you keep falling into the same
traps over and over again and don't learn your lesson. You'd be surprised how often people just live
their whole life this way. It's okay to fall into a trap as long as it's not catastrophic so you should
distinguish between two types of traps: those that are catastrophic and those that are not. If it's
catastrophic, those you really want to avoid because those can really mess up your life and even kill
you. But most traps are not catastrophic and they're actually presenting you with great learning
opportunities, but of course, that assumes that you have this kind of learning mindset approach.
Another way to avoid traps is to explicitly ask experienced people about traps. Seek out experts,
talk to them, pay them for advice. That advice will pay for itself and specifically ask them what are
the traps.

You can ask them what are the newbie traps, what are the intermediate traps, what are the
advanced traps? I bet you that most experts have never been asked that question so explicitly and
they'll be thrilled to hear you ask such an intelligent question because see, no newbie, like it's hard
for me to imagine a newbie like some new AG newbie coming to their spiritual guru and then
saying what are all the traps of spirituality? Like I've never heard that happen before. Usually, they
come in there with their eyes wide open, you know, all sort of mesmerized by the aura of the guru
and then they just blindly fall into all the traps by worshiping the guru and adopting ideologies and
beliefs and groupthink and all that kind of stuff. Of course, a way to avoid traps is to expose
yourself to massive experience. We've talked about that before. Severe inexperience is really the
mother of all traps and you really can't help it because you're born in life ignorant, completely
inexperienced, and then you just got to learn by making mistakes.

The next way to avoid traps is just to fail a lot. Failure is okay as long as it's not catastrophic. So fail
more, fail faster, but don't fail in crippling ways. That's the key. Sometimes a simplistic piece of
advice that might be told to people is like just fail a lot and don't worry about failure. Failure is
great, you know, I failed so much in my life and I came up to be a success. Well, that's not quite
correct advice because sometimes failure can be so catastrophic that it cripples you, it traumatizes
you, it kills you even, or it costs you in an irreversible way that you can never replace. So what
would be an example of a catastrophic failure?

Well, if you get your hand caught in a circular saw and you cut off your hand, that would be an
example of a catastrophic mistake. An example of a non-catastrophic mistake is let's say you make a
bad investment, you lose $10,000. Losing money, of course, is always painful and it can be quite
bad, especially if you need that money. But in the end, you know, you can make more money.
Money is fungible, it's replaceable. $10,000 you can make that up in your lifetime, it's not a big
deal. But losing your hand to a circular saw, that is a big deal, you can't replace that, there's no
replacement for that.

So if you're going into situations where there's a potential for a catastrophic trap, you know, identify
which traps, like if you're making a list of traps in a new domain, put a little star next to the ones,
there's going to be a few that are going to be like catastrophic that will kill you and mess you up,
mess your business or whatever, and then when you're dealing with those, be extra careful. And
then, you know, you can be very anal on those traps and the other traps you don't have to be so anal
about. This way you have some sort of like sense of priority because if you're just going to be anal
about everything, this is not going to be beneficial for you, it's going to actually trip you up.

Another way to avoid traps is reading a lot to know a little bit about everything. Read biographies,
history, business, memoirs, spiritual books, psychology books, philosophy books. This, you know, if
you read all the stuff that I have on my book list, this is going to give you a very nice foundation
where you're going to be aware of all the mistakes that humans have made in the past. You know,
history is really great for that, biographies are great for memoirs, and so on.
Also, adopt an attitude of facing truth. The avoidance of truth will land you into many traps. So, if
you're just facing the truth a little bit every week, every month, every year, and you're doing that
consistently, and you're valuing the truth, and you're not just stuck in an echo chamber, this will
serve you well for avoiding many traps. See my episode "The Avoidance of Truth," which discusses
that topic in depth.

The next way to avoid traps is seeking out diverse perspectives. Only having one perspective is
itself a trap. Don't have only one perspective on spirituality; you need more than that. Likewise, for
business and for relationships and so on.

The next way to avoid traps is context awareness. Becoming more context aware. See my old
classic episode "Understanding Recontextualization" for more on that.
The other way to avoid traps is reaching the construct-aware stage of cognitive development. This is
from that episode three-part series episode I have called "The Nine Stages of Ego Development,"
especially in part three I talk about this construct-aware stage where you start to become aware of
how your mind constructs your sense of reality. And this is very, very helpful for seeing some of the
more abstract existential, epistemological, psychological sorts of traps.
Then, I have this principle that helps me avoid traps, which is the principle of sustainability. When
you're trying to do something, do it in a sustainable way. If you're building a business, build a
sustainable business rather than an unsustainable business, because there's often solutions that are
not sustainable which are the easier solutions. Not sustainable means I'm not talking about the
environmental impact of your business here.

By sustainable, what I mean is how long will this method of business be able to sustain itself? For
example, if you have some sort of get-rich-quick scheme where you're flipping houses, how long
can you do that? You can do that for a year or two. How long will that last? Or if you're making
money off meme stocks, how long will that last? See, these are not sustainable ways of making
money. You want a sustainable business. And of course, sustainability in business, for example, will
mean that you need to actually offer value, not just leech value. The unsustainable methods are the
ones that are based on leeching value, like, you know, you can make a lot of money as a hacker, but
that's not sustainable.

And then, of course, relationships. You can have unsustainable relationships, you can have
sustainable relationships. Which ones do you think lead to true satisfaction and love and so on, and
which ones are traps? In the end, of course, there is no algorithm for spotting traps. You just have to
stay conscious and be intelligent and stay vigilant, keep your wits about you. Intelligence is your
ability to see traps. Strive to live in a preemptive way. Work hard to position yourself such that you
are not easily enticed into compromising on your values, your integrity, chasing after short-term
pleasures, unsustainable solutions, get-rich-quick schemes, and so forth.

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