Ugewshos

How did you start your journey to Self-Actualization?

6 posts in this topic

Hey, I'm ..... (see what I did there, though my first name is Bernard)

As my maiden post on Auctalized.org, I figured I would start a topic where I can hopefully hit two or three birds with one stone! My first intention is to share my personal story to the community and to hopefully gain some feedback from you guys, at the same time I am hoping to hear some of your stories, how you got started, what challenges you have faced and overcome as well as which ones you are still struggling with at the moment! I don't believe that this journey ever ends, and some extra motivation/inspiration through similar experience is always welcome. To start things off, here is how I ended up on Actualized.org and on the path of becoming a better human being : 

Although it might be a little bit of a long read, it is required to give you an idea of where I was one year ago, I had just lost my high paying job in business development (Logistics), I had been promoted to the position of national key accounts manager for a large bulk commodity transport company, and had gone out drinking with work colleagues the night before to celebrate, when I arrived in to the office the next morning I failed the mandatory breathalyzer, despite the recent promotion, I was a second time offender and ended up losing my job, as you may have noticed, I was a drinker, and a heavy one. Instead of taking this as a clear sign that I am on the wrong path and that I should change my lifestyle, I instead spent the next couple of months on the couch with (more than) a couple of bottles of scotch, drinking through my savings, the loss was not limited only to my career, I lost the respect of my family, friends, my health had started to decline, I was chain smoking, picking up weight, It is more than fair to say that I was a functioning alcoholic, except that the "functioning" prefix that accompanied the phrase, was rapidly starting to fade away.

During the next couple of months I managed to find another job (also high paying, in freight forwarding this time), as well as a lovely girlfriend (An artist that I had been friends with for more than 10 years, not my usual type), so my life changed again, unfortunately my drinking did not, it was not long and it started to effect my performance at work again, from where the ripples echoed out into the other aspects of my life, my relationship started to suffer, I was feeling despondent, depressed, unhappy inside, life seemed mundane, pointless and there were multiple negative thoughts going through my head at this point in time, still whenever I would feel this way, a quick stop at the closest bar would take it away for the evening, the other reality is, that as long as you are buying, you will never be drinking alone.

Life ticked along like this, living, but not really living, my ex started to introduce me to psychedelics (mushrooms), being an outgoing person, I had, had my fair share of experience with a variety of illegal substances, including high doses of LSD and mushrooms, but I had almost exclusively used them in a party orientated setting (like a complete moron), the addition of solo and intimate trips exposed me to a sensation that I had not experienced before, and for the first time in more than a decade of hard drinking I felt that there was something more to life, almost like the colour had started to come back to a world of black and white (If anybody is interested in the details of how mushrooms helped me overcome my alcohol addiction, I will gladly share my experiences, but Leos overcoming addiction and psychedelic videos have got the just of it down). With 40/40 hindsight I can now look back and realize that while this was the changing point in my life, I should have been more attentive and aware of what I was experiencing, but this is impossible when the concept of personal development is lying somewhere between a couple of empty bottles of scotch and a full ashtray.

Going through life with a colour blind mind is a terrible thing, and adhering to my self imposed and self destructive cycles, it was not long and my drinking got me into trouble at work again, leading to more unhappiness, and once again leading to more drinking, It must be said that in this position it was not just my drinking that was effecting my work ethic, I was genuinely unhappy at this company, so much so that after a fall out regarding operational structures and sales targets that I ended up resigning in the spur of the moment, leaving me unemployed for the second time in 2017, unsure of where my life was going, and not having unlimited savings, I was nowhere near as financially stable as I was at the beginning of the year.

I had been feeling unhappy with corporate life for some time, anybody that works in a high performance and pressured sales environment with targets reaching into the tens of millions, will tell you that the stress compounds over the years, especially as the motivation techniques used are generally negative reinforcement, because of this (and the fact that I was now facing unemployment for the second time in a year, not great on a CV) I started looking into the idea of starting my own business. It was a concept that I had played with in the past before, but only in thought (mostly drunken thoughts, without any actual substance behind the ideas), with some solid research, and a some support from my family and Ex, my business plan started to take shape, and although it involved relocating to a new city, my Ex was willing to move, the business plan was solid, I had purchased a house there a couple of years before making the relocation process simple, I possessed a solid working knowledge on the market and the industry, this was something that I knew inside and outside and I had a professional network and infrastructure that could support my growth. So the financing and preparation began, all the while my drinking continued.

So there I was, I had just turned 30, and was in to process of making the move down to Durban (South Africa for those wondering), by this point I had started making some half arsed attempts at curbing my drinking habits, I was traveling up and down between two cities, getting my warehousing and offices as well as all the administrative red tape involved with starting a new business (registrations, tax, health & safety ect) in place, unfortunately what I would do, is work hard when I was up in Pretoria near my Ex and family, and then binge drink as soon as soon as my work was done when I was alone in Durban, almost as if to make up for the time I spent sober. Needless to say, it was not super effective, and led to further troubles with my life, by early January 2018, despite the basic checklist for my business being completed, I was still no closer to a cent into the business account, with quite a long list of expenses and no incoming trading taking place.

It was at this point where to my greatest shame, I started fighting with my now ex girlfriend, emotionally manipulating and shifting blame and responsibility for the negative aspects of my life onto our relationship, though I was never abusive towards her verbally or physically the relationship had taken on a toxic shine,, my inability to deal with my own problems and constant drinking caused me to fail in what I believe are the most duties of a partner (such as honesty, respect, support and love), it is impossible to love somebody else when you do not love yourself, you end up instead with a false concept that is fueled by your own selfish intention, fortunately after an alcohol fueled disagreement the one evening, I broke up with her (which I believe was the best thing I was capable of doing at that time), after this I hopped in my car and made the move down to Durban permanent, fortunately this is where the story takes a positive turn!

Upon arriving in Durban, I ended up spiraling downwards for the next two weeks, I had friends come down to visit and assist me in drowning my sorrows. When one combines alcohol with the inevitable feeling of a broken heart and the loss of your most intimate friend (despite being of my own creation, my mind gravitated me towards the role of a victim), I had hit what I think was possibly the drunkest and lowest point of my life, waking up in the mornings, brushing my teeth with whisky, vomiting blood, passing out on bathroom floors... I really did not paint a pleasant picture. After the mandatory drunken dial to my now ex girlfriend, some words where exchanged, where I was told that I would never change, that I was beyond salvation and that I needed to check myself into some form of rehab or AA program, naturally drunk and stubborn as a mule I disagreed with this, I had always been a person who carried with me a mantle of self assurance, everybody has their own insecurities but generally I had walked through life with the assumption that there is nothing I cannot achieve, the concept of relying on external support such as rehab or AA was not only offensive towards me, but contradictory to one of my fundamental beliefs, which is that we are architects of our own lives (be it for creation or destruction).

The next day my friends left me to return to their lives in Pretoria, while I sat on my couch in a hungover/half drunk state that over the past two weeks had become semi permanent. Sitting in my lounge thinking about my life and the direction that it was heading in, I had an internal debate about my life, who I am and who I want to become, perhaps the strongest motivation was to prove to my ex (and to myself) that she was wrong, I walked into the kitchen and threw out every drop of booze in my house. This single decision changed everything, it was not the first time that I had tried to give up, but something was different this time, something which I cannot quite explain, it started slow, I spent around 2 weeks on the couch (my business was not operational at this point in time), focusing on nothing in particular, just avoiding liquor stores, bars and drinking friends, from there I went and got 5g of mushrooms, and proceeded to do what Terrance Mckenna calls a heroic dose of mushrooms in a silent, dark room, without external stimulus, oddly enough it was not as I had expected it to be, it was not my first isolated 5g dose and I was expecting to get my arse handed to my by my internal strife and personal demons, instead I was given what the exact opposite, ego death occurred but the experience took me in the opposite direction that I was expecting.

From there, everything changed, I had a new outlook on life, I kept avoiding alcohol, taking bi weekly doses of mushrooms, systematically adjusting to a lifestyle that I had not truly experienced in more than a decade, one of sobriety. Before I knew it, I had too much time on my hands, unable to sit alone in solitude (Go watch Leo's video on addiction if you havn't seen it!) I started to channel my energy into other aspects of life, working out, cultivating good habits, cutting out bad ones, focusing on work, I made the decision to become a non-smoker, took up mycology(the magic kind) and botany as a new hobby, rediscovered reading (something which I have always had a passion for), took up french as a 3rd language, deleted my facebook and other social media, and generally just started living again.

For the first time in what seemed to be forever for me, I found myself moving forward, and it had almost become another form of addiction to me! I started grasping as many opportunities for bettering myself as I was able to, learning new skills and hobbies (there is a loooooong list of changes to my life, additions and subtractions), I secured a warehouse and started trading business (which is in its early days, but doing very well at the moment!), my life had taken a turn for the positive for the first time in many years, I started cutting ties with bad influences in my life, and redirecting my focus and attention more towards a long term goal and bigger picture (I am sure this must be starting to sound familiar), there where however still factors in my life that I was struggling with (the concept of this ever changing is still almost inconceivable to me, but now I see it in a positive light).

I was faced with some regrets, mostly pertaining to my Ex and the way that our relationship had ended, disappointed in myself and unable to move on, while not romantically, we had both moved forward in our lives, additionally she had no desire to recommit herself to me, which is more than understandable taking my past behavior into consideration, I do not begrudge her this in the slightest and only wish her the best in her path forward, for me however dealing with the regret and shame that I was facing was proving more challenging than anything else I had faced in my life, not to mention the fact that the loneliness of the last six months had been compounding, I was faced with negative thoughts and emotions that I seemingly had no way of controlling, they would also compound onto each other, meaning that a irritation at work during the day might lead to a full blown internal panic attack after tumbling around in my mind for a while and joining with the other thoughts I was having about her, all in all a terrible place to be in, and it was impacting the positivity that I was trying to cultivate in my life, fortunately for me, it was at this point, while searching for ways online to deal with negative thoughts and emotions that I stumbled upon Leo's videos and the wealth of knowledge available on Actualized.org.

It has only been two weeks since discovering the site, but I have been absorbing content like a sponge! If it had to be viewed from a third person perspective I imagine that it must have been akin to somebody watching a monkey learn to use tools for the first time! Over the past six months, I have been working towards a generalized goal, nothing specific, just a intention to move forward with my life in positivity, the experience I have had, changes I have made combined with the knowledge and insights that I have gained from this site, has allowed me to take the hard work that I have put into changing my life over the last 6 months and suddenly given me a way to use it! Similar to a Chinese saying, to add wings to a tiger, I have been reconstruction the way I see the world and filling in gaps that I have been missing in my life like a machine! For this, I have to express my gratitude to Leo and to the site! There is a saying that when the student is ready, a teacher will appear, and the past two weeks have made a world of difference to my life allowed me to more clearly identify the path that I wish to travel! I might not have identified my life purpose yet, but I do not have a doubt in me that it will not take me long to discover it.

I truly hope to share more of my experiences and efforts with you all, and I hope to similarly learn from yours and benefit from your knowledge and efforts!
 

Warm regards

Bernard

 

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Hey Bernhard, thank you. I'll keep it a little shorter than you but I think everyone appreciates the time and effort you put in, in sharing this story here.

I think most people start with the improvement part, meaning "how can I improve my situation, how can I find love& happiness, how are people ticking, what is this world?"

This is a great start. I congratulate everyone who starts the fight with his ego.

 

Beware that this journey goes deep. It goes 1000x deeper than you would believe it is possible. Have fun along the way, never give up, never serve yourself more than you are humble in serving the world. Believe. Question everything. Good luck.

 

All the best

Udt

Edited by UDT

Stage Yellow Health Hacks -->  https://bit.ly/3cQ3DTB

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I took 2 sticks and hit me hard in the head until today :D 

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1 hour ago, UDT said:

Hey Bernhard, thank you. I'll keep it a little shorter than you but I think everyone appreciates the time and effort you put in, in sharing this story here.

I think most people start with the improvement part, meaning "how can I improve my situation, how can I find love& happiness, how are people ticking, what is this world?"

This is a great start. I congratulate everyone who starts the fight with his ego.

 

Beware that this journey goes deep. It goes 1000x deeper than you would believe it is possible. Have fun along the way, never give up, never serve yourself more than you are humble in serving the world. Believe. Question everything. Good luck.

 

All the best

Udt

@UDT

Thank you for the well wishes!

I am looking forward to seeing how deep the rabbit hole goes! I will heed the advice and try to remain as humble and grounded as I can while traveling forward on my path!

I believe that my motivations for walking down this road are selfish in essence, but one of the most beautiful things about humanity is how our insights and motivations change as we grow.

How long have you been moving towards this direction?

@Quanty

This approach is likely more effective than some of the other things i've tried in life!

Edited by Ugewshos

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I started from videos but I REALLY started with the commonplace book

I would recommend you to create a commonplace/journal book. I use commonplace book to note down everything I learn from self-actualisation, but this isn't limited to just self-actualisation. It can range from literally anything, like if you need a page specific for key words, you can create one. Or if you need to note down your timetable/schedule or if there is a big event that's going to take place. That's why I recommend digital. Note taking is nice to start off with, and it's nice to start off with a commonplace book, because you can organise your notes/knowledge of self-actualisation and other areas and makes you feel organised.

Start with self-actualisation, then add some of your knowledge into the commonplace book

Leo has done a video on commonplace book, and I would recommend follow this guide since commonplace books are personal, and this is how I use my book, but you can use it completely differently.

 

Edited by B_Naz

You're not human, you're the universe

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@B_Naz

Good morning!

Thank you very much for the advice! One of the first things I started was actually a daily Journal that I use for daily entries as well as summaries on specific topics, ie laziness, addiction, negative emotion ect, and it has been going well in terms of commitment to daily entries, I must confess that I have not thought of digitizing it yet! One of the things I have been trying to cut out is spending too much on electronic devices (but this would refer to time wasted on the pc/cell/tablet, as opposed to using it productively)

 

I also have not had a gap to watch the linked video yet! It has been on my list to watch (along with 300+ other videos), I will prioritize it for this week, and see what type of improvement I can make on my current practice!

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