4 August 2023
Reading time: 8:29 minutes
Yes, I know. This one is longer.

This is close to my heart


Because no matter where you are in your life journey, you cannot progress to your full potential unless you understand the transition process.

As I mentioned last week, your life journey is different than anyone else's. The four stages of Life Awareness don't have exactly defined borders. In fact, your life might be all over the place. In some areas of your life, you might be in stage four while in others you might still be stuck in stage one. I certainly am at different levels in several life areas. Why is that?

We are humans.

We have blind spots. We grow in some areas because we focus on them and we stagnate in others because we don't. Even if something works for us in one life area, unless we engage in deep introspection, we often fail to draw connections between different life areas.

It sometimes takes a lot of guts to look at ourselves and admit that we failed in one way or another.

It is much easier to blame others and the system for things we are unhappy about. We tie (mistakenly) our actions with who we are and thus we think that acknowledging missteps means admitting that we are bad people. Yet, this is completely wrong.

We are not our actions.

The easiest way to understand the difference is by comparing your actions to the clothes you wear. You don't run around naked, do you? Well, the clothes you wear, when you venture outside, are how the world sees you.

The same goes for your actions. They are the outer layer of your life seen by the world. Sometimes your clothes may get dirty or torn. Mostly it's by no fault of your own. The dirt or damage might happen because you didn't pay attention or something unexpected happened. Sometimes you simply don't care or don't think about it beforehand (hello kids ;-D).

There is usually a simple fix to it.

You wash the kid (or yourself) and wash and fix the clothes. Only in rare cases of irreparable damage will you throw the clothes out and get new ones. But you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

In the same way, you can fix your habits and actions without shaming and blaming yourself. Your clothes don't define who you are. They are just the outer layer of your life presented to other people.

How this relates to the four levels of life awareness?

Our life awareness can be determined by observing the way we interact with the world around us. Our habits, actions, and whom we deem responsible for how our life looks show if we are kids or adults.

To accept responsibility for your habits and actions you have to grow up.

The four stages of life awareness are in a way similar to childhood, teenage years/young adulthood, adulthood, and retirement. Unfortunately, sometimes we tend to get stuck in the childlike mindset. The only way out is to understand different stages and consciously test new approaches.

The four stages of life awareness.

Today's tip is not a short one. I invite you to take a look at your life and find out where you are. It will take some time, but it will show you why in some areas of your life you don't see the things you want to see.

There will be some things you will find strange. This is normal because some of the things mentioned can be understood only by people who actually experienced them.

Each stage is divided into the following parts:
Focus: What are your main goals? What are your desires?
Worldview: What is the perceived reason for your situation? How do you see the world?
Themselves: How do you see yourself?
Others: How do you see others at this stage? How do you interact?
Behaviour: How do you act and what tools do you use to obtain your desires?
Progress: What are the paths to the next level?
Growth tools: What actions you can take and what tools you can use to get to the next level?

If you want to know yourself, use two steps. First, look at your life as a whole. Second, look at different areas of your life separately. The reason is that you might feel that as a whole your life is in stage two, but in one life area you might be in stage four, while in another you might be in stage one.

Important for stage one!
When you evaluate what stage are you in, do it without shaming and blaming yourself. Each stage is natural. At some point in life, we all were in stage one in everything. It is good if you can see that you are in stage one in some area of your life. Most people in stage one cannot see that they are in this stage. You should celebrate, not despair, because if you can see it, it means that you are ready to grow.

Stage one: Captive

Focus: Getting by day-to-day, survival. Self-centred immediate pleasure. They focus only on what they want (but often dress it as if they act "for the good of others" without actually considering what others want).
Worldview: No agency. They believe they have little control over their circumstances. Events and outcomes of their lives attribute to external factors such as government policies or actions of others. They see themselves as servants or captives wronged by society or specific individuals. There are two classes in the world, I (or we in some cases) and "they". The ends always justify the means.
Themselves: Righteous. Oppressed. Whatever they do is justified because everyone else is after them. They did everything right.
Others: Enemies or conditional allies. They attribute malicious intent to the actions of others. Even innocent mistakes are proof of evilness.
Behaviour: Emotional and physical reactions. They use personal attacks and emotions like anger or pity to compel others into compliance with their desires. In the worst scenarios, they engage in violence and destruction. They rarely help others but always expect others to help them.
Progress: Difficult, because they don't look at their own actions and only blame others. The only way out is when they "face the mirror" and realise that they are not victims but villains. Only then they are able to see possibilities for life improvement.
Growth tools: Physical action and psychological interaction. Find one small thing you can do to improve (even marginally) your situation. Do it. Repeat. Seeing that you can actually do something helps your mind to accept that you are in fact able to improve your life. Do it enough times and you are in level two.

Stage two: Chaser

Focus: Achievement. Self-centred medium and long-term improvement of life situation. Main focus on success - money, carrier, and/or fame. Often connected with a mission.
Worldview: Play the system. Select what you want, learn how to get it, and work hard. There are many classes of people in the world. You can move between classes by gaining wealth and influence. If you grind hard and smart enough you can rise to the top. Their gain might be a loss for someone else, but that's just the way the world is. The ends sometimes justify the means.
Themselves: Learner. Conqueror. Leader. They can become whomever they want by changing themselves. Making mistakes is a natural part of life but they have to be rectified.
Others: Some are enemies, some are allies, and some are vassals. Interactions with others are usually transactional; give something to get something back. Not everyone is out to get you, some people are just stupid.
Behaviour: Physical actions and psychological interactions. They grind (hard work) and (if needed for their goals) persuade others to join their efforts. They use available resources to set goals and work towards achieving them. They realise they can influence their surroundings and other people. They help others conditionally (always compare how much they gave and how much they received).
Progress: There are two paths. Either they have success and yet feel empty so they look for a purpose. Or they have success and when a disaster strikes they crash down. In this case, they might either fall back to level one (bitterness, all is meaningless) or progress to look for purpose. In both cases, they shift from mission (what I want to accomplish) to purpose (who I am).
Growth tools: Psychological introspections. Get to know who you are. Discover your needs and values. Base your goals on them, not on the things others are doing. You already know how to achieve things, so set a goal: Live life true to yourself.

Stage three: Custodian

Focus: Authenticity. Being yourself. Personal growth.
Worldview: The abundance is not in material wealth or possessions but in experiences and relationships. The journey is more than the destination. Wealth is means, not a goal. The world is what it is. The ends never justify the means.
Themselves: Autonomous sovereign. They are responsible for being themselves, taking care of their domain and enjoying the journey. Personal growth is more important than material gains. Mistakes are part of the journey. Their results often open new paths.
Others: Most people are not enemies or allies, they are NPCs (non-player characters or sheep) programmed to act in the way they act. Exceptions are selected few soulmates (other people seeking self-improvement).
Behaviour: Psychological introspections. Physical actions. Empathetic interactions. They work hard on things which matter to them and ignore the rest. They cannot be coerced into doing something they don't agree with. Independent thinking. When they help someone, they help selflessly (help and forget).
Progress: During self-reflection, they become aware of the spiritual dimension of their being. The concept of spiritual unity with others arises.
Growth tools: Spiritual interventions. Spiritual life is the third dimension of human existence. In my opinion, spirituality cannot be fully explained, it must be experienced. The only way to experience it is to seek it.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

1. While I do have a Christian background, the following is not an endorsement of any religion. Religion is a systematised set of physical and psychological rituals. It can express spiritual experience. However, more often than not religion is only a way to look spiritual. In other words, not everyone who shadows the door of the temple actually lives spiritually.
2. In the personal development industry, some people talk about energy. However, even they admit that it seems as if there is higher intelligence in play. That's why I don't use the term energy, but Creator.

Stage four: Co-Creator

Focus: Mission. A purpose larger than their life. Improving the world (for one person or many). The way how to do it depends on what they believe is the purpose of their life.
Worldview: The world is a place where we came to grow and help others to grow. There are powers beyond and above the physical and psychological world. One person can influence reality itself and change how the world operates. They create means and events.
Themselves: They are responsible to their Creator. They are co-creators of the world and of the future. Their actions directly affect others and how the world functions.
Others: We are all one with others and with the Creator. Those around us are to be helped to grow.
Behaviour: Spiritual interventions. Psychological introspections. Physical actions. Empathetic interactions. They use tools from previous levels and they also envision and create new ways of doing things. Some of the most widely known spiritual tools: Prayers, Spiritual Healing, the Law of Attraction*, etc.

* In my experience, the Law of Attraction is a subset of the Law of Creation. While some people found the Law of Attraction working for them, many didn't. The reasons are twofold. The Law of Attraction works only in connection with other parts of the Law of Creation. And it doesn't work for people in stages 1. and 2. You have to be at least in stage 3. to successfully use it.

What to do with this?

Just think. Look at yourself, at your life.

Is in your life any area that feels like you can do nothing to change it? Are there any areas which you are successfully pursuing but still feel that something is missing? Do you feel different, not fitting into today's world? Would you like to understand your purpose? Do you have any other questions?

There are things we can do about it.
Hit the reply button and let me know.
Till next week ​


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