Four Levels of Life Awareness

Guide How To Change Your Life, part four.

Your mindset shapes your life. Nothing else matters.

It’s not about where you come from, how you look, who you know, or your skills. Your mindset creates your destiny, your happiness, and your actions.

How you view the world and how you see yourself will shape your destiny.

You might not like it, but it’s true: your mindset controls your life. Think about this: Some people in tough situations turn their lives around, while others don’t. What’s the difference?

Mindset.

There are four levels of Life Awareness, showing different mindsets. In alignment with the Tree of Life theme, they can be compared to a Seed/Sprout, Seedling, Sapling, and an adult Tree.

Difference in approach to life

Each level is different, but there is a very sharp and distinctive difference between the passivity of level one and activity in all other levels.

Level one: Captives. Blame others for their problems. Feel powerless. Like dry seeds, they have the potential to grow but remain dormant. The seed has to be folded with water, Only when they let go of their old selves can they grow into a strong tree.

Levels two, three, and four: People who take responsibility for their lives. They leave behind excuses and transform into who they were meant to be – thriving trees. They see the world as it is – a place where they must decide, act and achieve results. The difference between these three levels lies in:

~ the depth of understanding themselves and the world around
~ the goals pursued and
~ tools used to achieve those goals

Now, I’m not saying you can have everything you want. The world doesn’t owe you anything. You don’t deserve it just because you exist. You are not special.

You are UNIQUE. That’s different.

Your success depends on knowing yourself, making decisions based on your uniqueness, and taking action. If you do this, you can achieve anything you set out to do.

Are you triggered by these statements? Good! You have two choices:

~ Honestly assess yourself and transform your life.
~ Refuse responsibility – but I can’t help you if that’s the case.

If you are intrigued and want to find out more, welcome! Let’s dive deep together. Hold your hat, it will be a rollercoaster ride.

Ready? Let’s go!

The success formula

I like to put things into formulas so they are clear and easy to understand.

Success =
Knowledge * Decisions * Actions * Synergy

Success: Your ability to live a life true to you. Success is not having money, fame, awards, etc. Success is when you know who you are and live life based on who you are.

Sign with text Be You
Photo by Vie Studio

All values, except for the Synergy, are in percentage points. You can use decimals (aka 0.34) if that’s easier.
Knowledge: How well do you know yourself? Your unique combination of skills, abilities, values, experiences, etc.?
Decisions: How much are your decisions based on your uniqueness?
Actions: How many actions you were able to take1 did you actually take?
Synergy: The secret sauce supplied by the Law of Creation if your actions comply with its requirements2.

1 Only actions you were able to take are considered. Eg. if you have no money, any action requiring spending is not part of the equation.
2 Synergy is the only unknown value. Some people call it luck, but there are precise actions that release the Synergy. I call it the Law of Creation.

Knowing your position

Your life journey is different than anyone else’s. And no matter where you’ve been or where you are heading, where you are determines what you should do now and how you should do it.

What do I mean by this?

Let me start with an example. Imagine a person who cannot read. You wouldn’t give them a thousand-pages-long book and say, “Just use this. You will figure it out.”

The first thing to do is to start with the alphabet. When they know the letters, then you will progress to words. Reading sentences is the next step. At each level what they do is different. It is irrelevant if they are old or young, where they came from and why they are learning reading.

The only thing that matters is where they are on the journey. THAT determines what they have to do and how.

I know, it seems obvious. We do it in most areas of our lives – in school, in sports, at work…
But very rarely do we actually stop to evaluate our life as a whole to determine exactly where we are in our life journey and what should we do right now.

Because no matter where you are in your life journey, you cannot progress to your full potential unless you understand where you are and where you want to go.

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. 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 does this relate 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.


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.

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.

In life are four stages. No, I am not talking about childhood, teenage years/young adulthood, adulthood, and retirement. I am talking about life awareness.

Our life awareness can be determined by observing the way we interact with the world around us.

I will describe the four levels or stages of life awareness and ask you to think about each of them.
Does it describe you?
Is it something you usually experience?
If yes, do you experience it in every area of your life or only in one or some of them?
Do you think that this is even possible?

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?
Self: 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?

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: Seed (Captive)

Most people exist at least in some areas of their life in the first stage. They believe that they have little control over their circumstances. They often attribute the events and outcomes of their lives to external factors such as government policies or other individuals’ actions. At this stage, the default is to react rather than act.

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. They attribute events and outcomes of their life 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.

Self: 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 outside events shatter their perception of reality so badly that they cannot continue to exist in their current state. At that moment two possible outcomes emerge. Some cannot cope with the pain of living and will end their life. Those who “face the mirror” and decide to fight 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: Seedling (Chaser)

In the second stage, individuals realise they can influence their surroundings. They use available resources to set goals and work towards achieving them, actively striving for change in their lives. This is where we strive and work towards success – money, career, and fame.

Focus: Achievement. Self-centred medium and long-term improvement of life situation. Main focus on success – money, career, 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.
You: 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: Sapling (Custodian)

The third stage involves introspection; understanding that there’s more within us than what surrounds us. Here we strive not just for tangible achievements but also for personal growth and self-improvement. We focus on shaping ourselves to enhance our experiences and live life a certain way. Transformation into stage three usually happens when during stage two we achieve the outer goals, but some disaster strikes and our world shuttered. At this moment we usually turn inward and try to find out why. And now we realize that life is not just chasing outer things. We realise that life is more about us.

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 a means, not a goal. The world is what it is. The ends never justify the means.
You: 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 that 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.

Stage four: Tree (Creator)

Finally, in the fourth stage, we recognise that we are interconnected with all humanity. We see ourselves as part of a larger universe with an ability to shape it too. This is when we understand that we are co-creators of our world alongside others, impacting how humanity functions overall. In stage four we don’t only use how the world operates but we envision and create new ways of doing things.

(Adult trees provide benefits to the outside world: beauty during bloom, fruits to feed, shadow and shelter, and new life in seeds).

Focus: Purpose and Mission. A purpose larger than their life. Improving the world (for one person or many). The way to do it depends on what they believe is the purpose of their life.
Worldview: The world is a place where we come 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.
You: 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 are Prayers, Spiritual Healing, the Law of Attraction*, etc.

Notes:
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.

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.

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. It doesn’t work for people in stage 1. and it works only partially for people in stage 2. You have to be at least in stage 3. to successfully use it. It is because people in stages 1. and 2. lack specific ingredients that open the power of the Law of Attraction and the Law of Creation.

And remember:
Each person has the potential to navigate through these stages in both directions. You can move from reacting passively to actively pursuing goals to realising your role as part of the bigger picture. But you can also give up at any point in your life and just sulk back into the hardened shell of denial and bitterness.

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