The Youniverse

The Self Development Lab - Community - Google+ →

 Are you happy with who you are? How so? Join the community and share your experience to people who are looking to be who they want to be.  

Not happy with who you are? Introvert wanting to become an extrovert? Negatively oriented thinker wanting to become positively oriented? Give reading the self-help books a rest and join the community. Get inspired to become who you want to be by being part of a group of people doing the same thing! Share your experience of choosing to develop yourself in the way you prefer. Get support and feedback to overcome your challenges. Let’s make self development a social thing! 

The Self Development Lab - Community - Google+ →

Want to change your life? Join a group that is made up of people dedicated to consciously developing themselves. This is about social self-help. This is about moving past theories and ideas and into actual experiences and results. See how others do. See their successes and failures, while allowing others to do the same with you. Through this sharing everybody benefits and grows. Let’s do this!

Social Self-Help

I’ve been going at this self-development stuff for a little while now, mostly through my writing. There’s been a lot of theory, epiphanies and nice, inspirational words with little in the way of actual experience and results. I feel this has to do with being in a community based predominantly on theory and not on actual experiences. Also, I find it’s a bit difficult to give feedback on specific posts and experiences, compared to other places. So I’ve created a Google Community called the Self Development Lab, where people can join and post actual experiences in their process of self development, and get feedback from people who’ve been through their type of experience already. We can also have hangouts with discussions in real-time if that is something people are up for.

I have a yearning for results and a desire to actually experience the life of my dreams rather than just talking about it. I think being in a group based on sharing experiences can help because it kind of puts a positive pressure for its members to keep their word about what they say they are going to do. A group can be used to uplift all of its members.

Why make self development an individual effort? I feel like so many people read nice books and blogs and don’t follow through on the messages in their lives. This is to put an end to that.

So if you are deciding to consciously develop yourself and you want to share the challenge with others who are also going through similar challenges, head over to the Self Development Lab. There will be mistakes. There will be times where we feel like we want to quit. A group setting can help support each of us to be who we want to be.

If that doesn’t jive with anybody, please share what is a better alternative. 

Life seeks balance in all things. To live is to be in balance from within and from without. 
This is why you cannot deny or avoid your dreams and still live a healthy and successful Life. You cannot talk yourself out of your dreams, settle for something else, and pretend that you are alright. To try to do so is to be out of balance. 
To not follow your dreams, preferences and your joys is to be out of balance. It is to be miserable and to keep yourself in misery. This misery is the feeling of contradicting the flow and the nature of Life itself. 
Life causes you to have preferences and desires, and holds within it everything necessary in order to fulfill those preferences and desires. Otherwise it would be imbalanced and not like Life at all. 
The process of desire and fulfillment is the very process of Life itself. You are Life constantly balancing yourself through the process of desire and fulfillment. View Larger

Life seeks balance in all things. To live is to be in balance from within and from without.

This is why you cannot deny or avoid your dreams and still live a healthy and successful Life. You cannot talk yourself out of your dreams, settle for something else, and pretend that you are alright. To try to do so is to be out of balance.

To not follow your dreams, preferences and your joys is to be out of balance. It is to be miserable and to keep yourself in misery. This misery is the feeling of contradicting the flow and the nature of Life itself.

Life causes you to have preferences and desires, and holds within it everything necessary in order to fulfill those preferences and desires. Otherwise it would be imbalanced and not like Life at all.

The process of desire and fulfillment is the very process of Life itself. You are Life constantly balancing yourself through the process of desire and fulfillment.

Your sense of self growth, acceleration and expansion is directly related to how easily you can let go of what doesn’t work for you any longer and accepting what does work for you in this moment. Simply put: your growth depends on how much freedom you give yourself to change.

— Sohail Desai

6 Steps to Being the Creator of Your Life

Shift your perspective from knowing yourself as an observer to knowing yourself as the creator of your experience through these 6 steps

  1. Pay attention! It’s ironic that to be the creator of your experience you must first be the observer. To consciously be the creator you must know what you want to create or how you are currently creating, and that requires your attention. Not paying attention turns on your auto-pilot and turns you into the perpetual observer of this auto-pilot rather than taking conscious control of your experience. 
  2. Be responsible for everything that shows up in your life rather than being reactive to everything. Creating how you experience life requires being responsible for everything- or should I say “response-able”? When you are “response-able” you have the ability to consciously create your preferred response to the circumstances in your life. When you are an observer you are a reactive person, automatically resisting circumstances and pushing them out of the influence of your creative power. Reaction creates victimhood, response creates creatorhood.
  3. Create, create, create! To be the creator you must always look to consciously create. What you create doesn’t matter at first, the important thing is that you start creating rather than observing. The process of creation starts with knowing what you desire to express through your creation or how you desire your creation to be expressed. For example, you see the expression of an unmade bed in the morning and you imagine your desired expression of a made bed. The first step is knowing what you desire to create, which in this case is a made bed. The second step is to take action with what you have. Don’t become the observer by putting it off until some other time. Don’t use the excuse of thinking you don’t have what you need to create what you desire. Do what you can with what you have and take it as far as you can. This point may not be relevant to making the bed per se, but it is relevant to more advanced expressions, such as starting a business for example. Remember: at this initial stage in becoming the creator, it isn’t really about the results of your creation. It’s about participating in the creative process. The great thing about the creative process is that once you decide you have enough of whatever you think you need to begin creating, and you take the action of creating, you will attract more things that you truly need to continue the creative process. Also remember this: Observers create excuses, creators create, period.
  4. Start with creating yourself. You are your own most important creation. Up to now you’ve probably been an observer of yourself as well as the external world around you. You saw yourself as a hopeless victim of not only the outside world, but also your body, your thoughts, your emotions and your behaviours. Everything was out of your control and you reacted to yourself as if you were constantly fighting or subjugating to your mental and physical body. Not anymore. Begin the creative process on yourself. Create yourself anew. Ask yourself who you desire to express yourself as. Do you have an image or feeling of who you would like to be? If you do, take whatever steps you can to create yourself anew in the image of your desired expression. Use whatever you have in the creation of yourself. Think like you desire to think, speak like you desire to speak, dress like you desire to dress, act like you desire to act. Consciously create all aspects of yourself in every moment. Once again, don’t wait. Create now! Take action now, in whatever way you can! Exercise if you have to, educate yourself if you have to, meet new people if you have to. Remember that you don’t need nearly as much as you think you do to start the creative process. 
  5. Create your environment. Once you’ve worked on taking  conscious control in the creation of yourself, start working on your environment. Take action to create your environment anew. Make the symbolic gesture of creating, no matter how small the gesture. Shift your furniture around in your apartment, do your bed or put artwork and/or memorable photos on your wall. No action is too small because any creative action puts you in touch with your creatorhood and takes you out of victimhood. 
  6. Create your relationships. Lastly, there will be moments when you may fall back into the idea of victimhood when things seem to be out of your control. You may be the creator of the environment of your apartment, but what happens when you meet another person and they are mean to you? You cannot control or create their actions toward you or their thoughts about you. This situation is the final step in realizing your creatorhood. In circumstances like these that seem out of your control, you can express your creativity by creating your response to the circumstance. This ties into point number two, which was about being “response-able”. Being “respons-able” means you take responsibility for every situation, even those that seem out of your control, and you bring them under your control by creating your response to them. This level of creation is different from creating your environment in that it is predominantly an internal creation and can be seen as passive to some people. Nothing could be further from the truth; creating your relationships has the power to completely alter your emotional responses to your life and that takes great internal strength. The process of consciously creating your relationships is based on the understanding that you utterly determine your relationship to everything. No one has the power to create how you relate to something or how you define it. This is your domain and you have complete control over this. You can create your definitions of everything in your life in the way you desire to and release your victimhood even on this level. 

After this final realization, you will be a fully realized creative and powerful being. You will simply go about your life, creating your interactions with every aspect of it. You will create how you desire to express yourself while talking with others, for example. You will create how you desire to express yourself while shopping for groceries. You will create, create, create! No longer will anything be relegated to mere passive observation. You will observe, but you will create responses to your observations instead of merely automatically reacting to them. You will be free to live life in the way you want, rather than being told by life how you need to live it. You will always look to how you can create your experience of your life rather than just observe it go by.

You will know yourself simply and joyously as the creator on all levels of your experience and the idea of victimhood will be nothing but an increasingly distant, yet valuable memory. The idea of victimhood will remain a valuable memory for you because it will remind you how to remain the creator of your experience. Victimhood is valuable in that it leads you to being the creator, just as all contrasting experience leads to its opposite. 

It seems idiotic to me that I constantly think I know what I need out of life. It’s idiotic because I’ve learned some of my most memorable and important lessons in completely unexpected ways through everyday “random” experiences. Only after I experienced these moments did I see the hidden treasures within them. I didn’t even know that I needed to learn the lessons I learned in these experiences until I learned them. So why do I constantly think I know what I need and try to live my life to fulfill those needs? I can’t believe I still have trouble trusting that life will give me exactly what I need, even if I don’t yet know I need it.

The Self-Discovery Questionnaire

Want to figure out why life is working out for you the way it is? The answer lies within. Dive within yourself and find out your ideas about yourself and about life. Here are some questions to get you started on your journey:

  1. What am I/Who am I? The nature of what it means to be a human being is a foundational question we all answer in one way or another. Don’t be deterred by others’ answers or lack of answers here. Simply choose an idea that feels right to you. Essentially you want to be able to think of the nature of humanity and the nature of yourself and have a positive emotional reaction when you do. You want to be able to love yourself and others unconditionally.
  2. What is life all about? Once again, don’t get deterred by others’ lack of answers. Many of us don’t bother looking at these foundational questions because we may believe that our answers are just made up. But guess what? Everyone’s answer is made up! The answers they come up with may be based on parts and pieces of evidence they see, but they do not have the whole picture and they certainly don’t have the right to make your answer unless you let them. Make up your own answer and once again choose one that feels good to you. Having an idea that you are a victim of life, for example, works against you.
  3. What is my own purpose? Once again, choose a purpose you prefer. If you don’t choose your own purpose you will allow someone else to choose it for you. That is a recipe for misery. When you cut all the bullshit and get down to the core of this question you will see that your purpose is really just to be you. It’s up to you what you want to be.
  4. What is the nature of the Universe? This one may be connected to question number 2. What is your relationship with the Universe? Is the Universe benevolent or malevolent? Is it supportive or destructive? 

The rest of your ideas will most likely stem from these core ideas. The ones that don’t work for you will naturally fall away once you change these core ones. The important thing is to start the dialogue with yourself on a conscious basis because right now you are having it on an unconscious basis. This is why you may not know why life is working the way it is. Happy journeying, psychonaut!


While looking at some old pictures of myself (not that old, maybe 2-5 years ago) I came to a weird realization that I don’t normally get. Normally I just look at old pictures and reminisce about them a little. This time though, It was a pretty strange experience, almost like being at my own funeral.

I was looking at who I was at that time (I have changed a lot, especially these last few years) and saw myself as a pretty insecure person. Incredibly, I could actually perceive my insecurity in the way I looked in the pictures. I remembered how I acted during those days. I remembered my constant need for approval, my need to control others and life itself, my bouts of frustration and subsequent lashing out at other people, all from not being who I wanted to be. I remembered how I used to make a big deal out of very small issues and make it seem as if it was the “end of the world”. I could see that I was looking at a fragile person and  almost felt a sort of pity for myself, like the way an adult feels pity watching a child getting all worked up over a lollipop falling into the sandbox.

I thought to myself that if I had the chance to go back and meet that past me I would tell him to chill out and that it is alright for him to be himself. I would tell him to be confident, hold his head up high, live life fully and happily, to love and accept others and to not let anything get him down. I know that may sound cliche, but it’s true. Obviously because of his perspective he may not understand where I am coming from, so I would share with him the information that I share in this blog, haha.

I have been using the experience I gained from looking at those pictures in that way in my daily life. I imagine myself being that past version of me whenever I feel worried, angry, sad, or any other negative emotion. I imagine what the future me would tell me now if he had the opportunity just as I would tell my past self. Essentially I almost act like a confident, secure adult reassuring the insecure, fearful child that lives within me. I find that this really helps to keep things in perspective and to not get so caught up in the negative drama of the daily events in life. Life has been much more enjoyable these past few days as a result.

Define Me.

Continuing on the topic of the meaninglessness of circumstances and things. The question that popped up in my head was, Who am I?

I thought about it and I realized that similarly to all external circumstances and things, there is no inherent meaning to my existence. I simply am. Up to now, I have thought that I know who I am, but then I came to another realization: most of the beliefs and definitions I had about myself were actually others beliefs and definitions of me, not really my own. Furthermore, the definitions I did have of myself were based on meeting the expectations of others rather than being true to myself and my desires.

I now realize that I do not need to change myself to fit into others’ definition of who I should be. I have total say in the definition of who I am, the meaning of my life and my resulting experience of it. Once again, the definitions do not exist externally so when I bought into others’ definitions of me I was buying into their own subjective definition of me, not something that is inherent in me.  I also realized that I was judging who I was based on the beliefs others had of what constitutes a good life and who I should be in order to live one.

Now, what is the easiest way to find out how you define yourself? Pay attention to your emotions when you think of yourself or when you receive feedback about yourself from others. Negative emotions are from a negative definition or belief that you have bought into. It is no more true than a positive definition or belief if you prefer to choose one. No one can affect your definitions of yourself or your life in general. As I said in a previous post, a negative relationship with any aspect of your life will create a negative effect. So it is extremely important to notice when you are buying into others’ negative definitions of you or when you are applying negative meaning to yourself and your life.

I imagine there are probably a huge number of people who are constantly judging themselves based on the definitions of others, whether its their parents, spouse, employer or whoever. We also buy into others’ definitions about life. For example, a scientist will say that we are merely human beings who have evolved over millions of years. That can be their objective observation. However, their observation has no built in meaning at all. We can take that information and define it how we wish, based on who we say we are. Some who are more focused on the physicality of our nature will agree with the observation and have a positive emotion towards it. Others who are more spiritually inclined could have the opposite effect. 

So, in conclusion, what can we learn from this observation? First, we must learn to look at ourselves as fundamentally neutral. We absolutely have no meaning built into us. Second, we must take the power and responsibility to choose our definitions and beliefs seriously, both for ourselves and the lives we live, lest we run around trying to fulfill others’ definitions of us.

A Positive Life

Life is all about relationships. It is about the relationships between us and our bodies, between each other, and with the events in our lives and the general environment that surrounds us. We each go through life constantly altering our perspective of it by changing the nature of our relationships.

The most important fact is, it is up to each of us to define our relationship with our own lives. Our lives have no power on their own without our active interaction with them. In actuality it is us who have all the power to change each of our lives by changing our relationships with it. All it takes is for us to really realize this and each of our lives can be under our command rather than us being under their command.

Our lives would be completely meaningless without us. The environment and events occurring around us have no meaning in and of themselves. The meaning comes out of our relationship with them. That is what truly matters. 

For example, the circumstances, people and objects we desire in our lives are not desirable on their own. They are uniquely desirable to each of us because we each have defined them in that way. Each person has their own particular perspective of life, their joys, fears and so on and it is their perspective that gives birth to their particular way of life.

Now, take a look at your own life and see how you have defined many of the things in it, both positively and negatively. The things you have defined as negative you will have a negative emotion towards, such as fear, doubt, anger and so on. Meanwhile the positively defined things will generate a positive emotion, such as happiness, joy, love, etc… The nature of your relationship dictates the effect that aspect of your life will have on it. So a negative relationship will only get a negative outcome. On the other hand, a positive relationship will provide a positive outcome.

Pay attention when you encounter an unsatisfactory aspect of your life and uncover the negative definitions you have about your relationship with that aspect. Simply redefine your relationship with it in a positive manner to reap the positive effects. 

You will know you have truly changed when an event you previously had a negative relationship with occurs in your life. If you still react negatively, with negative emotions, your relationship has not truly changed and you will still experience a negative effect from that event. Obviously if you react positively or neutrally, your relationship has changed and your desired effect will most likely occur, unless you have other hidden negative relationships. Be thorough in analyzing the relationships with your life to ensure you don’t miss any negative ones and you will slowly but surely know that you are now in control and are on your way to creating a positive life. 

Can it be that simple? Or is what I said all just a bunch of bullshit?

Try it and see if it works for you. It might just amaze you to see the resulting changes in your life! Let me know in any case.