When I was 20 years old I read every pick up article out there. All I wanted to do was to learn how to walk up to random girls and make them like me. I didn’t want to be lonely anymore. That was my number one priority for a couple of years.
Later all I wanted was to travel the world and go where I haven’t been before. I felt trapped where I was and wanted to break out of all that bullshit. And finally experience the world.
In 2012 I realized I have to be self-sufficient to live this “abundance” which I wanted so desperately for myself. I wanted to make millions. And I need a job for that, right?
So I got myself a new apartment and a good job. I started paying off my debts and was ready to finally be happy. The thousands of pick up articles payed off too and I found myself a beautiful girlfriend I can finally grow old with?
After a couple of months in the new job I fell in a severe depression. But I didn’t understand it. I got everything I wanted, didn’t I?
Everything was in a blur from that moment on. I was frustrated and clueless on what to do next. What do you change when you don’t know what is wrong?
I was bitching to my girlfriend about “how people can live like that”?
I just didn’t get it. I assumed everyone felt like me at this point. Working in a job they hate. Feeling trapped and in-prisoned by debts and monthly payments. Unable to get rid of any of these things. No freedom. Nothing.
She just looked at me confused, which made me even more angry.
Then I stumbled upon a YouTube video where a guy talks about mobile apps. He started his app empire on the hospital bed. Outsourced all the nonsense and technical stuff to India. “Sounds fun. Could this be the solution?!”, I thought.
I would have bought into ANY new idea at this point. I was eager to switch things up. So I went into the app business and this became my thing for the following years to come.
I also figured why not write down what you experience along the way? That might become a cool journal to look back to. But then I said to myself: “If I write down my thoughts somewhere everyday, I could as well just publish it on the internet as well?”
So I created my blog. And that became another one of my new obsession as well.
I was now working a full-time job to pay off my debts and basically pay for food and shelter. On the side I was investing big amounts of money (I didn’t have) into my app business. And also trying to sound super inspirational and motivational on my blog.
Oh, and since I broke up with my girlfriend (mostly because I was depressed, clueless and a total emotional wreck blaming most of my issues on her) I also figured why not finally get into shape and start working out. And I stumbled upon Freeletics and did that for a complete year. Every day. (Not the lame 5-minute workouts they came up with lately. But the intense long ones like Aphrodite, Artemis, Dione, etc.)
To my surprise I came close to burning myself out. I skipped sleep and worked long hours in front of the screen. After 10 intense months of nearly no sleep, 18 hour work days and a ridiculously challenging time in my life I finally quit my job.
Out of desperation mostly.
Again, I didn’t know what else to do. I thought I did everything right at the time. But it didn’t feel like that. So any change is better than none I thought. And I removed the biggest pain point in my life.
But before that. I went to Barcelona for an emergency recovery holiday. I didn’t actually want to go. My mother used to push me. She said that “I need some time off to recharge and get more clarity in my life.” I remember how I called bullshit on that.
And I also remember how I was NOT used to talking to people. I arrived at the hostel and found myself unable to relate to the guys there. Every traveler I met on this trip seemed so happy! “Isn’t that what I used to look like?!”, I asked myself confused. I couldn’t remember.
But it made an impact on me. And it changed my “values” again. What is the sense in doing all the stuff I do, when I don’t feel fulfilled (or even remotely happy)?
After my trip everything felt empty. Emptier than ever before. I fell into another severe depression. Like my mind tried to protect me from more of these intense and frustrating thoughts and just suppressed them altogether. It’s better to feel nothing than to feel pain, right?
I tried to escape it.
So I quit my job. The best decision I made in 2014. I promised myself to never go back. I will never forget how “peaceful” I felt once I went out the office for the last time.
I didn’t know what to do next. I had no clue on how to pay my bills.
But I was at peace.
And that was something I valued way higher than anything else at the time.
Why all the long story?
Because it taught me HUGE lesson about my inner most core values. A lesson I would like to share with you now.
Over the course of the last year I spend so much time reflecting on the things that are truely important to me that I nearly freaked out. Over and over again.
Until it finally clicked.
Every one out there has to fulfil his six basic human needs:
But what I didn’t quite understand so far is that EVERYONE has different priorities when it comes to them.
And the different “weight” we personally assign to these six basic human needs shape our life choices, our motives and ultimately define our destiny.
So what are YOUR core values?
What do YOU need to live “the good life”?
I don’t really feel the need for much security. All I need is enough money to pay my rent and food. That’s a very basic need for security.
Others are more extreme. They need a certain amount of money in the bank. A clear vision of where they are heading in their life. A secure job. A backup plan. “What if something goes wrong?!”
The difference here is that these two examples would behave TOTALLY different when it comes to making decisions in their life.
And if you are following me here you will understand that if you are Person A (low need for security) but you are acting and behaving like a Person B (very high need for security) something might feel a little bit off.
It’s just not congruent with your core values. And you might feel some “friction” within yourself. Trust me, your soul knows.
“Why do people then just do what they want to do?”, you might ask.
Well. Good question. But you have to understand that oftentimes we don’t know what we really want. We only know a certain “feeling” and direction. But we might not have the clear picture yet. We can’t point the finger at it.
We haven’t learned yet what our emotions are trying to tell us.
Back then, I wanted to become self-sufficient and “make millions”. And I figured that having a job will help me to achieve that. I had no alternatives. And having a good job (after spending years in college) was the only option that was presented to me in my upbringing. So I did that.
(That’s another big issue. We might KNOW what we want. But we haven’t quite figured out how to get there!)
Call it social conditioning or group thinking. Peer pressure. Whatever. That’s what I knew. What I was taught. So I did it. If someone have told me about the app business stuff when I was in college I might have gone a different route. Who knows.
Still, whenever you are doing something “you are meant to be doing” instead of what you want to be doing you deny big parts of yourself. And then you are in pain.
It’s like you are trying to solve a problem you don’t have. And then you neglect other more important areas in your life. Areas you really deeply care about.
People tell themselves they love surprises. But honestly they just love the good ones. The other ones are called “tradegies” or “unexpected problems”. And nobody likes these two bastards.
Still, if you get the feeling that your life is pretty much laid out already you might feel a little bit anxious (mid-life crisis?). That’s where variety comes into the equation. We need it to as much as security. To be in balance.
But again, some might need more of it than others. Some love the thrill and the adventures that come with not knowing what might happen next. Others might feel terrified by the same exact thought. It’s in the middle of security and variety where the good life lies.
This might also be the reason why – at a time where everyone is trying to get a good and safe job – I was desperate to cram together enough money to go on my next trip.
A lack of need in security and a huge demand of variety shaped my decisions there. I valued “adventure” higher than “having a plan”.
And only understanding these individual needs within ourselves helps us to make fulfilling life choices.
Besides our need for security and variety we also thrive for significance. Everyone wants to feel important and needed. And nobody wants to be alone. Or feel left out.
But it’s the WAY of getting this significance that shapes your destiny.
Are you working your ass off to climb the corporate ladder, lead a huge team and get your “significance” there.
Or are you volunteering in India to help poor people and get the significance you need by looking at the smile on the people’s faces who’s lives you’ve changed.
Again, it comes down to your core values. The human needs are a given, but how we live them comes down to our values (and mostly our level of consciousness).
Here is an example for fulfilling your basic needs while living in low consciousness:
For some people committing suicide in order to be a “living” example of their religion and faith is the way to go. Other get instant significance by pointing a gun at a stranger and threatening them. There is literally a zero percent chance he will not take you seriously. 10/10 significance. How certain can you be that he will do what you ask of him?
From unknown nobody coming from the worst part of town to highly significant person in just a second. Add some top-notch certainty that the victim will obey your orders and a big load of variety (because who knows what’s happening next?) and we are good to go. All needs met. It’s also the main reason violence will always be around as long as there won’t be a conscious level change on a global scale.
Others again try to lead by example and dedicate their life to improve the ones of others. It’s the same need for significance we all have in us. But just brought into the world in a different shape or form.
I tried to make young girls like me by telling them stupid pick up stories I read on the internet. I was confused and desperate. And I honestly thought that this was the way to go.
But I was just trying to fulfil my need for love and connection. I didn’t want to choose my girl friends based off my social circle. That’s a very limited pool of potential woman to choose from.
I wanted abundance. But foremost I wanted choice. And nobody taught me how to get this freedom.
The idea of not being in control of which person “I might end up with” freaked me out. And I definitely didn’t want to end up with someone “because there was no better option left anymore”.
Again, the higher a certain need is manifested within yourself the more creative you get by fulfilling it.
Some might have found this idea of “learning how to pick up women” totally stupid. Some might find it the only right thing to do.
I don’t know.
But I am happy I met my needs on this one.
“If you don’t grow you die.”
That’s a pretty appropriate saying. At least your “soul” dies. And you feel worthless and might even grow depressed.
We are here to grow as a person and a human being. We are hear in this world to elevate into a higher level of consciousness.
At least that’s what I deeply believe in.
And of course if you don’t FULFILL this deep-seated desire within yourself your soul might get a little pissed about you.
And then it tries to make you feel a whole bunch of emotions (from bad to worse) in order to change up your behaviour and get back on the right path.
The sad part about all this is that most of the people only seek out to fulfill the first 4 out of these 6 needs. And growth and contribution are often left out for good.
What these people don’t know is that these last two are the most fundamental ones for living a fulfilled life.
Contribution is a funny one. Everyone has this deep-seated desire to give back. But I feel like contribution is also the most quiet one.
You could have a HUGE need for giving back and improving other people’s lives (like everyone out there has), but there are very little signs that this is actually what is missing in your life.
Nobody tells you about this little trick.
You could have everything you want in life. If you are not giving parts of it back you will feel miserable.
Contribution is the glue that holds everything together.
It’s the last piece of the puzzle.
There is a saying: “The more unique and special you think your problem is, the more universal it actually is.”
So whatever challenging situation you are currently facing. Whatever is troubling you. Think about the fact that you are here to beat all these challenges. You are meant to overcome them. You are meant to push through.
And THEN help others to do the same.
And in return your need for contribution will be met. Together with significance, love/connection, security, variety, and growth along the way.