Step 1 – Summary

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This is the first summary lesson. We pause at the end of each step in these summary lessons. It’s a good time to take a breather. Take stock of what we covered in this step. Reflect on the process of self-improvement itself. And most important, for you and I to check into each other and see how we’re doing.

How Are You Doing?

I want to let you know how proud I am of you. For wanting to improve yourself. For getting this far in the lessons. I know there are many self-help websites and resources out there. Thank you for plugging into this one. I hope that you are finding these lessons helpful. It’s impossible to know what you found easy or hard. Boring or exciting. Helpful or unhelpful. Because everyone is so different and can approach these lessons in different ways.

You may be living your best life and didn’t learn anything new from the lessons so far. That is excellent and job well done. Or they might have rocked you hard because they made you realize you have a lot to improve. That’s great to and keep at it. You might not have liked the money lesson because you’re not a ‘math nerd’. Or didn’t like the “crazy” spiritual stuff. No matter how you feel about it, it’s OK. You’re OK.

I designed the lessons to help bring you to center. No matter which direction you’re coming from. No matter how off center you are. Some lessons will speak to you and others won’t depending on where you’re at and it’s alright.

You may have done everything in the lessons so far and ask “is that it?” That means you’re working through things and improving yourself nice and steady. That’s great. That’s why you’re journaling. Many times you don’t see how far you’ve traveled until you look back at where you came from.

TASK: Read all your journal entries up to this point. Reflect on how far you’ve come. Notice anything? Any patterns?


Or you may have had earth-shattering epiphanies during the lessons. For example:

  • You may have had a “aha” moment and had your wake up call during the physical lesson. And finally understand what it means to be healthy.
  • Or you discovered how busy your mind is through the thought observation exercise. Or you actually enjoyed doing the exercise. Surprising because you thought meditation was stupid or weird and never gave it a chance.
  • Or you may have looked over your pay stub for the first time ever during the financial lesson. And this led you to discover amazing things. Like giving a sigh of relief when you realized you’ve been investing in your company’s 401(k) for years. You worried you never signed up for it (many companies sign you up for it automatically).

That’s the point of these lessons. To give you tools to poke and prod yourself and the world around you. To help you learn, grow and evolve. You’re doing the work – not me! And, again, good job for sticking with it and getting this far.

Poke and Prod

TASK: Speaking of poking and prodding. I want you to watch the video below. It’s an amazing interview with Steve Jobs. He describes when he realized that the world around you isn’t static and just for you to live in. You can change it. Mold it. Improve it. Push “here” and something pops out “there”. He says it’s the most important lesson.

Probabilities and Statistics

I want to touch on one more thing that may prove insightful to you. Taking positive action increases the chance of success, it does not guarantee it. It’s all about probabilities and statistics.

Some people that eat well and exercise develop cancer. Never overcome their mental neurosis no matter how hard they try. Some that explore spirituality feel empty and disillusioned. Manage their money well end up broke. Nothing’s guaranteed in life, but you at least need to try. This framework simple, but life is complex. Success is a combination of your willpower, action, DNA and dumb luck. Although there is no thing as luck as explained in later steps. It comes down to improving what is within your control and hope for the best with the rest.

TASK: Watch the short video below on why you should love statistics. Remember everything in life is about probabilities/statistics.

Life is Messy

This framework separates the spheres but in reality they interrelate and overlap. Each sphere affects the others. Here are some examples:

  • Your mental hang ups can make you eat poorly and not exercise. This causes you to get sick. Which in turn puts stress on your finances through expense medical treatment. All which makes you feel helpless and hopeless. So the path went mental -> physical -> financial -> spiritual.
  • Your mental hangups can make you controlling with money. This causes difficulties between you and your significant other. (mental -> financial -> mental).
  • You get into spiritually. Which empowers you to have right thought. Which leads you to take steps with diet and exercise, which gives you hope for the future. This encourages you to go for and get that promotion you were eyeing. (spiritual -> mental -> physical -> spiritual -> financial).

There are many ways to approach the framework since the spheres are so interrelated. The key is to lean into the framework no matter your approach and live your life intentionally.

Progress Check

OK, let’s go over where I expect you to be by this lesson. You should have:

  • Read every lesson up to this point
  • Performed every task up to this point
  • Done all the further learning tasks up to this point
  • Gotten your physical exam and blood tests. And got the results back by now
  • Used Headspace every day for at least a week
  • Read at least the first three chapters of Factfulness
  • Performing the breathing and thought observation excises daily. Those are in Step 1 – Mental and Step 1 – Spiritual

Don’t move onto Step 2 until you have completed the above. If you have completed them congratulations (look how far you’ve come!), and click below to move onto Step 2.

<< Step 1 – Financial Sphere | Step 2 – Physical Sphere >>

Jason Howe

Jason Howe is the founder of Man the Ship.
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