If you’ve been around here for a while, you know I’m a big fan of what I call “personal growth.”

But you may have wondered, “What the heck IS personal growth?” I’ve honestly struggled to define it:

  • It’s not religion, though it often has a spiritual flavor
  • It’s not philosophy, although it can easily get metaphysical
  • It’s not merely professional development, though there is a lot of overlap with performance at work
  • And it’s not just a different word for “learning,” though of course, it involves a lot of learning.

Besides the difficulty of defining it, the world of personal growth is also full of pitfalls. It’s filled with shady marketers, get-rich-quick schemes, overpromising headlines, cultish leaders, and pyramid schemes.

We’ve all heard stories of horrible experiences and megalomaniacal leaders, all the more concerning in an environment where vulnerable people are looking for help.

Yet despite these risks, self-development remains one of the most rewarding things we can do. It gives us the possibility of improving the most fundamental parts of our lives: our self-awareness, relationships, peace of mind, and of course, our productivity.

In this interview, I introduce you to someone who can provide guidance on how to realize that potential. His name is Joe Hudson.

Joe has one foot firmly planted in the practical world of business – he is the founder and managing director of One Earth Capital, a boutique venture capital firm that invests in executive coaching, sustainable agriculture, and financial services.

But his other foot is firmly planted in the world of self-development. Joe has spent more than 20 years studying and practicing dozens of spiritual traditions and psychological frameworks, and incorporating them into his own coaching and teaching.

For an introduction to the depth and power of Joe’s work, read about my experiences at his Tide Turners and Groundbreakers workshops.

I’ve never met anyone who has such broad AND deep knowledge of self-development. Who understands it as a practical field one can study and make real progress in. Of all the programs and teachers I’ve had experience with, his work is some of the most modern, science-informed, and transparent I’ve ever encountered. It is a rare example of inner work that is also aimed at having a positive external impact on the world.

So many people devote themselves to one approach to self-development, believing it to be the One True Path to the exclusion of all others. Or they jump from one practice to another, never going deep enough to realize its full potential.

In this conversation with Joe I hoped to balance out that tendency: to evaluate various frameworks for self-development objectively, comparing their strengths and weaknesses based on what you specifically are trying to achieve.

We touched on ancient spiritual traditions and the latest neuroscience, compared approaches from the East and the West, and contrasted self-development work that occurs at physiological, emotional, and psychological levels. I asked Joe to give us frameworks for evaluating the numerous paths to personal growth that are available to us, so that you can find the best investment for your time, effort, and money.

Below you can find the full recording (1-hour interview plus 30 minute Q&A), a list of the resources recommended by Joe and others on the call, and a full chat transcript with timestamps.

Interview recording

Recommended resources

From Joe:

From everyone else:

Chat transcript

11:01:02 From Tiago Forte : Hey folks we’re having a little technical difficulty, will start in a minute
11:03:56 From Christian von Uffel : https://fortelabs.co/blog/tide-turners/
11:04:27 From Maximilian Schulz : https://fortelabs.co/blog/groundbreakers/
11:06:45 From jonathan rosenberg : mot possible at the moment but I can get on in a bit
11:07:16 From mina lee : Will the recorded version of this session be accessible later?
11:16:23 From jason d : Mina, Tiago mentioned that yes, it will be recorded and posted on his blog and YouTube.
11:17:48 From Teryk Bellahsene : is it self-development or no-self-development? : )
11:18:22 From Glen Sharp : Michael Beck?
11:19:12 From Jaydeep Sachdev : What’s the difference between manifester to It’s me in the channel doing it?
11:20:01 From Jamie Zigelbaum : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Beckwith
11:20:31 From Jaydeep Sachdev : Sorry i meant: What’s the difference between the manifester and the final stage where you realise it is you?
11:20:38 From Mario Black : http://michaelbernardbeckwith.com/
11:20:43 From Jaydeep Sachdev : Those two sound the same
11:21:08 From Jaydeep Sachdev : Feel free to move on if this is just a subpoint to his main point
11:24:28 From Teryk Bellahsene : it makes me think about the notion of Map and Territory: https://www.lesswrong.com/rationality
11:31:36 From Glen Sharp : Links to those 3 cognitive frameworks?
11:31:58 From Mario Black : What were the names of the frameworks?
11:32:04 From Christian von Uffel : I avoid audiobooks because they prevent me from having the ability to easily pause my activity of reading and allow myself to mentally process the concepts I’m trying to understand
11:32:42 From Daniel Vinci : I heard cosmic consciousness and spiral dynamics
11:33:26 From Teryk Bellahsene : for me, a very fruitful way of thinking about the intellect, is an inversion of control: its role in self-development is to serve the heart and the head, it doesn’t lead, it helps to makes sense of what’s happening, of reality
11:34:02 From Teryk Bellahsene : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Edward_Beck#Spiral_Dynamics
11:34:36 From Teryk Bellahsene : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_Consciousness
11:35:09 From Kristen Pavle : I heard Ken Wilber, Spiral Dynamics, and Terry O’Fallen? I’m familiar with Ken Wilber (highly recommend A Brief History of Everything).. heard of Spiral Dynamics, but not of Terry O’Fallen
11:35:10 From Jamie Zigelbaum : Kosmic with a K https://www.soundstrue.com/store/kosmic-consciousness-5113.html
11:36:00 From Maximilian Schulz : In terms of Free Will there’s a great blog post by Sam Harris https://samharris.org/the-illusion-of-free-will/
11:36:20 From Karilen Mays : I would add Susanne cook greuter’s framework for “ego” development alongside stages.
11:36:23 From Ryan Peters : Also check out: THE LISTENING SOCIETY. Section 2 on developmental models covers all of these and more
11:36:36 From Ryan Peters : Very coherent approach to be found in that book
11:36:39 From Brett Kistler : ^^ Agree ^^
11:38:37 From Karilen Mays : Question, where does spiritual development fit in with the head heart gut frame ei which practice would support spiritual development, not only ego development?
11:38:38 From Christian von Uffel : Antonio Damasio did great work on this subject
11:39:36 From Gustavo Lacerda : Alexander Lowen?
11:40:03 From Theresia Tanzil : http://www.alexander-technique-london.co.uk/somatic-emotional-therapy-the-work-of-stanley-keleman/ ?
11:40:13 From Dileepan Siva : For emotional work, I found The Hoffman Process (Joe referred to in his intro) and Gestalt communication helpful.
11:40:49 From Jamie Zigelbaum : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Lowen
11:40:55 From Teryk Bellahsene : student of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Reich
11:41:03 From Jamie Zigelbaum : Bioenergerics
11:41:04 From Jerry Garcia : kolbe A conative index, helped me with how I I prefer to take action (self-Awareness) . Energy and time management much more
11:41:35 From Dileepan Siva : https://www.hoffmaninstitute.org/
11:42:25 From Teryk Bellahsene : isn’t anger 98% of the time a secondary emotion, a primal emotion that is refused?
11:42:35 From Dileepan Siva : https://www.stathakis.com/blog/leadership/bid/320702/What-is-Gestalt-and-Why-You-Need-To-Know-It
11:43:00 From Maximilian Schulz : All books by Eckhart Tolle were also super helpful to me.
11:44:05 From Jamie Zigelbaum : typo before, Joe mentioned Alexander Lowen re emotional frameworks, he’s known for Bioenergetics
11:45:01 From Teryk Bellahsene : for emotional framework I can recommend Focusing
11:45:29 From Teryk Bellahsene : https://focusing.org/sixsteps
11:45:42 From Teryk Bellahsene : for emotional inquiry
11:46:38 From Jamie Zigelbaum : my favorite framework for human potential is Wilber’s Integral Theory (described one Kosmic Consciousness) — it integrates eastern and western thought on development across domains
11:46:58 From Kristen Pavle : Second Wilber’s Integral Theory
11:47:14 From Teryk Bellahsene : Bioenergetics and Core-Energetics?
11:47:37 From Jamie Zigelbaum : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_theory_(Ken_Wilber)?wprov=sfti1
11:48:35 From Karilen Mays : Tara brach practice is one where I have found both emotional inquiry and … ‘more’
11:48:53 From Jamie Zigelbaum : yes, core energetics is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Pierrakos who was also a student of Reich and worked with Lowen
11:49:02 From Dileepan Siva : Both The Hoffman Process and the Co-Active Training Institute acknowledge and draw upon mind (intellect), body (sensation), emotion (feelings) and spirit (intuition). I have yet to find other more formalized courses that do that…
11:49:38 From Kristen Pavle : Yoga, including Kundalini yoga, has been a huge part of my life in continuously working with emotions, body, mind, spirituality
11:51:52 From Teryk Bellahsene : we’ve talked about cognitive models and emotional models, what about the rest of the whole path?
11:52:16 From Jamie Zigelbaum : some tantra integrates head, heart, hara (gut) very powerfully. https://ista.life/ is extraordinary in this way
11:54:05 From Tiago Forte : Piaget
11:56:13 From Terry Yelmene : I view Piaget wider in terms of constructionist / constructionism theory of cognitive development
11:58:00 From Terry Yelmene : good answer
11:59:23 From Weston Edwards : Question: We talked about the mind and emotions, what practices or areas do you recommend for nervous system work or bodywork?
12:00:13 From Teryk Bellahsene : unconditional love is packaged adapted to the situation. This is the difference between medium and message
12:00:58 From Teryk Bellahsene : we’ve talked about cognitive models and emotional models, what about the reptilian/gut part where we can experiment a lot of chaos?
12:02:27 From Weston Edwards : Apologize my laptop is about to die if you call on me I may disappear
12:06:14 From Daniel Dyer : Jeff Gunung, https://contemplativelife.org/
12:06:27 From Daniel Dyer : Seems to be what was indicated ^
12:06:43 From Teryk Bellahsene : we don’t hear you Tiago
12:12:46 From Dileepan Siva : Are there good BODY-centered meditations you recommend?
12:15:48 From Jamie Zigelbaum : Kashmiri Shaivism — Rupert Spira’s audio meditations are amazing and transformed how I feel my body
12:16:13 From Dileepan Siva : ^^ty
12:16:24 From Jamie Zigelbaum : “The Light of Pure Knowing” is one, I think the latest one
12:17:17 From Dileepan Siva : @jamie thank you
12:18:03 From Lloyd Williams : Thank you all.
12:18:06 From Kristen Pavle : Rupert Spira! Yesssss. So much yes.
12:18:14 From mina lee : @jamie – can you share some links to the best audio body meditations from him you recommend?
12:18:22 From Jamie Zigelbaum : 🙂 sure
12:18:42 From Michal Korzonek : @Mario, https://journalsmarter.com is a great resource for journaling tools
12:18:53 From Mario Black : Thanks Michal
12:19:35 From Jamie Zigelbaum : This is my fav one https://non-duality.rupertspira.com/store/book/transparent-body-luminous-world
12:19:49 From Vaibhav Sharma : @Jamie – Kindly share the link from where I can get Kashmiri Shaivism — Rupert Spira’s audio meditations
12:19:56 From Jamie Zigelbaum : done!
12:22:54 From Maximilian Schulz : Another book recommendation that David Allen mentioned in an episode of the Tim Ferriss podcast: The Antidote – by Oliver Burkeman
12:24:05 From Jamie Zigelbaum : https://shamanicdearmoring.com/
12:24:14 From Maximilian Schulz : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKxzszeIPkE
12:24:15 From mina lee : Thanks Jamie! It’s completely sold out everywhere!
12:24:36 From Jamie Zigelbaum : No way Mina! I just spoke to Kristin, they have spots open this year for sure!
12:24:45 From mina lee : The book/audio is
12:25:27 From Vaibhav Sharma : Thank you so much @Jamie
12:27:16 From Vaibhav Sharma : Thanks. Acknowledge the fine print.
12:27:44 From Dileepan Siva : Who is the Kundalini teacher in LA?
12:27:47 From mina lee : I’m looking for someone in the Bay Area too katrina
12:27:48 From Ryan Peters : Appreciate the group-ness here. But am I the only one that is not jiving with the speaker?
12:27:52 From Karilen Mays : I really appreciate the authentic, highly informed, and personal answers from Joe. Thanks to Tiago for the well facilitated space and everyone for sharing and listening.
12:28:09 From Peter Williams : “kundalini” if anyone else was wondering
12:28:09 From Vaibhav Sharma : No Ryan. I am also in the same boat.
12:28:13 From Teryk Bellahsene : thank you very much Joe, Tiago and everyone
12:28:21 From Michal Korzonek : Thanks everyone!
12:28:35 From Jeffery Kong : thanks Joe and Tiago!
12:28:38 From Daniel Dyer : Thank you – will be very interested to re-visit this recording if it is posted! This has been spectacular.
12:28:52 From Kristen Pavle : Thanks everyone – this has been great!
12:28:55 From Maximilian Schulz : Thank you so much everyone! Have a great day!
12:29:10 From Vaibhav Sharma : All of this is very overwhelming. But very interesting nevertheless.
12:29:12 From Jeffery Kong : thanks everyone too!
12:29:38 From Peter Williams : Thanks!
12:29:42 From Vaibhav Sharma : Thanks Joe and Tiago

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