Psychology & Self-Actualization

The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom

by Scott Jeffrey

Like street vendors in New York City pitching fake Prada handbags in Time Square, credit card companies set up tables along South University Avenue in Ann Arbor.

Every September, the University of Michigan allowed these financial vendors to promote their brand of credit cards to students.

The cards were free. All you had to do was fill out an application, which they conveniently handed you on a clipboard. And in exchange, they gave you a cash-credit bonus for signing up—maybe $50 or $100, and some freebie, sometimes a pen or a frisbee. Now, what financially strapped college freshman is going to say no to 50 bucks and a frisbee?

I had three credit cards by my sophomore year. I launched my first business a year after graduating in 1997. And when that company failed to take off, I started another one a year later. Things were going well until funding dried up when the Internet bubble popped in 2000.

In the end, I racked up $45k in credit card debt by the age of 24. Feeling lost, angry, and confused, I resolved to eliminate that debt within a year. And I swore to myself that I would learn how to manage my finances and never be in that position again.

I’m going to share strategies and insights for achieving financial freedom.

First, let’s explore the psychology of money.

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7 Powerful Meditation Biohacking Tools to Help You Train Your Mind

by Scott Jeffrey

Let’s start with a disclaimer: This post reviews various meditation tools and products that include affiliate links. If you choose to purchase these products through these links, I receive a nominal commission. With the exception of only one product (Muse), I have purchased and used all of the products reviewed in this guide.

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If you’d like to read an excellent primer on meditation, read this guide. It covers dozens of insights I’ve learned from two decades of mind training.

One of the things I explain in this meditation guide is that meditation is a natural process. Under ideal conditions, we would all remain in a present, mindful state.

Clearly, however, we don’t live in these ideal conditions and so meditative practices can play a vital role in our ability to perform better and to relax and return to ourselves.

In addition to exploring the various forms of meditation, there are many meditation tools on the market that offer additional support for your practice. If you can augment the benefits of meditation or accelerate the process, why not do so?

Why Meditation is Essential for High Achievers

If you don’t regulate your mental, emotional, and physical state throughout the day, it negatively affects your performance.

The more calm, compassionate, and centered you are, the more productive you become. If you’re an entrepreneur, meditation practices can translate to the bottom line.

But it goes far beyond that. Research shows that meditation can help:

  • Develop self-awareness (study)
  • Elevate your mood (study)
  • Improve your immune function (study)
  • Strengthen your willpower (study)
  • Sleep better (study)
  • Reduce your stress (study)
  • Enhance your focus and attention (study)

By all markers, mind training can make you a better entrepreneur and human being.

The Best Meditation Tools

Perhaps you’ve tried meditation or you may even already have your own daily practice. Regardless, most people I’ve talked with about meditation seem to struggle with it for various reason (which I discuss here).

Through the years, I’ve invested many thousands of dollars on various technologies and courses in my exploration in mind training. If you’re looking for an edge to help you build momentum or deepen your practice, these meditation tools can help you.

The following meditation tools are used for different reasons. Select the ones that most speak to you.

Kasina by Mindplace

Using Kasina is like having a laser light show for your eyes only. It’s perhaps the closest you can get to a psychedelic experience without taking a mind-altering substance.

While studies on brainwave entrainment are intriguing, research indicates that light may influence the brain more than sound waves. At least in relation to specific physical symptoms, research by Dave Siever suggests that light frequencies have a greater impact on the brain than soundwave technology.

Regardless, there’s no reason to choose one over the other. The Kasina Mind Media System combines both modalities. You wear a headset and special glasses with embedded LED lights. The device comes with six categories that target different experiences: Accerlate, Meditate, Mind Art, Rejuvenate, Night Voyage, and Trance. After you select the program category and your desired track (descriptions of each are included in the manual), you simply lie back and enjoy the show.

If you have a lot of resistance to meditation or have trouble quieting your mind, give Kasina a try. It’s one of the best meditation tools few people seem to know about. And if you’re a techie, the application is highly customizable so you can build your own tracks.

Get Details on Amazon |  Buy from Mindpace

Cost: $349

Muse Headband

The Muse Headband is perhaps the most popular meditation tool among biohackers. The Muse Headband helps train your brain for mindfulness by giving you sound cues of the electrical activity (EEG) of your brain while you meditate. You wear the Muse around your forehead from ear to ear. Via Bluetooth, the Muse sends the signal to the Muse app on your smartphone. The app gives you real-time feedback (via various soundscapes) through your headphones. The more you quiet your mind, the calmer the soundscape becomes.

With this form of biofeedback, you’ll be able to track your progress with mindfulness training. Practicing with the Muse headband, in a short time, you’ll notice greater awareness. That is, you’ll become more conscious of when your mind begins to wander, enabling you to bring yourself back to the present moment.

I personally try to avoid Bluetooth and wireless technology whenever I can due to sensitivities with electromagnetic frequencies. But many people use Muse and if you’re not concerned about EMF, this product is worth testing out.

Buy on Amazon

Cost: $249

Profound Meditation 3.0 from iAwake Technologies

Are you familiar with binaural beats and isochronic tones? You basically take two different pure-tone frequencies that are close but not the same to each other, one in each ear. Combining these two frequencies creates a third tone called a binaural beat. Binaural beats can be created to a wide range of frequencies, including those of brainwave patterns associated with various states of consciousness.

The theory is that by listening to binaural beats at specific brainwave patterns like alpha, theta, delta, gamma, and epsilon, you can induce various states of consciousness in a safe manner and support your meditation practice.

I’ve experimented with many of the binaural beat programs on the market, but iAwake’s technology is unique. They go beyond traditional brainwave entrainment technology to include what they call biofield entrainment, harmonic layering, dual pulse binaural signaling, and more.

 

profound meditation 3.0 best meditation tools

 

These sound technologies are embedded into the background. You mainly hear various soundscapes (mostly rain/stream sound). Profound Meditation 3.0 is a multi-disc set with a 3-tier system. You listen to the sounds in blocks of 20 minutes. With a high-quality headset, the sounds play in the background as you meditate.

This is a comprehensive meditation program that can produce psychoactive experiences. The accompanying manual explains everything you need to know to get started. The Releasing tracks are great for unwinding at the end of the day.

In my opinion, this is one of the best meditation tools you can use. If you want to give this a test drive, you can access a free 20-minute track from this program here (along with other free tracks).

Purchase Profound Meditation 3.0 from iAwake

Cost: $227

emWave2 by The Heartmath Institute

Heartmath Institute studies the science of the human heart. They pioneered a means of measuring what’s called personal coherence, the synchronization of physical, mental, and emotional systems. Personal coherence is calculated by a combination of heart rate variability, pulse transit time, and respiratory patterns.

emwave2 meditation tool

The EMWave2 measures these variables with a sensor clipped onto your ear or with the thumb sensor on the device. You can use it as a portable tool, but you’ll get the most benefit by hooking it up to your computer and using it in conjunction with the accompanying software. If you would prefer to use it with your mobile device, check out Inner Balance.

Using HeartMath’s Quick Coherence Technique with the emWave2 attached sensor, the device measures your coherence as you attempt to steady your breath while holding a positive emotion directed at your heart. As your ability to maintain coherence improves, you can increase the level of difficulty. Ten minutes a day is sufficient to increase your coherence score.

Buy from Heartmath Institute

Cost: $199 

QuietComfort Noise-Cancelling Headphones by Bose

Meditation is challenging for two reasons: external distractions and internal chatter. While Profound Meditation 3.0 and Kasina help reduces internal chatter, this product helps reduce external distractions.

bose headset meditation tool

Wearing this Bose noise-canceling headset is like lowering the volume on the world around you. If you listen to any binaural beats, isochronic tones, or meditation music, this headset will definitely enhance your experience. I also use this product whenever I really need to focus on a project. They’re also great for air travel as they block out most of the plane engine’s rumble.

While you can find less expensive noise-canceling headsets on the market, none of them are as effective as this one. They simply work. I keep one near my desk at all times.

Buy on Amazon

Cost: $227 | $349

Buckwheat Meditation Cushion by Seat of the Soul

One of the reasons I mentioned that many people have trouble meditating is because of poor physical ailment. I recommend sitting at the edge of a hard chair when you’re first getting started. But if you prefer to sit on the ground (which has numerous other benefits), then using what’s traditionally called a zafu can help.

best meditation tool zafu cushion

To maintain proper structure alignment, you want only your coccyx region elevated. This crescent-moon-shaped, buckwheat filled cushion with an organic cotton cover is ideal.

Buy on Amazon

Cost: $35

Guided Mindfulness Meditation Series

If you’re looking for guided meditation instruction, consider the Guided Mindfulness Meditation Series 1 by psychologist Jon Kabat-Zinn.

guided mindfulness meditation tool

This program contains four 40-minute guided mindfulness meditations Kabat-Zinn used in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. There is a large body of research to support the efficacy of this program for reducing stress, improving health, and developing the brain.

Buy on Amazon

Cost: $20

Read Next

The Definitive “Underground” Meditation Guide: Secrets to Effective Mind Training

A Comprehensive Guide to Cultivating Self-Awareness: A Foundational Skill for Emotional Intelligence

How to Use Nootropics to Access Your Brain’s Potential While You Work


How to Access Your Imagination to Produce Creative Work, Solve Problems and Liberate Yourself

by Scott Jeffrey

Albert Einstein said in a 1929 interview:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

It has become a famous quote, but do you think he was correct?

Einstein was voicing the value he placed on the imagination concerning scientific research, an area traditionally (and currently) dominated by pure rationalism.

How about in business and your professional work? Do you value imagination more than (or as much as) what you know?

It’s unlikely. We favor knowledge over imagination, reason over intuition. You can call it a cultural bias.

But it’s only from imagination that we create the novel, the unforeseen, the unexpected, and often, the better.

Today, let’s dive into the realm of our imagination.

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Decoding Maslow’s Human Needs to Understand Your Behavior and Psychological Development

by Scott Jeffrey

What motivates you? What drives you to get out of bed and do what you do each day?

If you’re working on a big creative project, why are you doing it?

If you exercise, what are the reasons you tell yourself? To stay fit? To look good?

If you’re an entrepreneur, why are you investing so much time building your business?

Yes, money is one answer, but unless you don’t have enough food to eat and a roof over your head, it’s not the main one.

In today’s guide, we’ll explore some of the profound insights from master psychologist Abraham Maslow. Our goal is to understand the hidden drivers behind our behavior. This knowledge is instructive and insightful for personal development. (And if you’re an entrepreneur, it can help you better understand, attract, and serve your customers too.)

Let’s dive in…

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How to Use the Hero’s Journey to Map Out Developmental Path

by Scott Jeffrey

Treasure, love, reward, approval, honor, status, freedom, survival … these are some of the many things we associate with the hero’s journey.

We don’t find the meaning of the hero’s journey in slaying the dragon or saving the princess—these are colorful metaphors and symbols for a more significant purpose.

Battling inner and outer demons, confronting bullies, and courting your ultimate mate symbolize a passage through the often-treacherous tunnel of self-discovery and individuation to mature adulthood.

At the end of each journey (if there is such an end), you’re different—sometimes visually, but always internally.

Today, let’s explore the meaning of the hero’s journey and see how it applies to psychological development and our ability to actualize more of our potential.

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The Definitive “Underground” Meditation Guide: Secrets to Effective Mind Training

by Scott Jeffrey

Overview: This in-depth guide provides meditation guidance, meditation instructions, and loads of “underground” tips based on over two decades of research and experience in mind training.

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I was suffering from acute anxiety before and during exams in my sophomore year at the University of Michigan.

As a consequence, I was getting sick often and freezing during exams, lowering my performance.

My uncle shared with me a simple meditation practice he learned from a course. Using this method made a measurable difference in my health, performance, and well being.

And so, from then on, I began exploring and experimenting with different meditative practices and breathing techniques.

Perhaps you’ve never meditated before. Or, you’ve been meditating for years.

Maybe you dabble in meditation, or you tried it out and decided it wasn’t for you.

Regardless of your relationship to meditation (or lack thereof), I’m confident you’ll find tremendous value in today’s new guide.

In this comprehensive and unusual meditation instruction guide, I’m going to offer what I’ve learned from over 25 years of mind training.

Topics include:

  • The unconscious reasons most people resist meditation guidance
  • How to meditate even when you don’t want to
  • Powerful meditation instructions to make mind training more effective
  • Understanding the vital intersection between psychology and meditation

Let’s jump in …

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10 Best Books in Psychology to Illuminate What Really Drives You

by Scott Jeffrey

It has been said that there are three main ways to learn about human psychology:

  1. Read Greek mythology
  2. Read Carl Jung
  3. Observe others

Of the three, observing others is the most powerful, but reading about the psyche helps inform our observations.

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6 Formidable Obstacles to Personal Mastery and How to Transcend Them

by Scott Jeffrey

In Awakening the Mind, author Anna Wise defines “mastery” as:

“Being in the state you want to be in, when you want to be there, knowing what to do with that state, and being able to accomplish it.”

In a state of personal mastery, your mind is calm, quiet, and alert.

You are free of distraction, rumination, or any other disempowering tendencies of the mind.

In this state, the inner critic doesn’t attack your ideas before they’re formed or judge you or your performance.

You access your higher potential naturally—without conscious effort.

Imagine what you can do in that state. That’s the power of personal mastery.

You have experienced this state before. But how often?

For most of us, this state of personal mastery is rare. However, I see mastery as our natural state.

If that’s true, why does it often seem so challenging to access?

There are six primary culprits …

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