#189 States vs. Traits

How to Quit Being a Cannonball

Ken Wilber tells us there’s a big difference between what he calls “states” and “traits.”

It’s pretty easy to have a “state” experience during which we feel super fired up. Think about the last time you attended a weekend workshop or got super inspired reading a book or doing whatever you do that fires you up.

Can you feel it?

That’s a STATE experience.

You felt the presence of your higher self in a deeply moving, profound way.


Now, unfortunately, what often happens when we get back from that weekend workshop high is that we crash. It’s kinda like being shot out of a cannon. You fly wayyyyyyy up and briefly see the stars but… then… you fall right back to where you started. Ouch.

And, it hurts twice: You experience the pain of falling back down to reality AND you now know that something better exists but you don’t know how to taste it again.


Here’s the trick: If we want that state experience to last, we’ve gotta do the work so that connection to our higher selves isn’t just a fleeting state we chase after but a TRAIT—it needs to become who we are.

And there’s only one way to make that happen.

A ton of hard work over an extended period of time. (Hah.)

We need to diligently, patiently, persistently create the scaffolding such that we can ascend to and consistently live from the heights we aspire to live from without all the cannonball-like ups and downs.

Which is why we come back to the fundamentals again and again and again.

Eat. Move. Sleep. Focus. Breathe.

Want to see how high a building is going to be? Look at how deep they’re digging the foundation.

Want to LIVE from a place of connection to your highest self? Dig deep. Build up.

Make your states traits.

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