The #1 Life Changing Habit

Siim Land

We as humans are slaves to our own habits. They are almost unconscious activities we do on a daily basis in order to produce automatic behaviour. Some of them are good while others can be very bad for us. What would be the #1 life changing habit? “The one to rule them all.”

The most powerful life changing habit would have to alter the creation and development of any other habit as well. Hence it being #1.

Habits get created as the result of doing things over and over again until they become automatic processes. The activity has become so embedded into our psyche that it happens almost unconsciously. You do not notice yourself brushing your teeth or putting one foot in front of the other – you just do it. At the same time, an obese person does not realize how many surplus calories they are consuming by always grabbing for that bag of potato chips in the mall and consuming it mindlessly every evening in front of the TV.

If the roots of the habit have delved too deep, then our conscious self will become immune and blind to them. They are invisible strings that puppeteer our behaviour without us even knowing it.

The Life Changing Habit to Rule Them All
The Life Changing Habit to Rule Them All

Why are Habits Habitual

This is for the sole purpose of energy preservation. The brain is an incredibly expensive tissue to have. It is so small and weighs so little in comparison to the rest of the body but consumes almost 20% of our energy demands. Habits are ways of preserving that energy. 

The cycle of habit formation and maintenance is difficult to notice because we are trapped inside of it. Habits can be changed but only if we bring our conscious attention to them and deliberately recreate these mental patterns and neural networks. Initially the roots are hard to tear up from our psyche but like any other process of automation it can be altered.

The #1 life changing habit would have to enable us to rise above the habit-cycle and see ourselves from an external perspective.

To give an illustration, think of it as the Illuminati Pyramid. It’s not a conspiracy theory but only the best example I can think of. The eye at the top is a part of the whole but at the same time it is floating above the rest of the construct. They are above everything and can thus see and control it all.

The life changing habit is the eye ABOVE the pyramid
The life changing habit is the eye ABOVE the pyramid

What is the life changing habit then that would meet these characteristics?

The #1 life changing habit is the eye in the pyramid.

It is self-mastery.

What is Self-Mastery?

Self-mastery is the ability or skill of being in complete control of one’s beingIt derives from the prefrontal cortex – the conscious part of our brain – and is about being aware of oneself and the other parts of our psyche.

Consciousness is about being able to create modules of oneself in space and time in relation to other minds.

Self-mastery is about recognizing the presence of that awareness and acting according to that. It’s being more conscious as a person.

Self-mastery is not about taking totalitarian control over our life. It is more like noticing the subconscious parts of our psyche and achieving freedom from them.

In essence, self-mastery is pure consciousness and reaching higher levels of it. It is the ability to rise above the pyramid and seeing the whole of our being from an outside perspective and then being able to control our behaviour according to what is good for the “SELF.”

Why is Self-Mastery the Life Changing Habit?

Is it a habit at all?

Self-mastery is not directly a habit but more of a way of being. It is an achieved state of functioning in which we have full control over who we are.

What does it consist of? Self-mastery is made up of the two things that truly belong to ourselves – our thoughts and actions. They are the two things manifested in the physical and mental plane of reality respectfully and make up our mode of being in this world.

the two things that truly belong to ourselves

Our mode of being is the combination of everything we do and think about on a habitual basis. It is who we are.

The Highest Achievement

By achieving self-mastery we are able to use these two currencies of our existence to create our own world according to our liking. Moreover, self-mastery is not only high conscious functioning but also about being able to think and act despite of anything else.

In the case of us having to enforce discipline – to act against the ego – we are manifesting our true conscious self and liberating it from the unconscious part of our being. 

Self-mastery is a state of higher consciousness and discipline is the tool that allows us to attain freedom.

Self-mastery is the #1 life changing habit because of the ability to thus control any other habit as well. It is the eye above the pyramid and the master-key that unlocks every door inside our mode of being. It is the one ring to find them, one ring to rule them all.

How to Achieve Self-Mastery

By taking control of the two things that truly belong to ourselves – our thoughts and actions which we have already stated.

The self consists of our body and mind which we both have to take into consideration.

Self-mastery by definition is the state of being conscious and aware. We know who we are and will think and act according to just that. Anything less than that means that we are not acting as our true SELF but from the perspective of the ego.

If we do something we regret or not do something we know contributes to the growth of our conscious self then we are strengthening our own ego and have not managed to achieve enough self-mastery that would rule out this error completely.

The Habit of Self-Mastery

That is why it does not resemble being able to take control of our mode of being as much as recognizing it in the first place. 

To make self-mastery into our #1 life changing habit we need to cultivate the skill of mindfulness.

It is the ability of being aware about one’s surroundings and oneself in it. In essence, it is a state of consciousness when we are completely present about everything that concerns us at any given moment.

Mindfulness requires us to take a deep breath, step back from reality for a moment, rise above the pyramid, so to say, and see it from above. (Read about the 7 things to always be mindful of)

What You Need to Do

Practice, practice, practice. That is the only way to enforce a good habit. You have to deliberately practice yourself becoming more mindful. (Read some tips.) It does not take a lot of effort in comparison to all of the benefits it provides us with.

However, like with any habit it will eventually become automatic. When this happens we are able to always be mindful about what goes on in our life and thus become more conscious on a daily basis. We want that to happen, as then it is not forced. Rather than doing mindfulness or trying to find it we have simply incorporated it into our mode of being. When that happens it has become a part of who we are.

Don’t Expect Things to Happen By Themselves

In addition to that, we have to also be able to take some action as well. Self-mastery is not achieved by only recognizing the self in the midst of chaos but also doing what is necessary to contribute to its flourishing.

To do that we have to be able to take control of our thoughts and actions. Anything that is contradicting our higher executive self is something that does not contribute to our growth.

A task difficult to accomplish but not impossible.

If we have the first part of recognizing the matrix then taking the next step and rising above it is that much easier. With the knowledge of what is right and wrong it is almost impossible to not gravitate towards the former.

Concluding Remarks

Self-mastery is the #1 life changing habit because it reigns supreme over any other habit. By being able to become aware of ourselves and operating from that perspective we are deliberately rising above the pyramid and can thus control everything that goes on down below.

Achieving self-mastery is walking the path of enlightenment when we are fully conscious as a person and in an alignment with our higher self.

How’s your self-mastery? Are you conscious enough to be able to take control of your ego and act as your higher self? Or are you following the road that has been laid before you by the desires of your subconscious mind and others? 

Whatever the case may be, you should check out my FREE e-book called Body Mind Agoge, where I talk about ways of achieving self-mastery and empowering your physical, mental and spiritual performance. Subscribe to my YouTube channel as well for videos about such topics.

what is body mind empowerment
what is body mind empowerment


  • I’ll be reading all you blogs soon I just want to say thanks for putting out all the value that you do. There is a lot of high quality content I can tell.

    • Thanks! Your opinion means a lot. Very kind of you.

  • Great topic, Siim! Being aware of our actions completely changes the game when you make it a part of your daily routine. Nice work, man.

    • Thanks! Yes, it’s like always being aware.

  • This is a very well thought out article! I can tell that you put a lot of passion and thought into it! Do you happen to follow Buddhism? You seem to follow a lot of Buddhist habits. Anyway, keep doing what you’re doing!

    • Thanks! I take my writing seriously. 😀 I don’t follow Buddhism but I’m aware of some of its principles and I guess have picked some of them.

  • Great post! Very useful.

  • Nyc post. ….keep on keeping on bro..

  • Great post. My wife taught me that I need to have a schedule of household chores to keep entropy at bay. Good habits are the same. Thank you.

    • Thanks! Hehe, some habits are good indeed.

  • Fierce post – very impressed – and intrigued. Yes I agree self-mastery is the key to everything.

    • Thanks! I know right, becoming more conscious and aware is powerful.

  • Great read!!

  • Yes, yes, yes. I was skimming through a PTSD workbook this morning and there’s a page I always go back to. Affirmations. We affirm negative thoughts by letting them fly, but we can develop new, positive habits by working to create them! Also loving the LOTR references. 🙂

    • Thanks! Yes, it takes self-mastery to become conscious enough to stay positive.

  • Thanks for the like and for introducing me to your very thoughtful blog. -Moira

  • Self-mastery…very interesting subject. 🙂 This is something that I really need to develop. Thanks for the very useful input.

    • Thanks! Yes, it is the fundamental principle of success in everything in life.

  • A brilliant post and very well written you have described your form of self-mastery in a simplistic way which makes it easy for everyone to understand. You have given me some thinking to do. I have already started to visualise from my perspective.

    • Thanks! Yes, self-mastery is becoming more conscious. Like waking up.

  • Siim, thanks for liking my blog post on Emotional Intelligence. You are right about self mastery as being the ultimate goal of every smart thinking human. It is not only important to “know yourself” using appropriate words to describe your behavior but the ultimate step is the ability to consciously control yourself to achieve any goal(s) which you may have in mind including gradually changing your bad habits once you find out what they are and begin to feel that they need some changing. This article was very informative. Thanks. Best wishes, Uldis

    • Thanks! Yes, for me it’s becoming more conscious.

  • I know in my case I definitely need to exercise more and eat healthy. I want to have children someday

    • Well, you better get to it then. We tend to take things for granted until it’s too late to change. Glad you stumbled upon this post.

  • Nice work and you bring a lot of good points. Great food for thought.

  • Thanks for liking my blog and introducing me to the depth of your mind.

  • Thanks for supporting my first blogpost. Nice Blog you have got here!

  • Nice read! 🙂

  • Karolina

    I have just read your book on an optimal diet and find it fantastic, clear and concise, I’m taking an action now