“I sense great fear in you, Skywalker. You have hate… you have anger… but you don’t use them.”
Count Dooku was right. But only for so long as the familiar trope of good versus evil sucked us into the Star Wars universe. The movie was (and still is) all about self-mastery. One Skywalker failed while the other succeeded in channeling his inner demons for the sake of good. Remove the mysticism of The Force and the legend of Luke Skywalker is all about us.
We learned that the key to personal development is self-mastery.
What Is Self-Mastery?
Self-mastery is at the core of emotional health. Along with emotions, it guides our behavior and habits. Perhaps, this image describes it better:
Self-mastery is the only hack you need for personal development. No tools and no apps. The ultimate superpower.
Self-mastery is a few steps behind self-awareness. In our continuing series on popular Udemy classes, we hope to spark both and nudge you towards thinking more deeply about yourself. These Udemy courses below are low cost but high on content and quality. The five classes focus on these areas of personal development:
- Focus and productivity.
- Meditation and mindfulness.
- Awareness and aliveness.
- Happiness and peace.
- Action and habits.
Use the code UDEMY1119 at checkout for $19 courses across the site!
Discover: How to improve your productivity, focus, success and happiness.
Focus is the secret to supercharging your productivity. And that is the mortar for success and happiness. This course takes you through 30 short exercises over 30 days. For instance, Day 1 targets common distractions that hijack your attention. An exercise on Day 24 asks you to focus on the “why” behind your actions before you get to the “how”.
The lessons are short but will make you question your old habits. The course is short — just 3.5 hours — but don’t jump the gun. Try these exercises as mini life experiments if the old habits haven’t boosted your productivity yet. Finish it. The best takeaway could be the feeling that you stopped procrastinating on your own self-improvement.
Discover: How to use guided meditation exercises to be more aware.
A few years ago, any chatter around mindfulness would have been dismissed as spiritualistic mumbo-jumbo. Thanks to every day stress, practices like “guided meditation” and “embodied awareness” have entered the lexicon for self-healing. A lot of it is grounded in ancient Buddhist philosophy and is speedily getting the scientific vote. You need a few tricks to combat daily stress. And the exercises in this course are just few of the tools to do it.
This course is more about accepting your own self and nourishing all relationships through it. Dr. Tara Brach is a clinical psychologist, a meditation teacher, and an author. Try out her podcast on mediation and mindfulness if you give this course a miss.
Discover: How to find true happiness and peace through mindfulness.
I was influenced by Thich Nhat Hanh and his book The Miracle of Mindfulness to include this course. Make no mistake — mindfulness is simple in idea but incredibly hard in practice. So, the better your exposure to the ideas, the easier it could be for you.
Thich Nhat Hanh explains the mindfulness techniques like meditation and simple breathing methods for the everyone. The respected Buddhist monk’s accent is slightly difficult to understand but his voice itself is peaceful and should put you in the right frame of mind. Interesting nugget — he was nominated for the 1967 Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Discover: The secrets of human behavior that will help you gain confidence, improve your relationships, and take control of your own life.
Each one of us has a few mental models that help us combat the day. The right ones help us stay productive. The wrong ones throw us off course. Mind scientists take a behavior and give it some system. This course is about understanding those systems and looking at them with a beginner’s eye. For instance, each stress is different. Recognizing your own stress will help you find the right way to deal with it. It will also help you deal with others (your boss, your colleagues) who are losing to it.
The 63 lectures have wonderful applications for our everyday lives. Gregory Caremans is a neurocognitive and behavioral expert and a good communicator. The bite-size content is easy to understand. The lessons will also spark many self-reflection exercises and you should answer them for yourself before you move on with the course.
Discover: How to change your habits one mini-step at a time.
Inertia is a fiend which keeps you in a state of sloth. It can be a friend when it keeps you in uniform motion. That is the nature of all physical objects including us humans. One of the surest ways to start a new habit is to break it down to its simplest chunk. The smallest step which you can take without thinking too much. If you hate pushups, don’t do 1 complete set of 10. Just do one today. Do two tomorrow. That’s how you master your moods with the routine of mini-habits.
You may not need an entire course for starting your first mini-habit. But this course will help you understand that motivation can be a two-timing friend while willpower is the steadfast one. The fifth section will also guide you into a simple 8-step blueprint for mini-habit success. At the end of 4 hours, you should be able to skewer temptation and enjoy the process of habit change.
How Can You Be Your Own Master?
It’s worthwhile to go back to that universe far, far away and find encouragement in these words.
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” — Yoda
There is no end to self-mastery. But success starts with it.
So, don’t hold back? Start your learning today. Try any one of these five courses. Or, any of the other personal development classes on Udemy we have covered earlier.
Remember, every paid course on Udemy comes with:
- Lifetime access.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Certificate of completion.
But right now, tell us about your own quest. Have you got any solid benefits from any practical course you took on personal development? What was the course all about?