Intro (from Sam)
I stumbled, literally, into highexistence.com a few months ago and have been hooked ever since. I quickly got sucked in by the interesting and enlightening articles that are mostly authored by yours truly, Jordan. I was so impressed with the site, both the design and the content, I had to reach out to the brains behind the masterpiece. Since then the founder of the site Jordan Lejuwaan has kindly shared ideas and suggestions with me over email. “I’d much rather help other people succeed than hoard secrets. I’m an open book so never hesitate to ask!”
Jordan is one inspired dude. His ideas, his writing, his outlook on life are all very impressive. It’s a privilege to get a little more insight from him.
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The following is an interview where Jordan Lejuwaan shares insights on creativity, building a successful website, and living happily.
Can you tell us who you are and how you got into personal development?
I got into personal development while I was still attending classes in ’08. Over break I had gone home and out of boredom grabbed a book from my father’s collection. It happened to be ‘The New Psycho-Cybernetics’ by Dr. Maxwell Maltz, which explains the scientific reasoning behind ‘The Law of Attraction’ (LOA). It was a perfect intro into the personal development field because it used logic and science, unlike most of the LOA books and blogs out there. Soon after, I checked ‘self-improvement’ as an interest on my StumbleUpon account, which submerged me even further into the field.
What are your favorite books and why?
1) Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch
Because the world view (or rather the universe view) expressed in that book is the most logical and well-resonating explanation of life that I have come across. Whether it’s ‘divinely inspired’ or not, this book shaped my beliefs more than any other.
2) Zen and the Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss
This book is a bulletproof way to get happy and stay happy.
3) Ultimate Journey by Robert Monroe
This book chronicles Monroe’s personal history with out-of-body-experiences. OOBE’s fascinate me more than anything else since I had two of my own, and Monroe’s revelations bring it to a whole other level of insane (in a great way).
What are some of your personal goals/visions for 2012?
My theme for 2012 is freedom. I want to be at a place where I can travel anywhere at anytime. I just got back from a 3-month stint in SE Asia and I’m eager to venture outside of the US again.
My goal for HE is to double the traffic with the launch of ‘HE 3.0′ in February. After that happens, Id’ like to land a major ad network partner so that I have the funds to really give back to the HE community through contests, and to certain non-profit organizations chosen by the community.
How are you able to stay creative? What techniques do you employ to induce creativity?
Originally my source of creativity was marijuana. All of my most popular posts on HE right now came from smoking and just thinking. It’s a fantastic tool for creativity if you can use it, and then go in your own head instead of socializing or watching Family Guy. However now I get most of my ideas on walks. I don’t know what it is about walks, but ideas are constantly popping into my head during them. So much that I keep my iPhone voice recorder on so I won’t forget them. Meditation is also a solid method for boosting creativity. I strongly believe (along with many famous artists and writers) that ideas come from outside of us, and it seems that quieting the mind allows them to come in. Walks, meditation (and apparently marijuana) do just that.
What’s behind the name “HighExistence”?
It was originally a site aimed at providing ‘wow moments’ to people high on marijuana, hence the term ‘high’. However as I kept writing for the blog, I began writing a lot about things that even sober people could really appreciate. So I switched it over to a self-improvement themed blog and somehow the name still worked!
HighExistence is obviously a very successful website that has reached and helped many people, can you talk about the how you were able to create such a successful site?
Success for HighExistence came from two major factors:
1) Unique content
I try to write about things that people have never thought about before, let alone read about on other blogs. There are thousands of self-improvement blogs out there preaching the same thing. I wanted to make sure HE was different.
Even to this day, the majority of traffic coming to HE comes from StumbleUpon users. Because the content on HE is so unheard of, it’s also really hard to pinpoint it in a google search. I’ve always have trouble choosing keywords that fit HE. So StumbleUpon provides an avenue for people to find HE despite not knowing they were looking for it. Some of my more popular posts have brought in over 1 million visitors just from StumbleUpon. In summary, I LOVE StumbleUpon haha.
What are the top 3 things you recommend to increase quality of life?
1) Above all things, follow your bliss
No matter how zen you are, life is not going to be very fun if you spend it doing something you don’t love. This is your life, your ONE life, so you might as well enjoy it. As the phrase goes, choose a life not a living.
With following your bliss, there are no excuses. I’ve seen time and time again people who throw caution to the wind and quit their jobs despite needing the money, the health benefits, etc. Every time, literally 100% of the time, it has worked out perfectly. There is something strangely magical about going no-holds, single-focus, ballistic towards doing only what you love. Doors open where there were no doors before. It sounds wishy-washy, but some of the best advice does
2) Practice Meditation
I used to be a mess of over-thinking and self-denigration. Through consistent meditation, I was able to take control of my thoughts and quiet my mind in a way I hadn’t thought possible. Meditation is truly a magic pill for improving your life in every way. You’re happier, more focused, motivated and relaxed just from 20 minutes per day.
3) Take to heart the phrase ‘How you do one thing is how you do everything’
This was a recent lesson for me, and a big one. If you’re not doing your best on even small tasks or those you don’t care much about, you’re setting a pattern. That pattern does bleed over into tasks which are important and into every facet of your life, whether you realize it or not. A quick moment of introspection around this concept can bring a lot of insight.
Do you have some favorite online resources or websites that people should check out?
You know I had to! For those who don’t know, SU is a service that brings you to random websites based upon your interests. SU is actually the reason HighExistence exists because it led me to the content that got me thinking about life in a different way. I like to call SU the ‘engine of serendipity’ because it always tends to drop me on the perfect website for issues I’m dealing with at the time. It’s even the reason why I’m with the girl I love right now. I owe a lot to SU.
My favorite RSS aggregator. This site turns your RSS feeds into a beautiful magazine so that you can stay updated on your favorite sites in one place, minus the cold format of most RSS readers. It’s a huge time saver if you’re an avid online reader.
What are you long term visions for your life? Who do you want to become and what do you want to be remembered for?
In terms of my personal life, I would like to live simply while having the means to travel and enjoy life and the people I love without the burden of working. In other words, freedom.
As cliché as this sounds, I want to change the world. I would like to be remembered as a man who made the world happier. HighExistence has been a great learning experience with instigating change in people’s lives, but I want to do much more. I want to propagate a global change of some kind. I am in constant conversation with friends about how best to do this, but no ultimate solution has surfaced yet.