Joe Dixon 13 min read

30 Challenges to Enlightenment is LIVE: Do You Accept the Challenge?

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30 Challenges to Enlightenment HighExistence life experiment nietzsche

When we unveiled 30 Challenges to Enlightenment a few weeks ago, we were expecting a positive response. We just weren’t sure how positive it would be.

And honestly, we were astounded.

30 challenges to enlightenment highexistence life experiment nietzsche

In the weeks after releasing the trailer for the course, we had over EIGHTEEN THOUSAND(!) HEthens sign up to be the first to know when we’d release our legendary self-development obstacle course.

We’re immensely pleased to share that TODAY IS THE DAY. Just a few hours ago, we UNLEASHED this phenomenon on the universe! :)

And for 48 hours, we’re running a site-wide sale. Use the discount code “NIETZSCHE” before 10AM PST on Sunday 9/4 to get $10 off every course you grab.

If you want to head straight over to our store to explore the course, simply click here:


In this blog post, we’ll be giving you a ton of insight into the nature of the course and the philosophical ideas that led to its genesis.

So, first things first: What is 30 Challenges to Enlightenment?

What is 30 Challenges to Enlightenment, exactly?

30 Challenges to Enlightenment is the ultimate life experiment. It’s an Odyssey of self-actualization. It’s a toolkit for disrupting your default state and claiming a High Existence. It’s the Hero’s Journey toward mental, emotional, and spiritual liberation.

It’s many marvelous things, rolled into one mega-empowering bundle. Philosophically, the course is rooted in Nietzsche’s idea of a “gymnastics of the will”—a practice of undertaking difficult life experiments to become stronger and wiser.

This course is the culmination of our team’s combined 25+ years of research in self-development, spirituality, science, and philosophy. We spent 6 months engineering the course, and it’s honestly unlike any self-improvement tool you’ve ever seen.

The course includes three indispensable components:

The Challenge Map

The Challenge Map is the most iconic component of 30 Challenges to Enlightenment. A beautiful 24” x 36” poster, it’s simultaneously a habit-formation tool, progress chart, challenge list, work of art, and conversation piece.

30 challenges to enlightenment challenge yourself HighExistence Nietzsche Schopenhauer amor fati

The Challenge Map lists all of the challenges, providing a title, icon, and short description for each. For each challenge, there are 30 checkboxes—one for each day of the challenge. We used the Don’t-Break-the-Chain technique of habit development—as you check more boxes, you’ll feel averse to breaking the chain, so you’ll keep going.

The Challenge Map also divides the 30 challenges into 6 unique quests, which are based on the stages of enlightenment in the Zen tradition. The quests map out a natural progression toward self-actualization and spiritual realization, providing meaningful structure to your journey.

The most powerful thing about the Challenge Map is that it’s UNMISSABLE. 99.9% of self-improvement tools are either digital or relatively small and easily hidden. This leads to people ignoring or forgetting about them. You can’t ignore or forget about the Challenge Map, once it’s on your wall. It serves as a gorgeous, vitalizing reminder of your commitment to self-development, inspiring you to continue to undertake new challenging adventures.

The Challenge Guidebook

The Challenge Map is all about action, but action is never complete without knowledge to back it up. That’s where the Challenge Guidebook comes in. It’s a 290-page eBook that contains in-depth sections elaborating on the science and philosophy of every quest and challenge within 30 Challenges to Enlightenment. It also contains an introduction that explains the philosophical framework for the journey and our grand vision for the course. It’s essentially the course textbook and a standalone HighExistence manifesto.

30 challenges to enlightenment challenge yourself HighExistence Nietzsche Schopenhauer amor fati

A peak inside the Challenge Guidebook.

For each challenge, the Guidebook provides profound quotes, philosophical perspectives, actionable advice, thought-provoking Reflection Questions, and insights on the purpose of the challenge. At over 40,000 words, the Challenge Guidebook is truly dense and comprehensive—the most thorough articulation of the HighExistence philosophy we’ve ever created.

The Challenge Guidebook is a potent complement to the Challenge Map. Before embarking on any challenge, you will first read its description in the Guidebook. This will provide you with a deeper understanding of the challenge’s context and purpose, rendering it more meaningful and alluring. The Reflection Questions will prompt you to pause and reflect throughout the course on many aspects of your life, your reasons for undertaking challenges, and the obstacles which prevent your growth. They will facilitate a richer learning experience and further motivate you to complete challenges by helping you understand your “reasons why.”

The Challenge Tribe

The Challenge Map is about action. The Challenge Guidebook is about knowledge. And the Challenge Tribe is about community. The Challenge Map and Guidebook are immensely powerful on their own,but we wanted to create an extra mechanism for education and accountability.

30 Challenges to Enlightenment challenge yourself highexistence life experiment nietzsche

That’s why, when you grab 30 Challenges to Enlightenment, you’ll gain access to an exclusive Facebook discussion group for everyone who is taking the course. Here you can find inspiration, make friends, get support and advice, and help others who are going through the same experience. This community will show you that you’re part of something larger and keep you motivated to continue with your quest. It will also provide a space for ongoing learning, enrichment, and connection that can last for the rest of your life.

The Sum of These Parts

The sum of these parts is 30 Challenges to Enlightenment.

In combination, they add up to an immensely powerful toolkit for changing your life.

As far as we know, no one has ever created a self-development obstacle course that remotely resembles 30 Challenges to Enlightenment. With quests based on the stages of enlightenment in the Zen tradition and a philosophical framework based on Nietzsche’s “gymnastics of the will,” this is truly a one-of-a-kind course.

The largest issue with other challenges or courses relates to motivation and accountability. Individuals feel good thinking they’re going to do a challenge, but they don’t follow through. With 30 Challenges to Enlightenment, we’ve solved this problem by integrating multiple mechanisms to keep you motivated and accountable:

The IMPOSSIBLE-TO-MISS Challenge Map, when it’s on your wall, will serve as a vibrant, unforgettable reminder of your commitment. The Challenge Map also incorporates the Don’t-Break-the-Chain method of habit-development to keep you pushing onwards. The Challenge Tribe will hold you accountable and keep you inspired through the power of community. Finally, multiple challenges within the course itself focus specifically on how to overcome emotional resistance and follow through with your commitments.

In the final analysis, this course is engineered to help you overcome destructive habits, deepen self-understanding, defeat procrastination, and become a more authentic version of yourself. It was painstakingly constructed to teach you how to liberate your mind, develop self-mastery, gain confidence, and discover bliss.


Now that we’ve introduced you to the nuts and bolts of the course, allow us to share with you a bit more insight into the philosophical framework underlying the course.

The Biggest Trap Sabotaging Your Spiritual Growth

Carl Jung once observed, “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”

We created 30 Challenges to Enlightenment to help you become the strongest, wisest, and most honest expression of yourself.

One of the most powerful aspects of this course is that it is divided into six unique quests, which are based on the stages of enlightenment described in the Zen tradition. The quests form a natural progression toward self-actualization and spiritual realization, providing meaningful direction to your journey.

One issue with the self-development and spirituality memespace nowadays is that most sources do not provide any map of development for seekers to follow. Curious students of life become overloaded with fragments of information from different creators, but are never sure how to put the pieces together. The lack of structure sabotages their growth.

In the same way that a university curriculum organizes knowledge to show students the bigger picture, we organized the knowledge and experiences of 30 Challenges to Enlightenment to show you a grander vision of your self-improvement pursuits. Each quest provides another stepping stone to increasingly liberating perspectives, greater awareness, and more enlightened states of being. Our aim was to create a kind of “PhD in self-development.”

Allow us to give you a bit more insight into the nature of each individual quest. Imagine yourself advancing through each stage, and try to feel the power of the progression.

The Six Stages of Enlightenment and the Path to Self-Actualization

30 Challenges to Enlightenment HighExistence life experiment nietzsche

Monkey Mind

“That is the first preliminary schooling for spirituality: not to react at once to a stimulus, but to gain control of all the inhibiting, excluding instincts.”

— Friedrich Nietzsche

The Monkey Mind quest is designed to help you master your instincts, overcome compulsive behavior, and develop an iron will.

The monkey mind is the untrained mind—the mind which clings to every passing thought and desire, the mind which lacks discipline and self-awareness. The monkey mind is easily agitated, unsettled, distracted, and reactive. The monkey mind seduces us to act in ways which increase short-term pleasure and decrease long-term fulfillment. This inner monkey must be tamed before you can progress on your journey.

Beginner Mind

“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.”

― Shunryu Suzuki

The Beginner Mind quest will help you open up to the world, educate yourself, and stop procrastinating.

Beginner Mind serves two main purposes. On one hand, it picks up where the Monkey Mind quest left off, further building your discipline and awareness through what Nietzsche called a “gymnastics of the will.” On another hand, this quest is about cultivating shoshin (初心), or  “beginner’s mind.” Shoshin refers to an attitude of non-resistance, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions. Shoshin is an almost child-like curiosity—an unmatched openness to the world, to new knowledge and experiences.

Quiet Mind

“The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands.”

― Leonardo da Vinci

After completing the first two quests, you will have gained a great deal of self-mastery, awareness, and openness to the world around you. The next quest, Quiet Mind, invites you to disconnect from stimulation, cultivate creativity, and build mindfulness.

In this quest you will slow your intake of information and stimulation, redirecting your mind toward observation, appreciation, and creation. You will come face to face with the rich textures of the world within you and around you. You will gain sensitivity, deepen mindfulness, and learn the art of seeing. Your own mind will quiet down, in order to let the world speak.

Awakened Mind

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

Once you’ve trained your mind to be attentive and to notice the subtle beauty of everything around you, you begin to awaken. The fourth quest, Awakened Mind, redirects your attention toward other people, showing you how to discover spontaneous compassion and become a spreader of kindness and good vibes.

Many who are interested in self-development try to work on themselves in isolation. They like to believe that they can cultivate themselves from the comfort of their own homes, never venturing out into the big, scary world to face existence directly. This is a fallacy. Thus, the Awakened Mind quest is intended to draw your attention to your social habits. It will prompt you to understand how you treat people and why you treat them the way you do. It will push you outside of your social comfort zone—to compel you to meet unknown people and to experiment with new ways of seeing and being with others.

No Mind

“How to get rid of ego as dictator and turn it into messenger and servant and scout, to be in your service, is the trick.”

― Joseph Campbell

Once the ego has reached a certain stage of development, awareness, and refinement, one must learn to let it go entirely, to see what lies beyond it. The aim of the No Mind quest is to help you overcome the ego and discover what D.T. Suzuki called the “reservoir of infinite possibilities,” the womb of being that underlies all things.

This quest is intended to help you experience impermanence and accept that in life, change is the only constant. It is intended to push you to see beyond the egoic illusion of separation by showing you that all things are interdependent and interconnected.

Enlightened One

“Enlightenment, joy, and peace can never be given to you by another. The well is inside you.”

— Thich Nhat Hanh

The final quest is Enlightened One—a quest intended to take you to a level of awareness and self-mastery reserved for only the greatest of souls.

In the No Mind quest, you will have glimpsed impermanence and interconnectedness. The Enlightened One quest is intended to push you to truly embody these qualities—to allow the knowledge to sink deep and infuse with your being. It is said that once this occurs, you will overcome all fear and anger, attaining an unshakable equanimity—total acceptance of reality, of whatever has occurred, is occurring, or may occur.

We hope that reading through these quest descriptions has made you feel even more energized and eager to undertake 30 Challenges to Enlightenment.

We should mention that our descriptions of the quests represent just one possibility of how you might experience 30 Challenges to Enlightenment. This course is flexible and customizable, meaning you can treat it as an obstacle course of the will, or a fun, laid-back choose-your-own-adventure game. However you choose to use it, it will push you to become a stronger, wiser, more enlightened version of yourself.

What Would You Do If You Had No Fear?

Joseph Campbell once wrote, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”

30 Challenges to Enlightenment is the cave. You need bravery to enter this labyrinth for one main reason:

It requires you to take action.

As you know, taking action is hard and scary.

It’s much easier to cling to what you know, to what is stable and comfortable.

And yet, on some level, you realize that the treasure you seek cannot be found in your familiar routine.

You’re reading this because you want something more: Enlightenment. Adventure. Authenticity. Confidence. Purpose.

Whatever it is you’re seeking, your well-worn patterns can’t get you there. They can only bring more of the same.

And that’s why we created this course: to break you out of your old patterns—to give you room to become a stronger, wiser, more heroic version of yourself.

During our launch of 30 Challenges to Enlightenment we received hundreds of emails from people telling us which areas of life they wanted to improve this year.

After reading through nearly all of the emails we’ve received, we can tell you that these are the most common areas HEthens want to work on this year:

• Overcoming procrastination

• Developing a meditation practice and stable awareness

• Improving communication

• Gaining insight into reality

• Overcoming fear

• Increasing self-awareness

• Building confidence

• Developing discipline and willpower

We were thrilled to see these responses, because 30 Challenges to Enlightenment addresses every single one of these areas, and many more. It seems to be the course many of you were waiting for.

Part of the reason we’re convinced of the power of this obstacle course has to do with one of our favorite philosophers: Friedrich Nietzsche. Allow us to share with you how we incorporated Nietzsche’s ideas into the course—to help you escape old traps and claim a High Existence.

Nietzsche’s “Gymnastics of the Will”: The Path to Self-Mastery

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

— Joseph Campbell

Before you can become what you wish to be, you must let go of what you are. You must disrupt the habits and routines that have come to govern your life.

Friedrich Nietzsche understood this truth as well as anyone. He recognized that in order to become stronger and wiser, it was necessary to overcome yourself—to leave behind your established ways and paradigms.

Nietzsche thought we should engage in perpetual self-overcoming, regularly transcending our current conditioning to become something more.

In pursuit of this end, he developed the idea of a “gymnastics of the will”—a practice of undertaking temporary experiments of willpower, with the intention of strengthening, mastering, refining, and deepening our being.

Friedrich Nietzsche understood that our conditioning runs deep. Even if you admit that you want to change your life, it’s damn difficult to override your habitual programming.

The solution to this problem, for Nietzsche, was to regularly attempt a variety of life experiments—experiments that would push one to act contrary to one’s conditioning. If we could just make a habit of attempting life-transforming challenges, Nietzsche thought we would unearth our own greatness and become intelligent, resilient masters of life:

“The most intelligent men, like the strongest, find their happiness where others would find only disaster: in the labyrinth… their delight is in self-mastery… They regard a difficult task as a privilege; it is to them a recreation to play with burdens that would crush all others.”

— Friedrich Nietzsche

Ultimately, becoming a great, enlightened human being depends heavily on one basic thing:

Your ability to change your habits of thought, feeling, and action.

Nietzsche understood that experiments of willpower jolt us out of our default state, opening up a space in which real change can occur—a space in which one can shed the routines of the ordinary and seize the habits of the extraordinary.

If you find Nietzsche’s ideas to be as inspiring and empowering as we do, you’re going to treasure 30 Challenges to Enlightenment.

The course is our living, breathing version of Nietzsche’s “gymnastics of the will”—a toolkit for interrupting your default existence with life experiments that will redirect you toward wisdom, inner power, and self-mastery.

Whether you choose to treat 30 Challenges to Enlightenment as an obstacle course of the will or a laid-back choose-your-own-adventure game, it will disrupt your status quo. It will create space for you to gain perspective on who you are and who you want to become. It will prompt you to grow, learn, and claim a more enlightened path.

Today is the day. 30 Challenges to Enlightenment is LIVE!

As we mentioned earlier, today is a monumental day in HighExistence history.

30 Challenges to Enlightenment has UNLEASHED!

As you read this, 10,000 monks are chanting Om in unison, celebrating this unprecedented arrival.

Don’t forget: We’re giving you $10 off every course you grab.

That means that if you get 5 courses, for friends or family, you’ll get $50 off.

To claim this gift, simply use the code “NIETZSCHE” at checkout, after grabbing the course.

Remember: This gift is only available for 48 hours… and the countdown began at 10AM PST on Friday, 9/2.

Now is the time to say “Yes!” to life.

Will you embark on this Odyssey of self-actualization?

Will you join us on this Hero’s Journey toward mental, emotional, and spiritual liberation?

Do you accept the challenge?


Authentically Yours,
The HE Team

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