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Episode 059: Knowing Thyself with Ray Milidoni

personal development Oct 27, 2020

Welcome to this week’s blog post! This week we’re talking with Ray Milidoni from Australia, a super knowledgeable permie-preneur, always out to help people push their dreams forward and connect with others. Today in the podcast he’s sharing the very special epiphany he had, to “know thyself,” and encourages everyone to master this principle instead of trying to conform to what everyone else thinks you should be or do. Ray is a Seeds of Tao student and frequent attendee of our Think Tanks, so if you’d like to get to know Ray more, come to one of our Masterminds, or check out the following:


  1. Stay Sharp
  2. Kolbe Test
  3. Farming Secrets

Cookie Cutter Education

We start this episode with Ray sharing a really funny story about how, as a child, he would disassemble his toys to find out how they worked, and how our education system is hard for those who think outside the box. Ray mentions how schools don’t prepare so many needful skills for life, so where do we turn when we get out of school? Often self-help books or programs. We seek extra education to fill in the gaps that are left after we graduate. 

I struggled with this a lot as well. I actually did really well in the education system, I knew how to work the system, memorize just what I needed to get A’s and only learn enough for the tests, and then forget most of it. I did walk away with some valuable skills like public speaking and a wider world view, but when I graduated, I was a hot mess. Just like Ray, I eventually found personal development and realized I had a HUGE gap in my knowledge of how to handle my mindset, and I had serious emotional baggage I was carrying around. My inability to express myself in fear of disappointing people made communication and connection really hard for me. My first dive into personal development was with Kirk Duncan and 3 Key Elements. They totally changed my world, but I also found a lot of value in the permaculture movement and the lessons from nature we can apply to our minds and emotions. Josh and I have gone through a lot of personal development books and pieces of training, as Ray has, and we’ve definitely had to come to our own realization of what works, and what doesn’t for us in particular. 

The Pitfall of Self-Help

One of the big pitfalls with personal development, as Ray points out, is that we get too hung up thinking we have to be doing everything like our gurus. Every recommendation or training we must implement perfectly because otherwise, we aren’t living as we should be. That can end in a lot of frustration and self-shame. Ray related his story in the episode about how one guru led him to take down all visualization techniques, and he felt lost and unmotivated for years after doing that. It didn’t work for him, and that’s ok. 

Not everyone’s program or technique will work for everyone. Does that mean they’re not valuable? Absolutely not. Sometimes it’s the small habits we build along the way when involved in a bigger program that are the things that really help us to move forward. And those golden nuggets help us to become the next level of ourselves. It’s almost like we should think of personal development as a buffet table. You don’t have to eat the entire plate of chicken wings, rather you can grab a few items from each dish and end up with a plate that is filling and satisfying. It all comes down to really knowing yourself and what you need or want at the time. 


Know Thyself

Ray’s big epiphany in this episode is to start with knowing yourself, and then work on educating yourself. It’s just like in permaculture, we are advised to watch our land for an entire YEAR before we plant the first tree so that we really understand it and see how it behaves during the different seasons. We must observe and THEN interact. It’s the same with ourselves. 

If we don’t understand ourselves, our strengths, and our weaknesses, we’ll be grasping at personal development straws all day long to help us get to our next level, but have no idea where in our lives we really need to be leveling up. Doing this will result in us wasting tons of money, and loads of time, causing frustration and disillusionment, rather than inspiration and progress. But how do we learn all the things we need to fill in our low spots?


Don’t Ask HOW, Ask WHO

Ray is an avid contributor to the conversation during our weekly MOKR Masterminds, and he often shares this bit of wisdom there as he did in the podcast episode, “Don’t ask HOW, ask WHO.” If you have no idea how to fill in a gap you’re noticing for yourself, like yourself who you know who could help you with that. Who around you may have a connection to someone who could help? 

Reaching out and being vulnerable will not only build connections but even if the person you thought doesn’t have the answer, making them aware of the need will get them thinking about who they know who could help you. Those who have knowledge that is needed by another person love to share what they know. Likewise, when we find the answer to our question, we should turn around and share it as well.


Learning Out Loud

Ray recommends in the episode that as we learn the things we are seeking to learn, to turn around and share it with others. This is such an important mindset tool as well, we want to foster an abundant mindset rather than a scarcity one, and one way to do that is by sharing what we know. This is an age when people are either super paranoid about giving away their secrets and sharing information, or they share what they know at every possible turn. Be the sharer. Not only will this benefit those around you struggling with the same obstacle, but, as Ray points out, as you teach the concept you will learn it on a deeper level. Get your voice out there, build others up, and continue to learn new things.

Treat Your Life Like an Experiment

At the end of the episode, Ray leaves us with a final admonition to live our lives like an experiment. He says to keep learning, keep trying, fail often, but keep moving forward. Too often we slip into the perfectionist trap and don’t move forward with things until we feel like they are perfect (which honestly rarely happens). We can get stuck here, spinning our wheels, never moving forward, afraid of messing up, and watching life and opportunities pass us by. So be courageous, start experimenting, and learn from your failures, just like Ray has.


We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of the Seeds of Tao podcast and the blog post, and we hope that Ray’s story has inspired you to get to know yourself better as you move forward. If you haven’t started your personal development journey yet, or find yourself stuck without knowing how to move forward with your goals, try out our FREE Dreamcatcher Mini-Course in the Community that will help you know yourself on a new level. 

 Also, the Seed of the Week video is all about 5 ways to better "Know Thyself," as Ray suggests. Check out the video below :)


Keep Growing!

Previous Episode: Getting Involved with Ocean Regeneration with Daniel Kleinman