10 life lessons taught by Rudá Iandê on living a life of purpose

Some people measure their life by the wealth they’ve accumulated, the power they’ve gained or the success they’ve achieved.

For me, I’ve lived a full life for having close friends and family who help me to live with purpose and meaning.

The closest people in my life don’t always agree with me. Sometimes we have difficult conversations. But they always help me to grow.

One such person is the shaman Rudá Iandê. I met him four years ago in New York, and since then he’s become a close friend and Ideapod team member. We’ve shared many life experiences, from launching our first online course to walking barefoot together around Uluru in Australia.

Last week I traveled from Vietnam to Brazil to create the next version of our online course at his home in Curitiba. The journey gave me an opportunity to reflect on the 10 most important life lessons I’ve learned from Rudá Iandê about living a life full of purpose.

These 10 lessons are relevant to all of us, and provide a pretty simple entry point to Rudá’s teachings.

Check them out in the video below, or keep reading if you can’t watch it right now.

YouTube video

1) How you’re living right now matters more than achieving your dreams

This is the first “bit of pill” I had to swallow.

I started Ideapod with really big dreams. I had a big vision of success, and it’s what kept me going during the hard times.

Rudá helped me to see that I was living in the future with all of my dreams of success, as opposed to experiencing the power of the present moment. As Rudá helped me to see, there is mystery and magic in what’s happening right now.

I realized that I had to let go of those dreams and goals in the future and connect with the present moment where the real power is.

2) You learn more from doing than from thinking

I’m someone who has always defaulted to thinking my way through life. I always excelled in the education system, where I was taught there’s a right answer for everything.

Yet I’ve now experienced that when you are trying create something, there’s never really a “right answer”.

Rather, it’s much better to get started, create a prototype and learn from the experience. It’s in the process of doing that you learn the most about what you’re really trying to create.

3) The majority of what happens to you is outside of your control

Think about the time you first learned to walk. Did you ever make a decision to walk today?


Your ability to walk emerged spontaneously. You are genetically wired to walk and it shows how naturally creative you are.

Intention is important to get started. But the majority of what happens in your life emerges spontaneously, just like when you first learned to walk.

Most of life is outside of your control.

4) The best life is lived instinctively

This point follows on from the last one.

It’s that the best life is lived instinctively.

It’s not easy to live this way. It takes a lot of introspection to figure out where your fears are and what you need work on to let go of.

But you can do this over time, learning to trust your instinct and your gut. It’s the best way to live a life full of purpose and meaning.

5) Your best ideas come from connecting with your inner child

The thing about having ideas is that they are projections into the future.

But at the same time, ideas can reach back in time to our inner child, to that very natural, “spontaneous” joy that we’re all born with.

Many times, the ideas that we have in this day and age are shaped by the paradigms of thought that we’ve incorporated in our lifetimes.

That’s why it’s really nice to do things to let go of those paradigms of thought and connect with your inner child. This way, the ideas that you express are a little bit more of a pure expression of who you really are and what you really want.

6) Your most powerful dreams are truly your own

This sounds obvious but much of the time our dreams come from the media, from television, from the way we grow up, from our parents, from our schools and many other things.

I’ve learned from Rudá Iandê how important it is to deeply reflect on what dreams come from deep within me and what are the dreams I’ve taken on board from others.

When I work towards dreams that have been given to me by others, internal frustration builds up.

But if the dream is truly my own, I more deeply connect with it. This is where most of my power comes from.

7) I’m a shaman too

When you’re a shaman, you are able to take yourself out of the cultural context and help others see the cultural context in which so many of their decisions are made.

The most effective “gurus” help people to understand their own cultural context so they can figure out the paradigms of thought that are shaping their behavior.

In this way, I’ve learned how to identify the way that the cultural context shapes who I am. In the process, I’ve become my own shaman, not relying on Rudá or anyone else to help pull me out of my cultural context.

8) We are all fundamentally insecure

I used to fight desperately against my insecurities.

It was so important to me that I was a “strong man”.

I’ve now found that my most powerful moments in life come from accepting that fundamentally I’m deeply insecure.

Rudá helped me to learn that deep down, everyone’s insecure.

You see, we’re all going to die one day. No one can possibly know what happens after our day of reckoning.

When you take this principle and apply it to all areas of your life, you start to accept your insecurities. Rather than fighting against them, you can actually learn to work with it.

9) Who I am is much more mysterious and magical than I can ever define

I learned this from our Out of the Box community. We have been exploring the question: “Who are you?”

Rudá’s response was fascinating. He said that he likes to call himself a shaman because it escapes definition. He doesn’t want to be pigeon holed or put inside of a box.

When you don’t put yourself inside a box, you don’t need to define yourself and you can really embrace the mystery and magic of your being. I think that’s when you can access something called this deeper life force within.

10) We’re not separate from nature

I’ve learned deeply from Rudá that we’re not separate from nature as human beings. It’s not even that we’re in a symbiotic relationship with nature.

The point is this:

We are nature.

The things that make us unique like our ideas, our ability to create things, innovations and cities and technologies — all these wonderful things — they’re not separate from nature. They’re an expression of nature.

When you can live a life incorporating all of these realizations, you can live your life much more instinctively. You can embrace the  mystery and magic of the present moment, connecting with your true being and your deeper life force within.

If you’d like to get to know Rudá and his teachings, enroll in Out of the Box. It’s only available for a limited time. And check out the video below where Rudá answers the question: Am I on the right path?

NOW WATCH: A shaman has a surprising answer to the question, “am I on the right path?”

YouTube video


RELATED ARTICLE: How to overcome frustration with life: A personal story

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Justin Brown

I'm Justin Brown, the founder of Ideapod. I've overseen the evolution of Ideapod from a social network for ideas into a publishing and education platform with millions of monthly readers and multiple products helping people to think critically, see issues clearly and engage with the world responsibly.

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