8 Gifts That Rites Of Passage Have To Offer

8 Gifts That Rites Of Passage Have To Offer

Rites of passages have been around since the early humans formed tribes. They’ve been ways for us to tell stories and initiate youth into adulthood, ascended adulthood, and beyond.

Some rites of passages were, and still are, intense. Some involve a quest. Some are about celebrating life, some are about honoring the dead. Some have been going on for centuries, and some are just starting now, as humanity realizes the need for the gifts of these experiences. Ultimately, a common pattern I see with many of them comes down to instilling these 8 gifts into a person’s life.

1. Discovering who we really are


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    A modern-day rite of passage that many high school students today are experimenting with is a gap year—an extended period of time to travel, work, and experience life outside of the traditional academic system. Some of the primary benefits the students gain from taking a gap year include realizing what they really love (before they jump into any major and start studying), being more adaptable to a variety of cultures, learning new languages faster, making amazing friends, and experiencing lots of adventures. Imagine how big of a difference it can make if you already know what you want to master in your life before you dive into a structured path of study. It’d surely save you lots of time and money.

    2. Discovering what we’re made of

    Rites Of Passages Adam Siddiq

      Me after a somersault, dodging a gladiator at the finish line of a Spartan Beast Race, 2013.


      In the Amazon of Brazil, there is a tribe called the Sateré-Mawé. If you’ve ever heard of a rite of passage where boys wear a huge glove filled with angry bullet ants for 10 minutes, this is a Sateré-Mawé tradition. It initiates boys into men as their endurance is tested to see how much pain they can tolerate. This is definitely an extreme example of a rite of passage for discovering what we’re made of, and if you notice parallels in the other rites of passage, you’ll often notice a trend of breaking through limiting beliefs and showing youth that they are capable and stronger than they think.

      The benefit of experiencing and enduring pain is knowing that we can move through it. Now, I’m not recommending or suggesting anybody stick their hand in a glove filled with bullet ants, but we can definitely realize that we’re much more than we thought when we experience and move through physical challenges—be it a Spartan Race, triathlon, a mountain backpacking journey, or going through an intensive group experience like what Garret J. White has created with Wake Up Warrior.

      One powerful mental challenge I set for myself a few years ago was a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat. To meditate 14 hours a day, not speak to anyone, and be in silence was really challenging by day 2 and 3, but afterward there was a profound peace where I learned to be even more comfortable in my own skin, regardless of the silence or noise around me.

      3. Discovering our purpose in life


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        Perhaps one of the strongest long-time rites of passage that have supported many people for thousands of years to discover purpose in their lives is the Native American Vision Quest. The Vision Quest has four primary elements to it: solitude, immersion in nature, fasting, and community. People to this day still embark on Vision Quests and speak of how they enter a sacred space and time, where the questions that call to them often are, “Who am I? What do I have to give? How can I heal my wounds?”

        Living in a state of consciousness, like the merging of the dream world and waking world, many people throughout time return from these experiences with powerful insights about who they are, what they are called to do and contribute in their lifetime, and, ultimately, they return with a more open heart, bringing their unique gifts with enthusiasm to their family, friends, and community.


        4. Developing life skills

        Rites Of Passages Tony Robbins

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          When met with challenges during these rites of passage, people are required to access many different resources within themselves, like courage, creativity, innovation, and relationship-building skills. Take the modern-day rite of passage Claire Potter challenged her son to. He was coming close to his 13th birthday and wanted more freedom. As a test to expand his identity into adolescence, Claire sent him out on 10 challenges that included performing a 13-bar blues piece in public, taking the train alone, and cooking a three-course family dinner from scratch. Not as intense as some of the more ancient rites of passage, but these challenges empowered Claire’s son with confidence and an expanded sense of resourcefulness in life.

          Today, we have the fortune of going to immersive seminars, like those of Tony Robbins. At his Unleash The Power Within event, one of the breakthrough rituals everyone is invited to participate in is the fire walk. For hours before the legendary fire walk, Tony guides the audience in mastering their mindset and conditioning their bodymind to be in a state of peak performance and fearlessness—the state needed to walk on 2100-degree Fahrenheit coals and walk off without the slightest blister. At the event, I learned many powerful life lessons, 10 of which I shared in a previous Lifehack post.

          5. Honoring our family lineage


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            In most ancient rites of passage, the whole family and community came together to participate in the boy or girl’s experience. The elders led the experiences from the wisdom that was passed down to them from their ancestors. The fathers, mothers, and older siblings would prepare and initiate the participant from childhood to adulthood. Throughout the entire process was honor for one’s family lineage and community. The boy or girl would come back to the community as a new, evolved human being with a new role and responsibility to greater contribute to the community.


            In today’s western world, there’s been a disconnection with honoring our family lineages. Most people don’t even know who their great grandfathers and grandmothers were and what they did. We have made our elders into folders, putting them into a sort of solitary confinement we call “seniors’ homes,” rarely visiting. The gift of re-incorporating rites of passage in today’s world will bring the tremendous amount of wisdom our elders have to today’s younger generations.

            6. Expanding our sense of identity


              Photo Source: An exercise from UPW with Tony Robbins used to expand one’s identity

              With the transition and transformation through the rite of passage, one takes on a new, expanded sense of identity. They realize they are more than who they thought they were. They now have a greater sense of responsibility to contribute to the community, and with that comes a greater joy to be of service.

              I remember a time where I secretly signed my dad up for a Spartan Beast race. At the time, he was recovering from prostate cancer surgery, and before that he was, to say the least, in a funk. I knew the cancer was a wake-up call in his life for him to reorganize and become a greater version of himself, and I knew he had been habitually eating a poor diet with no exercise. So, I inspired him to do a Spartan race. I told him it would be about 3 miles. This one was 13 miles with over 25 obstacles along the way. At the time, the most my dad had run in his life was 5 miles.

              When it came to race day, he saw what lay ahead of him. Anger, stress, and anxiety took over as he was concerned with whether he could make it through with his state of health. And guess what? He did. In fact, he finished 12th place in his age division. This was such an extraordinary accomplishment for him that when he crossed the finish line filled with joy, he realized he was capable of so much more than he’d thought before. He carried this through his life with greater confidence than before, winning the fight and kicking cancer’s ass.

              7. Transitioning to a new stage of life


              Rites Of Passages Adam Siddiq

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                From boy to man, girl to woman, adulthood to an ascended level of adulthood, rites of passage have been a marking point of a person’s transition from who they previously were to who they must become to claim the next level of life that has been waiting for them. The courage, faith, determination, trust, inner-guidance, and resourcefulness we develop through experiencing rites of passage make transitioning to new stages of life so much more effortless.

                8. Celebrating the gift of life

                Rites Of Passages Lifehack

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                  Life is a beautiful gift and rites of passage remind us of this blessing which we’ve been given. They also remind us of the gift we’re here to give back. The celebration kicks off full-tilt as the new hero returns from their journey, being initiated and cracked open to love, growth, service, and the realization of their infinite potential.

                  So go on, experience a rite of passage and, with it, experience all 8 of these gifts and much more!

                  Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via

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                  Last Updated on August 20, 2018

                  60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

                  60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

                  Sometimes it’s easier to focus on what we don’t have, rather than what we do have. It’s important to take time out and remember all of the things to be thankful for that many of us take for granted.

                    Here you’ll find 60 very solid things to be thankful for in your everyday life. These are great reminders for you to treasure everything you have.

                    1. Good Health

                    Even if you’re health isn’t great, it could be worse and you likely still have some working parts to be thankful for.

                    2. Money in the Bank

                    Having just a few coins makes you richer than most people on Earth.

                    3. Good Friends

                    Often, it’s the quality of friendships, not the quantity.

                    4. Freedom of Religion

                    Being able to worship whomever and however you want is something many people don’t ever experience.

                    5. Your Parents

                    Even if they’re dysfunctional, they gave you life.

                    6. Weekends

                    There’s something magical about weekends.

                    7.Having a Partner

                    Being in a romantic relationship can teach you so much about the world and yourself.

                    8. Pets

                    Pets offer one of the best examples of unconditional love.

                    9. Learning from Mistakes

                    If we never made mistakes, we wouldn’t learn much so it is one of those things we should be thankful for.

                    10. Opportunity to Get an Education

                    The opportunity to attend school is something many people don’t have.


                    11. Having a Home

                    Whether you live in an apartment, a mansion, or a tent, having a place to call home is something to be thankful for.

                    12. An Ability to Read

                    If you’re reading this right now, you have a lot to be thankful for.

                    13. Breathing Fresh Air

                    Being able to step outside to breathe in fresh air is a good reminder how many little things we should be thankful for.

                    14. A Bed to Sleep

                    A bed is one of those things that’s easy to take for granted, until you don’t have one.

                    15. Laughter

                    Without laughter, the world would be a sad place.

                    16. Safety and Security

                    Being able to wake up without immense fear frees us up to really live life.

                    17. Cars

                    Without cars, it would take a lot longer to get our activities done.

                    18. Sunshine

                    The sun’s warmth can brighten any day.

                    19. Time

                    Although we often don’t think there’s enough of it, time is something we shouldn’t take for granted.

                    20. Clean Water

                    Many people on earth lack access to clean water.

                    21. Cell Phones

                    Cell phones make talking to loved ones easy.

                    22. Love

                    The world sure would be a different place if we lacked the ability to love.

                    23. Books

                    Books provide an opportunity to enter another world all from the comfort of your own home.


                    24. Kindness of Strangers

                    Never take the kindness of a stranger for granted.

                    25. Campfires

                    The simplicity of a campfire creates lifelong memories.

                    26. Pain

                    Without pain, it would be difficulty to appreciate life’s joys.

                    27. Art

                    The world would be less beautiful if art didn’t exist.

                    28. Holidays

                    Any reason to celebrate is something we should be thankful for.

                    29. Freedom of Speech

                    Being able to express your thoughts and feelings freely should never be taken for granted.

                    30. Rainbows

                    The beauty of a rainbow is unmatched.

                    31. Tears

                    Sometimes when there are no words to say, tears express how we feel for us.

                    32. Waking up Today

                    Simply waking up today means you have things to be thankful for.

                    33. Indoor Plumbing

                    Indoor plumbing not only provides convenience, it spares us from disease.

                    34. Wisdom that Comes with Age

                    Thankfully, we grow smarter over time.

                    35. Mountains

                    Mountains provide us with beauty and recreation.

                    36. Eyesight

                    Being able to see allows us to view the world’s beauty.


                    37. Grocery Stores

                    Grocery stores mean we don’t have to spend all of our time getting our own food.

                    38. Sunsets

                    Sunsets are a reminder that we should enjoy the simple things in life.

                    39. Entertainment

                    Entertainment gives us a way to relax and enjoy life.

                    40. Your Mind

                    Being able to think, remember, and solve problems sure makes life easier.

                    41. Employment

                    Even if you don’t like your job, being employed means someone thought you were special enough to hire.

                    42. Diversity

                    The world would be a boring place without diversity.

                    43. Moon and Stars

                    The moon and stars encourage us to dream.

                    44. Electricity

                    Electricity makes most of our chores efficient.

                    45. Air Conditioning

                    Staying cool on a hot day is something people wouldn’t have dreamed about in past centuries.

                    46. Hearing

                    Being able to hear your loved one’s voice is something that not everyone gets to do.

                    47. Children

                    Watching children laugh, grow, and dream can keep things in perspective.

                    48. Ability to Learn

                    The ability to learn new things means we have endless potential.

                    49. People Willing to Teach

                    Whether it’s your grandmother teaching you to knit or your plumber showing you how to prevent future problems, be grateful that others are willing to use their time and talents to teach you something new.


                    50. Oceans

                    The sea creatures in the ocean almost seem too mystical to be real.

                    51. Modern Medicine

                    Without advances in modern medicine, many of us wouldn’t be alive.

                    52. Music

                    Music brings out new emotions.

                    53. Entrepreneurs

                    Some of life’s best inventions resulted from an entrepreneur who was willing to take a risk.

                    54. Warm Clothing

                    On a cold day, there’s nothing more important than warm clothing.

                    55. Freedom to Vote

                    Being able to have a say in the laws should never be taken for granted.

                    56. An Internet Connection

                    It’s hard to believe how easy it is to take the internet for granted, seeing how none of us had just a couple of decades ago.

                    57. Challenges

                    Without challenges in life, we wouldn’t be the people we are now.

                    58. Hiking Trails

                    Hiking trails give us the chance to enjoy mother’s nature beauty.

                    59. Vaccines

                    Many of us wouldn’t be alive without today’s vaccinations.

                    60. Armed Forces

                    Our lives would likely be very different if we didn’t have protection from the armed forces.

                    Realizing all the things you should be thankful for is the first step, practicing gratitude is what you should start doing:

                    6 Ways To Implement More Gratitude In Your Life

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via

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