In our journey through life, I would like to think each and every one of us are striving, at our own individual pace, to become the best person we can be … the best person we want to be … the best person we know we imagine ourselves to be, in all areas: the very definition of Personal Development.
Now there are many approaches to personal development but the one I aspire to, as detailed on the face of this blog page, is quite simple: my Triple A (AAA) approach to any form of personal development is:
Today I will elaborate on the first of the three A’s: AWARENESS.
What does it mean to be Aware or rather Self-Aware?
Now, we’ve got to be careful here, as there are always two sides to a coin, there is Negative Self-Awareness and there is Positive Self-Awareness, lets focus on the latter.
Positive Self-Awareness is the first and most important step in self-development. It is that “aha” moment one experiences in understanding the potential and abundance we have, and perhaps how little we have done to challenge our minds thus far. And just how little we know.
Here’s a thought to give you an idea of what it means to be self-Aware: Can you look in the mirror and “see” what you don’t see? Can you look in the mirror and see what lies behind your own eyes? Have you? Is how you think, feel and act consistent? Keep looking in the mirror until you see the real “you”.
I believe, fundamentally, being Positively Self-Aware means being open-minded. Are you open-minded? Or, do you look at life through your parents glasses? Are your prejudices inherited or are they your own?
Or, are you hardened, cold and closed to new ideas and new opportunities and change? This hardness can come in various forms: vulgarity and rudeness, intellectual cynicism, prejudice, stubbornness, lack of empathy etc. Ask yourself this the next time you look at yourself in the mirror, if you’re gain enough.
Strive to not become a narrow-minded human being. Being open and able to see the many alternatives in every situation is being Positively self-Aware. Try looking at “relative” rather than “absolute” facts in a situation.
Being self-Aware is accepting that skin colour, birthplace, religious beliefs, sex, financial status, and intelligence are not measures of worth. It is realizing that each human being on earth is a person with equal rights to fulfiil his or her own potential in life.
Each of us are unique, unique in our fingerprints, unique in our footprints, unique even in our lip-prints. We also speak and think on different frequencies. Haven’t we all found ourselves saying “we’re not on the same wave length or page!”
We don’t have to look very far for examples of this, just give the nightly TV news 5 minutes and you will see the result of people on different frequencies illustrated in many ways …. discord in family, social and international life. Everyone is looking through a different set of lens. Looking at different mirrors.
What it means to self-Aware is to have empathy. How is your ability to be empathetic? Ask yourself “how would I like to have a husband like me if I were my wife?” or “how would I like to have a father like me if I were my children?” or “how would I like to have a manager like me if I were my employees?”
Being self-Aware, we must all strive to find our own healthy stress level in life and to operate within that range or level. A domestic cat would not be able to handle the stress levels that which a tiger would be able to handle. Know yourself. Know your limits. The truth is some never do.
Being self-Aware also understands that the person who does not read is no better than the person who cannot read – and, that a person who does not continue to learn, to adapt and grow, is not better than one who cannot grow. We’re all truly unique individuals with unique strengths and weaknesses. Understand your uniqueness and appreciate the differences in others. It is a beautiful world indeed.
So, I leave you with these thoughts: by knowing who you are, where you’re at and where you’re going allows you to see the possibilities and alternatives available in your life. If you leave things up to chance you may miss opportunities as you muddle around in circles, like a dog chasing its tail. Alternatives only exist if you know which way you are going.
Change your philosophy on life. Change your environment. Change your life. A change of philosophy follows a better Awareness of self.
Here’s one idea to increase your sense of self-Awareness you may want to try: Try imagining being someone else that you know for a day: your wife; your husband; your parents, your children, your workmate. Try seeing life through their eyes and how you imagine them to ‘see’ you. What would each of them be thinking about you. Why?
I’ll leave you with a little prayer that I’ve got my lovely daughter to say every night as I tuck her in to bed. She says “Lord, help me be the best I can be…. for me, … and for everyone else”.
The best you can be. For YOU. First.
Understand that person who is behind those eyes when you look in the mirror.
Strive to become more self-Aware. Your destiny in life hinges on it.