self awareness

Self awareness

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This article on Self awareness is the second part of the series which takes you on specific aspects of self development. For those who have missed the first part you can read it here.

Self awareness is a relatively unknown facet of self development. Even though hardly talked about is importance can hardly be overemphasized. So what exactly is self-awareness?

Self awareness is a sharp realization of one’s own personality – it is a collective understanding of one’s strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, motivations and emotions. Self awareness is very important for anyone who wishes to be in better control of his life and relationships.

Self awareness has certain overt manifestations.

Eye for detail:

A self aware person has an eye for detail. This signifies that such an individual always focuses on his priorities and does not miss out on anything important by getting distracted by what is not.

Consciousness about every moment:

Time is money. A moment lost is lost forever. A self aware person is always conscious about his time and invariably knows how to make the best use of it. High productivity and efficiency are key attributes of a person of a time conscious person.

Active, Alive and Alert:

Self awareness enables a person to be alive to any emerging situation and ensures that he is active and alert in his response. This really indicates that such a person never suffers from procrastination which is the bane of life, and which has literally destroyed many personalities.

Learning through self observation:

Among other things, self awareness also inculcates in the individual the conscious habit of self observation. A person is able to observe himself in terms of what is good in him and what is not. He also tries to assimilate the good of others again by observing what to emulate.

Being honest with self:

It is often said – one can never run away from one’s own self. Being self-aware also implies that a person is honest with his own self. This requires a person to objectively analyze on the areas of weaknesses, and focus on covering his development needs.

Three Step process for developing self awareness:

Step #1: Being aware of emotions:

Often we tend to take decisions solely using our mind – what is commonly known as rational thoughts. However, being aware of our inner feelings – our instinct which is what our inner conscience tells us to do is equally important. With awareness of our gut feelings, we can start taking better decisions and take the first step to self awareness.

Step # 2: Track your feelings:

A self aware person is able to track his feelings both positive and negative. This can be best achieved by jotting down on a daily basis these feelings and then analyzing the trend. Monitoring the feelings is a way by which a self aware person is able to define his purpose in life, and is able to enhance positive feelings and channelize his thoughts into positive action.

Step # 3: Expand the practice beyond tracking the feelings:

Once a self aware person gets used to tracking his feelings, the next step is to track the energy level. This enables him to identify the period(s) of the day when he are most energized, focused, and is able to produce highest quality work. Tracking the energy also provides insights into what motivates and what drains the energy.

Ways to Develop Self-awareness:

Certain positive activities that can be undertaken on a daily basis for developing self awareness are:

  1. Look at yourself objectively:

This signifies that a person starts accepting himself for all his strengths and weaknesses.

  1. Keep a Journal:

Maintaining a journal helps you record your day to day experiences and enables you to better understand your difficulties and 

  1. Goals / Plans / Priorities:

Start recording the goals, plans and priorities. Goals are the broad overall objectives to be achieved in life over a short/medium/long term. Plans represent the route map towards the achievement of the goals. Priorities signify the areas of focus when plans are put into implementation.

  1. Daily Self Reflection:

A process of daily self reflection ensures that an individual is never trapped in a rut. Self reflection is a key technique for generating self awareness and involves the following:

  1. Try out new experiences:The saying goes that you do the same things, the result remains the same. Trying out new experiences involves exploring new ideas, experimenting new techniques and find out new and innovate ways to solving the problem.

  2. Discover physical limits:A person only becomes aware of his true physical limits when he tests them. Pushing the limits enhances the physical capacity and also enables a person to do more

  3. Self motivate:Daily self reflection on how a person can keep himself self-motivated at all times. Self motivation is the power that enables a person to keep going.

  1. Meditation:

The process of meditation can help become self aware and focus clearing the clutter of unnecessary thoughts. Meditation helps an individual develop a unique focus that helps an individual in covering all the areas mentioned above. 

  1. Feedback from friends:

Seeking out feedback from true friends involves getting their honest opinions about areas of improvement and weaknesses that need to be developed upon. 

  1. Feedback at the work place:

Professional feedback can be sought from colleagues at work. This helps a person reach out and network and enables him to learn from the experience of others.

To sum up self awareness is not an eventual objective by itself. It is continuing process that enables a person to live a truly meaningful and fulfilled life. The process of discovering the true meaning of the term in all its facets is a truly rewarding process. The pointers mentioned above are only the starting points for you. All the best!

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Self Development

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Self Development:

Self Development is a very important aspect of the human being.

In today’s life the modern man finds himself trapped in a concrete jungle, living a rat race. This is a life full of stress, tensions and anxieties to be the star performer at the workplace, and to be perceived as an ideal son, husband and father at home.

In this continuing madness, he tends to loose his sense of self and finds himsel loosing control over his live, powerless as he is to take corrective and remedial action. Such inability to do what is right and bring things back on track is largely caused by the lack of realization of what is wrong and what needs to be done.

The answer to this problem is Self Development.

But what is self development? As the term suggested it is bringing about all round improvement in one’s own self. A plain dictionary meaning of the term by itself would bring cold comfort to someone who really needs self development.

We therefore need to understand what self-development is by understanding what it implies. Self development can be best understood by examining its components. These are enumerated one by one:

  • Self awareness
  • Self knowledge
  • Communication
  • Career
  • Self potential
  • Health – physical and psychological
  • Social status
  • Social relations
  • Personality

Let us look at each of these aspects in greater detail:

Self awareness: What is self awareness?

Self awareness is the understanding of where one finds himself. What does he considers as his duty every moment of the day? How is he supposed to utilize each waking moment of his time? What should he say? How and to whom? A high sense of self awareness is seen in person who is proactive in thought, alert in mind and body and energetic in action. Such is person stays ahead in every situation.

Self knowledge:

Self knowledge flows from self awareness. Self knowledge enables a person to truly understand himself – his role and contribution to society. Self knowledge is also a self appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of the personality and character on an ongoing basis. Self knowledge is also the knowledge of the inner universe of an individual – the knowledge of which is vital to successfully navigate the outer universe.

Communication:

Communication is the vehicle for building social relations. This was true in the days when technology and internet did not exist; but is has become even more true today when we are living in a deeply interconnected world. Communication has various aspects these are:

  1. Thoughts and Ideas:Communication originates in the mind in the form of a thought which is translated into an idea to be expressed. A creative mind is fertile ground for positive expression, whereas a negative mind is minefield of hate filled negative communication.
  2. Voice & Speech:The voice represents the emotion and the level of self confidence of the individual.  The speech represents the spoken words manifested by the eloquence or lack of it in expressing the ideas of the mind.

Morale, Self-confidence & Self Esteem:

What is morale? A high morale refers to a very positive state of mind of a person which is ever challenged into seeking increasing difficult tasks to achieve. Low morale represents the opposite  where all round pessimism pervades; and where procrastination and dreariness are the norm.

An individual’s morale depends upon his self-confidence. The self-confidence in turn depends upon the self-esteem of the individual. A person with low sense of self esteem has little self-confidence to do the simplest of tasks, while claiming both ownership and responsibility for the same. On the other hand a person with a high sense of self esteem always lunges forward, taking bold and calculated risks. Such a person always stretches himself in a quest to continuously improve his productivity, and sense of self fulfillment in his life and in his work.

Career:

Gone are the days when a person could take up a secure career in a government job and work until his retirement doing pretty much the same work. Today, career development has become very important in today’s very fast changing and dynamic world. This implies staying relevant with the changing times by adapting one’s skills and abilities to meet the changing requirements of society and the work place.

Potential:

Each one of us has a latent, immense and untapped potential which sadly few of us achieve. The main reason for remaining underachievers is equally to lack of self belief in our potential as also the knowledge that such a potential even exists. Self development really starts where we become aware of our immense potential and start taking positive steps to tap it and creatively utilize it.

Health:

Health has two aspects – physical and psychological. Good health commonly is commonly understood only as a state where the body remain free from ailments. There is general ignorance about the impact of an healthy mind (free of negative thoughts and emotions) on the physical health of an individual. It is often said a fit mind in a fit body. However, the reverse is equally true – a fit mind ensures that the body remains fit and free from many ‘lifestyle’ diseases.

Social Status:

Development of the social status refers to the upward move of individual on the social ladder. The craving for a high social status is considered the highest of the famous Manslow’s personal self actualization hierarchy. A high social status represents his desire for self actualization. Maslow describes this level as the desire to accomplish everything that one can, to become the most that one can be.

Social Relations:

Social relations determine the social status of a person. At the same time the person’s social status also determines his social relations. Development of the ability to develop social relations gives an individual the power to increase his ever widening circle of social contacts. This in turn enhances his power, his prestige, sense of self worth and most importantly his social status.

Personality :

Personality Development seems to be the buzz word these days. While everyone likes to talk about it, few seem to truly understand. Development of one’s personality is more than adherence to a mere set of guidelines to be followed in terms of dos and don’ts. Personality has several important components that need to be understood and developed. These include:

  1. Posture: An erect posture signifies confidence, a positive forthright attitude, and a fit body that consciously receives large amount s of life giving oxygen into the lungs.
  2. Body Language: This represents the non verbal communication that translates and conveys more than 80% of the message and is often more important than the spoken words.
  3. Thoughts and self belief: Each individual creates his own universe through self-belief about himself and thoughts about others. Such thoughts and self beliefs either fashion a mind full of prejudice, hate and envy at the negative level or love, empathy and positivity on the other.
  4. Attitude: It is said our attitude determines our altitude. Development of the attitude involves moving away from being negative about persons, and events and seeing some good in everything perceived as bad.

The above stated aspects of self development are by no means an exhaustive list of what one must do for oneself. At the same, these are not water tight compartments that need to be looked in isolation. Often development of a single area can have greater than proportionate effect in other areas. So what one essentially needs to do it to focus and try to better understand each and consciously inculcate the habit to bring about self improvements howsoever small for the overall objective of self development.

Each of these areas will be covered in detail in forthcoming presentations. Thanks for reading.

6 Reasons Why We Lose Commonsense!

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Common sense has become an uncommon virtue, today. It is said that common sense is not gift any more but it is punishment! Why? Because, the person with common sense has to deal with people who are without it, mostly! Yet, for sure, in spite of talent and hard work you can hardly reach your goal without this simple precious merit.

Why has common sense become uncommon? There are many social, business and environmental reasons.

Let us try to find when` one loses commonsense.

1               When people consider that they are super intelligent, they lose perspective. Where there is no perspective, there is no commonsense. Thus, ego is the worst enemy of common sense. Application of mind is difficult. But judging is not. So people don’t try to apply mind but they choose a simpler way and they prefer not to understand, but to judge. You must be self aware and ready to learn. Knowledge is limitless but thinking that you know all shows lack of common sense.

2              When we start to explain away our obvious mistakes, the situation betrays lack of common sense. Instead of learning from the experience one tends to reinforce the mistakes. Habits die hard and commonsense also tells us so. We must learn from every mistake that we make. Mistakes are made but if the same mistake is repeated it shows our apathy towards improvement.

3              Even when religion is followed dogmatically, we lose commonsense. This does not mean that we should not respect our religion. It only means that we must not follow anything blindly. When we properly understand our religion, there will be greater respect.

4              Overpowered by the carnal desire, one loses total sense leave alone common! At times, strong desires also make you lose commonsense. Because, You do not consider repercussions of your actions.. Self awareness and you decisions to maintain your perspective will not allow such an occurrence to takeplace.

5              There is another reason- we start comparing ourselves with others. Comparison is odious. Mostly people compare their plight with those who are better off. They think why they are left behind when they are equally talented and hardworking.  It is not possible to understand and assess the true reasons of a successful person. So it is best never to compare oneself with another.

6              Lastly when you try to please everyone you lose common sense. You may harm your interest inorder to please someone. You may not even realize it. Sometimes, pleasing others becomes habit that causes losses more than gains. And we know that habits tend to stay with you long enough.

So friends, whenever you find yourself in mess, just try to locate your common sense!

Thanks for reading.

The Science of Living

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Life has many facets: habits, aspirations, goals, significance etc. It is rare that there has been an artist who was also a good householder and a progressive human being. When I say a good householder, I mean one who facilitates the family in all respects. He not only provides for them materially but also emotionally. This is so, typically for a family man. But when we talk of an individual who doesn’t have a family they too will have to find out their goals, what they want to do in life by controlling or changing their habits. In these circumstances it is difficult to imagine an artist who is totally devoted to his/her passion for art putting similar stress on all the other aspects of life, as said above.

Therefore I think we must understand and practice the ‘Science of living’.

The first facet of this science, according to me, would be ‘Self Awareness’. An individual needs to be conscious of his own body, state of mind including thoughts, actions, ideas, feeling and interaction with others. Besides, self awareness has to be a continuous process. It’s only then that you can mould your thoughts, actions and relationship with others. Without doubt, this requires a constant review – a study that is scientific in nature. It teaches you how to go about finding solutions to the problems.

self-awareness2

Once you are self aware, you must set your priorities. It is not only fixing the priorities but also scheduling them according to their relative importance. We must remember that when we schedule a task and provide a time slot, it is not necessary that time allocated will always be found to be sufficient. Time management is another important aspect to be reviewed from time to time. The discipline that you require for constant follow up requires a scientific approach. It should have nothing to do with the moods of the person. When a particular task is not finished as per schedule you need to provide the next slot and abide by it. This protocol alone can bring about the desired results.

Priority

Once we are self aware, and we know what to do and we have also fixed our priorities, it is necessary to develop a keen sense of focus. To my mind doing only one thing at a time is the best approach. As far as possible there should be no interruption. Equally important is your total mind and soul into what you are doing. One has to start living in the present, moment to moment. Deliberate effort may be required for some time but then it becomes your habit and you start navigating you life as if you are flying an airplane.

focus3

Lastly, I would say that your speech is very important. Because we have to interact with colleagues, family members and the society at large, we must choose our words and use them effectively. Any wrong choice or casual approach towards this very important aspect of human personality can be disastrous. Speech must always be clear; words should be chosen with discretion and spoken effectively. Speech helps to maintain and improve our relations in any environment.

Obama Accepts Nomination On Final Day Of Democratic National Convention

To conclude I would like to say that a successful life in modern times requires us to know and practice the ‘Science of living’.

Thanks for reading.