Why practice self-awareness? What will it offer me? These are common questions among many.

Life is all around. We see life everywhere. We may recognize one form of life from another (think of animals vs. plants). However, we often skip examining a specific aspect of life. And that is our self. That is why self-exploration is vital.

When I talk about self-awareness with friends or colleagues, many respond with an attitude of “I have better things to do”. But then, I ask: Have you tried it?

All you know is by experience.

If you haven’t tried something, it is not logical to judge it. That is because you do not know anything about it. You may read about it, listen, or talk about it. Still, you don’t know it.

If you want to know something, you have to try it. Then, you can form an opinion and decide whether it benefits you or not. Accordingly, you take the appropriate actions to bring this benefit to life.

If you want to know something, try it. As simple as that. Don’t just read about it. There are so many people nowadays who just think about things. To get the whole picture, you need experience and perception.

That is why I keep saying, “All you know is by experience or perception”. To clarify, this applies to this very post or blog. Don’t believe what I write. Do not disbelieve it either. If you want to know, you need experience.

Experience to knowing

No matter how much you read about a topic, you will not become an expert. If you want to know about swimming, you have to swim. Similarly, if you’re going to know life, you have to live. It is a fair life.

Imagine I give you two hundred PhD-level books on physics. And you read all of them during the quarantine. Do you then call yourself a scientist? I hope not. You may have tremendous knowledge but no hands-on experience. If you want to know, you have to apply your knowledge.

In other words, knowledge can be a way to know. But not on its own. It has to come with experience. Experience is a fundamental requirement of knowing. Knowledge is not.

This is a photo I have taken when I was cycling though the Great Ocean Road, Australia in 2018.

There is no panacea

The beautiful thing is that there is no panacea for anything. In other words, there is no ONE true or correct way to do anything, whether it is work, play, sleep, anything. For example, think of sports or working out. There is no one right way to build muscles. You can do so by going to the gym, playing tennis or just swimming.

The same applies to self-awareness. There are thousands of techniques out there that prove this to you. Many people keep saying how thankful they are for certain practices. As it turns out, these practices benefit them. But others say the same techniques do not work and recommend something else.

Both people can be correct. Take meditation, for example. There are thousands of people that testify to the effectiveness of meditation. At the same time, others say it doesn’t work. The fact is that meditation works for some people and doesn’t for others. You know if it works for you only when you try it. No matter what others are saying.

Discipline is key

As I said earlier, there are hundreds of practices available for self-awareness. I cannot have an opinion on all of them. In any case, my opinion is not worth sharing, even for those techniques that I have used. After all, there is no point in promoting a specific practice over another. It may have worked for me, but it may not work for someone else.

All I try to do is share some thoughts on approaching self-awareness exercises. After all, Life is all around. And there is so much life within. It is 100% worth exploring.

So far, we have seen that A) there is no perfect solution for everyone and that B) trying for yourself is pivotal. But how to make sure you tried correctly?

The first step is to give a fair shot to every technique. That means you pay attention and adhere to the respective guidelines. Follow the source with reverence, and the method will show if it works for you. You cannot apply 50% of what you read and expect the practice to work.

That’s why discipline is essential for practicing self-awareness and development. If the instructions suggest that you practice a technique for at least two weeks, then go along with the guidelines. If you cannot commit to the rules and directions, do not try at all. It will be in vain. If you want to know, you have to commit. Life is fair.

Take away

In this post, you learned three aspects of practicing self-awareness:

  1. If you want to know something, you need to try it.
  2. There is no one perfect solution or panacea for everyone.
  3. Discipline is key: follow the instructions to give the practice a fair try.

More posts will come on techniques and exercises for self-awareness. Stay tuned and enjoy the journey of life.

And don’t forget: Life is all around.

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