Let’s talk about the very foundation that makes Humans Humans, Self Awareness. Self Awareness is what can help you achieve the highest level of existence in this world. Since time immemorial, human beings have been traversing, scouting, and prospecting ways to push forward humanity, both in the materialistic and the spiritualistic world.
Things that were not even imaginable a hundred years ago have been made an everyday reality by humans’ determination, knowledge, and action. Self Awareness is the substrate of those qualities.
So, let’s get into the nitty-gritty details of what self-awareness really is and how you can leverage it to live a better life.
Let The Treasure Hunt Begin
Amplify your Mind
Let me start by telling you a small story first.
One sunny day, there was a fish swimming peacefully in an ocean. She took a small detour and after swimming continuously for the next 20min she found herself in a well.
There she met a frog, and they started conversing. The fish told the frog to accompany her so that she can show her the ocean. The frog demanded, “How big was this ‘ocean’?” to which the fish replied, “it’s enormous.” The frog stretched its arms and questioned,” is it this big?”, to which the fish laughed him off and said, “it’s much bigger than that.”
Then the frog asked, “ok, so it must be as big as this well”, to which the fish again dismissed him by saying, “no! it is bigger than anything you have ever seen in your entire life.” The frog didn’t buy it, and said, “it’s not possible since there’s nothing outside this well.”
So, you see, both the frog and the fish are right from their own standpoints. The frog just needs to open his mind for a moment and just assume that maybe what the fish was saying is perhaps right. Unless he opens his mind to new information like this, he will never be able to discover the ocean and will spend his entire life living in the well.
What’s Self Awareness?
According to Wikipedia, “self-awareness is the experience of one’s own personality or individuality. It is not to be confused with consciousness in the sense of qualia. While consciousness is being aware of one’s environment and body and lifestyle, self-awareness is the recognition of that awareness.”
You must have noticed that sometimes two people who even after having the same kind of knowledge and experiences; one outperforms the other.
Why is this happening? Doesn’t this exist everywhere, in every field? Some people can grasp things quicker than others. Ever wondered what’s the reason behind this? That’s right, you guessed it, SELF AWARENESS. Some people are more aware than others, because of which, even after having the same skill set, one can outdo the other.
In the Olympics, people from all around the world, come and compete, giving their 100%. Each of them has practiced their respective sports tens of thousands of times, but during the competition, the person whose self-awareness is more takes the gold.
Why Self Awareness is Important?
Everybody in this world has different levels of self-awareness. Some have a low, and some have a really high level of self-awareness.
The more your self-awareness, the more possibilities you have in life. If one’s self-awareness is super strong, then his chances of being successful, in whatever field he is in, grow manyfold. One can learn anything faster, better, and more efficiently, thanks to his awareness.
Now comes the question that if ‘self-awareness’ is so important for us, then why no one is talking about it anywhere? Did your school talk about this? Do your parents, family, and friends ever discuss this?
Well, the thing is that people aren’t aware of “awareness”. We need to understand that knowledge is temporary, but the ability to learn something new—that’s something way more powerful and effective for you to discover.
Everyone is just spouting “pay attention to your studies”, “be attentive towards your work”, but why is no one telling us how exactly can one start paying more attention to things which actually matter?
First, it’s imperative to understand how distracted one is. The children or the youth of the country have their attention bandwidth occupied in so many different places, which is precisely why they are not able to focus on the things that actually matter. Gathering your attention from 112 places and concentrating it on one place is an art in itself. One who understands this science can literally do anything in this materialistic world.
And once you increase your Self Awareness and reach a particular level, then there comes a stage where you have the control to focus on anything, anytime, for as long you wish—whenever, wherever. How cool is that, right? Imagine being in absolute control of your ‘focus ability’.
Now it’s up to you, whether you wanna focus on something for a minute, an hour, or even more. If one can have an ability as powerful as this, then will there be anyone left in this world who will not succeed in whatever they are doing?
If you can make your ‘focus’ obey your orders, then no task will be big enough for you and no problem will be problematic enough to stop you. Everything will become possible for a man with the ability to control his focus.
That’s what makes Self Awareness so darn important.
Now some of you might be thinking that it must be “pretty hard to increase one’s self-awareness” or “one would have to meditate like a priest for hours”.
That’s the best part. It’s super easy to do. And one can practice it all day long; wherever you are, whenever you want. Here I have laid down a simple plan to work on your self-awareness by polishing it on three different levels. Now, no one has to work on all three levels, simultaneously. It’s up to you to decide which level you wanna focus more on.
Awareness #1 BODY
The first level is the level of your body. The activities of your body have direct connections to Self Awareness. If you are a couch potato, who likes to sit all day and watch TV, then there’s no question that you are gonna have a pretty mediocre level of self-awareness.
Now I am not asking you to be hyper-active all day, but just experience it yourself. Take a day where you are mildly active, and then observe your awareness, your thinking ability, and your power of focus; and compare it to a day when you were doing nothing but being a burden on this world.
You will surely notice the differences for yourselves. No rocket science. Our bodies weren’t meant for the sedentary lifestyle most of us have imbibed; we need to get our bodies in action. Now how to do that? Well, I am not gonna tell you what you should do, because there are literally a thousand ways to do that, but I can tell you what I do that has helped me a lot.
A Good Start is Important
The start of the day is pretty important as it is gonna decide how the rest of your day is spent. A good start increases the chances of having a good day by a factor of a hundred. There are a ton of things you can do. Some people eat fruit, some drink lukewarm lemon water and some make the superman pose as soon as they wake up.
I personally like doing oil pulling. You can google it and see the various advantages it brings forth. Along with improving your digestive tracks, eliminating the laziness factor, it also helps in preventing so many diseases.
Most of us have a pretty low awareness level when we wake up in the morning, probably because of sleeping late and tired. This is why this technique can work wonders for those who are seeking to increase their self-awareness level. This technique works like a detoxifier, which eliminates all the toxins from the body and increases the energy of multiple folds.
Now that I am all “freshen up” I immediately do a set of push-ups (50 reps) and some basic stretching. This makes the body even more active and hence more aware. Then I go for a light jog for 20-25 min or a brisk walk in the park for 40 min. Sometimes I prefer doing yoga as well. Occasionally I lift weights too. It changes from time to time. The idea is to try and not to make it monotonous.
The aim is to make your body active in whatever way you are comfortable with because morning time is the best time to increase your body’s self-awareness. If we don’t make our bodies active in the morning, then the ‘laziness’ leaves no stones unturned to make our bodies dull and uninspiring for the rest of the day.
Stay Active Throughout the Day
The aim is to be active throughout the day. One of the other things you can do is to use stairs. Stop using lifts, totally. It’s really easy for those who actually wanna change and are committed enough to become the better versions of themselves.
I also have a habit of doing 8-10 sets of push-ups throughout the day, between my work. For instance, whenever I need to use the washroom, I will do a set of push up. Before having any meals, I do another round.
You don’t necessarily have to do the same. You can try something else which works for you and something you are comfortable with. On-the-spot jog, squats, pull-ups, jumping jacks; whatever you find attractive.
The goal is to keep your body physically active throughout the day, so instead of spending a lump sum of 2-3hrs in the morning, you can divide it into 5-7 sets of 10min each, doing any one of the 112 exercises that don’t need any equipment.
Bonus Tip: If you are someone who has a lot of ‘screen time’, make sure you get up after every 30min session and stretch your body out. You don’t wanna develop blood clotting.
Awareness #2 MIND
Now comes the level of the mind. This level is pretty interesting.
It has been scientifically proven that our minds are not actually able to multi-focus. We can do multi-activity, like walking and chewing gum, but we can’t focus on driving while we are texting someone.
We all have seen the example of two kids, one who studies for 8hrs a day and still scores less, and the other kid who just studies for 2hrs a day but is still able to score more.
I feel you.
This is the difference—the other kid’s self-awareness is more than the first one, which is why he can focus more diligently in that limited time frame, while the first kid’s focus is distributed in many places which is why it takes him more time to study the same topics.
Batch Things Up To Be More Productive
You should batch your work, instead of trying to do all of them together. People who try to do that, go crazy and give up very easily.
Once your awareness increases then you won’t just be able to put your focus on one thing, you will also be able to take out that focus and put it at someplace else. Some people get so mixed up in their work that they can’t stop thinking about it. Even when they are with their family, their minds keep on wandering about their work (or any other thing).
Putting your focus on your work is one thing, and removing that focus is a totally different thing. You should be in charge of the switch—when to turn it on and more importantly when to turn it off. People talk about increasing the concentration level, but once your concentration level reaches its peak, then no one taught us how to bring it back, which is also equally important.
So now what’s the solution to this predicament? Is there a way, by which we can put our minds where we want, and more importantly, for only as long as it is required? Surely, there is a way.
Just, Keep BREATHING
Our breath has interlaced our mind and our body in a pretty fascinating way. One can use the breath as a tool to control and calm our minds. Our mind is actually a wild beast, and to control something as powerful as the mind, you need a leash or something to control it.
Sometimes our minds behave like wild monkeys, jumping from one place to another. You may think about your work at one moment, then suddenly you start thinking about your family, your children’s future, your own past, and God knows what else.
So, to keep it under control, you need some kind of a tool, and this is where your breath comes into the picture. Before you do anything substantial, take a deep breath.
- Wanna give a presentation in front of the board members? Take a deep breath.
- Going for a run? Take a deep breath.
- Finally asking her out? Take a deep breath.
- Taking that leap of faith? Take a deep breath.
- Confused about what to choose? Take a deep breath.
Once you do this, all your concentration and focus which were distributed in various places gets concentrated into a single place, making you act full throttle. Is there anything rocket science about this? It is literally as easy as it gets.
The other permutation of this tool is regulating your breaths.
Whenever we get nervous, excited, or stressed out, our breaths become irregular which is why our heartbeat becomes uneven, which further aggravated our emotions and the whole loop keeps on repeating. Our breath looks somewhat like this:
So, whenever you find yourself in such a situation, just start taking breaths at a regular pace.
And see the magic.
Increase Your Awareness By Practicing it from Today
Tools like these, help us control the most powerful thing in the world, which is our human mind. You see, all these talks are actually crap unless you actually put them into practice. You can do various other things to keep reminding yourself of all this stuff because you are gonna forget all this after a week.
One can paste posters, make tattoos, wear bands, use perfumes, even put a reminder on his mobile saying, “Be aware”. Just like a constant and subtle nudge to make you aware.
These simple things might sound silly and frivolous at first but once you start putting them in action, then you can actually witness your awareness level going up. Every successful person is using some kind of a tool that is making them do all the wonderful things they are doing, so you have to figure out which tools you can use for your own situation.
Once your awareness level reaches a particular stage, then you will have the power to control your mind, your body, and even your thoughts. You will be able to choose the thoughts you want to embrace and ignore the thoughts that trouble you. You will only eat while eating, walk while walking, and play while playing; making yourself fully alive and aware in the present moment.
Awareness #3 Soul
Now comes the highest level, the level of the soul or spirit. If you want to increase your self-awareness at this level, then there’s only one path that leads to this, which is none other than, MEDITATION.
All the works related to the mind and body have to be done outside. But if you have to work on your soul, then you have to work inside, you have to close your eyes and meditate. Now you don’t have to directly set a goal of meditating for an hour or so, even 5-10 min is a great way to get started.
The power one feels through meditation is beyond anything one would have ever experienced, and don’t take my words for it, there are already countless studies conducted on meditation that will validate all the claims.
To sum it all up, if you wanna increase your awareness level temporarily then work at the level of your body (which is very important.)
If you wanna push your boundaries even further, on a more permanent basis, then work at the level of your mind.
And if you wanna go beyond everything and break all the barriers—if you wanna reach the phase of being limitless and boundaryless, then you have to work at the level of your soul. Working on the level of the soul can truly make you fearless and will let you experience the real powers of being Infinite.