If there’s one thing that comes close to being the “magical swoosh” to happiness, it’s self-awareness.
You say you know yourself — but do you really?
The reality of today is most of us say, do and function in a certain way just so to fit the mainstream narrative and standards even when it comes at a cost of our unwillingness and unhappiness.
More so today than ever when social media is an integral part of our lifestyles, we’re pandering to the societal norms.
Visiting places because others are. Uploading images because others are. Dreaming to be rich because others are. And trying to be a doctor or engineer because others are.
We’re farther from our true self. And this usually manifests in long-term unhappiness.
Do you want to be happy?
Become self-aware, if yes.
What do you *really* like? What do you *really* want from life? Who are you *really*?
Some of these answers might even make you uncomfortable and disappointed momentarily. But in the long run, they will form the backbone of your happy and content life.
Now the question comes, how does one get self-aware? It does sound like a bit tricky — but it’s nothing that you can’t achieve.
Just follow these 5 simple tips and create self-awareness:
1. Ask this question VERY often
“Does it make me happy?” OR “Do they make me feel good?”
Whenever you’re doing something or engaging with any individual, ask any of these questions.
The motto is to recognize your inner feelings and create a positive ecosystem around you by eliminating everything and everyone that makes you feel negative.
These questions are the right way to have several self-reflection sessions throughout your day that will help you understand what’s right for you and what’s not.
From there, you can take the necessary actions towards things and people that do make you feel happy.
2. Talk to a friend or family member who you trust
Take help of people who know you inside-out and who you can trust.
Ask them what they think about you. Ask them how they interpret your ideas, opinions, and actions. Get positive feedback from your friends and family members. They can help you understand yourself better, which will then help you navigate in the right direction.
3. Be okay with your changing opinions and ambitions
This is one of the biggest mistakes we all make: we forget that we’re growing every day. And with that growth also comes the evolution of thoughts, ideas, and ambitions.
The ideas you had a few years back and the opinions you held back then — there’s a good chance that they have changed.
And yet, we continue to romanticize the past in present. It’s a mistake!
Understand that as you’re exposed to new experiences, everything about you will change too. So, embrace these changes. Be okay with your changing opinions and ambitions.
This will open you the way to really understand your realities and be self-aware.
4. Maintain a daily journal
The countless benefits of journaling couldn’t be overstated. And this habit can virtually change your entire life if sustained for long.
So, start journaling. Pen down your thoughts and feelings. Write down your core values. Do this every day.
And when you’ll revisit these journals somewhere in the future, you will find many (surprising) insights about you and how you’ve grown since then till now. It will create self-awareness.
5. Learn to be alone
Remember the time when you watched “Rocky” movies and wanted to be a boxer. Or when you watched Titanic and pictured yourself in that ship and how you would survive.
When you’re exposed to a piece of content or experience for long enough, you start adapting yourself accordingly.
For instance, if you’re hanging out with hockey players, you would want to become one of them. When you’re hanging out with writers, actors, economists, journalists and about anyone — there’s a high chance you would want to be like them.
Such momentarily swings in your ideas and goals create friction between who you wish you are AND who you really are.
So, limiting the time you share with others — at least until your convictions and values are strong enough — is important.
Get comfortable with the time that you spend alone. This will also lead you to more reflection, which will get you closer to self-awareness easier.
Get to know yourself first, and then act accordingly. It is the only and ONLY secret to happiness.
Success might not mean money to you. You might not really want to be an economist. You might really be an extrovert.
Once you’re self-aware, you will find yourself completely content with life. Because you would then know exactly what needs to be done and, most importantly, what needs to be avoided.