I know a lot of people want to be the next Bill Gates…etc, but instead aim to be the next YOU. I always say you’re the triple integral of your values, experiences and environment. That usually ends up being one unique combination that you should focus on more than trying to be one of the successful people named in the title.
If you follow the content of Gary Vaynerchuk, the author of Crush it, you probably know he defines self-awareness as the number 1 key to success. In one of the videos he presents a method of figuring out what your strengths and weaknesses are; ask the people around you. The idea is that people hold the mirrors to ourselves.
Here, I present a few more practical on becoming self-aware;
- Make a list of 100 things to do and do each and every single one them. You can put anything on your list. Go to pinterest and find 100 bucket ideas. Find a list of 100 hobbies to engage in. The goal is to try as many things as you can and gauge two things; how you feel while you’re doing it, and how good you are at it. If you hate doing it then cross it out and forget about it. Never talk about it again. But if you loved doing it, then do it again, and again, and again.
Understand that there’s sometimes a learning curve when it comes to acquiring some skills, and if you really love what you’re doing, then maybe you’ll get good at it.
But you’ll never know until you put in the hours. Maybe you’ll spend 30 days on it, recognize you enjoy it but also understand you’ll never be good at it. So there’s something you’ve learnt about yourself and you get brownie points for self-awareness.
For example, I started painting two years ago, and though I enjoy it immensely, it didn’t take long to recognize there’s no way I can turn pro because I’m not a visual person. I’m a writer. So nowadays I get into it only for stress-release as well as a creativity catalyst (sometimes the painting inspires new posts).
2. Travel. I love traveling because it takes you and puts you in a different environment, and since the only common denominator is you, your ‘true’ self tends to emerge. Of course, you might not understand what I’m saying until you experience it yourself.
3. Live alone. Similar to traveling, here’s another situation where your actions are not influenced by the people around you.
4. Face adversity as much as you can. The more adversity you face, the more you learn about yourself.
For example, last year, I got a rejection that really crushed me because a lot depended on it. However, it was the driving force behind me changing a lot of things about my life, and I realized I’m the type of person who really fights only when I get punched in the face (metaphorically).
I’m more of a reactor than an initiator, and now that I understand that I just put myself in more situations to fail just so that the positive feedback loop would feed on itself and hopefully turn into a runaway reaction.
5. Meditate, journal, and all those therapeutically techniques that give you a third person view of your life, your behavior, what you do and why you do it. Just notice your feelings whenever you’re experiencing something (going back to step # 1). For instance, I’ve been in enough meetings to recognize I really, really don’t like meetings; at least the ones I have to go to. I also hate fake people and people who appear too perfect to me.
The overall goal is to simply pay attention to what you do, how you feel while you’re doing it and whether you’re good or bad at it.
Which one of these methods are you going to try today?
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Originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com