I’ve never had an issue with self-awareness until I read Alex Kremer’s book, The Four Agreements. Alex states that we need to be aware of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and the consequences that can follow from them. This includes the self, which we constantly assess how we should act and deal with our life issues and mistakes.
The thing that makes Alex a great example of self-awareness is that he does it in an interview. So as a result he’s not only clear about what he thinks about his life, but to go further, he’s able to say what he thinks about himself. We have our own self-awareness that we should always be aware of our thoughts and behaviors.
I think this is an important lesson that anyone or any organization should take from Alex’s story. Self awareness will lead us to self-knowledge (and the ability to self-correct) but it will also lead us to self-awareness about how we can be more aware of our own thoughts and behaviors so that we can do better with them.
I don’t know if there is a perfect formula for self awareness but I think it’s worth mentioning. I think it has to do with the distinction between self-awareness about our thoughts, our feelings, and our behaviors. If we don’t even have self-awareness about those things, we won’t have self-awareness about them. We will be like those guys in the movie “The Matrix” who didn’t know what to do because they didn’t know where to go.
Like most video games, the best way to learn to play a game is to play it a lot. That is why even a video game like Minecraft, a game made by a group of people who have had no formal training, has the best learning curve. That, and the fact that there is a good chance we will die, so we need to practice until our next death to truly become a better player.
To become a better player, we will need to learn to become more aware. We will need to learn how to think. We will need to learn how to communicate. We will need to practice to make sure we are really on autopilot.
Our game is a survival game, which means it is going to require us to be aware that we are on autopilot. The world is populated by numerous other players who are not as aware, and so our progress can take a backseat to that. As a player, you will need to learn to recognize your own habits, routines, impulses, and reactions. You will need to learn to be more aware. You will need to become more aware and practice until you are truly on autopilot.
The biggest thing that causes it to be a problem is when we are doing something that we are not aware of. We are not aware of how to build a raft from one corner of the map to the next, or how to make a flintlock pistol that has a very long barrel. We are not aware of how to be truly in sync with the game’s many other players. We are not aware of how to be aware.
We can get so wrapped up in these things that we forget that they are all linked together to form a larger and more complex reality. We can get so wrapped up in these things we forget that we are not in control. We are not in control at all. We might not be aware of how to build a raft, but we know that we need to, so we do it anyway.