I believe self awareness is the most important skill you could ever have.
Self awareness is foundational for long term happiness, fulfillment, and success. Why? It’s simple.
- Once you know what makes you happy, you just need to figure out how to get those things.
- Once you know what makes you fulfilled in life, you can get there quicker.
- Once you know what success means to you, you can achieve it.
This applies to everything in life.
What happens if you don’t have self awareness?
- If you don’t know what makes you happy, you have a higher chance of making decisions that won’t make happy. Ex: Playing basketball makes you happy but you don’t know that and you keep on being miserable playing soccer.
- If you don’t know what makes you fulfilled in life, you have a higher chance to choose careers that lack meaning which causes you to hate your job. Ex: Choosing to work in business consulting where you find no meaning in instead of as a high school teacher where you’ll be much more fulfilled.
- If you don’t know what success means to you, you can waste many years chasing someone else’s definition of success instead of your own. Ex: Studying 10 years to be a doctor until realizing that you don’t like working with patients or studying about medicine.
How do you get self awareness?
Think about a basketball player learning to shoot a free throw. The first time she shoots, she misses and the ball lands far right. The second time she shoots, she misses and the ball lands right, but slightly closer to the rim. She continues to adjust her shot.
After a few more practice shots, she is finally able to make her free throw.
With weeks of practice, she is able to make a few free throws in a row.
With years of practice, she is able to make her free throws consistently, averaging 80% success rate every time she steps to the free throw line.
How is learning a new skill relevant to self awareness?
Think about the first time she shoots vs the second time she shoots.
She is aware that the way she shot it made the ball go far right. She adjusted her form and shot again, this time the ball landing right, but much closer to the basket.
The first shot is a data point that she uses to improve her second shot.
Her second shot gives her another data point to eventually make her very first free throw.
The more data points she gets, the more accurate her shots become.
Think of all your life experiences as data points.
The more data points you have, the more self aware you can be.
- The more careers you try out, the more self aware you are on what you’re looking for in a career.
- The more relationships you’re in, the more self aware you are to choose a partner that would be a better fit.
- The more cuisines you eat, the more self aware you are to choose what meals you like the most.
If there’s one thing about self awareness that you take away, make sure it is this:
Clarity comes with action.
How do you accelerate self awareness?
1. Asking your friends for feedback on what you want to be more self aware on will give you even more data points.
You: “Hey I don’t know if I should break up with Brandy.”
Friend #1: “Dude, you’ve been so miserable ever since you moved in with her. You stopped working out, eating right, and don’t even have time to hang with us anymore.”
Friend #2: “Yeah I agree. I also feel like she is too demanding of your time and energy, and it hasn’t been a good fit since the beginning. I say this because I care about you.”
Sometimes it takes a few good friends to tell you the blunt honest truth. You don’t always have to listen to their ideas — just know that those are more data points you can use to make your next decision.
This applies to your career, skill sets, personal life, and more.
2. Working with a life coach, therapist, or professional
A good coach is someone who can sniff out your blind spots.
Tam Pham's Blog
I write about my adventures, learnings, and reflections on living my weird, unconventional life. Subscribe below!