Awareness – The Beginning of Every Quest

“You are the sky. The clouds are what happens, what comes and goes.” Eckhart Tolle

Here Eckhart Tolle compares clouds with thoughts, which consume our mind space at any given time. Then, whether they are about a challenging work project, or losing a job, relationship problems, thoughts often have no particular direction and distract us from the present moment. You need to rise above your thoughts, to become the ‘sky’ in the metaphor. That way, you become the objective listener to your thoughts, setting you on the path of self-awareness.

Awareness is the starting point of every quest. Without awareness, we flounder along the path. Awareness removes digressions and shows a clear path ahead.

Reflect on the following questions:

  • What bothers you the most?
  • What excites you?
  • What do you do well?
  • What can you do better?
  • What makes you happy?
  • What does success mean to you?
  • Do you write a regular journal to increase your awareness?
  • Do you actively listen or simply wait for the other person to finish before you speak?
  • Are you up to date with what is happening in your field?
  • Do you have a clear vision?
  • Is your team crystal clear about your vision, mission, values and strategy?
  • Do you communicate effectively?

Once you are clear about your purpose, the next step is to define the roadmap to attain your goal. Of course, there will be changes as you go along, but having a broad framework of a plan is essential. Excellent communicators and transformational leaders are focused and clear about their direction and purpose.

They have clarity about who they are. Heightening your awareness can help you differentiate between reality and dreaming. Without awareness, we keep repeating the same mistakes and hence, get the same

Awareness means achieving greater clarity in all aspects of your life. We understand what others are trying to communicate to us at a deeper level and are able to view our actions objectively. We then can take complete responsibility for our actions, expectations and beliefs, understanding how they influence what we do. It helps us to channel our negative emotions into constructive actions.

People often judge others, yet most people don’t really know themselves. It is difficult to know yourself, and almost impossible to know another person completely. This is why so many people are intent on judging others – they’re afraid to learn about themselves. Aristotle has thus rightly said: “To know thyself is the highest wisdom.”

Heightening awareness can seem like a tall order for those of us who block out the world in order to focus on our own life. But heightened awareness won’t take your attention away from the necessary tasks in your life. On the contrary, there is a huge upside to this in terms of progress in the corporate world, and getting higher respect from your colleagues, clients and family.

Greater awareness also helps us differentiate between reality and wishful thinking. Many people lead an illusionary life (a life built on how they wish things would be, but not how they are), which prevents them from getting to the root of problems. As a result, they fail to deliver.

For example, consider the mis-placed awareness when you get angry with another driver. You believe your anger has been triggered by his poor driving. But in reality, you are stressed out because you have missed the deadline for an important project. Clear-sighted awareness allows you to be mindful of what is really going on and why you are reacting the way you are.

(Excerpts from the book, ‘What You Seek is Seeking You’ by Azim Jamal & Brian Tracy)

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