Get More Out Of Life Through Functional Self-Awareness

Here’s a really interesting guest post by Jonathan of the Grokkery site.  In the following article he discusses a few simple changes you can make to your life in order to make a dramatic change.  What I really liked is how he used 30 day trials to develop new habits.  This is something I used to do before I left on trip to Europe.  But I’ll definitely be implementing this habit again once I’m back in a normal reality.  Anyway, I definitely recommend you implement the following techniques…

I passionately, fiercely believe that to change your life, you must begin with self awareness.

I’m not a guru, and I have no magic pill. Instead, I walk the walk in hopes that my authentic example will inspire change in this world.

I’d like to share a story of change in my own life with you.

In May, I conducted a thirty day trial to adopt healthy financial habits. Thirty day trials are concrete commitments for a limited time.

One year after graduating college, I was still holding nearly all the debt that I graduated with. Something needed to change.

Why hadn’t I paid more than minimums on credit cards and student loans? Why hadn’t I established an emergency fund or planned for my financial future?

I had no clarity and I was afraid to know the full truth.

In May, I finally braced myself and took a real look into my financial reality. I pried open my accounts, and embraced the painful truth of consequences.

After taking some deep breaths as I became aware of my reality, I began to feel slightly less burdened. A sneaky, lurking stress I had carried for MONTHS, dissipated.

Armed with awareness, I began the process of taking power back in my relationship to money. With this awareness, it would have been difficult to slide backward into old habits.

This experience clarified something important for me. There are two things that you absolutely need to make a conscious difference in your own life: self awareness and commitments.

With these two tools, anything reasonable is within reach. Quite a few unreasonable wishes are achievable, too.

You can use self awareness and commitments to create any change you desire in your life – you can make an absolutely epic life plan into reality or you can form a new habit.

Do you know why most people don’t end up changing though?

They lack honest self awareness and firm commitments.

Most people have functional self awareness – they are self aware enough to function. With a little prodding, they might be able to paint vague details of the important areas of their lives.

“Functional” self awareness is not enough to get more out of life. If you want real change in your life, the first step is to always be courageously truthful with yourself.

To create this type of self awareness, you must embrace every ugly, beautiful, painful and amazing fact about an area of life that you want to change. You must stop hiding behind facades and excuses.

You know what real commitment looks like. I know that at some point, you have drawn a line in the sand and said, “This is where I make my stand.” That line means that you are 100% in; there are no hedged bets or Plan Bs.

Making a Firm Commitment

How do you make a firm commitment?

The first step is to become clear about your present reality. To get clear, you need a radical and often PAINFUL dose of honest self awareness.

After you know where you are, you must define where you are going. With concrete, concise language, define your vision and create an actionable plan to get there.

Draw your line in the sand.

If you want to up your chances for success, the main ingredient is accountability. Find a mentor or coach. Start a blog and share your journey. Make a promise to someone you won’t let down. Make a wager.

When you put something at stake, you will persevere longer.

Does this mean that you won’t mess up? No.

We all make mistakes; we all fall down. Commit to getting up one more time than you fall down.

My challenge to you is to find an area of your life that you are not 100% satisfied with, and create an absolutely clear picture of where you are.

Begin by getting honest. Ask questions that make you squirm in your seat.

What have you not admitted to yourself? What have you let slide as “okay,” when you wanted more?

Don’t hold back in being honest with yourself.

Self Awareness Simplified

If you would like a guide in creating self awareness in your life, I created the Zero to Self Awareness PDF that you can find by clicking here.

This is a free tool that I have released in order to help you ask the questions that you need to answer, in order to create eye opening self awareness.

Here’s the catch. (There’s always a catch, isn’t there?)

You actually have to answer the questions. There is no magic pill and no easy fix to life’s challenges (though it can be quick).

There is only self awareness and commitment. If you use both of these, you will create a life that inspires.

Jonathan Wondrusch is a storyteller. He blogs and geeks out about saving the world with self awareness at Grokkery. When he’s not blogging, he’s busy being a nerd, animating, and writing stories to change the world.

Take Action. Get Results.

19 thoughts on “Get More Out Of Life Through Functional Self-Awareness”

  1. Thanks for sharing this Steve! I look forward to hearing what people have to say, and seeing how they are applying self awareness to improve their lives.
    .-= Jonathan´s last blog ..How to Know When You’re About to Fail =-.

  2. Great article Jonathan, I can see I’m going to have to add another RSS feed to my list.

    Actually, Steve, that’s my only complaint with your site. Here I am blogging my way through the process of creating my business blueprint and doing everything in my power to get on top of my time management an blog hopping, and there you keep going and posting links to other useful blogs. 😉
    .-= Gail´s last blog ..The great work/life balancing act =-.

    • I look forward to seeing you around Grokkery, Gail!

      Hehe… there is certainly a danger in finding TOO much of a good thing 😉
      .-= Jonathan´s last blog ..How to Know When You’re About to Fail =-.

  3. WOW Jonathan, great to see you spreading your wealth of grokkery AND reading your insights… very happy there wasn’t very much about money – I managed to avoid Grokkery for that mean month of May quite successfully and I’m very happy you’re moving on to another subject – AREN’T YOU????!!!!!!

    One thing re making a firm commitment – declaring a commitment to others is sometimes a great structure for shifting issues, especially when that somebody is important and the shift will impact them too. By the same token, declaring your finances to the world via Grokkery is also a really strong declaration to the people who read your posts.

    Courageous effort to share your declaration and the results, very admirable and it’s no surprise to see you as a guest. Now I get to say hi to Steve (hi Steve) and connect with somebody else shifting the planet – thank you!

    • Your welcome Dale!

      I know that personal finance journeys are not for everyone – but it was a really tough spot where I was lacking awareness, and I wanted to share my journey of walking the walk.

      It is going to be exciting new stuff regarding consciousness and awareness at Grokkery – a new post about creating your own extraordinary circumstances is simmering right now.

      Glad to see you over here too! Steve has some great content about creating the life you want to live.

      See you around!
      .-= Jonathan´s last blog ..How to Know When You’re About to Fail =-.

  4. I think this is brilliant. 30 day habits are a good way to set measurable goals and see some progress which will in turn spur you on to greater things.
    .-= Matthew Needham´s last blog ..Wednesday Wisdom =-.

    • That’s definitely what I experienced Matthew – I think the key is to have a metric or specific actions that you are applying, so that you can precisely see what progress you are making.
      .-= Jonathan´s last blog ..How to Know When You’re About to Fail =-.

    • Thanks John! I’d love to say that I came up with the concept – the wisdom has been around for ages and Steve Pavlina popularized it with all of his more interesting 30 day trials. I’m working toward his level of conscious exploration 🙂

      How have they worked for you in the past?
      .-= Jonathan´s last blog ..How to Know When You’re About to Fail =-.

  5. Hey, Jonathan!

    What a coincidence! I’ve just been planning to reorganize the categories on my site and set up a new one for “Challenges & Commitments”, and here is Steve introducing you with just about the same thought… Of course, the big difference between you and me is that you have already taken the idea forward! 🙂

    I’m totally in favor of N-day trials to develop new habits. I like to call them challenges or commitments. Actually, for a long time now, I’ve used 20 day challenges to get rid of unnecessary habits, and to make new positive changes. I think each person should use a number that is psychologically more appealing and motivating to them. Sometimes when 20 days seems too less (like, for example, tasks not to be performed daily), I use 3 months, or sometimes even more.

    You’ve put it nicely – “self awareness and commitment”. And there’s nothing like taking up a challenge to keep the commitment, right?

    I’ll see you around…

    Wishing you success,
    .-= Mark of Success´s last blog ..Site Announcement: Get a do-follow link from my site to yours =-.

    • Hey Mark!

      The idea of challenges and commitments as a way of explaining it sounds pretty awesome. I think that folks need to find what works for them personally – just like the number of days/weeks that is psychologically appealing.

      Thank you for your kind wishes as well 🙂 Have a great week!
      .-= Jonathan´s last blog ..How to Know When You’re About to Fail =-.

        • Agreed! I’m involved in a men’s circle and leadership training and the word, “synchronicity,” keeps coming up. I feel that when you are operating on a wavelength, you attract others on the same one.

          Certainly a reason for awe 🙂
          .-= Jonathan´s last blog ..How to Know When You’re About to Fail =-.

  6. Thank you for sharing your ideas. Thanks for the pdf.

    Perhaps, one new thing I learned from your article is the idea of self-awareness. It involves not just knowing your present situation but having a deeper understanding of it.

    For most us who decide to change an aspect of our lives, mere knowledge of our present situation would be enough to proceed to the next step of commitment to effect the change. Wouldn’t it be more effective if we have true understanding of the nature of our situation by extending where we are now at present to what in the past caused this and what in the future would be its consequences be?
    .-= Percival J. Meris´s last blog ..Juice Fast Detox: Delectable Internal Body Cleansing and Weight Loss =-.

    • Exactly! I got started on this path after reading Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land which talks about grokking – developing such an awareness of something that you understand it completely. Before you can do that externally, it has to occur within yourself.

      One thing I’m learning along the path of self awareness is that it is not only awareness of our present situation, or awareness of the nature of the situation, but awareness of our own nature.

      If you’re interested in that, I highly recommend checking out the Enneagram – it’s a more holistic approach to personality typing than something like Meyers-Briggs. It has helped me understand where many of my own challenges and opportunities are originating from as a type 3 (Achiever) within the Enneagram.

      Thanks for getting my brain churning this morning 🙂
      .-= Jonathan´s last blog ..Create Your Own Extraordinary Circumstances =-.

Comments are closed.