The Importance of Awareness

Blindfolded man trying to eat an unknown food with the right utensil, has to guess

By increasing our awareness, we can improve the effectiveness of our choices

When do we make one choice vs another? In life, we have lots of choices, and we can learn about a greater variety of choices all the time. But then, what do we choose?¬†We have lots of options – even in typing something, we can type out one word, or another – it’s our choice. So how do we know what choice to make?

Take for a moment this example: you’re blindfolded at a table with knowledge of a fork, spoon, and a bowl of some kind of food in front of you. How would you know whether to use the fork or the spoon? Now, you might try the spoon and run into salad, and find¬†out through experiment what’s there. But the very act of doing so increases your¬†awareness. By increasing your awareness of what kind of food is in front of you, you’re able to know better which choice to make in order to eat the food in front of you in a more optimal way. Knowing it’s salad, you can then choose to use the fork.

So awareness can help in the realm of making choices. The more aware you are of the situation you’re in, the more informed your choices will be. Another way of putting it is that awareness¬†helps establish the context in which you make your choices.

While awareness can be increased through things like gathering information through the senses (such as in the food example), there’s also awareness of one’s feelings, thoughts, emotions, and the situation one is in internally. For instance, inner dilemmas may be felt, but they can also be ignored, or be more slight and go undetected. By looking for feelings of dilemma and trying to become more aware of what that dilemma is all about, you may ultimately learn about the situation you’re in, as well as be able to develop choices that can better respond to that situation. This, to me, seems to speak to the importance of inner awareness for inner well-being. The more aware we are of our inner situation, the more informed our choices can be as we look to positively influence ourselves on that inner level.

This is also one¬†reason why being honest and sharing what you’re aware of can help other people. Sharing your sense of what’s true can help them to make more effective choices for themselves, because they then know more about the context in which they’re making choices. Now, not everyone may handle your sense of “the truth” very well, but there are ways to handle this as well, such as not claiming certainty or authority, being tactful, being gentle, and being respectful.

Anyway, I just thought I’d share that little connection between awareness and choices. It seemed to me like a simple, perhaps obvious, but important distinction. Because of how important choices are, in that they govern how we respond to and can influence reality, consequently this shows how important awareness is. After all, while we can make uninformed choices, how much more effective might we be if we’re able to make informed choices? Thus by becoming more aware, the quality of our choices can become improved. Yes, perhaps one could become obsessive about awareness, but that’s¬†also something one could become aware of, and respond to.

That said, take care, and all the best ^^

-Oliver

Related Articles

Explore Your Inner World – all the techniques described here have to do with both increasing inner awareness and assisting the process of making choices that can affect us on an inner level.

Denial – denial seems to directly have to do with the tendency to try and limit one’s awareness in order to avoid problematic situations or feelings. This can nevertheless cause big problems, because the quality and effectiveness of one’s choices is diminished with denial

Find Yourself: A Quick Self-Discovery Activity – an article going over a fun little technique for meeting a part of yourself. These kinds of inner forces play a part in our lives, even if we’re not aware of them, thus, exercises like this that increase our awareness can help to better inform our choices with respect to such forces

Changing Feelings with Awareness

Instead of looking at our actions, if we look at the feelings we have about our actions, we might be able to change our feelings more easily

Instead of looking at our actions, if we look at the feelings we have about our actions, we might be better able to change those feelings

Sometimes it seems like we can fret and worry as we try to be¬†a certain kind of person. Maybe we want to be wise, or kind, or friendly, or calm. Maybe we want to be playful, or to feel like we always have something to give. But, when we are worried about these things, how can we get anywhere but to a state of being worried? Maybe we get angry, frustrated, restless, impatient, demanding, or fearful. Maybe we get upset at how we’re not where we want to be.

As you can maybe see, we can’t necessarily get to the feelings and states we prefer just by wanting to get there. This want¬†can even take us further away! We can end up in a more negative state just from our desire¬†to be in a positive one. It’s like the problem of being annoyed at being annoyed – it just doesn’t work like that, except maybe as a motivation to look into the issue, since it’s proving to be such an annoyance.

So if wanting a better inner state doesn’t work for feeling better, what does? Continue reading

Oliver’s Oct 2014 “Life Philosophies”

Recently, a family member asked me for a write-up of my life philosophies as a birthday present. What I ended up writing seemed to have a lot to do with what I write about here on this site, and was sort of a concatenation of some of the main ideas that I work with, have noticed, and feel confident enough in to share with others. Continue reading

The Path of Self-Awareness

Have you ever wondered why you have the thoughts you do? Where your emotions come from? Bad habits? There’s probably some things about yourself you’d like to change. Have you ever wondered why certain areas of your life are so hard, or so easy?

There’s more to life than meets the senses. Haven’t you ever felt, when you were talking to someone, that you were “sensing” the kind of energy coming off of them – bored or scared, friendly or annoyed, arrogant or genuine? Yeah, you do need your senses for that, but what you might not realize is that you¬†are not sensing the other person – you are sensing an energy that’s inside yourself.

Certain dynamics of energy are going on¬†inside of you already. When you sense another person’s energy, the way you respond is dependent on how something within you responds to the type of energy coming from the other person as it already exists inside yourself. Continue reading

Ignored Inner Child

So, today I discovered that unless you befriend your “inner child” (whatever that means to you…), and decide to work with it to achieve greater joy and happiness in life, it will try to cause havoc and distress inside you to try and get your attention.

If you feel distressed in this way, look for the voice that says something like “…hellooooooo? are you listening????? are you just going to be¬†lazy and blah for the rest of your life??? I want to be happy you bastard! RAWRRRRRGGG”
or just ask yourself “ok, inner child, what’s wrong?” If the reply you get is full of complaints, refocus on “well, what is it that you WANT?” By showing that you want to focus on a solution, you resolve the inner conflict.

Many people, in response to this kind of inner problem, turn to addictions – alcohol, food, the company of other people. But the problem can only be solved with attention to your own needs and desires. Don’t ignore yourself! : )