One of the hallmarks of self-awareness is the ability to understand the impact you have on others. Many people go through their entire lives only thinking of their own immediate needs and what will affect them directly. They react to their environment based not on their deepest dreams and wishes but with unconscious thoughts, feelings and actions. The whole point of self-awareness is to know yourself so well that you can step outside your own experience and empathize with others. Let's look at two individuals and consider what their impact might be on other people:
1. Person One wakes up each morning and does whatever he needs to do to take care of himself and the people he knows. He doesn't worry about what his actions do to anyone outside his immediate circle, it's not even on his radar. He treats people based on how he feels at that particular moment and isn't concerned with how they are affected by his behavior. He doesn't pay much attention to his unresolved feelings and issues, preferring instead to stuff them deep inside or do things to forget about them. He does many things that bring him immediate pleasure and reward but not lasting fulfillment. He has a job that pays the bills but doesn't reflect his true passions. He lives life so he can fit in with a particular group.
2. Person Two wakes up and spends some time meditating on who he really is deep down inside and how he can bring the most good to the most people today. He is constantly mindful of how his actions affect others although he still makes sure that he does things that bring him joy and meet his own needs. He treats people kindly and compassionately, the same way he treats himself. He actively works on healing his hurts and unresolved issues. He does things for pleasure but understands that true fulfillment comes from inner healing and self-awareness. His work reflects who he is deep inside. He lives life building a greater understanding of himself and others.
Countless people live their lives like Person One: Bouncing unconsciously from one event to another, one interaction to the another, one reaction to another, and letting their stuff get on others. A smaller number choose to live like Person Two: They know that it's hard to be mindful but it creates deep happiness and fulfillment and allows them to treat other people kindly and respectfully.
When you know yourself well and are happy and healthy, you'll tend to be a more positive person and treat everyone with care and compassion, a reflection of how you feel about yourself. What will you do to make sure you impact people positively?