The Self-Awareness Guy

personal growth

Self-Awareness Means You Value Ongoing Progress

Self-Awareness Means You Value Ongoing Progress


Ongoing progress means that we strive to develop self-awareness and expand our knowledge and understanding of ourselves, others, and the world around us. We consciously work on growing and are open to new experiences and insights. It's the opposite of saying we're fully cooked or that we can't be taught new tricks.

It's been my experience that people are capable of doing anything they decide to do as long as they keep an open mind. If someone wants to follow a certain path or reach a given goal, all it takes is deliberate action over time to make it happen. The tragedy is that, even though people have the ability to follow their dreams, they often settle for a version of themselves that stopped evolving in high school.

Although it's more difficult, the key to being truly happy in life is to continue developing as a person and becoming more self-aware. It's the difference between staying stuck doing the same thing over and over, and constantly exploring new and exciting horizons. What do you do to keep progressing?

Cheers,

Guy


Team Building and Autocratic Leadership

Team Building and Autocratic Leadership


I was reading a discussion on a business site about team building recently.  Two vocal contributors talked about how team building was only a fluffy, superfluous activity that could only lead to coddled, lazy employees.  What was needed, they contended, was discipline and a strict adherence to rules and directives.  They added that employees were there only to carry out the leader’s vision and not to have a good time.

I said to myself, “Where do I sign up?  Sounds like a great place to work.”

Many leaders still function under the paradigm that the only thing that matters in business is to drive people until they break.  They genuinely believe that organizations are solely about their leaders and the rest of the employees are just there to carry out their vision.  Everything is wrapped around one charismatic disciplinarian who leads his flock bravely off the cliff into glory.

This style would be much more effective if people had no minds, no dreams, no independence, no skills and no need to grow or be fulfilled in any way in the workplace.  In the real world, there are very few people willing to have someone boss them around mercilessly all day.  So what’s a budding autocrat to do?  I might look at relaxing a bit and letting people be who they are.  I don’t say this to make leadership more difficult, I offer it as a way to create workplaces that run better because people feel better about themselves and the organization.

Feeling good is a difficult concept for leaders bred on discipline and order.  Many equate feeling good with being weak but I tend to think that it’s about people performing well while feeling like they’re important individually and collectively.  There’s a big difference between doing work because you have no other choice or because you want to intrinsically.  When leaders motivate their employees from within they can count on them using their natural talents and abilities to greater advantage.  The trick is finding a way to encourage people to succeed based on their own inner motivators rather than those imposed from someone on the outside.

Team building requires the ability not only to have people produce but also to move beyond simply requiring people to perform tasks in some predetermined way toward a single goal.  It’s about providing choices and opportunities and recognizing that people are able to think for themselves if given the chance.  It’s easy to boss people around but much harder to have them direct themselves.  How will you practice excellent team building?

Cheers,

Guy

On Perseverance

On Perseverance

Perseverance is one of the most important traits a person can possess. To me it means having the self-awareness necessary to move forward and trust my inner voice no matter what happens. Very often, talented people will stifle their work or choose a "safer" career path because of what they heard from well-meaning people as they were growing up. I've found it helpful to keep going in spite of the inside and outside detractions and just do my thing.

It doesn't take superhuman effort to keep going, simply do one small thing each day that helps you continue your journey. Keep building your self-awareness so you can continue clarifying what you really want to do in life. Repeated modest actions will eventually add up to a great body of work and deep fulfillment. What insights do you have on perseverance?

Cheers,
Guy

How to Be a Happy Leader

How to Be a Happy Leader

When I train leaders they often tell me they have difficulty experiencing happiness at work.  Happiness is a wonderful concept which I define as experiencing bliss and contentment.  Happiness is also complex in that you could not experience it if you didn’t also experience pain.  A life of perpetual happiness would soon feel uneventful, so you need the ups and downs that come with everyday experience.

How do you define happiness at work?  Happiness can be that moment at which you feel complete satisfaction and fulfillment.  It can be using your talents and abilities at work to grow and feel worthwhile.  Happiness is what you experience when you work through challenges and let go of the things that hold you back.  Here’s what some smart people have to say about the matter:

Helen Keller:

Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within. It is not what we see and touch or that which others do for us which makes us happy; it is that which we think and feel and do, first for the other fellow and then for ourselves

Pearl S. Buck:

The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.

Audre Lorde:

The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.

Kahlil Gibran:

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?

Finding happiness at work means looking deep inside yourself and using your talents and abilities to benefit yourself and your workplace.  How will you find happiness at work?

Cheers,
Guy

The Path to Self-Awareness

The Path to Self-Awareness

The path to self-awareness reveals itself to you as you're ready for it. Here are some examples of how you can tell that you're on your way:

  • You look at yourself without criticism or judgment.
  • You realize that there are things about you that can be improved.
  • You understand that life is a journey rather than a finite goal.
  • You have the courage to examine and continue healing your hurts.
  • You keep growing and learning throughout your life.
  • You see results in your life based on your thoughtful, kind, compassionate thinking and behavior.
  • You actively work on making your dreams a reality.
  • You live life as the real you.

If you do things like these, you know how great it feels to live authentically and share your gifts with yourself and the world; if you don't, you have a wonderful opportunity to visit many interesting places.

Cheers,

Guy