The 3 R’s of Self-Awareness
The Pause That Refreshes, the 1929 Coca Cola slogan.
Traveling through life in today’s rapidly moving world of the internet and big data doesn’t leave much time for pausing and refreshing. To reflect, review and renew means to pay attention on purpose, intentionally — being mindful. It could also be called “The Pause That Refreshes” because it means to stop, think about what you are thinking, re-examine what you have done and why, and refresh your future strategies. To reflect, review and renew are the three skills of this process. Reflection is the key skill and a commonly neglected skill. Reflection is a self-renewal process, J. Gardner. Self-renewal comes from self-awareness.
Chaos theory has turned our perceptual world upside down. Chaos and creativity are two sides of the same coin and a theme for personal reflection and self-renewal. Reflecting and paying attention require practice. Usually our attention is on auto-pilot, below our awareness level. Self-awareness of our attention is critical; it determines what we see and what we do. And it determines if we know why we do what we do. We only see what we pay attention to, but we are not aware of what we don’t pay attention to, what we don’t see.
My recommendation: Practice random acts of reflection. This practice can become a lifestyle. Although it is said that as we get older we tend to engage in more reflection, I suggest that you practice a lifestyle of reflection earlier rather than later. Avoid wishing you had stopped more to smell the roses and paused more to reflect and refresh. Living a happy and purposeful life requires more than just living it.
The skill of reflection remains the key. Without reflection all we have is untested acceptance of what we think, see and do. Reviewing this acceptance happens with reflection and is called self-awareness. This self-awareness leads to renewal.
Acceptance without reflection is dangerous. Michael Lynch