Self Awareness: The Key to Happiness
Happiness. What does it really depend on? Is it something one finds by chance due to fate’s plans or at random? Does happiness depend exclusively on our bank account? The truth is it doesn’t. The happiest person isn’t the one that has more things or wins the lottery.
Happiness, like the best things in life, resides in the smallest and most common things. It’s also important to recognize that to be happy you first have to know what you need, what defines you, and how you understand this world that surrounds you.
There are people that go about their day-to-day aimlessly and with empty hearts. They aim to take the world by storm, but they haven’t even begun to notice what’s right in front of their nose. Self-awareness is the key to being happy, to regulating our inner experiences and seeing with humility and integrity who we are and what we need.
Are you aware? Let’s look at some of the qualities that contribute to self awareness, one of the key pillars of Emotional Intelligence.
Self-awareness: an example
To understand this idea, here’s an example. There’s a young man that, thanks to his efforts and the opportunities he’s taken advantage of, has landed a good job. However, he isn’t happy. He buys a car and a car but keeps feeling an emptiness, a restlessness that can’t be soothed by his relationships, much less by the material goods he acquires.
Slowly, he takes control of his life, reflects on himself, and delves inside looking for answers. Maybe he has been living his life in too much of a hurry, trying to show others what he could do. He knows that until now he’s only ever tried to appease others, his family, keep up appearances in front of his friends, but he never stopped to ask himself what he needed. He lived “outwards and not inwards”.
Self awareness: a definition
Self aware people can control their inner experiences, are aware of their moods and act accordingly.
Sometimes we perceive our dissatisfaction, and yet we force ourselves to continue down the usual path because that’s what people except, or simply because we’re afraid to get out of our “comfort zone.” But in doing so, we turn our backs on that inner voice that’s calling out for help.
Happiness is one of the pillars of Emotional Intelligence. It’s really about being aware of oneself and one’s emotions, reflexively acting in harmony with those around you. We understand ourselves and in turn respect and understand others, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have the right to defend our needs. We act according to our feelings and our values.
To be happy, you don’t have to gather “things” or knowledge. The happiest people aren’t the ones who know or own the most, but rather the ones who have the most understanding and humility and who, in turn, know themselves best. If you don’t know your own limits, you’ll always try to surpass them. If you don’t know what you want, you’ll always be looking for something. If you don’t know how to appreciate what you have and who you are, you’ll always be frustrated. Is it worth it? Definitely not.
Self-awareness is a daily exercise that everyone should practice to better handle this complex world that presents us new challenges and tests us every day.
Sometimes, the greatest wisdom resides precisely in understanding ourselves, and knowing how to act in harmony with our emotions. We will be more whole, simple, and not only be a little happier, but also be able to bring happiness to others. Try it today.