I’ve spent the later part of my life on a journey to become a better person. It has been a journey that was spurred, in a big part, from a realization that I was drinking too much. It has turned into something so much more and while it has in some cases been a roller coaster, the overall goal has changed from a focus on a definite end to the learning and mastering of a process. That process is called life.

It has been a journey that has gone far deeper into the human psyche than I ever intended to go and a few things have risen to the top that can improve nearly anyone’s life who wants to.

Searching for, gaining and developing a good sense of self-awareness is one of the best things a person can do for themselves. It helps you get to the core of what you are about, what you feel, your strengths and your weaknesses. It can help guide you on your path to what you’re supposed to do, in large part by helping you recognize what you don’t want to do or aren’t good at.

“Wikipedia says that self-awareness is the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals.”

With that said, for me, the journey to self-awareness has only happened by gaining a certain level of mindfulness. I think that mindfulness and self-awareness go hand in hand. I say this because the path to mindfulness helps one to recognize their own feelings and thoughts as being separate from how a person actually feels. Most people are driven by emotions. But when you recognize that feelings are a natural product of the mind, you can choose to accept them or not and you can also choose to act on them or not. This is hugely powerful!

Think about how many bad decisions are made in the heat of an argument. Think about how much negativity is spewed from the mouth when a person is angry. Many times these actions are followed by feelings of regret. And this regret can grow into resentment and resentment can manifest itself into so many negative things in your life. Addictions grow, in many cases, out of regret and resentment. Relationships are destroyed by resentment. People self-sabotage themselves by resentment.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Because we all possess the power to unlock these realizations and free ourselves. And that, my friends, is the true goal of mindfulness and self-awareness.

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