‘What has become clearer to you since we last met?’ Albert Einstein was known for asking friends and acquaintances this question when greeting them. The beauty and depth of the question cannot be overstated. Everyday we have the opportunity to expand our awareness and experience base in the physical, mental, emotional or spiritually area. We can discover more about ourselves and others through observation and personal reflection. But, you might asked, ‘What’s the purpose? Why go through those gyrations – I have enough to think about just getting through the day.’ Ahh yes…and our life dramas continue.
The ‘why’ is quite simple really. The more you learn about yourself and those you are close to – the easier and more meaningful the journey. For those who work at developing greater self awareness throughout their lives they become more empowered to handle what ever comes their way.
The more we know about ourselves the better equipped we are to handle life’s ups and downs. We begin to accept that each of us is challenged by a range of different things – relationships, feelings of insecurity, fear of risk taking – just to name a few. One thing’s for sure, everyone experiences challenges as part of the human condition – life it is an equal opportunity employer! Some have just figured out how to maximize their learning and minimize the time involved in the pursuit. They have done this by determining their own unique patterns of behavioral response and plan accordingly.
On going self reflection allows us to better understand why we react in certain ways. We all have hot buttons that can send us into orbit. Later we often blame ourselves for ‘losing it.’ The question then is once we realize our pattern of response to a typical circumstance what do we plan to do differently the next time a similar thing happens? If we simply react the same way as in the past that’s self defeating – basically we haven’t learned a thing from the challenge. True to form then, the Universe will continue to present the same basic lesson to us, albeit in a different context, until we get it. It is said that the Universe first whispers, then talks and eventually shouts to get our attention.
Doesn’t it just make sense to work at knowing ourselves deeply enough that we can recognize an upcoming touchy situation for what it is and proactively develop a plan to respond to it? Once we change our previous emotional response to something more productive the rest is history. We feel more in control and more confident to face the challenges of tomorrow.
The response then to Einstein question would be ‘I learned — about myself and this deeper understanding will enable me to respond more confidently in the future.
Have a great few days!