Awareness – A to Z of Self Leadership

One of the first steps towards self leadership is awareness.

There’s the story of the disciple who went to the master and said, “Could you give me a word of wisdom? Could you tell me something that would guide me through my days”? It was the master’s day of silence, so he picked up a pad. It said, “Awareness”. When the disciple saw it, he said, “This is too brief. Can you expand on it a bit”?
So the master took back the pad and wrote, “Awareness, awareness, awareness”. The disciple said, “Yes, but what does it mean”? The master took back the pad and wrote, “Awareness, awareness, awareness means – awareness”.
From Anthony D’Mello’s ‘Awareness’

Without awareness how will we be able to answer these important questions?
Who you are?
What you want to achieve?
What are your values and beliefs?
What is holding you back?
What makes you happy?
What triggers strong emotions within you?
How you have acquired certain patterns of behaviour?
What you need to live a fulfilling life?

“Self-awareness keeps us grounded, attuned and focused,” says Sherrie Campbell, author of Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person

The good news is that all of us have been gifted with self-awareness. For a variety of reasons, we choose not to use this gift. But the other bit of good news is that we can train or retrain ourselves to become more aware.

Action steps:

One challenging exercise in awareness is to write your own eulogy. Yes, imagine yourself dead and someone speaking about your life. What might they say about who you were, how you behaved and what you achieved? What you write will tell you a lot about your values. You might find this a difficult exercise, but I know from experience how helpful it is.

Perhaps you could share this with a friend and have her or him tell you if this rings true about you. Have your friend or a member of your family whose opinion you value, tell you what they think about you and your behaviour. How do you come across to them. Be open to have them tell you something you may not like about yourself. Remember, the more we are aware, the more we can grow and the further along we can go on our journey in self leadership.

I have found the exercise of writing ‘Morning Pages’ as recommended by Julia Cameron, in”The Artist’s Way”  a wonderful exercise in awareness. I have discovered the source of many of my negative patterns of behaviour through it, as also what I can do to heal myself and move forward.


[Tweet “Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside awakes #atozchallenge”]

Some very powerful words from Osho.

There is no evil and there are
no evil forces in the world.
There are only people of awareness,
and there are people who are fast asleep –
and sleep has no force.
The whole energy is in the hands of the awakened people.
And one awakened person can awaken the whole world.
One lighted candle can make millions of candles lighted
without losing it’s light.
– Osho

Today I wish you awareness!

Stay tuned for the ‘B’ of Self-Leadership.

Today I’m on ‘A ‘ of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. My theme is the A to Z of Self Leadership. I’m also undertaking the NaBloPoMo for April – the theme is ‘grow’ and the Ultimate Blog Challenge

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85 thoughts on “Awareness – A to Z of Self Leadership

  1. I don’t necessarily agree with Osho about there being no evil/forces (since that is the opposite of what the Bible teaches) but I like his point. People are asleep and it does lead to their destruction! This was an excellent, excellent article! I am going to (again) save this one and do the homework!! I like this series you’re doing even if I am behind – now I have several in a row to read, yay! GREAT post!

  2. Interesting Corinne. I’ve done a lot of changing in the past year, taking in many of the points above, although not writing anything down. I think deep down we all know what we want, who we are. It sometimes takes a loss or illness to get in touch with it though.

    I don’t agree with Osho. I feel if people were truly aware, they wouldn’t be unkind, cruel etc. Just my own take on that one.

  3. Oh God! If I were to try the eulogy experiment, i’d get nowhere Corrine!! I know so little about myself. That’s always been the problem with me, making me one real confused(and sometimes confusing) individual. I really must work on self awareness. Lovely post!

  4. So true!! Any kind of personal growth can only begin with a true awareness of one’s self. I’ve read about the eulogy exercise before, but it sounds difficult (and also feels a little morbid :)) But I think that is one reason it is so effective!

    1. Try the eulogy exercise, Fab! It’s really not morbid, considering we all have to die someday! 😉 But seriously, you could try the exercise in The 7 Habits – imagining your 80th birthday.

  5. Love this! I have been becoming more aware and awake with myself and the world around me, sometimes I feel like the more aware I become, the more I realize I know

  6. Awareness.

    YES. This is part of prayer, Corinne.

    What I do disagree with is that there is “no evil in the world.”

    There is.

    I wish there wasn’t, but there is.

    Xxx KISS from MN.

  7. Thanks for choosing this theme, Corinne. Because it sure is helping me be “aware” and look into myself. 🙂 Great start to the challenge. Can’t wait the entire series. 🙂

  8. An inspiring theme, Corinne and some great tips. Writing my own epitaph sounds interesting although a bit daunting.
    Love the Osho quote.

  9. You got me there Corinne :O Writing my Eulogy is such a scary feel. Very powerful post. Awaresness of who we are and where we are going can change our life.

  10. Self leadership—I love this subject. It’s taken me many years to reach it and find self awareness. When it begins to happen though, our confidence is increased and we feel we can do almost anything. Lovely quotes you’ve shared too, Corrine. Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. A thought provoking post and one I enjoyed, awareness is so important as with it how do we grow x

  12. Loved it. Needless to say well written. Am unsure, what would they speak if I am no more. Oh! it has made me halt! I would want to ponder on how I have carried myself all these years.

    1. Thanks, Ajay. I suppose we can only imagine what people will really say. But what do we want them to say? That will perhaps guide the course of our life.

  13. Being aware is so vital for our well being. Thanks for reinforcing this with your post. A great post to start the challenge with.

  14. You’ve made yet another impact on me and how I look at things! I’m so guilty of not being aware of what I am feeling, experiencing, wanting, etc., so, I’m off to write a eulogy.

  15. Wow, that sounds like an interesting exercise- to write one’s own eulogy. I guess that’s make us aware of our own shortcomings. I’d try it out 🙂 Great start Corrine 🙂

  16. Great post, Corinne. I liked the idea of writing one’s own eulogy. Will try it out. Looking forward to B. 🙂

  17. Great post! Very thought-provoking. I think finding out what other people really think about you is one of the scariest things in the world 🙂 But probably very useful.Thank you!

  18. Awareness is very important. Writing my own eulogy is a creative writing exercise I would love to do. Thanks to you, I read The Artist’s way, and found a storehouse of writing tips. Loved your post, will be back tomorrow 🙂

  19. I love your theme! And this post was so motivating. I have been reading a lot on this topic lately. Shall definitely come back for more tomorrow 🙂

  20. Love the quote by Carl Jung – he summed it up well. All answers lie within. Interesting thought to write a eulogy.

  21. I have to try hard to be self aware as my mind tends to drift very fast. I guess my eulogy might not be that bad. I am trying to be a happy person 🙂

  22. Great start Corinne and I agree it all begins and ends with awareness. Writing a Eulogy is a great idea and I should try that.
    Loved reading your post.

  23. Self-awareness is hard. I do agree with much of your post :). I think I might find trying to write my own eulogy a bit morbid, however :).
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

  24. wow! Corinne, what a great start.. loved reading every sentence of this post, and also liked both the sayings of Carl Jung & Osho.. I remember writing eulogy as part of the exercise in one of the retreats attended earlier (I don’t remember where) it was so frightening but then at the end of it, it made so much sense… thanks for sharing and am glad to read my first post for today’s challenge and I would like to be awakened with energy by the end of this challenge…

    1. Thanks, Angela. I know you would tell me about Osho’s writings when I hadn’t really looked at them.
      I don’t think we did the eulogy exercise together, but I found it immensely useful too.

  25. I played with Awareness for A, Corinne – but opted for another word, as it seemed more apt. What a wonderful start to the A to Z – and I love your pinnable!

    I remember you once tagged me on twitter – 5 last words or something, remember? That was fun – and I thought of it today when I read your post.

    A regular exercise I enjoy is this: ask 5 friends what they think of you in one-three lines. Great fun!

    Love and hugs! 🙂

    1. I’m glad we didn’t do the same word, Vidya.
      Yes, I remember that twitter thing. And thanks for sharing that exercise. It is fun and an eye-opener too!

  26. Excellent tips about self-awareness. I remember doing that eulogy exercise in Journalism school. It does help you realize your self-worth.
    Looks like you’ve chosen some major challenges for this month, Corinne. I’m impressed! 🙂

    1. Ah so you know how that exercise goes, Debbie. I was surprised by how many people think it’s morbid!
      I’m glad to be attempting this challenge with you again! 🙂

  27. Inspiring! Self awareness is to be more alert and to be more alive. Love the action step. Writing your own eulogy can be a big step towards introspection and self realization. Great start to the challenge, Corinne ♥

  28. Such a wonderful theme for the AtoZ Corinne!

    The idea of writing my own funeral speech is kind of unsettling. You are right, it shows you what you want to be and throws light on what you need to do.

      1. Indeed. Unsettling in a good way. It makes you want to finally get up and get moving..

  29. A great start Corinne! It is strange that we may know a lot about the world yet remain unaware of ourselves. I’m not sure I’ll be able to write my own eulogy, but I’ll definitely make a friend do it 🙂 I am actually thinking of doing similar activities with my students in school!

    1. Make a friend write your eulogy? I’m guessing s/he will be even more uncomfortable than you might be. Okay, what if I said write the toast you’d like raised for your 90th birthday? 🙂

  30. this is so true and a much needed lesson to learn… we have so much of everything within us, but we stupidly waste time searching for it elsewhere…

    1. That’s right, Pratikshya. I remember Rumi’s words, something to the effect of searching for a precious necklace when it’s on your next all the while!

  31. I love the idea of writing our own eulogy. Great idea. I wrote a post a while back about how our life is a painting and what does your art gallery look like. It was kind of the same concept. We need to live our life how we want to be remembered. Love life, love ourselves and paint your image for YOU and OTHERS! Thanks for inspiring doll.

    Talk to you soon. Keep that beautiful smile of yours shining bright.


  32. I’ve heard of the eulogy exercise, but never had the courage to try it myself. It seems like a rather frightening prospect, but I can see how it would generate incredibly valuable insights. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  33. Good post Corrine. Looking forward to all the other alphabets. I had not revealed my theme but since I am participating through my food blog my theme will revolve around ingredients and all the names related to food, cuisine and all that.

  34. First: love you theme Corinne:-) Perfect timing for me to get inspired on self leadership. And so true- without self awareness – how can we find our path in life?! To stay true to core values and know ourselves is everything. Great post, and I will come back for more.. best of luck for A to Z:-) Hugs

  35. Whoa! SUCH a cool theme! I think I’m gonna have to follow these. I tend to be pretty self-aware. Or perhaps more self-analytical (when I notice – cos I know I can sometimes be IMMENSELY dumb about things (but perhaps we all can)).

    The idea of writing my own eulogy was VERY odd, but I can see how it would highlight the things which are important to a person – same as looking at your bank statement to see what you invest in.

    1. Thanks, Lizzi. Let me know how you get on with the eulogy. If you find it odd, do another one – imagine a toast that might be raised at your 95th birthday party! 🙂

  36. Very well written, Corinne. What you said about writing our own eulogy is very true. We had our Communications professor give it as an assignment during MBA – Write your own Funeral Speech. Even after all these years I recollect how difficult it was and how strongly it impacted me. Staying tuned for B.

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