How often do we find ourselves in this position? You’ve worked incredibly hard on something, only to discover that it leaves you feeling empty. You compensate by working even harder. Why does this happen?

It doesn’t happen to me. I don’t always work all that hard but I do know exactly what I want. I don’t put that much effort into things I want (I’m heavily into resting and unwinding) but if I do make an effort, it’s definitely going to be something that I know I need and will enjoy.

People lack in self-awareness to an extreme degree.


4 thoughts on “Self-awareness”

  1. Right, I don’t understand this phrase. I also notice people buy things, then feel empty (I don’t, I buy things and feel delighted, because I buy things I like), stuff themselves but feel hungry, and so on. I don’t get the mentality


  2. Do you have any thoughts on cultivating better self awareness? I feel like I am now (at 47) much more self aware than when I was younger. There are lots of things that younger me pursued or would have pursued that barely tempt me now. I see various types of bright shiny things and activities, consider them briefly and realize those particular things are not really right for me. But in other areas, I still seem to struggle to figure out what I want, particularly in the work realm where there are so many directions and projects I could pursue. I often get really excited by a new idea, spend a bit of time on it and then wind up abandoning it for something else or pursuing it until I realize it’s a dead end, or sometimes pursuing it until it becomes a burden that I have to try to get rid of.


    1. Well, I’m someone who has spent a fair amount of time doing things I should do and did not mind doing at all, but that weren’t necessarily a passion, and also having so many interests I had difficulty choosing (this is still an issue — I have too many different things going on to manage them all, and I like them all, just have a lot of enthusiasms).

      However as a self awareness note that might be turned into an exercise, I notice that many of the things I’ve done that have worked out really well, or that I’ve started and kept at, are things I didn’t doubt for an instant. Some seemed sensible and others slightly outlandish, but what they all had in common was that I knew instantly. Some examples:
      – hearing when I was 2 that there were more than one language. I said: that is marvelous, I will learn languages.
      – hearing when I was 3 that there was an advanced degree, the PhD, which required you know many things. I said: that is for me, I will get one.
      – getting to Spain when I was 7. I said: this is what I like, I will pursue my obvious interest in this place.
      – [there are a lot of other ones about languages and school]
      – the two cars I’ve actually chosen and bought [the others have all been inherited somehow]: I knew instantly which one I wanted
      – the one house I’ve bought: I saw it, made a call, said I was taking it
      – getting into prison work
      – getting into union work
      – getting into art … all of these were instantaneous, and unplanned decisions
      WHEREAS every so-so or bad decision I have made, it has been hard to make, they were always sensible and rational and attractive, but I didn’t “feel” them and they always turned out to be bad decisions, even though they looked right and I was applauded for making them.

      Maybe you could come up with an exercise like that, try to follow your gut more?


      1. That is an interesting idea, I do feel like many of my best decisions in life have been very easy decisions. It just seems like there are some areas, particularly related to career/work stuff, where no decision ever seems easy. But perhaps I should pay more attention to my feelings or perhaps I should be considering a wider range of options. Not finding the right path might be a function of not even seeing/considering it at all.


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