Success is often described and perceived as the opposite of Failure. What we usually miss to realize is the fact that the Self and the Ego are two separate entities focused on different priorities.
When we focus our attention outwardly we interpret Success as winning. We begin to feel affected by social pressure, other people’s thoughts, and constant demand to catch up. We act because the world is looking at us.
When we direct that focus inwardly we might realize Success as the ability to effortlessly achieve our will. We give our best even when no one is looking.
The Ego represents our social image, what we do, our role in the workplace and all the labels others use to correctly identify us (father, son, work colleague, athlete, friend, baker, taxi driver, photographer, musician, blonde, freckled, foreign, husband, wife, black, funny, fat, tall, attractive and so on…). It focuses on external objects. This builds an apparent need for control, power or approval that will generate fear. This happens because the titles originated by the Ego can only endure while that title stands. Once the title, or money, or work place or social status ends, so it ends the power that sustains them.
Self, on the other hand, focus inwardly and is brought up by Consciousness. The stronger we grow our awareness of Self, the wider will be our pure potential and creative mind-set. The more Self Conscious we are, the more power we have. And this Self-Power endures because it’s based inwardly.
Self-knowledge is a must. To understand our deepest wants and needs strengthen us. It empowers us with our own life control and steer us in the right direction: the direction we choose consciously to pursue. Think about your consciousness and awareness as a taxi driver. If you don’t know where to go you can’t ask your taxi driver to guide you properly. He will only drive around, wasting time, until you make a decision. You will be lost in thoughts, referring to outside stimuli, asking for others approval, searching for an answer and basing your life in fear.
In contrast, if you start focusing – not on the objects of your experience but – on your inner Self you will develop the ability to Let Go, not wanting to control events or other people. The quality of your attention determines the quality of your results.
So, how do we grow Self-Awareness, Self-Consciousness and Self-Knowledge in benefit of a successful life? If we concede in a definition of success as the craft or aptitude to fulfil, effortlessly, our needs and wishes, then it all comes down to 3 simple steps:
1 – Experience SILENCE. Without it, our self-dialogue will always be turbulent. Turn off the TV, radio, phone, and every other source of distraction and rumination. We don’t need an Original Sound Track as a background to our lives, especially if this O.S.T. is based on noise. We’re so used to it that the Self feels pretty uncomfortable after the car radio is shut down or the nagging supermarket songs disappear suddenly. But it feels so invigorating and refreshing after a while… It builds space around you and boosts air into your lungs and ideas into your mind. Give it a try.
2 – MEDITATE. It’s a basic need, just like breathing, eating or taking a bath. You do brush your teeth everyday, right? Probably you even floss. It’s great for your hygiene habits. Meditation is just your mental hygiene habit, starting now. MEDITATE.
3 – STOP JUDGMENTAL THINKING. Observe without creating that inner turbulence generated by evaluations, analysis or labels. Wear a bracelet on your wrist. Every time you caught yourself judging or criticizing, change the bracelet to the other wrist. It will be your constant reminder to slow down, preventing your mind to race.
One of the best ways to experience all 3 at the same time is a simple contact with nature. Stay observant and you’ll hear the music.