#WFH: How Self Aware Are You?

Our ability to be self-aware, to think about our thinking, is what makes us unique as human beings. As far as we have been able to determine, no other creature has this ability. Science and research may yet prove that this is incorrect. There has been some interesting research done on different species, including whales, which may have an impact in this area. But even if we do find that metacognition is not unique to humans, it is certainly one of our strongest characteristics. It is how we know we are alive. Our ability to live beyond our senses and choose our next thought autonomously is what makes us human. Thinking is how we know what we believe; it is reality translated by us. Our beliefs are thoughts we keep thinking. Facts are beliefs that many people agree upon. Autonomy is your ability to think and then act for yourself.

The latter part of the 20th century made many of us aware that the company could not be trusted or relied upon to keep our best interests at heart. The days of employment guarantees for dedication and commitment gave way to a form of capitalism in the West that supported the philosophy of every person for himself or herself. We saw excessive greed devour economies, massive layoffs, recession and great human suffering. But we also saw humans connect in a way that had never before been possible. Blogs, wikis, social networks and social software allowed the world to open up, communicate and become more aware. Halfway around the globe was not so far away anymore. In fact, it was right next door. Our sense of personal power and our ability to impact others increased.

Your ability to think independently is important now and will become even more important in the future. In your personal life, it will mean making decisions that align with your priorities and then acting on those decisions. In your work life, it will mean buying into company and social goals that are important to you and making your daily tasks meaningful and able to be accomplished. In your relationships, it will mean taking responsibility for how you respond and react, both globally and locally. In your financial life, it will mean questioning, learning and implementing independent strategies that work for you. The new workplace does not offer as many comforts or restrictions as the old one did. It gives you more autonomy and, with that, comes more responsibility for yourself.
Your ability to respond starts with awareness. Once you are aware, you can make choices.

If you are unaware, you cannot. Awareness requires you to get in touch with your feelings, actions and thoughts. A lot of research currently says that thoughts contribute to actions and emotions. These are the “big three” that affect character and quality of life. If you are experiencing negative emotions that are causing destruction in your life, or a belief system that makes you feel not good enough, or people who put you down, or behavior patterns that do not support your priorities, you and only you can change this. It is not easy, but it is possible.

Some people think, “I can’t do this change stuff, I am too busy.” Are you too busy for you? Then do not be surprised if you are not as successful as you might be working and leading virtually. Dividing your day into segments and working with those segments to accomplish your priorities will help you with authentic productivity. It is equally important to clearly define what those results will look like. How will you know you have had a successful day? Will it be by the number of sales calls you made? The number of pages you have written? Items checked off your to-do list? Did you have fun?

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