It blows my mind how clueless many people seem to be. Many appear to be simply beboping through life. Whether it’s going from one activity to another or running back and forth between work and home life, many seem to have their heads stuck in the sand without much awareness of what is actually taking place around them.
On the surface, everything seems to be going okay in their lives. If you were to dig a bit below the surface, though, I’m guessing things would probably be a mess in many areas of their lives.
Their finances are a disaster. They have no monthly budget. They have no short or long-term goals. They have debt. They are living lifestyles beyond their ability to sustain long-term. As a result, they are living paycheck to paycheck with no fruit to show for all their labor.
Their relationships are sketchy. They don’t spend quality or quantity time with their spouse or children. They don’t see their extended family very often. They have a handful of friends they rarely see. As a result, they feel isolated and lonely.
Their spiritual lives are lukewarm. They make no time for Bible reading. They have shallow prayer lives. They bounce into church if they just happen to have a couple of hours on a Sunday morning when they aren’t at the lake. God just isn’t on their radar very much. As a result, they feel unfulfilled and spiritually dead.
The Power of Awareness
There is a better way, though. If we will just take some time and occasionally cease our relentless, daily activity, then we can create some space in order to become more aware of what is actually taking place in our lives. Once we become aware of what is going on, then we can begin the process of making necessary changes to move in a different direction.
Here are some methods and practices to “press pause” on our hectic personal lives so that we can take time to reflect and become more fully aware of what is taking place around us.
- meditation: I’m not talking Far East mystical practices here. This is more the Michael Hyatt approach. Just take several minutes each day to stop any activity and quiet your mind.
- journaling: This is a great activity to become self-aware of what is going on in your life. You can write about your successes and failures. You can write down your dreams and goals. You can list out everything that’s going great in your life right now, or maybe even not so great.
- talking and listening: Sit down with your spouse, children, and friends. Talk about what is taking place in your family and each other’s lives. Try to do more listening than talking. Really dig deep, ask a lot of questions, and be on the lookout for some key thoughts on what is really happening in the lives of those closest to you.
- counseling: There is no shame in seeking out the services of a professional counselor. They have been trained to help you unpack your life stuff. They can be a useful resource for you to develop greater awareness in your life. They will do more listening than talking. They will ask you leading questions and reflect back to you what you are saying.
- coaching: A life coach will push you into greater awareness for what you really want to accomplish in your life. They’re going to give you the “kick in the rear” you need to set goals and to get moving on those goals as quickly as possible.
Questions: How aware are you? Do you really have a handle on what is taking place in your life? Are you living with a sense of purpose and direction? Have you tried any of these 5 practices I have listed above? Which of these practices work best for you?