The big question is WHY are so many people unaware of the world around them?
Awareness is a superpower.
Because if you are aware, you are way ahead of many around you.
This is one of those things that does require near-constant attention and focus. Being aware takes work.
Aware (definition): a·ware / əˈwer / adjective: having knowledge or perception of a situation or fact. “Most people are aware of the dangers of sunbathing.” Also: concerned and well-informed about a particular situation or development.
Self-awareness (definition): self-a·ware·ness / self əˈwernəs / noun: conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires. “The process can be painful but it leads to greater self-awareness.”
“You cannot vent and self-reflect at the same time.” Cy Wakeman
Just the other day, my elevator stopped on a floor, the door opened, and some young gun professional was standing there, looking at his iPhone. He was completely unaware that a car, with me impatiently waiting in it, was waiting for him. Naturally, as the door started to close, he noticed and jumped in, getting awkwardly squeezed by the closing doors, making for an embarrassing ruckus. He was unaware of the world around him. Don’t be this guy.
It’s being aware that when you walk out of a door, there might be someone in front of it.
If you are walking down a sidewalk, and you stop suddenly, not noticing someone is walking right behind you.
Or the person who pushes out his chair at a restaurant, not even realizing someone is standing right behind him. Just a quick glance please.
Are you aware of the critical trends affecting your world?
Are you aware of the history? It does repeat itself. Everyday. If you want a crystal ball, just read some history.
Are you aware of the news? Now, I don’t want you to spend hours consuming news, but Lord, be aware of what’s happening in the world.
(My trick with the news is to glance at trusted source headlines…)
Conversation is so much more interesting when you are aware of the world around you, and can add real commentary, insight, and perspective.
There is a fine line between consciously unplugging from the world (which is encouraged from time to time), to being ignorant and clueless to what is happening around you.
LISTENING is obviously a key to awareness, and I love this bit from Farnam Street’s Shane Parrish: “Listening is difficult because it involves suppressing your ego long enough to consider what is being said before you respond. In a world where few people listen, good listeners stand out. So what is it so hard? When someone starts talking, our minds listen for: 1. Reasonably guess what they are going to say. (E.g., “I know what you are going to say.”) 2. Identify a pattern. (E.g., “I know where you are going with this.”) 3. Something we disagree with (E.g., “That’s wrong.”) When one of those things happens, we stop listening and our mind starts preparing our response. At the moment, the conversation becomes about us. When the other person does the same, gold becomes lead. Instead of making the conversation about you, work to understand the other person’s perspective as well as they do. You don’t have to agree. You do have an obligation to understand. A conversation is not a race to make a point, but rather an exploration of someone’s mind.”