These days a lot of things happen almost faster than the speed of light. This is the result of the fast paced era we are in. Most services can now be paid for in split seconds, with the products consumed almost simultaneously. Although this is a superb development but it comes with its own challenges too. Part of this challenge is the need to make some very critical decisions about one’s life with almost similar level of spontaneity. Unfortunately, unlike the cooking of instant noodles, and other fast foods, not many of these life’s decisions can be easily reversed without some very deep consequences attached.
For an instant noodles meal, I could decide not to have it after it has been cooked. I could change my mind to have something else, without suffering much loss, except for some amount of money gone from my pocket. Not so the other more complicated decisions about life, unfortunately. Some of the consequences from similar life’s decisions could be fatal.
The question is: how do you navigate through life to ensure you make the best of these impromptu critical life’s decisions in a way that is beneficial to you, in the long run?
This is where self-awareness plays a good advantage…
Being humans, we are meant to live a lifestyle that is constantly evolving in various ways.
But how do we really evolve over time? What guides towards this evolution?
Decisions! Decisions!! Decisions!!!
We become the entirety of all our life’s decisions, eventually. Reason spontaneous moments that requires critical judgment from us must never be taken lasciviously. It poses a new opportunity for us to become more or less of what we desired, depending on the outcome of such decision. Unless we were already more aware of what to do at such tricky instances through the useful application of foresight, we stand to lose some things that may have taken years to build by the impromptu decisions.
Self-awareness is the conscious knowledge of oneself. It entails having a great degree of the right knowledge about who one is. This means that if you are self-aware, you may most likely have the knowledge of your own core values, as a result of having known yourself to a reasonable degree. The application of these values, coupled with your personal life’s vision can guide at making sane decision even at such critical split moments.
Why are these values important?
Values are just what they are – they show what it is we truly value the most in our life. In other words, your value should reflect the beliefs that you consider very important to you and their priorities.
It means that your values can influence your decision, determine your behaviour, even under pressure. Our values are part of us, and can help with our decision making, especially when faced with some complicated decision about life at dire moments when we do not have the luxury of time.
I once heard the story of a young man who had left the country to the United States with his wife and new born. While there in the US, he was able to find a more lucrative job that would later bring him back to Nigeria as an expatriate. He took up the offer, and returned to Nigeria. The allowances that came with the salary package was good. The young man was told he could travel to see his family every once in a month. To this, he was pleased.
He travelled monthly to the states to be with his family for the first six months. Not quite long after this, he was told his monthly trips have been changed to once in three months visits. This man grudgingly accepted, but with much concern and anger for the breach with the initial contract they had made earlier. He pleaded with his wife, and informed her that the change was only temporary, because he had been told same story by the management. They had assured him it was due to the shortage of staff because of the sudden resignation of one.
Another six months passed, and nothing was done. The young man waited anxiously for the day he would be informed about the reversal as he had missed being with his family.
About a year later, his boss called him to the office. The young man had thought the call to his boss’ office may be related to the reversal of the once in three month’s visits to the initial monthly visits. So he was excited. The thought of seeing his beautiful family more often pleased him.
But the boss had something else in mind. The quarterly family visit was going to be turned to twice in a year, only. They were not prepared to employ a replacement to the staff who had resigned. The boss tried to convince him with the reasons they had to do it, and the new packages that may come with the new shift. But this young man was already shut off. He resigned that same day, and booked a flight back home to his family.
The reason? One of his top core values was family. He didn’t want to live so far apart from them. This decision had been established even before he got married. It was this foresight that helped with the decision at such critical time of his life. He knew what to do at that moment because he had better understanding of who he was, and those things that mattered most to him. He was very self-aware. He had some principles that was fundamental to his existence.
Not long after he returned to the states, he got a job with better offer. He had his family with him, and the dream job close. He had made the best decision during one of the most critical times of his lives, without stress.
For someone who may not have some personal values, issues like this young man’s case could easily break them into pieces, destroying either their marriage, or job, and in some cases, both.
This is one of the importance of having core values. They can help you make the best of the available options, or the right decision, even in the absences of any alternative.
However, you may find it difficult to set the values best suitable to you and one that can help with the fulfilment of your life’s purpose, if you are not aware of who you are, and exactly what it is in life you want, first of all.
In mybook BECOMING, i shared more insights about self-awareness and ways to practice this art. Book will be released June 30th on my website and Amazon.
To reach the author for private therapy, speaking engagements or more send mail to email@example.com, to purchase the author’s books online please click here
To your evolving life.