In the mid 90’s while practicing as a Counselor/ Behavior Modification Practitioner, I devised a Guide to assist my clients in understanding their status quo, “the way things are – Now!” in their lives – also to understand – “Why – things are the way they are.” I called it a “Self – Awareness Response Guide (SARG) because it convinces the participant to confront his/her state of Consciousness or Awareness, thus revealing a particular state of mind. I am sure you didn’t miss my use of the word confront, for many, that word may seem counter-intuitive in addressing things of the mind or the emotions. Yet, very few would think twice about confronting a perceived threat or aggressor; the problem is we often confront the outer threat but continue to ignore the inner threat we pose to ourselves.
My suggestion to you is to Confront Yourself! Confront your feelings your emotions and your subsequent behaviors, constantly! It’s the only rational way of determining – who you are, where you are and why things are the way they are. The reason I am writing this is to assist you in recognizing the need to seize back control of your MIND, your most powerful ally in the process of becoming Self-Aware. One no longer needs a keen sense of observation to see that people are becoming increasingly zombified due to medication, automation, isolation, and rejection. The intrinsic fight or flight response has given way to the “WHATEVER!” response or the, “IT IS WHAT IT IS” mentality that kills any desire for Personal Confrontation, inner contemplation or reflection.
Of course, finding oneself is a process and like any other process, it requires information and a rational desire to learn new ideas, incorporate new thoughts while sharpening the mind, very much like the wood cutter who constantly and repeatedly sharpens his axe in order to achieve his daily production of logs quickly and efficiently.
The reason I developed my Guide was to wake those people who are ASLEEP, blissfully unaware of the opportunities awaiting them in careers, relationships and life; making them become Awake is, therefore, the purpose and reason for my Guide. A S L E E P is an acronym for Apathy – Sorrow – Limitation – Egotism – Emptiness and Procrastination. Each of the above stages is a cry for help and renders the individual vulnerable to Zombie status. People who are A S L E E P, are, defenseless, disconnected and defeated, which is a recipe for physical and spiritual erosion leading to negative outcomes, on the other hand, the opposite of sleep is A W A K E, another acronym for Awareness – Wisdom – Action – Knowledge and Empowerment. By now, it’s obvious to you, that being ASLEEP will unavoidably lead to isolation, depression, and loneliness while being A W A KE enlivens your MIND and BODY to capitalize on your full potential.
My mind goes immediately to a young client who I will call Sam in order to protect his identity; when Sam’s mom brought him to my office he was approaching 21, he had been an outstanding track and field athlete with a scholarship to attend college. Like most freshmen with good looks and talent, Sam fell for the hype, the adulation and popularity exposed him to so-called recreational drugs. Sam became apathetic and sad, he now limited himself, became egotistical, felt empty and began putting off all his activities for tomorrow – procrastination. Sam had DISCONNECTED and fell ASLEEP.
He needed a wake – up call, an ALARM to jolt him back to wakefulness. Some have the ability to respond innately, while others need prodding, the prod in Sam’s case was an ALARM and that ALARM was confronting him with who he really is when he is AWAKE. When Sam woke up and affirmed who he really is and the undeniable potential he possessed he was able to resume his journey to self-actualization. Sam finished college and went on to pursue a successful career in television production and filmmaking.
Whenever you’re stuck, whenever your life situation forces you to question who you are and why you are here it means that your Motivations and Intentions are in question (You fell ASLEEP). The shortest and most effective way to resolve your confusion and self-doubt is to do what one of the worlds smartest men (Abraham Maslow) did – study the lives of some of our most enduring heroes, read their stories, examine their lives and understand their Motivations and Intentions; the wisdom and inspiration you’ll gain is the ALARM you need to jolt you back to WAKEFULNESS.
While developing one of the most respected theories on human motivation, Psychologist/Philosopher Abraham Maslow constructed a model looking like a pyramid which outlines the hierarchy of human needs, which still stands today as one of the premier motivational tools across almost every industry. In order to do this Maslow studied the lives of Albert Einstein, Jane Addams, Eleanor Roosevelt and Frederick Douglas among others in order to better understand human motivations and potential – the result – a master work which endures to this day, “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.”
WAKE UP my friends, become more Aware, seek Wisdom, Act on your best motivations and seek Knowledge which leads to Empowerment. Please indulge me as I quote myself from my upcoming book on my personal philosophies, “Lack of reading, study and contemplation is slowly but surely ushering in the demise of Rational Thought, Emotional Intelligence, and Informed Action, thereby stunting the growth of Human Development for generations to come.”
“Cause That’s really Whereitzat!