Here, for your delectation, are some discussion questions* (and my answers) on self-awareness:
- What is your mindfulness practice?
- When was the last time you got triggered and how did you respond?
- What’s the most memorable piece of advice you’ve gotten from a mentor?
Mindfulness Practice: I’m pretty aware of my thoughts and the processes they follow. I write a lot about these thoughts on this blog (and here I am doing this again). I’m quite good at seeing thoughts and emotions in my mind and then stepping back from them and watching them. The very process of watching a thought takes away its power to affect you. Bring aware of how an emotion rises in you enables you to see what has triggered it. The quicker you become aware of your reaction to something, the more able you are to identify what triggers you to act the way you do. And the more you identify your triggers, the easier it can be to act in different ways. Less destructive ways.
My Last Trigger: I got the idea to get a robot vacuum cleaner, basically because I was fed up of vacuuming, which is a never-ending and thankless task (when’s the last time a carpet said ‘thanks’ to you?) So, when the sales came around, I bought one. Then, the other day, my phone pinged to say that it was time to vacuum so I started to take it out of the box to set it up. My beautiful wife then tried to claim it for downstairs (where she sweeps and mops) rather than upstairs (where I vacuum). I tried to explain that it was my idea to get it and so I should get the benefit but we both got flooded with emotion and nothing was resolved. My Response: I packed the darn thing up, put it in the loft and then sulked for a day or so.
Memorable Piece of Advice: I don’t know where I got it from but the best piece of advice I have ever had is ‘don’t be such a selfish pr…idiot!’ I’m still working on putting this into effect more quickly, but every time I have; every time I’ve put someone else first; every time I’ve been compassionate rather than self-centered – those are the times I been the happiest.
*These questions came from Jeff Weiner during his talk: On Leadership (and the answers are my own). I’m listening to it as you’re reading this, unless, of course, you’re reading this much later, in which case I’m probably putting it into practice. Hopefully.