My main goal this past year was to become more self-aware. While most goals have a key metric for defining success/failure, this goal wasn’t one of them. As I’ve learned throughout 2018, becoming more self-aware doesn’t happen in a year. Instead, it’s part of a lifetime journey.
What has begun to take shape this year is my understanding and ability to ask myself the right questions. Knowing what questions to ask is a HUGE step forward – it is a competitive advantage. Asking questions is one of the most powerful things you can do – but first, you must accept that you know very little. Knowing very little, by nature, makes you curious, and turns you into a learning and question-asking machine. Thinking you know everything is a huge disadvantage because it’s not true and it disincentives you to learn and grow.
When most people think of learning, they think of school. School sucked for me. Why? Because most of it had nothing to do with what I was interested in. Instead, it was a forced curriculum that made learning ‘not fun’. Now, learning about things I’m interested in has become my favorite thing to do. It’s challenging, rewarding, and helps normalize this planet.
Becoming more self-aware and understanding how to ask questions of myself has made me realize what things I need to figure out in order to live a happy life. (After all, we only get one!)
Here are some questions I asked myself this year on my journey to become more self-aware:
- 1. Which relationships are most important to me?
- 2. Who are the five closest people to me and why?
- 3. How am I managing my time? How is it effecting my closest relationships?
- 4. What isn’t important to me? Am I wasting time on any of those things?
- 5. How do my actions make those closest to me feel?
- 6. What do I want my wife, daughter, family, and friends to say about me on my 80th birthday?
- 7. Am I doubling down on my strengths, or am I spinning my wheels trying to overcome my weaknesses?
- 8. Am I asking for help when it’s needed?
- 9. What does balance look like for me?
- 10. Why am I so passionate about business?
- 11. Am I valuing others’ opinions too highly?
- 12. Am I thinking for myself or ‘going with the flow’?
- 13. What can I be doing to be a better leader?
- 14. What are the biggest obstacles in my way to accomplishing my goals?
- 15. Am I spending time reading and learning in order to build a long-term competitive advantage?
- 16. Am I dedicating my time and energy to a couple of big things, or am I spreading myself too thin by trying to do it all?
- 17. What should I quit doing, and what should I start doing?
- 18. Where are my blind spots?
- 19. Where are my bias’?
- 20. What are my principles?
- 21. What am I willing to sacrifice in order to reach my goals?
- 22. What things am I doing just to ‘fit in’ instead of actually wanting to do them?
- 23. What makes me uncomfortable and why?
The list goes on….
Asking these questions opened up my mind, and in turn, the opportunity to read, learn, and discuss things that will help in my journey to continuously answer these questions. In short, you know a good answer when you see one – because you’re subconsciously preparing yourself to take one in.
I’m excited about the foundation I’ve built this year. I have a long way to go, but it’s exciting nonetheless. I’ll always have a long way to go – because at the end of the day, I don’t know shit. I just know that I need to keep learning and getting better. We aren’t called to be perfect. Instead, focus on stacking one good day on top of the next, and when it’s all said and done, hope it adds up to a winning score. Upward and onward!