I have always been “personally curious” in the sense that, as time goes on, I am really interested in finding out more about myself. I think that the pursuit of “self-awareness,” though infinite, often gets an abstract label, where in reality I think there are many tangible aspects to testing and better understanding one’s self.
Experimenting across your personal tendencies and biases is a challenging, but highly rewarding investment of time. It amazes me, really, how little many of us truly know about ourselves. Further, to deepen the wound, it seems as if most of us are so unwilling to engage in active “self-awareness” learning. We can likely attribute this to many different factors.
The modern education system is focused on the external world. Where are the classes about better understanding myself? Where are the experiments being run, the simulations, how can we improve at a faster pace?
We hide from our reality and never ask ourselves the hard questions because it is easier to skirt around. Our own identity is scary. It is the truth. And for years we cover it in mounds of lies, selfishly to protect ourselves from facing the facts.
As I have been thinking about this topic, really over the past 3 or 4 years, I have flipped a switch and made a serious effort to do things for the sake of learning about myself.
And I found one of the best ways to do this is to put yourself in an environment for extreme learning and self-awareness.
I went to Bali and Santorini and sat at the beach for 5 days.
I went to South Korea and Shanghai and partied at clubs for 4 days.
I hiked every day in Phoenix for a week.
I worked all day every day in SF for 2 weeks.
Do you see what I am getting at? Testing the extremes and pushing the limits helps you identify your pressure points.
You quickly realize that your preference is actually not the beach in Bali (or maybe it is) and that helps you decide what to do or how to spend your time in the future.
Also published on Medium.