Cultivating Awareness as a Tool

Today we see a myriad types of awareness related material out there. It looks like everyone agrees on one single thing: Awareness is important and you need to be aware of yourself, your surroundings including your relationships, your daily actions and your goals. But from what we read we usually might feel a little puzzled at times especially about one thing: Why do we need Awareness really? Yes, being aware is good for us, for our well-being, for our society and the world. Awareness is now mentioned everywhere including academic journals, daily newspapers and popular magazines (you can see thousands of articles and papers written now especially under the term mindfulness which is a form of awareness). However, it is not yet so clear why we need it and more importantly, how we can use it for the betterment of our beingness and our societies.

Throughout my career as a psychologist, a college professor, an entrepreneur and a spiritual leader, I’ve been working on awareness at personal, educational, scientific and spiritual levels. And during that time of study and years of practice, I have come to draw some important conclusions I will share with you here. Let me start out by simply saying this: Awareness is in fact a very useful tool if you know how to use it. If you do not know how to use it, here’s what happens: You spend time and maybe some money to achieve more awareness and it becomes an end in itself. You are more aware of your feelings, your thoughts, your actions but you do not know what to do with this kind of knowledge. This is like knowing the exact ingredients of each food recipe but not knowing how to cook the food itself.

Today when we look at the general problems that the world population is experiencing today we see them outlined in five main areas:

• Health (including mental health)
• Money
• Career
• Family (Marriage, Parenting)
• Social Relationships (including Romantic ones)


And it sometimes may seem like a mysterious puzzle to solve even if you have increased awareness of yourself. For example, you might observe that you are having either one or more of the above even though you think you have been working on your awareness to a good extent. Here the problem is not you lacking/needing any more awareness, but actually not knowing how to use it. Sometimes we hear stories of miraculous healings of health, relationships and other aspects of life and we attribute that to faith, luck and intense Divine power. Although they surely help us along the way, being open to that kind of power also requires us to use our awareness to the capacity that opens up the doors for you.

At a more subtle and concrete level, you probably know that almost any kind of problem in your life is a result of some kind of a personal style that has developed over the years and the key to any kind of change or transformation is our ability to use awareness as a tool to unlock our inner power to turn things around.

As with all levels of expertise, you become better at using this tool as you practice regularly. When it becomes almost like a daily habit, you do not even know how you use it to your best benefit regarding your life goals.

For you to better understand what I mean here, I would like you to step back, think about your goals in relation to either one or the other (or both, if you like):


• Solving current problems as soon as possible
• Choosing a life goal and start working on it as soon as possible


And I am leaving you with the following question to cultivate your awareness as a tool:

With your current awareness level, how do you define your problem/goal?

Definition is the first step. How do you define your current problem?