Image credits: Matthias Ripp

“Work hard.”

Everywhere we go, we hear this advice.

It seems as if hard work, or in other words, “massive action”, seems to give people results and success.

But is this a complete advice?

I have seen a lot of my students who work really hard. They take massive action. But still, they aren’t happy.

With time, it has gotten clear to me, that “hard work” is just one piece of the puzzle.

One can take all the wrong actions and go in a direction that they never wanted to go in the same place.

What is the missing ingredient then?

Action is all about speed, going fast and doing the work with intensity.

The missing ingredient that I am talking about is the opposite of that.

The missing ingredient is “Awareness”.

“Well, duh. Pranav we know this already.”

Yes, the advice is obvious. But how often is this followed?

Awareness channelizes our actions.

Awareness ensures that our actions are not sprayed all over.

It helps us to be laser-focused.

This awareness gives us more clarity about ourselves.

It helps us answer the question – “Who am I really?”

After all, everything starts inside.

Everything starts from within.

You can’t really construct a building if the foundation isn’t strong. Construction a building is action, a strong foundation is an awareness.

You can’t draw a beautiful painting if you don’t have awareness. You can give a few strokes with the paintbrush, but is it line with the painting that you wanted to build in the first place?

You get the point.

How to build this awareness then?

Building awareness is a messy process.

It needs time.

We need to look within to find awareness. It is an inner journey.

No one can give us “awareness” on a plate. There is no formula. There are a few tactics, yes. But it is a spiritual thing… it is an emotional thing.

Cultivating this ‘Awareness’ has been a challenge for me. Probably the biggest one. It still continues to be a huge pain in the butt.

But, I have built a better relationship with it, over time.

Let me share a few tactics that have helped me get some clarity and be more aware –

  1. Meditation

The most powerful tactic that I know is meditation. It is so, so powerful. It’s absolutely insane, how this habit transforms our life.

It is one habit which when compounded with time, will give us such profound results. It almost seems silly to me, to not build this habit.

  1. Writing

Writing and journaling help us in clarifying our thoughts. It helps us let go of the garbage, and look at the core.

  1. Surrounding yourself with wise people

“Wise” here doesn’t only mean Dalai Lama. Although, it would be cool if you could hang out with His Holiness The Dalai Lama. But no, we can always hang out with friends, teachers and even family members who guide us and help us find our inner clarity.

There you go.

Three tactics.

Which one will you use?