Anders Ericsson from Florida State University has studied experts in a variety of domains and come to the conclusion that what they all share is having devoted 10,000 hours to their craft. This research indicates that mastery requires not just interest, not just passion, but lots and lots of practice. Likewise with self-discovery. To be the master of your own soul, to bring your most heartfelt desires to life, you need to create opportunities for growth and you need to take full advantage of these opportunities to exercise your self-awareness muscles. So how do start putting in those hours? To get you started here are a few ideas for fostering active self-discovery.
- Watch a funny video on www.YouTube.com – think about what aspects of life you are taking too seriously and how you might relax, add laughter, and lighten your outlook
- Play with a pet – watch Fido fetch or Kitty playing with yarn, think about the last time you were totally engaged in something for the sheer joy of it and ponder how you might generate more of that kind of energy
- Compose a gratitude letter – reflect on the nice things in life, think about how savoring the good times helps put difficulties into perspective and serves as a reminder that there is more to life than hassles and problems
- Celebrate a job well done or a risk taken –pause and take a moment to feel pride in your achievement knowing you did it even if the outcome is less than perfect
- Examine your priorities – contemplate your long and short term commitments and think about the match (or mismatch) of these to what you value and consider how shifting some of them may allow you to live your life with greater authenticity and congruence
- Cultivate a positive attitude –increase your confidence in the face of adversity by accepting what you cannot change and choosing to be optimistic and enthusiastic about what you can
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Keep a journal in which you log your self-discovery practice, create an archive in which to file your development gains, and/or share with friends the growth related actions and insights you are experiencing. Establish a self-discovery routine – honor who you really are by “exercising” your uniqueness!