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Do you have bad habits? It doesn’t have to be a serious one, like smoking. A bad habit can be the nail-biting mania, especially when anxiety dominates.
The writer Niklas Goeke says he chewed his nails for over 10 years until he realized it was a problem.
When he began to study self knowledge, Goeke made it his mission to stop this habit. He then prepared a list of 27 exercises to develop the mind and decide what is interesting to eliminate from our lives.
Goeke’s list consists of three levels – designed to trigger a self-knowledgeable attitude:
- Thought: activities you can do alone or just with your mind.
- Expression: exercises to evaluate your attitudes and beliefs, which you can do alone or through writing.
- Implementation: Strategies and activities that you need to apply in the real world to take effect.
What is self-knowledge
Before you get to know the exercises proposed by Goeke, you need to understand what self-knowledge is and why this process is so important.
Self-awareness means becoming aware of who we are and what we want for ourselves, taking into account our emotions, potentials, and limitations.
Self-knowledge allows us to have a clear sense of our desires and goals, doesn’t matter if they are personal or professional. It opens our minds to value our qualities and evaluate the points that need to be worked on and/or modified
Therefore, self-knowledge is a path to growth. When we know ourselves deeply, we take the reins of our lives and write our own history.
The philosopher and writer of Ancient China, Lao Tzu, said: “Those who know others are wise; he who knows himself is enlightened”.
The 3 levels of self-knowledge exercises
Exercises to develop the mind
Level 1: Thinking
- Take a walk. No geographic destination, get lost in consciousness. Preferably, listening to music.
- Take a walk with a friend. It’s easier to open up while you’re walking.
- It’s like talking to someone. In this case, with the author.
- Ask “why” three times. Reflect your life with these three questions. You will develop some insights.
- Classify your thoughts and emotions. Putting a name on negative emotions reduces its impact.
- Meditate. Sit, close your eyes and breathe.
- Exercise and practice sports alone. It’s like a mantra.
- Get out of the circuit of consciousness. During the day, we are led by a flood of thoughts. Step aside and get out of it.
- Put a question mark at the end of your opinions. Remove the final and start asking yourself.
- Breathe consciously. Stop feeding your body with a short breath.
- Pay attention to your posture and body language. Doing this helps you better understand how to deal with stress.
- Look into the eyes. Look straight into other people’s eyes.
Level 2: Expression
- Create a personal manifesto. A document that captures your values, attitudes, and aspirations.
- Keep a journal. A small habit that can be only one sentence per day, but that will certainly create insights.
- Take personality tests. Something like the 16 personalities test can help you better understand who you are.
- Record your ABCs. The technique created by Martin Seligman to reflect on adverse events:
A: Activating Event, which activates an internal dialog.
B: Belief, what forms within you after the event.
C: Consequences, about how you feel after the event.
Apply Drucker’s questions. Questions to improve your personal perception. Find out what they are here. In doing so, you’ll develop into self-knowledgable person.
Discover your “Eulerian Destiny”. Exercise for you to find skills and beliefs that are at the very core of your being. Understand it better in Niklas’s text.
Use the Liberty Diagram. Based on the Euler Diagram, you can also find it there.
Write a letter of regrets. Imagine that you are 90 years old and writing a letter to your 20-year-old self. What would you apologize for?
Write your own obituary. Based on the “funeral test” described in the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Level 3: Implementation
- Get constant feedback and analysis. Whenever you make a decision, write whatever happens. One year later, review.
- List your most important tasks every night. Describe the three most important tasks for the next day.
- Practice “Honest Hour”. Sit down with three of the most important people in your life and ask honest feedback about what they think of you.
- Say no (for now). Self-analysis helps you understand what your desires, wants and instincts are. Now follow them.
- Practice the pause-and-planning reaction. Whenever something serious happens, instead of reacting immediately, freeze everything and take time to plan. Pretend dead and then decide what to do.
- Ask for forgiveness. That simple.
You already know the 27 self-knowledge exercises. Now it’s up to you. It is in your hands to decide to take the first step.
Think of this phrase of the thinker Ramona L. Anderson: “People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They pursue vain dreams, vices, religions, and even other people, in the hope of filling the void that torments them. The irony is that the only place they needed to look was always within themselves.”
Deepen your knowledge
Strengthening self-awareness is an ongoing exercise that brings many benefits. One is to build good habits because you know yourself enough to choose the ones that have the best chance of “surviving.”
Habits shape your life and can transform it – for better or for worse. It will depend on how well you know yourself and what you plan for yourself.
How about investing in reading to help you implement healthy habits? We have 3 super tips for you:
Eat, Move, Sleep – Tom Rath
Tom Rath wrote the book for those who want a healthier, more peaceful life. For him, living a healthy life is a matter of implementing small changes.
The author himself struggled with a serious illness to keep himself healthy. On the long run, everyone can do the same. Before you start your next diet, take this reading.
Full attention (Mindfulness) – Mark Williams
The word mindfulness is a trend and won’t come out of blog posts and newspaper articles. You have probably heard of this technique, which teaches us to pay more attention to what is happening around us.
With this guide, you will learn how to apply the technique with simple practices. Perhaps isn’t it the habit that was lacking your life to be complete?
30 Ways to Reboot Your Body – Ben Greenfield
Some people need a little stronger push to put healthy habits in the routine.Ben explains in this book that with some changes in what you do daily, you can accomplish activities you never thought you would be able to do.
After all, you do not have to be a dedicated athlete to be healthy.
Enjoyed it? Now, what about learning a little more about how to do meditate?