Get ready for one of the most important posts you’ll read on this blog. Its a rule I’ve had to make myself follow for the last five or so years, and its something that if more people followed, we would achieve a lot more understanding among each other in regards to the actions we take, as well as the beliefs and opinions we possess.
We are exposed to so much information these days, and opinions about anything under the sun are thrust upon us. And even worse, the creators of those opinions and beliefs all want to argue that their opinions are of high moral. It seems as if everyone wants to save the world, and they want to use you to cement their cause. The truth is that there are good and bad things about every collective group and it is up to you to determine take away the good and the bad parts.
This is called being cognizant. In a collective sense, It means that you can accept the viewpoints of others without completely giving into their worldviews. It means you have the ability to agree with someone on something, disagree with them on others, and still enjoy their work.
For example, most of the bloggers who I follow give great advice, but have warped worldviews. This is quickly becoming a disturbing trend, but I won’t be talking about that here. The point of this post is to possess the ability to cherry pick what is useful to you and pay no attention to what you disagree with. I call this public awareness.
Take this article, for example. Its one of the many articles I’ve read that have inspired me to work from home as a blogger and freelance writer. I agree with everything being said in that article.
However, there are some articles from the same blog that I have mixed opinions on, such as this one. Unlike the other article, I only agree with about half of this one.
Here’s another example. This article is something I think everyone should read because it contains a lot of generally good advice. However, not but a month later, this same writer published a different article that I found very much POS worthy.
Final example: This article is a very good read in the aspect of dating, even for men (even though the blog it is from appears to be for women). However, I disagree with a fair amount of other articles from this blogger, such as this one.
So what do I do? Be cognizant of my own ability to take in and discard information, that’s what I do. Never forget: Gray is where you play. There is good and bad in everything. Just because I read one article from one blog doesn’t mean I am now their property and I must follow everything they publish. Unfortunately, because we have been seduced into becoming raging collectivists who are taught to be narcissistic, we have lost our ability to be cognizant. I will take on the definitely thankless, probably futile job of ushering in a new era where focusing on individual happiness is preferable to saving the world with our worldviews.
No one is perfect in their opinions. Stop trying to save the world; you won’t be able to do it. But you CAN save your own world. And that’s what this blog is all about. That’s what I as a person am all about. When your sense of awareness is on overdrive like mine and when you have an open mind about the opinions of others, it can only help.
So that is how to be cognizant of the viewpoints of others or what I will call “public awareness.” Now let’s talk about being cognizant of your own thoughts and actions, or “private awareness.”
Now! The process of private awareness is much different than public awareness. With public awareness, there are only three simple steps: 1) Encounter a viewpoint 2) Agree with content that you feel can help you 3) Ignore things that you don’t agree with. There is nothing to be measured here, there are no lines between awareness and overthinking that may be crossed.
Private awareness has certain levels to it, and different levels fit different situations. Some situations require a very small amount of awareness. Some situations require you to be so cognizant to where you if you don’t chart your success, you won’t succeed as much.
You have people who aren’t self aware, for one. These are they types who tend to take everything or nothing seriously depending on the situation, are horrifyingly needy, don’t realize it and then do stupid things to the opposite sex, and either don’t care or care too much after the fact. Not having any self awareness is never good, but some can’t help it and are just wired that way. Those who don’t have self awareness are usually held back by real limitations of how they are wired.
And then you have those who are too self aware. This has been my problem for the last decade of my life. These types also take everything seriously and are so emotionally invested to where they usually are too busy thinking to act on things. This was my problem with online dating 3 and 1/2 or so years ago: I would check out a chick’s profile, start overthinking things, not message her, and just like that I have wasted an opportunity. When someone is too self aware, they hold themselves back quite a bit. They also rationalize a great deal and even more tragic, they get rationalized very easily.
People who are self aware and don’t care who they affect (let’s call this blissful unawareness), are ones to avoid. I was like this up until my early 20s. I was more or less an internet troll before the term was even invented. I knew exactly what buttons to push, when to push them, and when exactly to elicit emotional reactions. I knew at a very early age that we are trained to have massive egos and I used this to upset people very easily. I also didn’t take anything seriously at all either, in any aspect. This comes with a price, and that price is the inability to truly relate to others as well as a bitter and cynical worldview that many can see right through.
Here’s what many do not understand. They foolishly don’t understand that there are certain situations where it is good to be unaware, too aware, and blissfully unaware. Many spend their lives on autopilot and are not cognizant of these three forms of awareness, opting instead to take one “route.” Thus, they waste their lives coping and being happy with results that are not indicative of their talents. I’ve been doing this for roughly a decade.
Take, for example, my development as a blogger. I enjoy writing, and I have always wanted to do it for a living. When I discovered that it was not only possible but preferable to do said things for a living, I went on to binge read and binge watch many materials on how to do this, but not really taking as much action as I know I could. This is a bad habit of mine, and I am living proof of the phrase “all knowledge isn’t good knowledge, and too much knowledge isn’t good either.”
What I SHOULD be doing is just publish post after post after post, not worrying about the details. And once I have a decent amount of material published, THEN worry about the branding. Preparing and gathering knowledge is indeed good, but preparation with no follow through is a just as big a waste of energy as acting without preparing. Additionally, I am not risking anything by just acting without preparing in the realm of blogging. I can set up and change my blogs as much as I need to, but the main material (my posts) will still be there regardless. No one else will be affected but me.
Bowling and speedrunning are other activities that only affect myself, and require action over knowledge. When I started getting serious about bowling 9 years ago, I was pressured (for good reason) to discard several things that I thought I knew and replace them with better approaches. Instead of reading and watching materials revolving around this, my coach instead told me just to have a general knowledge of the new techniques and practice them. Now he wasn’t suggesting that I just blindly practice with no goal or plan, but he also knew that if I were to overanalyze things, I wouldn’t take nearly as much action as I needed to.
Weightlifting is the same way: If you just know how to perform lifts with good form to prevent injury, the only action that is really necessary is getting your ass in the gym and doing SOME kind of work. The more wasteful research you do looking up stupid workout programs, the more you will rationalize yourself out of going to the gym.
Video game speedrunning is another activity where you will progress much further going in with a general knowledge rather than knowing everything about the game. If you know every minor detail about a certain game before speedrunning it, you’ll never finish any runs at all because you’ll want everything to be perfect.
One activity where it would behoove you to know a bit before taking action is dating, or any other activity where your actions affect others in some way. Most dating coaches preach that you should just hunt indiscriminately with at most a general knowledge of how to approach, invite, and be physical with the opposite sex. This is very risky, and should only be done if you are cognizant about what you are doing. Different than the other three activities, your actions affect more than just you when you are hunting for dates. I’ll be covering this in detail in another article, but a basic rule of thumb in the hunt is to know how you are affecting the opposite sex with your actions.
So that’s your introduction of ABC – Always Be Cognizant. This will be a continuing series on this blog, because I believe that it is very important for one to be aware of how they affect themselves and those around them. In these days where ego and emotions seem to rule everyone’s world, being cognizant of your own beliefs and actions is the key to lifelong happiness.