Personal development or self improvement is all about awareness and, in particular, self awareness. But do you actually know what awareness is? Certainly, much has been written and said about it – but, all too often, the simple has been over-complicated. And, because the psychology of the normal mind means that most of us are completely unaware – or mindless – we have great difficulty understanding a concept that we have never actually experienced. So, here’s a simple question – the answer to which will provide you with both a major insight and a major opportunity. Quite simply, how are you feeling, right now?

Noticing how you're feeling is not the first step on the road to awareness, it's the only step – if done in a mindful manner. By that I mean that you don’t take your perceived emotions at face value – you actually get in touch with the effect your current state of mind is having on you. You take a few moments to actually experience how it feels – or how you think it feels – to be you right now. So, stop whatever your doing for five minutes and ask yourself that question. Perhaps you're feeling happy, calm, relaxed, at peace and full of good health. However, if you’re like the rest of us, it's more likely that you're feeling one or more of the following: stressed, annoyed, frustrated, tired, irritable, anxious, worried, hassled, confused, helpless, fearful... The psychological fact is that, if you're feeling any of these things, you're living in the land of make believe – your own subconscious mind is making you believe that you're feeling that way.

The normal mind is unaware. In other words, we pay little or no attention to what is currently taking place and, as a consequence, we miss the reality of life. Instead, our subconscious mind uses its database of so-called stored knowledge to evaluate current events and put its own spin on them. Unfortunately, our stored knowledge was largely learned during our early formative years so our take on today’s events, people, challenges, stresses, etc. has nothing to do with what is actually going on – it is simply our incorrect perception of events. What you must realize is that it is not real life that stresses you out or worries you – it's what you think about life, your version of reality that is doing the damage.

You’ve got to break this cycle of taking what’s currently happening, adding your stored knowledge to the mix and coming up with something that not only is different from what is actually going on but is some warped version of reality that causes you to automatically react and make things even worse than you thought they already were! You’ve got to become aware. And the best way of doing that is by asking yourself the simple question: “How do I feel right now?” Get in touch with how you’re feeling emotionally – become aware of what it’s like to be you right now. Get in touch with what you feel in a tactile way – run your hand through your hair or along the fabric of your clothing. Feel how warm or cold you are. Notice your feet in your shoes or on the floor – or scrunch your bare toes through the sand or grass. Feel the breeze, sun or warmth of the log fire on your face. Get in touch with now. Hear what it’s like to be you right now. Listen to your breathing. If you can hear nothing, don’t worry, you’re not dead! Just take a couple of deep breaths until you can hear it. Hear the sounds around you – the kettle boiling, the waves crunching the pebbles on the beach, the birds singing, the traffic roaring, the TV blaring.

And interpret nothing – break the cycle of putting your own warped spin on what’s happening. Just feel and listen – get in touch we reality. If you open your eyes to the reality of where you are and what you're doing right now and contrast this with how you think you feel, you will realize that the real world is quite different from where you thought you were living. In this moment there are no problems or worries because all these things, like everything in life, pass away. To test this out ask yourself the following question: “What was I worrying about this day last year?” – or even last week! The cares, trials and tribulations of life are life waves that rock you up and down – you’ve got to learn to ride those waves without letting your subconscious mind turn them into a tsunami. You’ll find your even keel by feeling and hearing the reality of now – by becoming aware.

When you gain this simple but powerful insight, you might also notice something else. There are things going on before your very eyes that you couldn't see up to now because you were blinded by your own subconscious useless thoughts. Normal people call these things coincidences or opportunities. Open your eyes and you'll notice that you're surrounded by them!

Author's Bio: 

Willie Horton has been enabling his clients live their dream since he launched is now acclaimed two-day Personal Development Seminars all the way back in 1996. His clients include top leaders in major corporations such as Pfizer, Deloitte, Nestle, Merrill Lynch, KPMG, G4S and Allergan together with everyone from the stay-at-home parent to sports-people. An Irish ex-banker and published author he now lives in the French Alps from where he travels the world as a much sought after motivational speaker and mentor. All his work, his weekly Free Personal Development Ezine videos and articles, together with his highly-acclaimed Personal Development Workshops are online at Gurdy.Net