Ondrej Markus

Entrepreneur in ed-tech, building the future of education as a founder and CEO at Playful.

I write about the future of education, designing learning games, and running a startup.

I'm a generalist, introvert, gamer, and optimizing to be useful.

stickman sitting at a desk

Become an expert on yourself

How to practice self-awareness and get your life under control.

Become an expert on yourself

You spend all your time with yourself. 24/7 you listen to your thoughts, feel your emotions, and dream your dreams.

So we tend to think understanding ourselves is obvious: “How could I not know myself? I am me, right?"

Well, have you ever thought some of these?

I did.

They are evidence that we don’t know what’s happening inside us as well as we might think.

That’s why it’s a worthwhile effort to better understand how your mind works. Actually, it’s likely the best investment of time and energy you can make to improve your life.

The positive effects of understanding yourself even 1 % better will ripple through your life and return 1000x in your daily happiness, enjoyment, and peace of mind.

Understand your mind

Think about self-awareness as your ability to recognize what’s happening inside your mind.

Practicing self-awareness means noticing what you are thinking and feeling in your everyday life.

It’s like you if were watching yourself do things.

Watching myself do things I don’t like

Watching myself do things I don’t like

Take on the mindset of a scientist studying an object. Collect information about what you think, feel, and do as if studying a different person.

Getting better at observing yourself will give you valuable self-knowledge you can use to increase control over your life.

Increase control over your life

As you collect more data, you will notice patterns in your emotions and actions.

Some might be negative, like:

I get tired after lunch on most days, so I often procrastinate the second half of my workday.

And others positive:

Anytime I work in a coffee shop, it’s much easier for me to focus for hours without interruptions.

Observations like these will help you understand how your mind and body behave in various situations, which will give you the power to change your behavior.

Imagine this as creating a how-to manual to yourself.

Self-knowledge manual

Self-knowledge manual

Your growing self-awareness will enable you to go deeper and deeper into how your mind works. You will notice thoughts and feelings you haven’t before.

This will keep expanding your self-knowledge and give you more control over your life.

The self-awareness loop

The self-awareness loop

Once you get this loop going, it feeds itself on new observations because the more self-knowledge you gather, the easier it gets to gain more. It becomes a habit.

So the real challenge is to start practicing self-awareness when you’re not used to doing it.

How to practice self-awareness

I share here different methods for practicing self-awareness to give you options. Of course, you don’t need to do all of them. Try some, find your favorite, and use that one.

Self-awareness is a meta-skill worth improving. Knowing how your mind works increases your ability to steer your life in the direction you want instead of being bounced around by the whims of external circumstances.

Get your Ph.D. in the topic of you.

Become an expert on yourself

Become an expert on yourself