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Jim Canterucci

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Awareness involves self-awareness first (the hardest part) then being conscious of your environment, and being cognizant of the actual problem at hand.


You’re Brilliantly Designed for Optimal Awareness

Awareness is a natural human ability and an essential catalyst for Personal Brilliance. When we combine it with the other three catalysts, curiosity, focus, and initiative, we can come up with innovative solutions in all areas of our lives.

Your mind and body have built-in sensors that give you an incredible capacity to take in information, sort and process it and either store or delete it. Awareness is evidence of being alive. Information reaches your consciousness through the filter of awareness. You can control the extent of your awareness. Therefore, you control what you let inside your consciousness.

Awareness requires a great deal of your available attention. In a sense, it means consciously choosing to notice what’s happening in the present moment. In many environments, there are too many things going on to be aware of all of them, so you have to choose what to bring into your awareness and what to leave out. Sometimes, however, the choice is made for you, which is what happened when Ellen Degeneres lived in the apartment next to someone who did aerobics to a tape of whale noises at high volumes. At the time, Ellen found it annoying. But when it came time to speak "whale" for her performance in the movie Finding Nemo, she realized that her mind had integrated the whale noise information – and mimicking the voices was relatively easy for her. Awareness.

Breaking Through Awareness Barriers

We have an innate ability to observe the here and now, but this natural gift can be impaired by black and white thinking, judgments, emotions, and robotic behaviors. What's amazing is that removing just one or two of these blocks can dramatically increase your awareness.

The first step to breaking through awareness barriers is taking a close look at your most dominant blocks. Do you frequently operate on automatic pilot? Does your thinking tend to be “black or white,” all or nothing? Would you prefer not to know the truth about yourself or about certain situations? Do you tend to stick with pre-conceived notions or early judgments that you make? Is regretting the past or idealizing the future preventing you from seeing what’s true now?

Once you know what's interfering, you can begin to override your old programming and create an opening for greater awareness, both internally and externally.



Amplifying & Practicing Awareness

Amplifying your natural awareness gives you an edge in all areas of life. People who are highly aware are in the best position to see more of their options. Rather than moving from one scene in their lives to the next while on auto-pilot, their eyes are wide open and they can see the big picture. Their ability to "take it all in" enables them to rise above paradoxes and find solutions. It also increases their enjoyment, because more freedom of choice means less stress and more fun.


Practice Awareness

I think of brilliant answers floating all around us. Recognizing the subtle messages, data, and perspectives we need to generate innovation is key. This requires awareness. Awareness can be amplified with practice. When faced with various situations use your senses to explore what's happening. Ask the following questions:

  • Globally, what do I sense?
  • What do I feel?
  • What do I see?
  • What do I hear?
  • What do I smell?
  • What do I taste?

Also, explore what's missing. For example, when you walk into your home, explore what you sense. Also, identify what might be missing. In my case, if I walked into my home and didn't hear the jingle from our Border Collie's collar as she routinely runs to greet me, I would know something was seriously wrong.

Combining awareness, curiosity, focus, and initiative often leads to innovations that are both helpful and lucrative. Phil McCrory, a hairdresser from Madison, Alabama was watching CNN coverage of the Exxon oil spill in 1989. They repeatedly showed an image of otters covered in oil. McCrory asked why can't human hair, which I sweep up each day, absorb the same way? He did some quick experiments and found that hair wrapped up in pantyhose absorbed nearly 100 percent of the oil.

After work with NASA, a patent, and a system for hairdressers all over the country to send him their clippings, he was on his way to implementation. The patent Phil McCrory obtained was sold and his idea now is being used in oil spill clean-up today. McCrory says, "I have ideas that are just wild, they seem to just fall out of nowhere." Awareness!

Personal Brilliance Catalysts

Jim Canterucci is the author of Personal Brilliance. He can be reached via the web at www.MyPersonalBrilliance.com or at 614.899.9044.

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