I’m going to share something that I have known for a long time but was only recently able to articulate in a good way.
Take a minute to think about that.
When you become aware of something that is true, you are instantly responsible for acting on that truth. Right now, you are testing this in your mind. You might be instantly drawn to circumstances that prove this right or you might be searching for situations where this is wrong…but you’re testing, because this is true.
There are two main options for how you can act upon a truth you just learned. You can adopt it or you can ignore it. There are two primary reason why people ignore a truth of which they have become aware. The first is denial. Sometimes truth is hard to bear and some people aren’t willing to bear it so they deny the truth and ignore it. The second is relevance. There are times when the truth is not currently relevant to us. For example, Lake Michigan has 13,000,000,000,000,000 (13 quadrillion) gallons of water. This truth is irrelevant to me right now. However, gravity is a truth that is very relevant to me. If I choose to ignore gravity, I do so at my own peril.
So, this is a little over-simplified. There are plenty of times where this dichotomy is much more complex. It is true that if you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. Conversely, if you want to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume.
Adopting truth can be very difficult. I have spent years knowing full well that my eating habits and lack of exercise were keeping me at a weight that I was dissatisfied with. Yet I did not change. I ignored it and struggled. I was aware but not intentional.
The most important thing that partners with awareness is intentionality. It is important to intentionally consider your awareness. Look beyond the moment. If you find that you are consistently dissatisfied with the results that you’re getting, you are going to have to change your behaviors. In that moment when someone lets you down, and you are choosing between anger or kindness, it can be very difficult to see beyond the moment. Creating a habit of intentionality equips you to slow down in each moment and act instead of react. Maybe anger is your default and you feel guilty every time you react angrily. Slowing down and intentionally looking beyond the moment to the aftermath, allows you to consider how you feel each time you react in anger and gives you the chance to choose better.
So what truth are you struggling with? Is it something with your health, relationships, or work? Are there results that you keep getting that you don’t like? Perhaps there is truth there that needs to be discovered.