Naval Ravikant was back on the Tim Ferriss podcast last week. It was one of the best podcasts I’ve listened to – he totally knocked it out of the park.

The interview is packed with great insights for how to think about life. It’s a must listen.

Naval has a skill of being able to say something, which causes you to pause and go ‘huh?’. I’ve written about this before in Wait, our whole life is just a firefly blinking once in the night? (which I still read a couple of times a month).

I wanted to share part of the podcast where Naval talks about the power of self examination. This really resonated with me. And I’ve since had an insight about it (which I’ll also share below).

Here’s the section:

“Proper meditation – proper examination, should ruin the life that you’re currently living.

It should cause you to leave relationships. It should cause you to re-establish boundaries with family members and with colleagues. It should cause you to quit your job. It should cause you to change your eating patterns. It should cause you to spend more time with yourself. It should cause you to change which books you read. It should cause you to change who your friends are. If it doesn’t do that – it’s not real examination.

If it doesn’t come attached with instruction of your current life, then you can’t create the new life – in which you will not have the anxiety.”

It’s a very powerful reminder for me on how important it is to spend time working on ourselves.

Working on yourself requires solitude, so you can reflect and think deeply about things. If you don’t have a structure or process that helps facilitate regular self examination – that’s really something to think about. It might be one of the most important things you can do to transform your life.

And that leads me to my insight. I’ve always struggled to give advice on how to build self awareness. I could never quite put my finger on it.

And then I realised that regular self examination is one of the best ways to build self awareness. It forces you to confront things about yourself and your life. Over time, that will train you to become much more self aware, and take action. It’s this flywheel of self examination, self awareness and action that puts you on the path to becoming the best version of yourself.

The more I thought about it, I like to think I have quite a high level of self awareness. And it’s no coincidence that I’ve had a structure of regular self examination for over 15 years now. And it makes sense that this has helped build self awareness over time.

I mentioned last week that I’m shortly going to be launching a 121 coaching program (Get Unstuck) for one or two people. The first part of the program is almost entirely focused on a self examination. This will be transformative in itself. This then becomes the heart of a system taught in the second part, that helps you actually get things (and the right things) done. But, more on all of that soon 😉


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