Once upon a time, a lioness died soon after giving birth. Her cub is adopted by a herd of sheep. All the sheep knew that the lion cub was not a sheep and they made fun of him for being different. They were mean and cruel to this little animal.
One day, an adult lion attacks the herd. It notices that the cub runs away with the other sheep. The adult lion is surprised and runs after, and catches the cub. The cub is so scared and screams: “please don’t eat me…I am a baby sheep!” The older lion roars: “You are not a sheep! You are a lion!” The cub does not believe him. The lion then drags the cub to a river and tells it to look at the water. The cub sees its reflection for the first time and realizes he is a lion and not a sheep, and never was. Its nature was always a lion. This paraphrased narrative has a moral: The lion in the story is a metaphor for ‘self-awareness’ and looking at his reflection in the water is a metaphor for ‘self reflection’. The cub always had a lion’s identity whether it new it or not. His true identity was revealed by his interactions with another lion who shared his learning and knowledge with the cub.
Nobility works the same way; it is inherent in every person. It is the essence of the lion which always existed within each individual, whether they know it or not. Self-awareness (and self-reflection), like looking into the river, are critical enablers of a person’s noble qualities. Self-awareness is the recognition of one’s own potential nobility. Everyone has the capacity to be or become courageous, selfless, patient, forgiving, etc.. However, some aspects of an individual’s nobility may be dormant. “Activating” these capacities, takes time, effort and energy.
How can you cultivate your noble qualities?
There are many ways you can develop your nobility. Below are a few SILKMentoring suggestions.
- Get an education. Most of us have received an education because it was mandatory, or because our parents decided it for us. As adults, we become responsible for our own education. The notion that “education is a life-long process” implies a responsibility to continuously self-educate So take your education into your hands and expose yourself to learning that you enjoy – learn a new skill, adopt a hobby, take up sports, whatever you do, do not stop learning!
- Travel; one of the more effective ways of triggering self-awareness and self-transformation is by traveling. Traveling, especially the kind where you interact with locals and avoid fancy resorts gets you out of your comfort zone. It exposes you to different cultures and new ideas. This promotes open-mindedness and counters your prejudices.
- Dare greatly; open yourself to new and bold experiences. Stage fright? Prepare and give a talk, fear of altitudes, climb that mountain, afraid of water, take that plunge. Challenge yourself. This is necessary to awaken latent qualities you didn’t realize were already within you.
- Get a mentor. Talk to and learn from someone who is more knowledgeable, more experienced, more daring, more artistic than you. Your mentor is the person whose brain you can pick and whose actions you can emulate as you explore the new paths and experiences you want to pursue. This person is also a confidant – the person you can share your struggles with.
As you learn new things and become more aware and confident in your abilities, you will grow in your sense of self-worth and nobility.
Self-awareness leads to Nobility
Self-awareness is the conscious process of constant and vigilant self-check and self-appreciation. When it is well practiced, self-awareness has the potential of unleashing personal transformation. The practice itself can include meditation, yoga, exercise, mindfulness, personal reflection and journaling. The process is very personal and unique because all human beings are different, therefore, there is no single path or solution. SILKMentoring does not prescribe any particular practice of self-awareness. You have to experiment! With art, forms of meditation, exercise, studying, you name it – until you find methods that work for you. The most important thing is that you need to know who you are, to get to be who you want to be. The more self-aware you become, the nobler you should feel. Beware! If it isn’t nobility you are discovering, you might be focusing on wrong aspects of yourself, tapping into guilt, fear, denial etc. Avoid this. Have patience with yourself. Adopt a self-awareness practice such as setting small achievable personality or character trait goals for yourself in the morning, and reflecting how you have done on them in the evening.
Acknowledge where positive change has happened and identify where improvements need to be made. A continuous daily self-check such as this allows you to keep progress of where you can focus your energies to better yourself.
Nobility leads to Self-awareness
Since nobility represents the ideal qualities of human beings, you can use this idea to focus your practice of self-awareness. Imagine yourself a mine rich in gems, your skills, emotions, capacities, dreams, aspirations and all else you have to offer to the world are the rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds. Becoming self-aware is you discovering the true values of these gems and becoming confident and excited to share them with the world – because who doesn’t like gems! Your nobility is the greatest asset you have, discover it, treasure it, share it.