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You Can’t Inspire Others Without Self-Awareness

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A university professor started off his class by picking out of his back pocket a £20 note, and in this lecture hall of 200 students he asked, “How many of you would like this note?”

Naturally, all 200 students raised their hands up.

He said, “Interesting…”

He then said, “Before I let you have it, let me ask you this question.”

He took the note and folded it in half twice, and then he asked,

How many of you want this note?

Still, 200 hands went up. Now he said, “Let me try something else.”

He took the note and he crumpled it, and he asked, “How many of you want this note now?

Still, 200 hands went up.

Finally, he chucked the note on the floor. He screwed it with his shoe and crumpled it even more, picked it up, now with dirt, and asked, “How many of you want this note?”

All 200 hands were still up. He said, “Today you’ve learned an important lesson.

No matter how much I crumple that note, how much I scrunch it up, how many times it was trodden on, you still wanted it, because it was still worth £20.”

“In the same way that £20 note held it's value, so do you".

No matter how many times life will tread on you, life will crumple you, life will scrunch you, and life will beat you to the ground, you will always keep your value.

"Your value will never be taken away.”

Our value is not created by the clothes we wear, our bank balance, or the job title that we have.

We currently live in a world where daydream is more common than dream jobs.

Where money clouds our search for meaning in search for profit.

We sacrifice our quest for purpose, and in the pursuit of those paychecks we give up our passion.

We’re completely rooted in our routine, we are plagued by indecision and lack of vision.

They say that the most powerful prison is the one you don’t even know you’re locked inside.

The truth is most aspiring leaders and even current leaders these days are lacking in clarity and self-awareness of who they truly are, and who they can ultimately become.

As a result, they are not able to effectively influence and inspire others as much as they wish to, ultimately restricting the impact they may have on other people’s lives.

There is a wise saying:

“You can only take others on a journey
to as far as you’ve gone and
as deep as you’re willing to go yourself.”


Below are the 3 biggest problems that all millennials and aspiring leaders currently have right now:

  • Problem 1: They DON’T know their personal Core Values and Who they truly are.
  • Problem 2: They DON’T know what their True Visions are and What they want to create in life.
  • Problem 3: They DON’T know how they are sabotaging their own success and Who they can ultimately become.

If you've tried your best to be a great leader and in becoming the best version of yourself that you possibly can, but you feel that deep down there is still something fundamentally missing and you are not achieving the result that you want, then you’re probably facing one or all three of these challenges.

The one theme that governs all these is Self-Awareness.

A statistic published “The world’s most powerful resource is no longer oil, but Data, created by 4 billion smartphone users in the world, and 3.2 billion internet users.”

As a smartphone user, every physical activity we undertake, we leave a digital footprint. What is so incredible is that in 2018, we will create more data than we have generated as a species, in the last 5,000 years.

As E.O. Wilson said

“We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom.”


We have large amount of data available to us, but very little access to intuition.

We have more choices, but fewer decision-making skills.

Therefore, if the greatest resource is data, then the greatest skill is the ability to focus and to pay attention.

If we can pay more attention to how we think and to focus on creating what we love, then we will have the ability to change not just our own personal lives, but also to inspire and impact the next generation.

To do that, we need to be able to practice meditation and mindfulness: the ability to curate, to filter out the noise, to view life at a higher perspective, so that we can be in the present moment without judgement.

  • For some people, meditation is movement: it is swimming, or running.
  • For some people, it is playing an instrument, singing or dancing.
  • For some people, it is being able to be in one place, being in silence, and to completely merge into an understanding of one’s self-awareness.

Mindfulness has been proven to help people examine and focus on their priorities, providing us with heightened awareness and understanding of ourselves, and allowing us to see what really matters and what is most important to us.

By standing on our metaphorical mountain top looking down on our thoughts and feelings with detachment, we are able to better find clarity.

That bird’s eye view, that overall big picture perspective allows us to formulate better decisions from insights.

Meditation is the dynamic process examining the flow of life, right here and now, and as David Lynch says,

“Meditation makes you more and more you.”


If we want to inspire the next generation, then we have to become more self-aware. We have to know who we truly are, and more importantly, who we can ultimately become.

Ich Loc

Ich Loc

Lead Trainer in Influential Leadership Development at Limit Break Lifestyle.


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