Monday, March 29, 2010

Better self awareness may improve your confidence.

I wondered which would come first; self awareness or confidence?

I believe its a difficult question and (honestly) particular to each individual. However, if I was forced to choose, I would say confidence is an extension of awareness. That only by being self aware, can we be self confident.

Of course, simply being self aware doesn't create confidence it simply enables or makes self confidence possible. I believe that confident people are more self aware and have realized through that introspection to be and/or act confident.
Being "over confident" to me is the proof in my hypothesis, since if you are over confident you tend to NOT be self aware.
In my opinion being "overly confident" is foolish, dangerous or pompous.

Anyway, I saw these two pictures that I felt they really emphasized this and made me laugh at the same time. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Monday, March 8, 2010

You have said NOTHING? Do Elephants have more self awareness than you do?

Recently the amazing intelligence of Elephants was realized when they were deemed to have "Self Awareness".

I think that is amazing !

I have always enjoyed and even fantasized about the intelligence of some of our closes animal friends; primates, dolphins, and now elephants.

So my challenge to you is;
Why are elephants more self aware and intersted in self perception than you are?

Or you would have at least told me I am nuts, my blog is a bunch of crap, or "hey, why don't you and your elephant examine and discuss your self awareness together. lol !

Here is and excerpt and the address to the article if you would like to read more.

Now, we can add elephants to the very short list of animals besides humans with self-awareness.

Researchers (Plotnik, et al, reporting in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Science ) working with Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) at the Bronx zoo, conducted an MSR test. They applied “real” and “sham” marks to the rights sides of the pachyderms’ heads and waited to see how the elephants would respond to these when a large mirror was placed in their presence. Sure enough, the elephants demonstrated that they understood they were looking at themselves (and not another elephant) and begin touching the marks with their trunks. In all, their behavior during the MSR tests matched those of apes and dolphins. According to the paper’s authors: “These parallels suggest convergent cognitive evolution most likely related to complex sociality and cooperation. ”

The intelligence of elephants has long been known (though tribal lore, and from field observations) and established. They have complex social lives and relations and do indeed have excellent memories. Also, a full grown male’s brain may weigh 14 pounds (the actual measure of “intelligence” is brains size to body mass ratio). It is believed that the size (relative to body size) and structure of our larger, more recently evolved brains enables higher states of conscious perception (such as self awareness). The animals tested here all possess large brains–some, like the dolphin and elephant, larger than our human ones. Each has a cerebral cortex (the outer-most layer of brain matter, known as the neomammalian brain), although this is quite small in the gorilla as compared to humans.

But we humans are not just self aware, we are aware that we are aware. We express this “higher” form of awareness primarily through speaking (e.g., Isn’t this a strange conversation that we’re having?) or through symbolic manipulation and recursion (e.g., “This statement is false.”) This is called meta-awareness*, and so far, it has not been found outside of our species.

Monday, March 1, 2010

When I fail my own expectations, I attempt to examine why !

This last week and Monday of this week I missed my classes. This is unusual for me and I do not like missing class or falling behind. Even though I injured myself, I know it was accidental and I will struggle and fight back to "be caught up" with my Spring 2010 schedule.

I found myself becoming disappointed and "down" on myself until I realized" " this too is part of who I am, my Self"! The fact that I don't like missing class and feel I am not able to do my very best is a critical reflection on what I expect of myself.

I think I have always known that I am happiest when I am achieving, doing my best, and excelling as I believe I have the ability to do. When I do not fulfil my own expectations I find my happiness slips. I know I must be the one to evaluate myself fairly, then do what I need to do or the best I can in differing situations. By recognizing my critical nature I can assess whether I am putting forth my best efforts, sabotaging myself, or not presenting my best efforts. If I look at it from all these perspectives I find I have the best chance at being fair with myself and not overly critical.

Oh well that is my post this week, as I continue to strive to not fall too far behind and get my butt back to class as soon as is physically and psychologically possible.

Do others struggle and feel the need to have these self talks, or is this my coping mechanism? Anyway thought I would share this part of my "self"