We are all becoming increasingly aware of the footprint that we are leaving behind. We eat less (or no) meat, put solar panels on our roofs, drive more often electrically and do our shopping more consciously. A good development that leads to a more sustainable way of life. The great thing is that by making sustainable choices you not only take care of the world around you, but you also experience personal growth. Best of both worlds, right?
You can make your wardrobe more sustainable, adjust your eating pattern, opt for public transport instead of the car, bank at a green bank, avoid plastic, donate to green organizations and so on. Whatever your contribution to making our world more sustainable, all these choices are based on awareness. In a certain way you have become aware of the need to do something. Something has triggered you – made you aware – to take action now.
Awareness: the key to personal growth
Awareness is also exactly what you need to grow personally. Anyone who wants to develop themselves and implement changes must first of all become aware of his or her current situation. In other words: only if you become aware of what your life currently looks like and what the consequences are for you (and your environment) is development and therefore personal growth possible.
After all, to be able to develop yourself, you need to know what your starting point is before you can actually work towards something. It is actually no different when making sustainable choices: you notice that the way you do your shopping, banking or using plastic needs change and you choose to do it differently from now on.
One step at a time
Once your eyes are open and you know you want to do it differently, you may prefer to tackle everything at once. The changes cannot go fast enough: keep up with that “new life”! Recognizable? Please note: sustainable change is gradual. If you take too big steps, the chances are much greater that you will sooner or later fall back into your old habits. So – certainly in the beginning – do not go too fast.
A better way to start a conscious lifestyle is to watch documentaries, read books and listen to podcasts. There are many beautiful titles that can inspire you and feed your need for a more conscious life. You can then think about it and determine what is the best (first) step for you to live in a more conscious, sustainable way.
Personal sustainability is a term that nicely summarizes the above story. Personal sustainability means that you look at where you stand, how you are doing and what you need and act accordingly. When you are clear about this, you will be much better able to deal with sustainable choices, because you can then adjust them to what suits you best.
Occasionally, therefore, take a moment for yourself to reflect on how you feel, what you think, what makes you happy, what you need, and what is about you. This is how you create awareness. And that, as you now know, is the indispensable ingredient for making sustainable choices.
This blog was originally written in Dutch by Eline Hoffman. Change the language of the website (top right) to read the Dutch version.
Freelance copywriter and editor Eline Hoffman has a weakness for people with a beautiful, powerful, inspiring or moving story. She prefers to write those stories down herself. Whether the words come from the mouth of a child, an entrepreneur, a world improver, a BN person or a 90-year-old; this lady has made attentive listening her hobby and writing stories her work. Conscious living, sustainability, style, music and health are the things in which she prefers to immerse herself. Want to know more about Eline? See her website www.elinehoffman.com.
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