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Cognizant is an odd word.

Try saying it out loud. Cognizant. CognizANT.

Cognizant. Being aware, being knowledgeable.

We are bombarded with so much information every day—music, ads, billboards, TV shows, YouTube, Netflix, news, radio, commercials- many types of media are a part of our every day lives.

And each one is touting a message—buy this toothpaste, attend that event, believe this politician is the best, strive to be like that celebrity, follow this nutrition plan for guaranteed weight loss…

Wait.

Think.

What messages have influenced you?

What messages do you listen to?

What messages do you believe?

What messages have you allowed to shape who you are?

Perfection is the message I often listen to. For so long I made unrealistic self-comparisons. If only I could look like that person, have that much money, drive that car. It drove me into depression because I always felt I wasn’t good enough. I had to stop. I had to tune into a different message. That I, in this moment, matter. Perfection doesn’t define who I am. I am me, and that’s enough. I strive to be healthy, to work hard, and to use my uniqueness to the best of my ability.

I encourage you to be cognizant. Be aware of the messages you listen to, because they are shaping you.

If one message sticks with you today, may it be this: you matter. Be you and no one else. You are a valuable human being.

 

Austin Pauls
(805) 703-3899
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