“Why do I act irrationally?” This is a general question, to which there is a general answer: “I’m operating on a wrong premise.” The task of introspection is to discover the wrong premise upon which you’re operating. It’s these “silent” or hidden, mistaken assumptions that lead to self-defeating or irrational behavior. For example, taking on too much in your life can be based on the hidden, wrong premise of, “I owe my life to others, and should do whatever another asks.” It’s not easy to discover a mistaken premise and the answer is usually not obvious. This is why introspection is a lifelong work in progress, or an ongoing commitment to be self-aware and make discoveries along the way. This is also why external help is sometimes required, such as a (good) psychotherapist or life coach. Often in therapy or life coaching the client learns that he or she already knows the answers–but came to them more successfully and conclusively because someone was there to ask the right questions and be a competent “sounding board.” It’s really, really important not to approach introspective self-awareness as a chore or a duty. It actually is enlightening and fun. How wonderful to spend some time exploring your thoughts, feelings and motivations so that you can better understand yourself and live a more self-fulfilling life! Self-awareness is no luxury; it’s a necessity.