It has always been very instructive to be able to see oneself through other people's eyes, because this allows one to acknowledge many more things about oneself than was thought possible.
Our own curiosity and others' judgement can intertwine in a vision which is "alien" but invaluable. The most suitable visions teach us to refine our most pleasant features, maybe even giving us the chance to make them "tastier" and therefore making us mentally more "appetizing" to others' sensibility.
On the contrary, criticisms, even severe, can teach us to protect ourselves from our own mistakes. They can't be corrected, not even by the best intentions, but will have to be replaced by conscious and better built thoughts. In other words thoughts created by an intellectually more capable mind.
The keystone of such an improvement is the self consciousness, which means not to deny yourself either good or evil. Consciousness on its own it is not enough, though, if it is not moved by the will of changing. This will happen if we mature inside ourselves a positive ambition which will transform an irregular forma mentis (rough stone) into a regular and reliable mental shape (cubic stone). The best we can imagine or accept today is not necessarily the apex of our possibilities.
Improving to grow to the mason means to oppose social and intellectual inertia , the laziness of those who give up to habits (conformism) which on the contrary must be fought as if they were enemies. From this we gain a scale of properties which might lead us far away.
1. To bring up the attention threshold means a higher level of consciousness.
2. A critical constructive attitude without alibis or punishments makes the vision of "ourselves" clearer to "ourselves".
3. The will of reaching a mental model which is more and more subtle and refined pushes the individual conscience (personality) to grow in self awareness, producing the much desirable phenomenon of the expansion of the conscience.
4. From the consciousness of oneself, finally, starts a new journey, which is not enlightened anymore by the "half light" of the often unreasonable free choices but by the "full light" of the Free Will.