It was a simple job.

 All I was supposed to do was clean the upstairs window of the old barn, which had built up a significant layer of grit and grime. But my mind started to wander as I began scrubbing, and soon I found myself thinking of two guys by the names of Joe and Harry.

 In 1955, Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham came up with a useful and simple tool for improving self-awareness and relationships. To title their invention, they squished their first names together, thus forming…the Johari Window.

 By now I had stopped my window-cleaning chore entirely. I was staring at the four panes of glass in front of me, remembering how the Johari Window worked.

 Let’s say each pane represents a different way of looking into oneself. The first pane is called OPEN, and it represents those things I know about myself and am willing to share with others. It’s the way a window’s supposed to work. I see out and others see in.

 Another pane is called HIDDEN. It represents the stuff I know about myself, but wish to keep secret from others. It acts more like a one-way mirror, I can look through it, but no one can see me.

 The third pane is called BLIND. Within this pane are the things others know about me, but I don’t recognize. It’s a one-way mirror from the opposite side. This time, I don’t see what’s going on.

 Finally, there is the UNKNOWN pane. It represents the things that no one, including me, has figured out about myself. The view is blocked from both sides.

 Over the years and thanks to friends and some professional assistance, I have worked to clean up and expand my OPEN windowpane, while decreasing my BLIND and HIDDEN ones. The UNKNOWN pane represents all my potential yet to be discovered by anyone.

Eventually I came out of this mental conjecture, and realized I had been standing in front of the same window for almost an hour. It was still dirty, but at least I’d remembered a simple method to help clear up the different panes of perspective I look out from each day.

 And isn’t that the most important window I need to keep clean?