An interesting way of looking at life is to try and view it from abstract
When you're next out and about, instead of walking around blankly, try to recognise the parallels in nature to yourself and your friends. In this way you can initiate the creation of new neural pathways within your brain, effectively you'll begin to link more seemingly unrelated objects and in doing this your mind will be exercised.
Take a look at flocks of birds and try to see them in relation to some of your own social groups. Experiment with the way you see things, try to look at trees and then apply the way their branches are connected to the way that you are connected to your friends.
The key is to be able to look at most aspects of your life from multiple angles, in this way you can gain insight into the development of your personal self. And you should also be able to visualise many of the factors of life from totally different viewpoints. This will not only increase your awareness, it will also provide an unending stimulating mental experiance.
Scientists recently conducted an experiment looking at the properties of creating more neural pathways. They conducted an experiment where they got 3 groups of people. The scientists told the 1st group of people to practise basketball for a set amount of time, every day, for two weeks. They told the second group of people to imagine playing basketball for the same amount of time as the 1st group without playing it for two weeks, and they told the third group to imagine playing basketball for about half the time the first group spent playing it, and to also play physically for the leftover period of time (also for two weeks).
The results were astounding. The 1st and 2nd groups of people were the same level at basketball, it didn't make a difference whether they had played it, or thought about it! More astounding though, was the fact that the 3rd group were better than the other two groups. This is because they created new basketball specific pathways by both playing it in reality, and forcing their brain to imagine playing it while doing other things. The experiment was written about in the magazine New Scientist.