One of the hardest things for anyone is to know themselves. 1
And not knowing yourself is the cause, not just correlation, of the most misery.
Why you don’t know yourself? Thousands of reasons… knowing yourself also obeys the Anna Karenina Principle.
This article will not be about that. This article will be about the price you pay for not knowing yourself.
Why am I BOTHERING you with this… if you already know that you don’t know yourself? Good question. Three reasons:
- 1. I am seeing in my laboratory an emergence of cases where if people know themselves, they would do better in life, and they would be a lot happier
- 2. In the book I am re-reading, Cryptonomicon, one of the main characters, Bobby Shaftoe marine sergeant, ponders about the three types of people, categorized by how they use language… how they talk. Fascinating. 2
- 3. If you could just discover one mismatch between how you are and how you fancy yourself being, AND were willing to adjust your self-view (hah, that will be the day! right?) you could go from where you are to a vastly higher plane of living.
Working with me forces you to get to know yourself.
If you are willing, if you see that it is in the direction of a happier, more effective, better lived life, we make a famous team, and you’ll love working with me.
Obviously, if you are willing, you are part of a really small minority of humanity… you are part of the 5%… and you should be proud of that.
In all my articles, all my webinars, all my courses, I aim to talk to this five percent… and offend, alienate, “throw to the crocodiles”, the rest.
Now, you may fancy yourself part of the five percent, but in effect you may not be.
Your words mean very little when it comes to how you are and what you want.
And here is lesson one: your actions tell you what you are like, what you are made of… your actions, not your words.
If you can switch your focus from the voices in your head to where your feet are going… you can start to be a lot more authentic… and a lot more effective.
Know Thyself… is one principle. And another one building on top of it: come from your strengths. This should be obvious: you have things that come easier to you than others… and they should be the backbone of your life.
But… but you find yourself wanting to get good at what others seem to do well with. Tools that you aren’t endowed with, activities you weren’t built for… and, of course, you fail. Or just do ho hum.
Seeing just this little thing can turn around a life.
When I first saw that I wasn’t very smart… by looking at my actions, which were quite stupid, I was mortified first. In my head I was so brilliant! 3
But as I said: if you want to know how someone is, look at their actions. Really.
So I saw that “stupid as the stupid does” regardless of how much brain power one may have. I have always had a high IQ, I inherited it from my parents. And I always had stupid behavior: some of it I inherited from my mother… but most of it I did all on my own “horsepower”…
Hah… I am stupid as the stupid does… I said. And then a whole world opened up for me: If I just follow a few simple rules I had been hearing from day one… like don’t jump, think first, look first, consider… I can eliminate many of the stupid actions… Hah…
This was 22 years ago.
Now, if you are looking at my timeline, you can see that I still do stupid things. In all four pillars of life: health, wealth, love and fulfillment.
Some are minor, and some are major. Alienating the business coach was a major one. Everyone does better with a coach, because the coach redirects your energies to what you said you wanted… instead of doing what you have always done.
Obviously you need to be in the five percent to want coaching. (Muscle test while connected to Source says that number is more like the one percent… ugh.) A lot of people sign up for coaching, but want only the attention, the status, or maybe think they have now hired help… or whatever they think… These are people outside of the 5% that is willing.
Knowing your strength and switching out of your fancied strengths and into your real strengths is when you suddenly start to rise…
- One of my students has fancied himself a strongman all his life thus far… but in fact he is a fragile person who needs to rest, and not exhaust himself to be his best. He sees patterns, he is an autodidact, he is a good mechanic. He likes to mess with stuff… not lift them. Now that he sees it, he can manage his resources better, like his energy.It has taken many months and many emails for him to start seeing himself…
- Another of my students fancied himself a superman… his actions showed that he thought himself above others, those plodding people who actually needed to learn things, plan things, organize things. Not him: he would jump into things and take them to conclusion where they became junk… not what he wanted.It took me months and the 67 steps for him to start seeing himself by his actions… and now he has surrendered to process and is starting to produce results that don’t become junk when done.
I have had students who never got to that turning point.
It’s a lot of work, actually, because everything you have ever done was done through the filters that you could not see, through your delusional view of yourself.
It is very difficult to see yourself without outside help.
Having a coach who knows himself or herself is the best and fastest way. The five questions exercise can be brilliant.
One of my students I work with also one-on-one, has been sharing the things I say about him with his friends. Turns out they have been telling him the same… but he heard me differently that he heard them… and he is getting to know himself.
People are asking him: what have you been doing?
I remember having the same experience 33 years ago, when I started to get conscious and somewhat aware. Self-aware.
Self-growth, self-improvement are like shooting a rocket to the moon. You adjust your aim a million times… and each times you miss the moon by less and less… This is the principle of the straight and narrow… Or successive approximation, as it was called in mathematics.
Your starting point measurements help me see if you are willing and able to know yourself so you can start growing, and earning what you want.
Charlie Munger said: To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want. The world is not set up to reward a bunch of undeserving people.
He, mistakenly, says “deserve”. The correct word that points to the fact that it’s work that gets you to that “getting what you want” position. He should have said: To get what you want, you have to earn what you want. The world is not set up to reward a bunch of people who aren’t earning their keep… His version sounds better, but makes you believe that you can just deserve… be deserving… be good… be nice… be whatever… but that is b.s.
You actually need to do work. Most of all, get to know yourself accurately, so that you know who is doing the work.
So that the tongue in your mouth and the tongue in your shoes go in the same direction.
- Thousands give lip service to this commandment, and pretty much none of them knows how to do it.
I do this for a living, holding up a mirror to people’s eyes so they can see themselves. And yet I learn new things in nearly every conversation.
For example: know what pushes your buttons. Know it intimately. That is an incredibly valuable guidance to take you to your seed level: your world view. The things you hold are truth. Tomorrow’s Playground will be about that… if people are willing to go there… We shall see… Not the easiest road to hoe…
- I’ll try to quote it if I can find it. It was at 40% of the book… no pages on the kindle version.
- The insight that came from Forrest Gump, the movie, was the first time I even considered that there is a distinction between the person and the actions. Between being stupid and doing stupid. Or being smart and doing smart. Or having brilliant ideas and doing stupid things.
Language does not distinguish. I am sure that it is Dark Side that even today you can go around calling, labeling people, and no one calls you on it. Presidential debates, presidents’ campaigns against their opponents, the parties: all label, and don’t bother to tell the actions and the person apart. It is clear that Bobby Shaftoe, uneducated marine in Cryptonomicon is a billion times more insightful, more aware, more “deserving” than all those people who label. Maybe you? Labeling yourself? Stupid as the stupid does… labeling is quite moronic.