Know thyself… said the Greeks, and I can’t agree more.
Unless you are clear about where you are, what are your limitations, what are your inner pulls (conation), your results in life will be puny, in every area of life.
Know Thyself If men would search diligently their own minds, and examine minutely their thoughts and actions, they would be more cautious in censuring the conduct of others, as they would find in themselves abundantly sufficient cause for reproof. “It is a good horse that never stumbles;” and lie is a good man indeed who cannot reproach himself with numerous slips and errors.” “Every bean has its black,” and every man his follies and vices.
The adage also teaches us to set a proper value upon ourselves, and to be careful not to do anything that may degrade us. It is not known to whom we are indebted for this golden rule; we only learn that it is of very long standing, and was held in such high estimation by the ancients, that it was placed over the doors of their temples, and it was also supposed by them, that ” E coelo descen- dit,” it came down from heaven. ” ‘Man know thyself!’ tins precept from on high Came down, imagined by the Deity; Oh! be the words indelibly imprest On the live tablet of each human breast.
But how do you Know Yourself? Know yourself as others know yourself? Know about yourself? Know what psychologist made up as a category for yourself? Do the test that was devised for testing privates sent to fight in the VietNam war?
People want to know themselves to make it easier to win… to make it easier to beat bad habits. To justify why they are the way they are.
My experience (as a coach, 30 years and thousands of people), has been that you do best when you know your machine. Your machine has a bent… an inclination, and if you know it you can be successful… with any machine.
Some 30 years ago I had a car I didn’t have to lock, because only I could drive it. It would stall for everyone else. I drove it another 100 thousand miles. I got it after the previous owner gave up on it. It had 160 thousand miles on it.
The knowledge: know yourself, here, with that car, applied to the car and myself, together. The car was seriously flawed… but no one could have guessed from the outside, when I drove it.
I have dyslexia, serious, but I read one or two books every week. I also write for a living.
I had two major episodes of brain damage: you wouldn’t know it. I know how to drive my machine.
My soul correction is arrogance and condescension. It’s taken me longer to drive my life with these horrible afflictions, but knowing it made it possible.
When you know all the quirks of your machine, when you know what is your unscratchable itch, when you know what the machine will do unless you compensate for it, you can take your machine anywhere, any heights, any distance, any achievement.
As you work to grow in different areas in you life, it is important to really know yourself. The concept of not knowing yourself may sound preposterous to some people, but hear me out. Because we live such hectic lives, it is important to take time to become reacquainted with ourselves. It is very easy to get so focused on living life that we lose ourselves in the hustle and the bustle. With every phase in life, we change and evolve, and if all goes as planned, we should not be the same person we were five years ago. This is not to say that everything about us has to change, but it is perfectly natural and healthy to mature and grow in different areas.
Knowing yourself can help you improve your work ethic because you can really understand your limitations and know when you are pushing yourself too hard. If you are a self starter like me, you would probably work for 24 hours a day if you could. In fact, you’ve probably had to make yourself step away from your work one more than one occasion. While this self starting attitude is a good thing, it can also be a problem. If you aren’t careful, your desire for success can drive others away from you and actually ruin relationships. You may be thinking, “I thought we were supposed to be able to accomplish everything.” That is true, but sometimes you can bite of much more than you can chew, and running yourself into the ground to accomplish goals in not healthy. The beauty of accomplishing goals and achieving personal growth is discovering the balance of work and play.
While it is important to know your limits, knowing yourself helps you to know what you can’t accomplish as well as what you can accomplish. Many times, people don’t push themselves to accomplish real goals simply because thy think don’t think they’ll be successful. Once you really know yourself, you will know what you can accomplish. However, if you never try, you’ll never know how much you can truly accomplish.
When you know yourself, it is easier to keep yourself motivated. It you met someone for the first time, and they asked you to encourage them without giving you any details about their life, you would have a hard time encouraging them. By being aware of the types of things that keep you motivated, you will be less likely to reach that rock bottom point where you feel like your world is crumbling around you. It is best to constantly encourage and motivate yourself as your grow and mature.
How do you react to disappointment? What do you do when you’re sad? How often do you need to take time to truly relax? In order to maintain balance in your life, you have to constantly ask yourself these types of questions. Not only do you need to know yourself in order to have a strong foundation for personal growth, but you also have to be willing to motivate yourself when things are less than ideal.
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