How Much Do You Know About Yourself?

“It is the individual who knows how little they know about themselves who stands the most reasonable chance of finding out something about themselves before they die.” ~ Samuel Ichiye “S. I.” Hayakawa …..

I think it is fair to say that the majority of people would confidently claim to know themselves quite well–or at least well enough not to have to put forth any special effort to understand themselves better. This means that these individuals will never try to discover anything new about themselves simply because they feel that there is nothing groundbreaking to learn, or that the possibility to discover anything meaningful does not exist. But as Samuel points out: if we ever hope to have an opportunity to truly “discover” ourselves before we die, then we must become painfully aware of how little we actually know about ourselves.

What makes this even more difficult is the fact that we tend to lean towards focusing our learning on things that are outside of ourselves–careers, relationships, responsibilities, technological and scientific discoveries, and all those other thousands of things that keep us focusing on anything besides who we are, what are our beliefs and ideals, and what things do we value in our lives?

The journey of self-discovery begins with recognizing that much of who we are is still a mystery to us. From there we can learn about our purpose, meaning, value, and wonder in life, and begin down the path of understanding and discovery that will ultimately lead us towards becoming complete and whole.

Discover something new about yourself.

Questions to consider:

Why do many individuals know more about their jobs or their favorite hobbies than they do about themselves?

What does getting to know yourself better mean to you?

How much time and energy do you spend trying to get to know more about yourself?

For further thought:

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich. If you stay in the center and embrace death with your whole heart, you will endure forever.” ~ Lao Tzu, excerpt from the Tao Te Ching


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Filed under Commentary, Food For Thought, Living, Opinion

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