How the ancient aphorism “Know thyself” helps to change life for the better

What is the importance of self-knowledge

The saying “Know thyself” on the wall of the ancient Greek temple of Apollo at Delphi is thousands of years old. Aristotle expressed a similar thought: “Knowing oneself is the beginning of all wisdom.” And in the 21st century, self-knowledge remains one of the most important meta-skills, which helps to hone all other skills and develop immediately in all areas of life.

Do you know who you are? Or, to quote writer Charles Bukowski, do you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be? Self-knowledge is the totality of who you really are as a person, not the social labels of “employee,” “brother,” “sister,” “husband,” or “wife.” What matters is your true self.

The person you were 10 years ago is very different from the person you are now. Self-knowledge generates change and lays the foundation for a better life. Tasha Eirich, author of Insight, notes that a deep understanding of our own personality makes us more confident and creative. We begin to make smarter decisions, build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively.

Self-awareness is one of the most misunderstood “keys” to a meaningful, happy life. The better you understand your mental state —mood, perception of the world, beliefs, intentions, and emotions—the more accurate decisions you make for your future.

However, self-knowledge is much deeper than a mental state. It is understanding how you want to behave, how you learn, how you work, how you acquire new skills, and how you use that knowledge to become a better person. Moreover, self-knowledge is an important element of self-realization – the full disclosure of one’s potential.

Almost every area of life can be upgraded if you understand what makes you better, what your goals are, and what makes you feel alive. The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said: “He who knows people is wise; he who knows himself is clear in spirit. Self-awareness is truly liberating.

However, this is a long process that requires constant practice, contemplation, self-reflection and deep reflection. You will not be able to understand yourself in a month or even a year. But self-knowledge is one of the most difficult and at the same time the most valuable skills. It will allow you to live sincerely, honestly and without fear, and find harmony between your current self and your subconscious or true self.

Where to start self-knowledge

With a simple practice – daily reflections on yourself. About how far you have progressed towards your goals. About what you need to reach a new level and live the life that will correspond to your inner self.

Keep a self-discovery diary and make regular notes. Record your motives, fears, preferences, and expectations.

Start asking yourself deep questions:

  • What am I good at besides work?
  • What can’t I do at all?
  • What steals my emotional energy and makes life worse?
  • What worries me the most?
  • Who do I have the most important social connections with and why?
  • What problems cause me to get stressed most often?
  • What events (hobbies, projects) make me forget about time?
  • What events (hobbies, projects) relax me?
  • What is success for me?
  • What makes me sad (scars, upsets, makes me happy)?
  • How do others see me and how does this image correspond to my real “I”?
  • What kind of work am I willing to do for free?

The goal is not to answer these questions all at once, but to learn more about yourself and collect information that points the way to the life you have always dreamed of. The answers will help you spend more time on the things that make your heart race, redouble your efforts on the things that make you happy, and avoid the things that make you unhappy. And learn how to become a truly better person.

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