We’re living in the age of social networking. We know more about what’s happening with people halfway around the world then those sitting right next to us. In this era of constant contact and knowledge of everything and everyone, we seem to have lost ourselves.
We can no longer segregate ourselves from others. We attach ourselves so firmly to these groups that their opinions become ours. We no longer remain individuals with our own outlooks and thoughts but instead we lose our personalities and become part of the crowd.
We seem to have relinquished our originality for things we deemed more important. We forget that all of us are unique and different in our own special way and in this quest for social status and easy companionship we do not take the time to explore ourselves.
Many eminent psychologist agree that we do actually lack self-insight and that self-knowledge is beneficial for self and personality development.
It’s ironic how we go through immense pains to make time for others and tend to neglect ourselves. Only a handful of us actually spend time alone with our thoughts, delving into the deep of our psyche. Our main goal in life is to attain satisfaction, hopefully long term satisfaction. As after all, who doesn’t want to be happy? And how else are you to be happy if you are not completely sure what makes you happy in the first place?
Self-knowledge is one of the most important pieces of life’s puzzle. It affects all aspects of our existence, our relationships, our behavior, our personality. All in all it affects every aspect of life itself. If you do not know what you want in life, or what you like, or what works for you, how else will you be able to find yourself the right relationships? After all man is a social animal.
It is the bases of sociology that we all strive to build good relationships. Our relationships form a major sphere of our lives, be it our friends, our partners or our colleagues, all of them influence us on some level or the other, hence it is only reasonable for us to pick the right people to spend our time with.
Unlike in the movies, we do not need to travel to mountains, or visit monks or suffer major heart breaks to truly find ourselves.Meditation and enclosing yourself away from distractions are not a must, but merely aids to attaining self- knowledge. The easiest way to get to know ourselves is to talk. Just like when we want to get to know another person, conversations are a must, similarly to get to know ourselves there needs to be some talking involved.
Now obviously there is no need to have these conversations out loud and unnecessarily scare away our loved ones, or even potential loved ones, so whenever we have some free time, who better to spend it with then ourselves. Fortunately we know ourselves enough for it to not be awkward or a need for sillypleasantries. Just a few thoughts on the bus home, or whilst cooking, etc. is enough.
We tend learn the most about ourselves in times of trouble, when we do not know what to do, or whom to turn to. Merely pondering over your thoughts and opinions is good enough to get you going. When you have a problem, you, yourself are the best therapist. You know exactly what you are dealing with and what you are going through. Only you will know what will make you feel better and anyone else’s opinion is just speculation.
Just analyzing your feelings can take you a long way. You may start by speculating why you feel a certain way and slowly,realization will dawn on you. Each new thought will lead you to a new finding about yourself. This self-enlightenment helps you cut out all the unnecessary things in life. You may have certain elements which neither benefit you nor bring you happiness, they only bring pain and suffering but you cannot seem to let them go. Knowing yourself better will enable you to make better decisions where your interests are a priority.
Of course you cannot completely disregard others opinions of you as your perceptions of yourself could be subject to biases. It is good to maintain a healthy balance between your own findings and those of others. Through all these inputs you can derive a fairly accurate view of who you are.
Self-knowledge also promotes confidence and assurance in yourself. It highlights your strengths and your shortcomings. With this you can work on your short falls and improve your strong points. It hence helps you get ahead and lead a happy and fulfilling life.
We all have very little time here and we need to make the most of it. After all you don’t want to reach the end of the trail only to find you lost yourself along the way.