The phrase, “Know thyself” is often attributed to Socrates and refers to his belief that the path to enlightenment is through introspection. Another famous quote from Socrates is, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” There is great power in self knowledge.
As a coach, I am often in front of people helping them to examine their lives. You’d be surprised at how many people have no real idea how to do that. They don’t actively decide what their values are, what they want and don’t want in life, or even what kind of person they want to be. Then they find themselves angry and depressed and don’t understand why.
An examined life leads to productivity, self acceptance, forgiveness, inner peace and happiness. Here are a few questions to help you get started in examining your own life. There are no right or wrong answers. These are just to get you thinking about who you are and what your values are.
Without judgement or self-condemnation answer the following questions as honestly as you can.
- Think about the last time you felt angry or annoyed. What thoughts did you have? Why did you feel that way?
- Think about the last time you felt joy. What thoughts did you have? Why did you feel that way?
- When are you most uncompromising?
- When are you most accommodating?
- Who are you the closest to emotionally?
- Who do you confide in most often? Why?
- Who confides in you most often? Why?
- When are you happiest?
- What gets you down?
- What things in your life give you the most pleasure?
- If you needed nothing from anyone, what would you give up?
- If nobody relied on you for anything, what would you do?
- When are you most creative?
- What things scare you?
- How do you challenge yourself?
- Name three things you love to do.
- Name three things you dislike doing but do anyway.
- When do you put other people’s happiness above your own?
- Are you uncomfortable when people go out of their way to do things for you?
- Are you a giver or a taker?
- When are you not a good friend?
- Think about the last time you lied or deceived someone. Why did you do it?
- When was the last time you told the bare and bold truth to someone?
- Do you sometimes interfere in things for your personal gain?
- If you see someone doing something wrong, do you get upset in any way?
- Do you ever give money to beggars? Why or why not?
- When you do something regrettable, do you dwell on it or move past it?
- Are you openly affectionate?
- What behaviors make people seem weak?
- What behaviours make people seem strong?
- Do you think you are strong or weak? Why?
These are just a few to get you started. You can answer them on your own or use them to get conversation going or to get to know someone better. Being 100 per cent honest is the key to getting to know yourself.
In light of these questions, I think my next blog should be about developing greater self love.
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