You know how some days, very old and vague memories start creeping up on you for no reason? Leaving you happy, melancholic, ashamed? Strange.
This morning I woke up and while getting ready for work I started thinking about my high school’s motto: Nosce te Ipsum. Latin for “Know Yourself”. While in high school, I never gave this a second thought. I wish somebody had explained to us exactly how important this would turn out to be. Fact is, during my 5 years attending the school, nobody took 5 seconds to explain to us the significance of those simple words. We wore them proudly on our blazers, sang it wholeheartedly in the school song and looked into the words with every assembly in the hall. With such little comprehension of what it means.
Now, six years after completing high school, I realised this was pretty much the most important lesson I could have learned when I was 18. I wish I knew myself then. I wish I knew myself better now. Truth is, I don’t know myself 100% all the time – I am sometimes surprised by the choices I make, the words coming out of my mouth of the hurtful things I think or do.
How do you get to know yourself though? Maybe we are too busy facebooking, and so there’s no time to reflect on our own choices or motivations.
What does knowing yourself entail though? Yes, you can recite your demographic and biographic information. Your favorite music and food. But knowing yourself goes so much deeper – why do you have certain reactions to certain events or circumstances? Why do you hate something or love something else? Who are the people that shaped you into who you are today? These are important things and between your job, your relationship, your family, buying groceries, washing towels and planning the weekend, there’s rarely time to reflect on who you are and how you’ve changed, or getting to know yourself.
Knowing who you are, knowing yourself, is important because 1) if you don’t know yourself, you can’t expect others to know you intimately; and 2) you run the risk of becoming someone you don’t want to be, because of influences from those around you.
One of the easiest ways to get to know yourself, I recently found, is by getting to know someone else. You learn just as much about yourself, as you do about the other person. Having to explain your thought processes, reactions, likes and dislikes, forces you to think about exactly who you are; why you became who you are today and what drives you. Hence, it becomes much more than just a journey to get to know someone new, and you also discover new things about yourself. Or you can read these 29 Question to Discover the Real You