One thing is for certain, the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. When you are determined to know yourself better, you soon start to understand your actual position and that the first gifts of self-discovery is chagrin, deflation, and often humiliation or embarrassment.
In the grand scheme, most of us are ineffective and we overestimate our contribution and talents. Most of us consider ourselves an exception to the rules, and most of us are wrong.
The goal here isn’t to inflate your ego with overtures of false praise and empty reassurance of your social contribution. Real life doesn’t give credit where it isn’t due and nature herself is unpredictable and quite dangerous. You don’t want to start your upward climb from a deceptive sense of self.
Truth sometimes hurts. You aren’t a masochists, though, you’re here for a reason. The idea is to strip away any false sense self, get to the truth, and start your ascent to greatness one honest, strong, authentic foothold at a time; an expert on being firmly and certainly who you intend to be.
1.The first practical thing you can do to know yourself better is to write every day. Communicate honestly with yourself, judgement free. Record goals, plans, feelings, reactions, comments, concerns, disappointments, hopes, and regrets.
2.Consider daily meditation, with the goal of centering yourself. The quality of meditation tends to improve with practice. Meditation is a gentle, clarifying exercise in self-control, and the benefits aren’t only seen in a placid mind, but also has a cooling physiological effect on the body.
3.There are more distractions now with the modern pace and noise than ever before. Day-to-day, most people have to go out of their way to come into contact with nature and centering benefits from the tranquility of a natural environments. We often forget that we are a part of nature, and being separate from it is disruptive to our minds and bodies. Try to get out into nature every day.
4. Not completely unlike meditation, consider seeking at least 10 minutes of silence and reflection every day. Utilize silence to center your mind and reconnect with your body. Reflect on your position to the world and people around you. What does God expect from or ask of you today? What do others expect from you? What are you expecting from yourself? What are your needs today? Do you intend to care properly for yourself so you can show up well tomorrow and the day after for those who rely on you?
“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Consider finding moments of silence within your every day schedule by arriving to class or church early to sit in silence, or by turning off the radio on your commute to and from work. Perhaps you could utilize ear plugs for a few minutes as you move about your home or while running errands.
5. Execute your daily duties with contemplative purpose. Menial labor can bring mental clarity, the strengthening sense of accomplishment, and a much needed disconnect from over-stimulation. Care for animals, fold laundry, tend a garden, wash dishes, paint a bedroom etc.
Consider all the tasks in your day that you need to attend to and “stack” them so you are accomplishing more than one thing at a time. Stacking your duties and desires forces you to take a serious look at the details of your busy life, to sort and strategize.
Need to spend quiet time in nature and also workout? Take your fitness regimen outside.
Do you want to spend more time with your spouse and do yard work? Work together in the yard.
Don’t get discouraged by the personal deficiencies you may uncover while courageously confronting your inner self. Most people don’t even have the audacity to come as far as you already have.
There is untold profit to be made and unprecedented inner peace to be gained by following this through. Truth be told, you will probably find self-awareness to be a lifelong practice and a level of consciousness that becomes integral to your lifestyle and eminent success.