It is Aristotle, in all his wisdom, who said that knowing oneself is the beginning of all wisdom. Ralph Ellison, author of the Invisible Man seemed to pick up from Aristotle when he said, “When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”
Both men couldn’t be more right in their assertion. From the day we are born, we get into a system that has been prescribed for us and we have little to no control on changing that system.
Our parents decide where we are born, where we will go to school, where we will live and it is only until one reaches the age of 18 that they can have a say on how they want to live their lives.
In such a system, it is easy for one to get lost in the myriad of rules, regulations and societal expectations.
Unfortunately, a good number of people die before knowing who they truly are and it is therefore important to know yourself, through self-discovery, to enable you accomplish your purpose and enjoy life down here. After all, we only live once, don’t we?
The Oxford dictionary defines self-discovery as the process of acquiring insight into one’s own character. A more apt definition, and which would fit for the purpose of this article, can be found in the American English Dictionary which defines self-discovery as becoming aware of one’s true potential, character, motives, etc.
Whatever stage you are in life, you can start the journey towards self-discovery so that you can fully understand who you are, what you want to do in life, what matters and the direction you want to go in life. Otherwise, you will be like a flag being tossed around by whatever comes your way.
Many of us live a life full of lies and it is disconcerting that the lies are propagated by none other but ourselves. We lie to ourselves that we are contented with our lives, our jobs, people around us, and so on, but in the real sense we are not happy.
But since we do not want to face the truth, we end up tolerating our situations when we have the potential to be in a better position. Self-discovery is that which will enable us face our fears and dreams and truly work towards a life that is fulfilling.
Hence the journey towards self-discovery is one that is worth taking. By knowing yourself better, you will be in a position to control yourself, you will learn to pay attention to your feelings and determine how others treat you.
In the process, you will find yourself cutting off toxic relationships and retaining people who make you better.
You will also learn to set realistic goals since you know your abilities. Often, we set ourselves up for disappointment as we set expectations beyond our means and abilities.
Self-discovery calls for one to be honest with oneself. Meditate regularly and while at it, do a self-interrogation as you relive incidences and conversations that you have had.
Ask yourself whether the results reflected what you desired or you kowtowed to someone else’s whims. The goal is to be true to yourself and help you put your feelings into perspective.
As Ralph Ellison asserted, self-discovery comes with immense freedom. You will discover that you no longer fear your inadequacies or others’ perception of you.
You will also discover your weaknesses, acknowledge them and in the process learn to have grip on them.
At the end of it all, you will realise that you have become a better person who is more in control of his life. And what a beautiful place to be!