Historic people can be defined easily in a single sentence, this sentence is the legacy of that person. Abraham Lincoln’s sentence would be: “Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, he saw the country through the Civil War and successfully campaigned for the abolition of slavery”.
Some people know themselves from an early point, these are the lucky ones. Others feel the resistance in their life, and that is a sure indicator that something in your existence is being betrayed. It is commonly understood that individuals that know themselves, have a much better sense of self-confidence
I realised a couple of years ago that the life I was living had me on track to my sentence being: “He lived a long life as an employee of somebody else, sacrificing his desire to write in favour of making a living and he made a lot of people rich by following their dreams”
Depressing, right? It’s not all doom and gloom though, it’s actually quite easy to get to know yourself and start to clear your true path.
How to get to know yourself in five easy steps!
Honour your past, you don’t come from nowhere.
Everything up until this very moment is a learning experience, and until you are able to recognise that, you will be stuck in an endless cycle of fulfilment and perfectionism.
Investing time in reflecting on your past, behaviours and tendencies can be an enlightening experience; especially as you challenge each of these areas. For example; I always wanted to have a bigger and bigger house and it wasn’t until I challenged this that I realised it was because we never had enough space growing up, this was actually conditioning from my mother, and not a desire of my own.
Challenge both your cognitive biases and what you have learned!
As we grow up we become conditioned by the people and circumstances that surround us, and these are reinforced by the cognitive biases of the human brain.
Humans are conditioned to be educated, then choose a specific education path in the form of University which will become our role in life or find a way to make a living and then follow the path of accumulation of material possessions. That path may well be the right one for some people but the truth is that there are so many more options available.
You must understand, and live by, your values.
In challenging what you know, and accepting the understanding that everything is a learning opportunity, you are literally creating the circumstances that allow you to identify your core values. That is to say, you stop becoming a reflection of what has been projected on to you.
Psychologists say that each of us has around eight core values that define who we are and what brings us joy, Shwartz talks about the ten basic human values
Identify your creative endeavour!
I’ve said before that human beings are creative beings and the really important thing to remember here is that creativity is not just sitting down with some pencils, paints or a lump of clay. Scientists are also creating with their work, doctors, teachers and philosophers are all creating when they work.
If you looked at the report written by Scwartz that I linked in the point about you would have seen that the first value involves creativity; such is the importance of this in human life.
Identifying your creative endeavour is quite easy, you simply have to recognise what ignites a fire in your soul. Yes, this sounds grand and lofty, but it’s true, your creative endeavour is the thing you do when time seems to disappear, you get lost in the flow of work and never seem to tire of it.
You may find that you have to work on setting boundaries to make this manageable, and realistic.
This is your creative endeavour, and the expression of this is your purpose.
Look after your body
When contemplating life’s big questions it is easy to make this an entirely cerebral exercise, when in fact what you should be seeking is harmony between the body, mind and soul. There will always be symptoms where there is discord; so paying attention to the physical body is vital.
Find your motivations and then analyse your behaviour, making changes where you find there is a lack of harmony. Peace is the result of the body, mind and soul being in balance, this is where their resistance is lowest or even removed – allowing you to live the most authentic expression of yourself.