The Intrinsic Value Of Knowing Yourself

Who were you?

Who are you?

Who do you want to become?


It sounds like the intro to a very terrible self-help Ted Talk, but these 3 questions form the basis of our lives.

Who were you?

Yesterday, the day before, a week ago or even five years ago? How have you changed? How have you become better? How have you become worse? Let’s say you want to walk 5km, you must have a starting point, to mark the beginning, so you can successfully navigate to the end. Similarly you should be aware of past versions of yourself. You should know and come to terms with the person that you used to be. As much as possible, and as much as it may hurt, you should acknowledge your rises and falls, your wins and losses. Then you can answer the next question.

Who are you?

A friend, a student, a listener, a lover? What are the roles that define you to others, list them all, the good, the bad, the ugly.

Perfect. Now trash that list.

What is your role to yourself?

Do you realize that your voice is the very first voice you hear when you get up in the morning, it’s in the form of your thoughts. What do you speak to yourself from the time you get up to the time you go to sleep? Are you your worst enemy, your biggest critic, your greatest fan? Who are you to you? I know it sounds like a ton of rehearsed motivation that therapists dish out. But for a moment think deeply about who sets the pace of your life. Who is responsible for the outcome of your life? A large part of your life is based on your actions and your actions are determined by your thoughts. So in essence, you control almost all that happens to you. The ball is forever in your court, you call the shots. You determine who you are. That brings us to the last question.

Who do you want to become?

From the time a child is born to about the age of 6 or 7, most of what they do is a imitation of what they see. They become just like the people they imitate.

Imitation is the ability to learn behaviors by observing other people’s actions.

As adults, conscious of ourselves, we hardly ever give ourselves the freedom to just outrightly copy. Open yourself to the ideals and ethics of the people who you most admire. Learn from them and imitate them within reason.

In addition, carve out the kind of life you want for yourself based on your own aims. Live by the principles and ideals you’ve learned through the experiences you’ve had in your own life. Give your time, energy and resources to the person you want to become. Invest in you.

And when you think you’ve reached your best form, strive for more.

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