Understanding yourself

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If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow – you are not understanding yourself.”  – Bruce Lee

Many persons are at a conclusion that they know and understand themselves, but would you agree?  Every day is a learning experience, every day you learn something about yourself even when you aren’t aware.  There is no test you can take that will let you fully understand yourself within the day.  What you can do however, is take every situation thrown at you and choose one thing that you can imitate or discard of as it relates to your personality.  What do I mean?  Well let’s examine some scenarios.

Relationships

Intimate

Look at your significant other and state five things you love about him/her.  Ask yourself, “Why am I with this person?”  It is my strongest belief that I must grow spiritually, mentally, emotionally and financially with someone I am giving my all to, if not, then what is the point? 

There are no two persons on this planet and with every person that you get intimate with, you should try to leave a piece of yourself with them.  For example, if you are like a wolf and you meet someone who displays sheep like behavior, why not try to adopt that peaceful and humble character? 

I use this example because I am like a wolf in the sense that I am aggressive, strong-minded, and extremely confident, if I need something done and you are holding up my time, I will do it myself.  Now, if I met someone like a sheep, I would definitely try to adopt patience and humility. 

Separate and apart from this example, I can be the first to agree with this topic based on a real life experience.  After I decided to shut my mouth when an issue came up that required my aggressive personality, I realized that for all these years I was only embarrassing myself by behaving as such.  I gained a different perspective just by being meek and thinking about what I say before I say it. 

I learned and appreciated a different side of me that I have never known and how else would I be able to explore and develop this side of me if I haven’t met someone like a sheep?

Friendship

I have two beautiful friends and I’m not talking about their physical appearance.  These women have taught me that another person’s selfishness and narcissism should not affect my personality in any way; kindness always prevails and being someone you can turn to in times of need is such a great privilege and honor. 

What does this mean for us who are not so kind?  Sure, we are wolves or hippos personality wise but can we add kindness to our list of great attributes?  Can we rise to the top by being kind to those we are passing?  Can you really kill someone with kindness?    

Family

I’m sure you know one person in your family that is loyal, peaceful, or selfless?  My mother is the most selfless person I know and I am saying this without bias.  I have witnessed my mother giving not just her kids but extending help to other children in need even though she does not have much. 

Can I be more like her in that sense; after all I do look like her.  Being selfless ironically can open many opportunities for you and for my readers who have been in that position I implore you to share your experiences.  

What about your family’s sense of humor, those that are able to accept and express their emotions, as well as that uncle who loves to take risks? 

Once, there was a wife who took her husband to court because he never laughed/smiled, when it was his time to respond  to the judge as to why he never laughed his response was, “Your honor, she seh she want a serious relationship”.  Please don’t be like this person, but cultivate a love of laughter even when things go wrong, just like the Jamaican saying, “Unu love tek bad things mek joke.”  Be a risk-taker like your uncle with the many stories to tell every family reunion and take the risk of living and enjoy life.  

After you have imitated these characteristics, you will find yourself going above and beyond in things you never thought you could be able to do, thus learning to understand yourself a little more.

Professionally

My company, D’orandae, focuses on the growth of entrepreneurs and small business owners, but today, I will be focused on those who have an employer.  Your workplace is the best place to find different personalities, some people show you how to be dedicated and loyal and some people show you exactly what you should not become. 

Do you think you can learn anything about yourself in such an environment?  Consider the following question and answer with honesty.  Based on your goals, can you leave your job at the moment? Think about the question for a minute then proceed.

You see, many individuals are of the assumption that everyone works for money, but trust me, that is not the case. Though many work for an income, some work to kill time throughout the days, others work because they want the experience in a certain field. If you are one of the few that have a goal to achieve what do you think you can learn from a workplace filled with a million different personalities? Off the top of my head, I can already tell you one thing I have learnt, tolerance.

You too can learn to tolerate and be patient with the different personalities you are surrounded by forty-five (45) hours every week.

Death

The irony with this topic is that death teaches you how to live.  Rob Bell, an American author once said, “It often takes suffering and lost in order to remind us of how precious life is.”  What do you think death can teach us about ourselves? Let’s consider two reasons:

  1. Don’t procrastinate: You can be here today and gone tomorrow so if you need to do something, do it now! This sets the baseline for the other reasons that follow.  If you love someone, let him/her know; don’t let the person walk away from your life.  Steve Jobs said “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.  You are already naked.  There is no reason not to follow your heart.”  Go follow your dreams, chase your passions, and dream big.
  2. Learn to live –  “Life is really too short to not live outside the box and live to the fullest as many of us live to die but my darling die to live” – Channique Nathan

Can you see the wisdom in that quote?  Why does society dictate that we should go to school, get a job, and then die?  Why can’t we build a life instead of just make a living?  When you stare in the face of death or have lost someone extremely close to you, don’t you see how short life is and don’t you reminisce on your life when in such situation?

Living on your own

My friend, Channique has been urging me to live on my own for the past few months. She told me that I would learn so many things while on my own; my experience so far?  First of all, let me start by saying that living on your own is not for the faint of heart. 

If you have nyctophobia, eremophobia, or chrematophobia it would not be wise to tell you to live on your own.  On the other hand, if you love your own space and don’t mind spending some money, you have much to gain by living by yourself.  The very first things you will learn about yourself in this situation are: Independence, accountability, dependability and you will develop a sense of responsibility.  Most importantly, you get to establish a relationship with yourself. By experiencing this you will understand that “the quiet” can become your friend, loneliness will not kill you, and self-love is more important than loving anyone else.

So, what were you saying about knowing every possible thing you could about yourself?  As the three topics above briefly states, there is so much left for you to understand when you experience: relationships, death, and living on your own.

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