I have often heard this phrase: the journey of self begins with discovery. In this journey, you will discover what makes you stand out, that is; your make up, values, career, ambition, dreams, choices, and so on. If you do not know who you are, you are bound to short-change yourself and every other person you encounter in life. There is a popular saying that when the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable. If you do not know the purpose of your existence, you are prone to missing your true value.
As you cruise in the journey of self-discovery, you need to ask the following questions: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? And how am I doing? We all need answers to these questions, and the way we answer them and the way we feel about ourselves as a result, have enormous influence on our choices, behaviours and our relationships with others. If we look at ourselves and despise what we see, chances are that others will react to us the same way. Let’s take these questions one after the other:
- Who am I? If you don’t have an answer to this question, it is alright. You might not even have the right answers, your family and friends will, i.e. if you will accept their sincere take on who you really are. I have learnt that home-truths are not well-received even when invited. Self-discovery is not as simple as it sounds, but it holds the key to know who you really are. Anytime one of my siblings calls me to report a change in my behaviour or notices I am not doing something right, I do not take their warnings for granted. I go back to my closet to filter whatever I have heard, and consciously focus on the area that needs change.
- Why am I here? The very life you have is to fulfil one purpose or the other. The more you operate in this regard, the better you become in the mastery of self. Although you will experience difficulties as you journey, they will only sharpen you to be a better person. The why question will give you a road map to usher you into the next phase of your life. Once you figure out the value that is deposited on your inside, your journey becomes easy and fulfilling.
- Where am I going? Having dealt with the question of why you are here, it is important to link the journey with where we are heading. In other words, if we already know the purpose of our existence, we must find expression for it by drawing out a plan that would serve as a blue print in the course of the journey. If we cannot clearly state where we are going, we may end up in a place we never envisaged we would be. Where there is no vision, there is no motivation.
- How am I doing? Have you noticed how life seems to creep up on us? If we are not very careful, it is very easy to live as if our circumstances are the same as they were two or three years back. But time changes and we need to change and adapt to every new situation. As much as we are often tempted to live in the future or the past, we need to ensure today is lived to the full. You need to do an appraisal of yourself; study your strengths and weaknesses; your achievements and plans.
Self-pity wears you out and makes you lose your self-worth. You need all the motivation you can get, and guess who validates you the most? The answer is you! In the true sense of it, nobody can love you the way you love yourself. The best you can be is what you believe and see in your inner being. The best way to measure your progress is to consciously do a self-appraisal every now and then, be diligent and stick to your plans.