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Know Thyself.

Updated on April 27, 2014
The Temple of Apollo at Delphi.
The Temple of Apollo at Delphi.

Everyone has had a time in their lives where they've found out what they're really made of. Chances are you had to dig deep to find that extra something to pull you through? Finding and knowing who you are is not a new concept, the inscription “Know Thyself” was inscribed nearly 2,400 years ago at the Temple of Delphi, in Greece. There have been countless books written on the subject, the self help sections in bookstores are ever expanding.

Happiness can only be found from within.
Happiness can only be found from within.

Seven concepts to keeping and maintaining happiness.

Listed below are 7 things that have helped guide me through life, although I have to say I am mostly a trial by fire kind of learner, the joy of growing older is the wisdom that comes along with it. Had I known these fundamentals years ago I could have saved myself a lot of heartache; nevertheless I am passing along this hard won wisdom for whatever it may be worth.

1) Know Thyself:

The first aspect of keeping and staying strong is; knowing who you are? If you have no idea who you are how can you hope to know what you’re capable of? Personal intelligence is something that has been discussed time and again in Psychology circles. Knowing you who are, not who others perceive you as, or what you show the world, but knowing genuinely who you are is the first and key step in understanding what it will take to keep you strong and moving forward with your life.

2) Know your limitations:

After you've figured out who you are, know what you’re capable of? Everyone has dreams everyone has talents, but if you’re dreaming of becoming a doctor and Science isn't your forte you probably aught not try to attempt medical school. Not only are you setting yourself up for disaster, but you’re wasting your time. Time is precious, find your bliss - your passion, but keep it real. Knowing your limitations and working within them as well as learning to trust your instincts will keep you strong emotionally and help you avoid the pitfalls and disappointments associated with attempting something outside of your limits. This does not mean that you can’t dream, dreams and aspirations are also keys to finding happiness.

3) Never rely on someone else to make or keep you happy:

If you’re not happy with whom you are, change it. Only you can make you happy. Relying one someone else to fill this emotional need is a disaster. No one can live up to this kind of standard and if you’re depending on a lover, friend, mother, etc, to do this then you will always be disappointed. Learn to rely on yourself; learn to see what others see in you. Loving who God made you, loving who you are or who you’re becoming is the key to inner happiness. (Side note; if you don’t love yourself how can you expect anyone else to love you)? Men and women alike are attracted to a strong self assured people. If you portray yourself as weak, you will attract the wrong kind of person. These people will seek to manipulate and dominate which will only lead to more misery.

4) Never ask anything of someone that you’re not willing to do for yourself:

We have all been prey to this before and it may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many people find this concept foreign. For example, if you need help in the area of finances do not ask for a hand out, first actively seek employment. There is nothing that turns people off faster than someone who isn't willing to work for what they want. I have come across too many people in life who have made a career out of not working. These people are the first to comment on what you have and inquire on how you've achieved it? The answer is quite simple, we worked for it. Which brings to mind the Carnegie quote, “Anything in life worth having is worth working for”? If you find yourself surrounded by these emotional vampires, run, they are a drain on you emotionally, financially and spiritually. If you are one of these people I don’t know what to tell you except stop it, get a job, set some goals and find a way to achieve them.

5) Know from where you come:

We've all heard the axiom “How can you know where you’re going, if you don’t know where you've been?” It’s a saying for a reason, (heck they've even written songs about it). Everyone has a past maybe it’s something you never wish to speak of, but chances are whether good or bad the person you are today is because of the lessons you've learned in your past. Most of us don’t learn through example most of us learn via trial and error. Do you know that it took Thomas Edison 2,000 attempts before he made what we know today as the light bulb? If someone who’s made history as one of the world’s greatest inventors failed that many times (and kept trying), what makes us think that we don’t have to fail a few times? Some people can never shake free of their past it clings to them like stink on a skunk, but if you don’t learn from your past and move on you will forever be in a rut of blame and self-doubt. You’ll never obtain the confidence needed to keep moving forward into the future.

6) Never be afraid to ask for help:

Some people find it nearly impossible to ask for help. When you feel like you’re drowning in the mire of life, do not hesitate to ask for help. This has served me well many times in life. Whether it’s in needing a break, mentally or emotionally (and stay at home and working moms are particularly bad at depending on the kindness of others), but everyone needs a break -- needs time to recharge so do not be afraid to ask for it. You can’t give your whole self to anything if you’re worn out. This also holds true for students, do not be afraid to ask questions and do not be afraid to admit that you need help. This is what teachers and professors are for, most are in the education business because they want to help, lean on them, learn from them and ask many questions.

7) Never allow your emotions to rule you:

This may be the most difficult canon to live by, for someone who has always been highly emotional this is one concept to which I am still actively working. Do not make rash decisions based on how you’re feeling in the moment. Sleep on it, or better yet ask the advice of a professional or someone who's been through that particular problem or trial. We are an instant gratification society, we want what we want and we want it now. This is not something to be proud of. When angry or upset especially concerning interpersonal relationships do not do or say something you will regret later, once words are spoken they can not be unspoken. If you’re having difficulty at school or in your job, again, actively seek help. Don’t just throw up your hands and quit because chances are you know someone who’s been exactly where you are, they may be able to offer insight or another point of view.

Words to live by.
Words to live by.

The Five Factor Model of Personality

Part of knowing who you are is knowing your strengths and weaknesses. The NEO Personality assessment is based on the 5 Factor Model of Personality and is test that that is still being given today by psychologists and researchers.

Personality researchers and psychologist believe that there are five main dimensions of personality, they are:

* Extroversion

* Agreeableness

* Conscientiousness

* Neuroticism

* Openness

Take this test and see where you fall in the Five Factor Model.

"The Value of Knowing Who You Are."


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    • LCaverson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie Caverson 

      4 years ago from Virginia Beach, VA.

      I totally agree. And thank you, I appreciate the feedback very much.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Well said. These are great mottoes to live by. Knowing ourselves and accepting ourselves are critical for success in life. As we work through our trials and difficulties, we only learn if we are willing to be honest with ourselves. Sometimes, that is a hard thing to do, but it is well worth it.


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