Thursday, October 1, 2009

Self Discovery: How To Find Yourself

This is a quick discussion about finding yourself. In it, you will find some steps to finding yourself. If any of them resonate with you, please feel free to use them. If not, that's alright, as well. ^_^

How To Find Yourself

  1. Start with a clean slate. Develop your own moral conduct and practice sticking to it. Remove vice from your life. Smoking, over-eating, and over-drinking will prevent you from functioning at your peak. Remember, you can't drive your life forward if you are always gazing through your rearview mirror!
  2. Now that you have a clean slate and you realize some people still think you stink: Forget about what everyone else thinks! You cannot please everyone. While you might not want to disappoint the people close to you, they should want you to be happy. As long as you continue to exist to fulfill other people's ideas of who you should be, you'll never know your true talents. "He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away." - Raymond Hull
  3. 'Find solitude'. Get away from the expectations, the conversations, the noise, the media, and the pressure. Take some time each day to go for a long walk and think. Plant yourself on a park bench and look. Take a long, thoughtful road trip. Whatever you do, move away from anything that distracts you from contemplating your life and where you want it to go. In solitude, you should feel independent and self-sufficient, not lonely, needy or afraid.
  4. Ask yourself every question in the book, questions that are difficult, that dare to look at the big pictures, such as:
    • If I had all the resources in the world - if I didn't need to make money - what would I be doing with my day to day life and why? Perhaps you'd be painting, or writing, or farming, or exploring the Amazon rain forest. Don't hold back.
    • What do I want to look back on in my life and say that I never regretted? Would you regret never having traveled abroad? Would you regret never having asked that person out, even if it meant risking rejection? Would you regret not spending enough time with your family when you could? This question can be particularly difficult for some people.
    • If you had to choose three words to describe the kind of person you'd love to be, what would those words be? Adventurous? Loving? Open? Honest? Hilarious? Optimistic? Realistic? Motivated? Resilient? Don't be afraid to pick up a thesaurus. Don't be afraid to choose words that are considered negative. Sometimes your traits that others don't like become useful only in emergency situations or are valuable to the job you are meant to perform. If you do have a truly negative trait work on redirecting that energy to something positive. Exercising compensates for many bad habits and there are hobbies for almost every vice. Pole dancing is becoming a hobby! Don't wash your clothes much? Try camping.
  5. Write down your answers. Beyond your time alone, it's easy for these thoughts to slip to the back of your mind and be forgotten. If you have them written down, then every time you reflect, you can review your notes and take it a step further, instead of answering the same questions all over again.
  6. Act upon your newly discovered knowledge. Do the things that you want to do! Pick up those water-colors. Write a short story. Plan a trip to Mombasa, Mt Kenya, a walk at Nairobi Safari Walk. Have dinner with a family member. Start cracking jokes. Open up. Tell the truth. Whatever it is that you've decided you want to be or do, start being and doing it now.
  7. Be ready for dead ends. Finding yourself is a journey, not a destination. A lot of it is trial and error. That's the price you pay in return for the satisfaction you receive: More often than not, you hit a bump in the road, and sometimes you fall flat on your face. Be prepared to understand and accept that this is a part of the process, and commit to getting right back up and starting over. It's not going to be easy - it never has been for anybody - but if you learn to see that as a chance to prove how much you want to find yourself, then you'll find fulfillment and security in your pursuit. When you are yourself, everyone will respect you more and treat you kindly. Best of all, you will always feel good about yourself.
How To Find Yourself

Step 1: Know what you're looking for.
Finding yourself can be an enlightening experience. When you find yourself, you truly understand who you are, what your motivations are, and what makes you tick. You'll be more productive, and you'll have a philosophy or belief system that can carry you through the rest of your life. In essence, finding yourself means determining what makes you different from everyone else.

Step 2: Relax.
Don't panic just because you don't know what makes you ‘you.' Many people don't. Do not try to force it; you must take your time when trying to find yourself. Before you can find yourself, you have to disregard what everyone else thinks. Many people try to find themselves because they are tired of following the crowd. If you keep following everyone else's ideas of who you should be, you'll never truly be able to find yourself.

Step 3:Find a quiet spot.
Many people find it easier to find themselves once they find solitude. Away from the distractions and expectations, you can truly think about who you are as a person. A road trip or solo vacation can also be helpful. You should feel independent and self-sufficient once you're free from distractions. Once alone, contemplate your life and where you want it to go.

Step 4: Develop your moral compass.
When trying to find themselves, some people read philosophy or explore different religions. When finding yourself, you'll take a personal journey into your mind, developing your own moral guide. This can take the form of organized religion or many different ways of reasoning. Once you find this, stick to it no matter what, making it truly a part of who you are.

Step 5: Explore yourself.
What kind of person are you? If you had to choose three words to describe your personality, or the one you want to have, what would they be? You can think about these answers, or write them down. In fact, when finding yourself you may want to keep a journal to record your thoughts.

Step 6: Explore your interests.
If money was no issue, what would you do with your life? Even now, how do you want to spend your time? Explore your interests to find out what makes you tick. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it, or hold you back. Do the things that you want to do, and don't be afraid that you can't do them. Especially think about those things you may eventually regret not doing, like studying abroad or learning to paint.

Step 7: Know when you've found yourself.
For some people, finding themselves is a lifelong quest. Others reach a point in their life, perhaps college or a "midlife-crisis" of sorts, when they feel the need to explore what makes them tick. So how do you know when you're done exploring? Nobody can answer this for you; most people continue to find out about themselves for their entire lifetime. Once you find yourself, you'll feel much more connected to who you are. You'll be better prepared to handle whatever life gives you. However, keep in mind that finding yourself is not an easy or instantaneous process. You may even run into some dead ends along the way.

How To Find Yourself

Step 1: Learn to put your needs first. This can be difficult, especially if you have a spouse and children. Obviously you can't complete forget about your family's needs; however, you can put aside some time for yourself everyday.

Step 2: Take a break. Schedule some quiet time to be alone with yourself. Put away thoughts about work, family obligations and all the other stress in your life. Focus on you. Think about what you'd do with your life if there were no obstacles. Decide how you would spend your time if money wasn't an issue.

Step 3: Imagine what you'd like others to say about you once you're gone. Think about the words you'd want them to use when describing you. These words say a lot about the type of person you want to be.

Step 4: Remember times throughout your life when you were happiest. Think about what you were doing and who you were with. Identify what about those experiences made you so happy and satisfied.

Step 5: Use a journal to record your answers to these questions and any other relevant thoughts. Keep journaling on a regular basis. Go back and review the discoveries you have about yourself. Over time, you'll start to understand what makes you happy and what type of person you want to be. Then, you can go out and be that person.

Beautiful Quotes On Self Discovery

People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates. ~Thomas Szasz, "Personal Conduct," The Second Sin, 1973

Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor. ~Dr. Alexis Carrel

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, and live along some distant day into the answer. ~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

If you resist reading what you disagree with, how will you ever acquire deeper insights into what you believe? The things most worth reading are precisely those that challenge our convictions. ~Author Unknown

It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts. ~K.T. Jong

No single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Flight to Arras, 1942, translated from French by Lewis Galantière

Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death. ~Anaïs Nin

There are... things which a man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in his mind. ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky, "Notes from the Underground," 1864

It's terrifying to see someone inside of whom a vital spring seems to have been broken. It's particularly terrifying to see him in your mirror. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering. ~St. Augustine

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