To Know Yourself Is The Meaning Of Life

Asking oneself what are the dangers that come with a lack of self-knowledge?  And what in fact do we need to know about ourselves?  Simple but very deep regarding who you truly are regarding self-knowledge!

This knowledge is generally of an emotional or psychological kind.  Eg How does your relationship with your father/mother influence your career ambitions or are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

The psychological core of one’s self are things like:

What kind of person are you characteristically attracted to in love?

What are your talents at work?

What problems do you have around success/failure?

How are you about feedback?

What do you do when you have been frustrated by life?

Can you distinguish between your passing emotions you are feeling in the body and your rational and irrational thoughts?

Self-knowledge is important because it offers us a route to greater happiness and fulfillment.

A lack of self-knowledge leaves you open to mishaps and wrong ambitions.

Self-knowledge gives you a greater chance to avoid errors in relationships and life choices.

Self-knowledge has always been important.  But now it’s more so than ever.  This is a result of political and social progress.  When life was much more constrained by tradition, manners, there was less need for self-knowledge to guide action.  Now, if we are to make use of the independence and freedom we’ve been offered, there is all the more reason to get to know ourselves.

We pay a high price for a lack of self-knowledge.   Why is it so hard to know oneself.

  1. The unconscious – Our minds are divided into conscious and unconscious processes. Digesting lunch is unconscious; reflecting on what you’d like to do this weekend is conscious.  We let too much of who we happen in the unconscious.  We need to bring more into the conscious realm.
  2. Emotional and rational mind. It’s like the wild horse (reptilian part) of our mind dragging the conscious mind along.
  3. The resistance of not allowing the consciousness part of our mind to know how the unconsciousness mind is really working
  4. There are many aspects of our identities that are hard to see without help from another person. However getting hold of data from others is a sometimes unreliable process.  Either they can’t be bothered or don’t want to upset you.
  5. Many bits of self-knowledge only come through experiences. We acquire knowledge dynamically, by trying things out and colliding with others  – which always carries a risk, and takes time.  Eg careers    Self-knowledge can evolve as a result of dialogue with the world.
  6. We are unfortunately vague about stuff.   I want to be happy but do not know what it looks like.  It is a universal problem.
  7. Introspection is low or unfamiliar. Sitting still and receiving lessons, insight, and wisdom to using in moving forward after an abrupt or troubling experience.  Self-knowledge is gifted to you at that time

How can one improve and speed up self-knowledge?

One of the key ways in which we can get to know ourselves and others is through conversation.  Unfortunately, we tend to have a conception of what a conversation looks like, eg. Location, the right setting, food, drinks, etc so the conversation will flow naturally, without special effort.

The reality is that a  conversation is an achievement or something we might need to learn.

Just by finishing these sentence stems about our feelings towards ourselves or others.

I resent…….

I am puzzled by ….

I am hurt by ….

I regret ….

I am afraid that …..

I am happier when ….

I want ….

I appreciate …

I hope …..

Self-knowledge is a set of capacities for dealing better with one’s needs and weaknesses and generally being better at handling oneself.  The benefits are :

  • Less prone to blame others
  • Be less frustrated
  • Panic less……panic is caused by fear…. Fear is humiliation or rejection
  • Less prone to envy
  • Don’t sweat quite so much about money
  • Good at apologizing
  • Good conversationalist.

This is a great time to focus on self-knowledge.   I have been on working on myself for years and in awe when my clients get personal with who they are for the first time sometimes of who they truly are and they are aligning themselves differently and see themselves differently.


Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.   – Linda Wooten – 

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Self-Knowledge Quotes

“There are three extremely hard:  steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.”  – Ben Franklin –

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The one self-knowledge worth having is to know one’s own mind.”  F.H. Bradley

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”  -Henry David Thoreau-

“Someone else’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” – Les Brown –

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” – Mark Twain-

“One secures the gold of the spirit when he finds himself.” – Claude M. Bristol –

Self-knowledge is the beginning of self-improvement. – Baltasar Gracian –

“The more you look into and understand yourself, the less judgmental you become towards others.”  – Tariq Ramadan-