Website DIVISIONS (Over 600 articles to help you to grow in every facet of your life)
Written by Jimmie Burroughs Email this article to a friend
It was Socrates who said, “Know Thyself.” What great advice! We could add to that, to thyself be true and love thyself even as you love others. When we begin to explore who we really are, we come face to face to who God and his creation is also; it answers the questions about what makes us tick and respond as we do; it enables us to take into stride the events of life without fear. It washes away the doubts and negative feelings of life. “You are your own raw material. When you know what you consist of and what you want to make of it, then you can invent yourself.” – Warren G. Bennis.
To understand yourself is to understand what you are made of, what your properties are and how to best develop them and to conform them to the image you desire. Often parents make the mistake of not understanding that each person is a unique, individual creation of God, with different desires and gifts and so they sometimes try and direct their children into the same career that they are involved with. That is okay, if that happens to be the interest of the children, and they are also gifted in that same area, but otherwise it could be a sentence of misery and failure.
Understanding ourselves and what our particular gifts are is crucial to finding the purpose and meaning in life that brings satisfaction. Ask yourself: What gives me meaning and purpose? When you know the answer, then that is the direction you should go with your life and not what someone else may prescribe.
It may sound to you as if I’m talking just too young people, but I’m also talking to you if you are older. It’s great to discover ourselves when we are young and then begin early in life to pursue our purpose, but it does not always work out that way. For me it was much later in life, but later is better than not at all.
How does one gain both an objective and subjective understanding of themselves? Subjectively, we search our own heart for specific, unique interests. It was easy for me to rule out any kind of medical career because it had absolutely no appeal to me. The thoughts of being a surgeon, and cutting another person open were something I could not handle. I understand the great services doctors and surgeons perform, but it is for those who desire it and are gifted for it. So it is with any direction in life. Deciding to pursue something on the grounds that it pays well or that is a family tradition is a poor way to plan your future.
It does take some soul searching, and some knowledge of the creator to uncover the deepest desires of the heart, but in time it will become clear. Objectively, others will tell you, from time to time, what you are good at, and from that you can consider if it is true and if it is something that you want develop.
I had a friend in high school who was the best football player on the team and he had a chance to play college football, but that was not his interest, even though he was gifted in that area. Instead, he decided not to attend college at all and became a police officer. Was that a wise decision? For him it was, because it was something he was interested in and at the same time was a public service that he wanted to contribute.
Learning about yourself and your desires may not always lead you to something that is glorified by society or has a large income potential, but it will lead you to where you belong. It is far better to earn less and get less recognition, if what you do is important to you and is something you enjoy doing. Learn to develop yourself and your gifts.
Do you have plan for your personal development? If not, right now at the beginning of this New Year, or whenever it is when you read this, is the best time to get started. I always like to quote what Jim Rohm said, “We attract success by the person we become.” On my personal development website there are over 600 articles to help you in your personal quest for the better you and there are also numerous other websites that offer you help. So, there is no excuse for not getting started today!
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JimmieBurroughs.com is founded and maintained by Jimmie Burroughs Nashville, Tennessee. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ © 2011 Jimmie Burroughs. All rights reserved