Monday, November 6, 2017

How Well Do You Know Yourself?

How Well Do You Know Yourself?

Living well is more than a skill: it is an art in itself. To live well in this day and age is by no means easy, in spite of the advancement of modern technology. Life itself is complicated and challenging; to live well requires the art of manipulating the skills of living a happy and meaningful life.

To live a happy and meaningful life, you need to know yourself well. That is, how well do you know yourself? That might seem a silly question at first glance. The truth of the matter is that many of us do not really know ourselves, although we think we do.

Carl Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist, once said: "who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes." It is important to look inside in order to discover the ultimate truth of all things, which is the essence of true human wisdom. To truly know yourself, you have to look inside yourself to find out who you really are, not who you wish you were, and what you really need, not what you want.

Eckhart Tolle, the author of The Power of Now, in the beginning of the book, wrote:

“A beggar has been sitting by the side of a road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by. ‘Spare some change?’ mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old baseball cap. ‘I have nothing to give you,’ said the stranger. Then he asked: ‘What’s that you are sitting on?’ ‘Nothing,’ replied the beggar. ‘Just an old box. I have been sitting on it for as long as I can remember.’ ‘Ever looked inside?’ asked the stranger. ‘No,’ said the beggar. ‘What’s the point? There’s nothing in there.’ ‘Have a look inside,’ insisted the stranger. The beggar managed to prey open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief, and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold.”

Indeed, you need to look inside you to ask all sorts of questions in order to get as many relevant answers as possible to find out who you really are.  Asking questions is introspection, which is a process of self-reflection, without which there is no self-awareness and hence no personal growth and development. A static life is never a life well lived. Therefore, asking questions is self-empowering wisdom—a life-skill tool necessary for the art of living well.

Why is that?

It is because the kind of questions you ask determines the kind of life you are going to live. Your questions trigger a set of mental answers, which may lead to actions or inactions, based on the choices you make from the answers you have obtained. Remember, your life is always the sum of all choices you make in the process.

The bottom line: knowing yourself well holds the key to knowing others, as well as understanding the reality of all things; this mindfulness of self  is true human wisdom.

Visit my site: Wisdom in Living to find out more about how to live your life as if everything is a miracle.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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