“If you don’t spend time continuing to educate yourself about yourself, you’re going to lead a pretty damn miserable life.” ~ Nate Lind
Who are you?
The importance of self-understanding is about more than just knowing your likes and dislikes in life; it’s an exercise in investing in yourself and taking the time to discover your purpose and what drives you at your core. Learning yourself is about being mindful, it’s about self-improvement; if you don’t spend time learning about who you are and continuing to educate yourself about yourself, you’ll unknowingly be self sabotaging your own life.
The Importance of Self-Reflection
Understanding yourself goes beyond your name, your job, or your social status. It means grasping what you are in the fibers of your being. And it starts with turning your focus inward to find your personal understanding, so that your actions and decisions are firmly rooted in your unique spirit of self. How you interact with the world around you is an external extension of your relationship with yourself internally. Toxic self-talk and fundamental misunderstandings about who you are and where you’re going can secrete out of you in the form of negative relationships and interactions with those in your circle.
Your values, your morals, your passions, and your bliss are inextricably tied to your attitude, actions, conversations, and communication strategies. Your internal centeredness is the ultimate compass for your actions and decisions, and knowing yourself means you respect your strengths, virtues, and dreams, and you also acknowledge and accept your weaknesses, fears.
Stop segmenting your focus and be mindful of the moment. Be present and tune in to your feelings, your thoughts, and the sensations you are experiencing physically, mentally, and spiritually. There are numerous ways to go about learning how to fully exist in the moment, and you may want to explore as many as you can to find the one that fits your lifestyle and your spirit.
Meditation is a simple place to start. While there are numerous types of meditation to explore, simply taking the time to sit in silence and learn how meditation feels is the best way to begin. In fact, a 2015 article from the Washington Post found through studies by a Harvard neuroscientist that meditation will not only reduce stress and teach you to be more mindful and present, it can actually create positive changes in your brain chemistry. Set aside 15 minutes a day to sit or lie comfortably, close your eyes, and begin to focus your attention on your breath and how your body is moving in sync with your breathing. That focused presence of mind is what you need to begin applying to all experiences and aspects of your life. The more we take on projects and work, and the more we plan and schedule and make to-do lists, the more we live inside of hypotheticals and tomorrows, and miss the beauty and importance of the experiences, people, and moments that are happening right now.
There are plenty of other options for learning to be present including hiking, running, hobbies and pursuits like painting, photography and other creative outlets – But the point here is to hone in on what wipes away your overthinking, and gets you locked into the present.
Help Yourself So You Can Help Others
The goal of being dialed into yourself is so that once you help yourself, you may share your knowledge to help others. In a world sometimes dominated by division, competition, and aggression, we could all use a little more compassion and sense of community. Be the catalyst for change. Centering yourself means you become a balanced human being, and with that sense of balance, you’re equipped (and obliged) to share your wisdom and knowledge with others to help them find their path, find their bliss, and better their own stations in life. Building a tribe and bettering your community is your responsibility. Even Richard Branson agrees, as he discussed in an article from Virgin.com wherein he explains; “We don’t need to look far to see that greed is doing a lot of harm around the world. We’re still emerging from a financial global crisis that is still affecting many people – and business played a huge role in sparking this disaster. I firmly believe that business leaders must act now to avoid repeating such a crisis… Pinpoint where [your] passions and interests lie, then throw [your] support behind aligned causes.”
As T.F. Hodge once so eloquently wrote, “Both friend and enemy reside within us. One lives by the rule of compassion, the other by the rule of hard knocks. Though potential influence of either extreme is inevitable, our actions bear witness to the one we embrace.” Which will you choose?
Learning about yourself means you can unlock your truest passions – And when it comes to business, passion is what drives you ahead. If you don’t know who you are and where you want to go, how can you lead an entire business?