Having lived one fourth of my life now( please do not try guessing my age) I understood that one can understand various subjects, different complexities in different subjects but the most important one is often the most neglected…Understanding your own self. Our modern day education system makes you ready to face a world with information and facts on topics relevant to the entire world. You can debate, discuss and be called an intellectual. People may applaud you for your achievements you may be on a high and may run after these laurels when you are not in the limelight. For urban humans life becomes too busy with gadgets that link you to the rest of the world within no time and you stay connected to all, are available to all at any point of time. We are interested in global issues, relationship issues, we want to be updated on the latest in the news for we cannot chance being called stale in the market. All through our lives, we focus on things other than one…our own self. Here, I am not referring to the phenomena of being self centered. At this point I remember an interpretation from one of Ayn Rand’s books- Self less are those who do not have a Self to assert!
We can afford to talk on politics, what’s right with US of A and wrong with us, why the neighbourhood Mrs Sharma is not losing weight and so on and on…it is endless. Tremendous is our ability to absorb things around, form an opinion and throw it out at the first chance offered or grabbed to do so…Thoughts come to a halt and there seems a vacuum in words when one is asked to talk about his own self other than the routine of name, social role(mother/father), organization associated with, education and the likes. One thing or area we have never given thought on is “Self awareness” . When asked to talk about themselves, college guys and gals ponder, adults are quizzed. We always tend to be at the periphery of our own understanding, sometimes assuming this is not important or our attempts to reach to the self were traumatic.To understand oneself, one needs to spend time with himself, which means staying away for a while from the rest of the hustle-bustle and Listening to yourself, talking to yourself, observing yourself and then keeping a track like you would do with any other subject. My experiences tell me that this subject is the most difficult for many of us who have grown on others’ minds and still do. Understanding your own self will also lead you to responsibility for your own self, your thoughts, your actions , in a confused state you may place the blame someone else. There is also another set of beings who pretend that they know themselves very well but when asked “ why you made a particular choice” they would not be in a position to answer the reason. A recent example is a relative of mine who always shoos away any question on his decisions and wears a tag of “I know what I am doing”. He tends to get influenced by people around him, cannot stand smallest of trying times. While deciding on a particular thing, he is full with the confidence someone else has momentarily induced in him and he falls flat on the ground when he does not find his own. There could be many reasons for this behaviour of his but one of those for sure is that he does not understand himself.
When we make an attempt to know our own self, we become aware of why we behave the way we do and can also work at modifying some of our behaviours if need be. Feedback is easier to either accept or refute if you know what you are and what you stand for. Attempts at self understanding also make u realize time and again that you are not perfect but you are of a particular type which may or may not be liked by another person. It then becomes easier to accept so called rejections in life. Be it from a person or an organization. It is often people who are unaware of their self that they assume perfection. The more you know your own self; you respect it and also another person’s individuality. In a personal or professional relationship you would know when you complement someone, what to do in case you are put up with someone whom you do not gel with etc etc.
Understanding yourself goes beyond knowing your favourite food, holiday destination etc… It is to know at a primary level, what are your innate talents, what interests you the most, what are the values you live by or what is it that you value the most in your life, are you more of a people’s person or you tolerate them when needed or to what extent you can tolerate them, are you a believer or a non believer in people at the first instance? Many a times we follow a herd mentality and lose our self. This begins at a very early stage in our life when we enter college/ university. We clearly see that some of our friends enter the stream with parents’ choice, some because they did not know what else to do and a fewer little who know that this is the place for them to be. There was a a friend of mine who scored 80 % marks in 10th standard and chose to go for Arts. Most of the teachers, other parents were amused at his choice. When asked, the boy would say I know that I want to get into Acting and hence the choice. It could be by the virtue of his upbringing that he had that clarity at such an early stage. Having this clarity only helps you and the people around you, for, then you turn in to a secured individual.
Why wait for a time when you feel lost simply minting money like a machine?? Start by giving yourself some time in a week or fortnightly. Devote it to your own self, after all the one person who is always going to be with you for your whole life is You! Noting down ten things you cannot live without, Life the way you want it…Discuss it with your friends or someone who accepts you unconditionally, make use of psychometric instruments like JOHARI’s window,MBTI( Myer Briggs Type indicator), FIRO B( Fundamental Interpersonal Relationship Orientation).
Go ahead, invest some time in understanding, growing, nurturing your self! You may then be in a better position to nurture someone else betterJ