We seem like a society that is content with giving ourselves over to strangers. At times we ask anyone that will listen to help us with our lives. We ask them to give us direction and tell us what to do. We need to command ourselves in order to be truly happy; we need to know every intricate detail of the empire that is us. When we know ourselves we gain this freedom that Pythagoras eludes to and this freedom is vital for us to be happy.
When we have explored and examined ourselves, deeply and authentically, we create a stronger connection with ourselves. We know how we feel and why we feel it. We become comfortable in who we are, we know why we are doing the things we are, and we start to stand for something.
It is the beginning stages of developing the tools to be truly happy. When we don’t know ourselves, who we are and what we want, we can become a product of our environment- a leaf that gets blown each and every way until it lands in a big pile of mud, and gets stuck. Spending time in solitude, self-analysis, quietude and deep, thorough exploration gives us the space we so badly need to get to know ourselves, our sufferings and our desires. This is where we realise an all-important life lesson - happiness starts and ends right here with us.
We should add to Franklin’s wisdom by saying we should not only observe ourselves most but observe ourselves first. This is a valuable stage in knowing ourselves, and our happiness, when we finally turn the focus from others around us and turn it onto ourselves.
This strong, internal connection is vital for us to be happy. If every time we are challenged, instead of looking outward, we can sit with ourselves, our connection becomes stronger and stronger. We will continue to find roadblocks to happiness if we fail to build a solid home within us first. The philosophers said it in Ancient Greece, know thyself, and it is more important today than ever before. The modern world preys on lost souls and if we don’t want to be pulled every which way with little control over the direction in which we head, then it is time we look within.
Do You Ever Ask Yourself How Am I?
We leave our emotions and feelings unattended and those feelings that aren't positive get stronger and stronger and simply become a well-engrained habit. We need to sit with ourselves, free from distractions, for just a few minutes each day to ask ourselves how we are going. We throw "how are you" out to everyone around us but we never actually truly answer it for ourselves. By opening up this conversation we can see if certain things are weighing us down, if certain times, places and people are affecting us more than we know.
Get To Know Yourself in Just 5 Minutes
Spend 5 minutes writing down everything that comes to mind about how you are. It doesn't matter if you aren't a good writer, just write how you feel - simple.
Feel free to use, or not to use, the following questions to stimulate thought and to delve deeper into how you really feel. When do I feel most alive? What am I passionate about? What are my best memories? What makes me sad? What makes me angry? When do I lose control of my emotions? Which friends/family/co-workers bring positivity and joy to my life? Which ones add negativity and strife? What daily activities add value to my life? What daily activities bring pain and suffering?