A renown great philosopher, Socrates, once said: “Man know thyself”.
For him, knowing oneself marks the beginning of one’s life. Knowing yourself entails a lot. It means discerning your purpose on earth, your desires, values, interest, skill, worth, ability, aspirations as well as dreams.
Initially, when I heard that little things matter, it made little or no sense to me until I became conscious of certain things in my life.
When I was much younger, I had not discovered myself and because of that I was just living my life haphazardly. I associated with all manner of people- good or bad, I listened to all kinds of music, I watched whatever came my way. In fact, to sum it up, my life was just ‘’anywhere belle face’’ as I didn’t know what I was living for.
Because of the kind of films I watched, the people I associated with and the kind of music I was watching, I started becoming morally bankrupt unconsciously. One of the things I started doing was sagging and bouncing while walking. I internalized those nauseating habits simply because I developed interest in what I was constantly exposed to. I can still recall how my mum would talk and talk but I paid a deafening silence to her, unfortunately. Up till my senior secondary school days, I was still sagging. I can also remember one day in school when a female teacher embarrassed me during devotion after attempting to force my sagging trouser up in the presence of my juniors.
An interesting aspect of it was that I didn’t know why I was doing it and didn’t see anything that was wrong in doing it. Moreover, I just saw the people I admired doing it, so I joined the bandwagon.
By His grace I was refined after some time having discovered what I wanted to make out of life. I became conscious of myself. I became aware of what I wanted to be known for. I defined my values, goals, aspiration, interests among others.
After changing my environment, I met somebody whose outlook I liked. Before I could say Jack Robinson, I started dressing like him. Having realized that I was really amazed. ‘Just because I admire this person, am now dressing like him’, I thought.
With this, life has taught me to be wary of my associates. Life has cautioned me to be careful of the things I expose myself to, as constant exposure will ignite interest or likeness either consciously or otherwise, which will consequently translate into imitation. This is because, according to Steven Covey, ‘if necessity is the mother of invention, then repetition is the mother of retention’.
More so, life has told me to only avail myself with people and things that can only contribute to the realization of my purpose on this terrestrial sojourn. This is why knowing oneself is a sine qua non to leave a life of purpose.
Why You Should Know Yourself By Emmanuel Onoja
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