The Journey Of Self Discovery…Where Do You Start From?


Have you ever asked yourself how good you know yourself? It is a common practice for us all to think we know ourselves, when in fact; all we know is our body.

There is always something new to learn about yourself, even on a dying bed, you would learn something new about yourself.

As I journey through life, I’ve made it a priority to discover myself. Attempting to know another person or anything without first knowing yourself is pretty absurd-it does not work.

The easiest part of ‘self-discovery’ is what I term ‘body discovery or exploration’. Most of us do not even pay much attention to this aspect of self-discovery any more since it is mostly centred on sexual exploration of the body which is common among teenagers and not adults.

Let’s leave the body exploration to the teenagers and those who are seeking maximum sexual satisfaction. I am aware some people can live a purposeful life without this.

The most important part of self-discovery is the pilgrimage to knowing yourself, beyond the body and existing assumptions.

What is the journey of self-discovery at all?

The journey of self-discovery refers to an attempt by certain persons to determine how they personally feel about core spiritual issues (spirituality) and certain priorities in life (important life issues).

Many people who do not embark on this journey have no real idea about themselves; instead they follow opinions of friends, families and groups which they may be members not by conscious choice but by accidents of geography, marriage or societal coercion.

Why should I bother with the journey of self discovery?

I hope you are one of the level-headed people who need to find a real benefit before any pursuit. I will never chase anything for chasing it sake. Life is pretty short and full of other beautiful things so why waste your time chasing something if it is not of any significant important to your survival, betterment and satisfaction?

If there is anything worth a wild deadly chase in life, then it is the journey of self discovery.  Though many jump-start with self discovery as they attempt to achieve self actualization, I believe starting the journey mid way can sometimes make it difficult.

For me, it all starts with self awareness which automatically leads to self discovery and then self actualization.

You must ‘bother’ with self discovery because that is the only way you can achieve your life purpose and maximum life satisfaction-self actualization.

As psychologist Abraham Maslow noted, there are a small group of people in this world who are happier, more fulfilled, ambitious, tend to have better relationships and live life with more “peak experiences”. These people have love, joy, bliss, spiritual connection, creativity and more at their finger tips.

This group of people are able to handle life with more confidence and capability. They’ve got all these and are at peace with themselves and others because they have achieved self-actualization, having gone through the journey of self-discovery.

Though every person has the tendency to have all of the above, about only 1 percent of humanity ever achieve this wonderful level of fulfilment, Maslow stated. This mean, just a few of us are able to really live a satisfactory life. And to think it is FREE makes it unreasonable.

However, with the recent increase in human enlightenment being pursuit by smart and conscious people, more people are gradually empowering themselves to become “self-actualized” via self-discovery.

The only way to achieving inner peace, positive spirituality, experience true love and joy, happiness, bliss and find your life purpose is through the journey of self discovery.

If you do not know yourself, how would you know what you want, want you are capable of achieving and what is the hidden purpose of your existence?

How do you start a journey of self discovery?

Self awareness

Self discovery is a personal journey which must be taken on individual basis. However, there are guidelines and ways to get you unto the right path. Once you are on the path, the discovery and wonderful experience or feeling would lead you through.

For me, awareness is the first step to self discovery. The moment you begin to take not of things, you will understand why they happen, why you feel what you feel and why you behave as you behave.

This is where self discovery starts from…

With this awareness which leads to understanding, you will gain freedom, zeal and opportunity to change those things you would like to change about yourself and newly create those you want.

Without knowing who you are as a person, self acceptance and change become impossible. You will mostly find yourself in a confused state; wanting this today and not wanting it again tomorrow.  This is because you do not really know who you are to establish even what you want.

Be enlightened

Since self discovery is greatly a mind work which involves probing your psyche and emotional depths to understand things and be able to ascertain how you feel about these things on your own terms, being opened minded opens the first door.

The personal concept of self discovery allows for mentorship, help and search for knowledge.  Like any other journey in life, you must educate yourself on self discovery and be slowly ushered into it by those who have taken the lead.

Take a little time each week to find out or read about self discovery.  There are thousands of articles, books, audio and other materials out there which can help you make that big leap to achieving absolute happiness, comfort and spirituality. This blog (TopVincent.Com) is a good starting point…

For a start, look through your favourite book store or library for self discovery books which will bring you to understand and prepare for the journey. You can also search online for self discovery and self actualization related articles.

Remember, everything starts with knowledge. How much you know and how much you are ready to learn determine how far you can go in life.

Experiment with spirituality

One way or the other, all of us are religious or have some sort of spiritual belief.  To me, being religious is about having a belief and also, not having a belief.  So if you believe there is God, you are somehow religious and if you do not belief there is God, that is also a religious/spiritual statement. For you to come to the latter conclusion, you must have considered the former.

When it comes to self discovery, experimenting with spirituality is the key. We are to a large extent shaped by religion and we have accepted various religious answers as the ultimate.

You can only ‘find yourself’ when you make a conscious decision about the things that define you instead of having been indoctrinated into it.

When it comes to self discovery, those who are by default ahead of us all are those who have changed religions-those who have experimented and have decided what they think is good for them.

I always ask, how do you know what is the best for you when all you know is just one?

You can start your journey to self discovery through spiritual enlightenment by visiting a church, a mosque, synagogue, or another place of worship-to learn about their side of things.

Seek answers to spiritual questions. Do not accept answers because the Bible or Quran says so.  Remember, self discovery is about forming your own opinions, living by your own terms and see things in your own eyes.

You can begin your spiritual experiment by asking questions like this;

Do I believe in God? If not, how do I believe the universe was created and how does it operate? Why do I believe that?

Why am I a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or whatever religion you belong to. Would I belong to a different religion if I was born in a different country or to different parents?

How has my childhood effected my beliefs about God/or lack of God?

What don’t I like or agree about my religion and why?

Why do others belong to different religions? Is theirs the best and why?

Self acceptance

Many of us have lived our entire lives like movies-playing roles. Self discovery contrasts with any sort of pretence and lies. Being truthful to yourself is a fundamental requirement to self discovery and eventually, self actualization.

Accepting who you are is difficult because there may be things you wish you were not or wish you were. If you are a freak, accept it. That is what you are and until you accept it, you will never achieve that inner peace needed to continue on the journey.

If you are a woman and you like other women or a man and you like other men, you must accept who you are to be able to move forward and be at peace with yourself.

Until you are at peace with yourself, you cannot be at peace with the bigger world.  Why don’t you just take time to think about what you think you are and what you wish you were? By knowing what you are, you may be able to build on it to what you wish you were.

But you must first accept what you are today in order to become what you wish/want tomorrow. Without honesty, there will be no self discovery so be honest as to who you are…

Engage in quiet thinking and ask the big questions

To be able to find anything purposeful in life, you must look/seek for it.  In order to be at peace with yourself and the world, you must seek for that peace through understanding.

Contrary to the thinking of many, you do not have to go and sit under a tree in some forest to be able to find ‘truth’ as Buddah did. Though the environment is important, it is not as important as what you seek and the sort of questions you ask.

Sometimes, it is good to forget all you have been told or taught and ask yourself questions to see how your mind would form its own answers (consistent or alternative to what you already know).

This mind activity opens you to possible change of understanding and assists in your journey to discovery. This way you will be able to understand yourself and even how others possible think.

Ask yourself random questions like;

Are you living your life to the fullest?

What happens to the things around you when you sleep?

What is love?

What is moral?

Why do people hurt others who sin?

If there was no God, would everyone sin or others would still be good?

Connect with people who are on a similar journey

You are able to confront your fears better if you know someone has successfully done it or is standing by yourself. The journey of self discovery would bring you to many unfortunate and hard to deal with TRUTHS.  Though they are true, you many have difficulty in taking them on board or embracing them.

With others by yourself, you can tap into their experience, advice and courage to overcome these burning truths.

Find out other people who are on this all important journey. Find blogs, forums, books or groups that you can relate to and share your experience with them.

You can also connect with others by helping them. Here, you can use the strength you have gathered through your journey to help those who need it.

Using the comment box below, I would like to hear from you on these;

What how do you know yourself?

How much do you understand yourself and others?

What are some of the big questions you ask yourself and what answers do your mind on its own produce?

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Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri, Esq
I am a Hedonist, Contrarian, Traveller, Lawyer, Atheist, Thinker, Writer, Minimalist & a Professional Truth Sayer.

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