At the ‘Temple of Apollo’ entrance in ancient Greece, pilgrims were welcomed by the inscription ‘Know Thyself.’ The Chinese maxim 知彼知己，百战不殆 captioned in the ‘Art of War’ means “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” According to Socrates, “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.” Benjamin Franklin wrote knowing one’s self is as hard as a diamond. The most learned people of history emphasized a lot to learn and discover:
‘Who are you? What potentials are you holding? What is the purpose of your living on earth?’
Some words are written on my visiting card as my identity and address, which are only helpful for strangers to find me in the crowd, but that does not answer ‘who am I.’ Maybe, You are a renowned doctor, an engineer, or a musician, but that only speaks about your skills or ways to earn a livelihood.
Our name, fame, pride, and glories are always measured in terms of our social standards where we live. The standard of our success is determined by the ever-dynamic perception constantly floating in our environment. But our existence must have some definite standard in meaning. In our natural world, we find everything is designed and coordinated with gigantic yet absolute precision. Every living being or non-living object, big or small, has meaningful impacts on the ecosystem. Every element seems connected in this universe and has precious reasons to exist in this mega system. So, what is the purpose of our life on earth as human beings? Indeed, answers to these questions can enlighten you with a more substantial power of motivation and assist in finding the most appropriate ways to reach your dream.
Presently, most people want to be happy and engage in numerous amusement activities in their ordinary mindset. Like the American dream, pursuing happiness has become the core life goal in almost all societies of the world today. Generally, satisfaction or happiness is related to some sensory pleasure. It is simply similar to all human beings and primarily moment-specific. We can find happiness by having a good meal, enjoying favorite pieces of music, breathing pleasant fragrances, living in comfortable weather and shelter, physical presence with beloved ones, and engaging in different physical or mental habits. These are the elements to satisfy our biological necessities, and we earnestly pursue day and night to attain those feelings to become happy.
The materialistic motivation of the modern lifestyle is constantly keeping us engaged with more and more consumption activities. As a habit, we are only counting on our temporary sensory pleasures. Traveling on the way of life, we pass our time, and one day we leave the world like many other creatures. But the question remains unsettled:
How can the best animal of this universe remain ignorant about the cause of his presence in the world and die happily?
Hopefully, only wise people can comprehend that humans have a higher purpose in their lives other than eating, drinking, being dominant, mating, and dying. These people pursue the most appropriate connotation of life and engage themselves to find the meaning of ‘know thyself.’
People may explain that learning about own interests, motivations, skills, specialty, own emotional frames, awareness of own limitations is all about the meaning of ‘know thyself.’ That may be true, but neuroscience has now opened up new opportunities to study and learn about our feelings and its neurobiological origin. Often we find that our characters are defined by the bundle of physical and mental habits. But again, human habits are the subject to build and modify; therefore, human characters also seem dynamic. It means our identity and spirit change over contexts and our habit frames. Scientific studies also show that individual emotions influence human choices, behaviors, and attitudes. But, it is also evident that psychological training can regulate most human emotions. In the era of free media, we often find our life choices, opinions, likings, sense of honor, pride, and vales are constantly getting modified and sometimes even undergoing definite manipulation. We see people can attain certain specific skills through constant hard work and cross all limitations through willpower.
It means self-awareness is not only limited to an understanding of own behavior, choices, strengths, weaknesses, and emotions, but also a meta-awareness of the neuro-biological techniques through which those choices, behavior patterns, habits are manifested.
Apart from pursuing happiness, people also look for tranquillity in their life. They want spiritual fulfillment in terms of both physical and emotional wealth. But in the current lifestyle, predominantly, we suffer from limited vision and remain unconscious of the most appropriate sources of spiritual fulfillment. Some people pursue name, fame, and glamour to satisfy their spirits. Some dedicate their lives to inscription their names on stones of history. Some also seek spiritual serenity through making footprints of their impacts.
Nevertheless, only a few people search for a higher vision in life; they pursue truth and wisdom. Only a few people look for spiritual calmness that largely depends on adherence to the highest codes of humanity, value-based living, and a deep engagement for the ultimate truth. As a leader, you are obligated to pursue more remarkable principles and valued virtues in life as they possess higher consciousness. You need to uncover your true self and enlighten others as your leadership objective. To enjoy a meaningful life and help others, you should pursue wisdom keeping away all prejudices. Learn not only through logic but also learn the power sources of those logic senses. Indeed, knowledge is an endless deep ocean. Enjoy the voyage on the knowledge of the truth. Three maxims of ancient Greek say “know thyself,” “nothing to excess,” and “certainty brings insanity” have some profound hidden wisdom that can perhaps help you to earn spiritual fulfillment. To comprehend own life and its purpose, try to unearth the answers to the following fundamental questions:
How do human character and personality grow?
What is the source of inner force in the core of the human mind that moves us?
How to unlock the warehouse of our potential?
Hopefully, appropriate answers to these questions will help unfold many truths about your life. Leaders may find new methods to study elements that influence human motivation. Learning the answers to these questions, people may find new opportunities to enjoy a beautiful life. Leaders can find a new spirit to lead, society can find stability, and this blue planet hopes to find new age of peace.
Keep yourself hungry for knowledge. Engage yourself in learning the truth; take a lesson from the quote as Plato said, “I know that I know nothing.”