“Man know thyself” Socrates.
Of all the discoveries and inventions the world has ever witnessed, which is the greatest?
To some it’s the discovery of electricity, to others it’s the discovery of the printing press,
and yet to others, it’s the invention of the aeroplane. The answers are as varied as the
discoveries are numerous. But what really is the greatest discovery of all time? It would
not be in the discovery of electricity or in the discovery of the printing press. It wouldn’t
even be in the discovery of the aeroplane, rather it would be in one’s discovery of
himself. In other words, self discovery is the ultimate discovery of all time because it is
the discovery of self that makes other discoveries possible. But what is self discovery? It
is the knowing of who you are, who you were created to be, and what you are made of. It
means knowing the source of your being, it means discovering the magnitude of the stuff
you carry in the inside of you, it means discovering your passion, gifts, talents and
abilities. In short, self discovery means knowing what your life is all about. Do you really
know much of anything about yourself? To know who you are, you need to spend time
exploring yourself; your passion, gift, talent and abilities.
There’s a popular story of a certain beggar who died of malnutrition and hunger. But
while it may be normal for a beggar to die of hunger, there’s something really striking
about this story. Sometime ago when he was still alive, the beggar was given a nice little
coat by some donor, which he (the beggar) wore all his life until his death. But at his
death, the coat was taken off his body and in it was found hidden, several thousands of
Dollars in large denominations neatly sewn between the linings. The poor beggar wore
this coat until his death without discovering the riches he had within him. How painful!
He was so rich, yet so poor. Many of us parallel the sad story of the poor beggar. Riches
which we never imagined are right within our grasp, yet there seem so far. Research
shows that the average person uses only one tenth of his mental potentials and abilities.
That means there’s still so much about you, you haven’t realized yet. You were endowed
in the womb with unlimited potentials and abilities, so even at your age, you’ve still got
talents that haven’t been discovered yet. When you see yourself in the light of who you
were intended by your creator to be, when you have a glimpse of the latent and immense
power, potentials and extraordinary abilities resident within you, then no one and no
situation will be able to hold you down.
The first step to knowing who you are is to get to know where you’re coming from; the
very foundation and source of your being, the Eternal Power that formed you in the
womb before you were given birth to. In all religions of the world, whether Buddhism,
Confucianism, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Taoism, Christendom, etc, man has always
believed in the existence of a Supreme Being and Power greater than himself, and that
this Supreme Power is Creator and Ruler of the universe. Even an increasing number of
scientists now believe in the existence of a Master Architect, Designer and Creator who’s
obviously nature’s patent holder. Peoples of diverse faiths, religions and beliefs call this
creator God, and affirm that all things, including man proceed from Him. When you see
yourself as a product of this Ultimate Creator and Manufacturer, and that you have
fragments of His infinite power and uncommon potentials in you, you will begin to
appreciate who you are, and no force will be able to stop you.
The knowledge of self will help you see things differently, it’ll help you begin to see
yourself as that great leader, millionaire, businessman, inventor, preacher, musician,
politician, writer, scholar, doctor, sportsman, activist, etc, it is possible for you to
become. The problem with most people is that very often, there spend too much time
listening to what people have to think or say about them. They tend to allow people’s
opinion of them to influence their perception of who there are. But does it really matter
what any body thinks or says about you? Does it even count what people’s assessment of
your abilities and possibilities are? Certainly not! What matters is your ability to explore
yourself and discover who you really are, and the magnitude of the great stuff you carry
in your inside. When you’re confronted by obstacles and doubts, you don’t have to
become fearful and turn away from your goal. All you need do is reassure yourself of
who you are, what you’re capable of doing, and what you’re capable of becoming.
Declare it upon yourself, and when you do this, you stir up certain powers that you never
knew you possessed, and these powers will ultimately leap to your assistance.
When you come to the knowledge of who you are, you’ll be able to know exactly what
you’ve been called to do. When a man doesn’t know who he is, he readily accepts
whatever life hands him. When you see a man who knows for sure what he’s been called
to do, he always insist on what he knows is best for him. If you want to know what you
were created for, spend time exploring your passions, talents and abilities. What is it that
troubles you deeply? What are those wrongs in your society you always wanted to right?
Those mistakes you always wanted to correct? That message you always wanted to
preach? That might just be what you’ve been called to do. Peoples’ callings are often
connected to the things they’re most passionate about. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. was so
deeply troubled by the injustice, enslavement and oppression of African-Americans in his
days that it became the most important cause he wanted to live for. So he began to
preach, organized thousands of people and protested, and eventually the Civil Rights
Movement was galvanized. The same is true of Nelson Mandela of South Africa in the
days of apartheid. Thomas Edison was another man who knew just what he’d been called
to do. He wanted to do nothing else than to keep coming up with as many inventions as
possible, so he set himself the goal of coming up with a major new invention every six
months and a minor one every ten days. When he died, he had about 1,093 patents
registered to his name.
Your calling is more than a job, it’s a passion; it’s the fulfilling of a destiny. That’s why
it’s not just enough to take up some job. Is your job compatible with your passion and
natural ability? When you find your rhythm in life, you won’t need anyone to tell you,
you just know it. It comes naturally. You just experience a certain fulfillment, a feeling of
overwhelming joy that tells you yes! You’re doing the right thing.
The story is told of Rich Steams who graduated from Cornwell University and later took
an MBA from Wharton. Work came easy and over time, he rose to become the CEO of
Parker Brothers and Lenox China. Life was good; he had a big house, fancy cars, nice
family and a secure job, but he lacked fulfillment. Something kept telling him there was
more to him than budgets and flow charts. When in 1998, World Vision invited him to be
their CEO, he saw it as an opportunity to apply his gift of management to his calling. But
he still had to be persuaded, and eventually he accepted the offer even though it meant a
75% pay cut and moving his family across the country. But looking back, Rich Steams
exclaims, “This is the fulfillment of who I was created to be…I’ve found my stride…I
wonder why I waited 23 years”.
In the game of football, players don’t just play anywhere they like. Each player has his
own role or position of strength. When a defender leaves his primary role of defending to
play in the attack, he plays out of position and things don’t go well. In real life, a lot of
people are playing out of position, that’s why they don’t achieve great successes and
fulfillment. But it’s never too late to fall back in position, and play in your area of
strength, gift and passion. Who really are you, and what would be your success story?
Get to know yourself.
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