“Man can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as… from a lack of bread.” – Richard Wright, Native Son, 1940
When I came across this quote from Richard’s Wright “Native Son,” it reminded me of one of my days in the studio on Teen’s Time with Chichi, a motivation programme on Inspiration Fm 92.3 and the topic in focus had been self discovery. Self discovery is something that every individual has to go through and it is simply that process of learning about one’s self and one’s capabilities. It involves gaining knowledge of your own abilities, character and an understanding of one’s self.
While it may sound relatively easy to say that discovering one’s self should be quite easy, it poses a major challenge for a lot of people. Without properly discovering one’s self and what you want out of life, then a person is yet to find a purpose for his existence. I believe you have found yourself the moment you are aware of your own strengths and limitations, you are in sync with that which makes you happy and you let nothing stop you from achieving this happiness. Who we are is different from what others want us to be and in truth as we continue to grow; we would continue to learn new things about ourselves. The self discovery process is a continuous one and we shouldn’t be afraid of trying out ideas of things we believe we can do.
A quote from a movie I saw (can't remember which) has stuck with me;
“Don’t’ let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”
Most people, especially young adults fail to work on ideas and dreams they have simply because they are afraid of failure or the opinion of others. if your passion lies in painting for instance, you do not have to be stuck studying medicine or law just because that is what your parents wants for you. This brings me to the example of a caller that called in during the radio show. He shared his experience of how his father had made him learn barbing and even gone ahead to set him up with his own fully equipped barbing salon. After some years of a joyless profession as a barber he could not take it anymore and going back to his father he handed over the keys of the salon to him in order to go pursue his own dreams. Countless similar stories of such abound in their great multitudes.
In working on discovering yourself, you have to believe strongly in yourself even if the world around you doesn’t. The moment you begin to doubt yourself, you would allow yourself to be suck into other people’s dreams for you and end up living a frustrated dream. It may not be rosy all the way but the hustle always pays off at the end of the day. When you discover yourself, your happiness alone would be proof that you have indeed found your calling in life. Work at it and see yourself grow with time. If you are lucky enough to have people that believe and support you around you then make the best use of them in promoting yourself and having a better life.
There are five simple steps that I think you can follow in discovering yourself.
· - Ask and acknowledge your unique purpose
· - Have the courage to be totally honest
· - Find someone who supports you
· - Embrace change – don’t be afraid to try new things
· - Celebrate – for every little achievement, make sure you celebrate
As you embark on that journey to self discovery remember that “It takes courage...to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.”