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Spotlight: The importance of truly knowing yourself

Posted: Thursday, Jan 10th, 2013

ďKnow thyself and thou shalt know all the mysteries of the gods and of the universe.Ēó Author unknown.

How well do you know yourself? Do you know what you value most, whatís most important to you, what makes you happy, what excites and motivates you, what you want out of life, what your purpose is?

I ask these questions because as the new year has started everywhere I go Iíve heard people talking about their new yearís resolutions. Iíve heard people excited about doing something new, or something good for them. Iíve also heard people discouraged because they didnít keep last yearís resolutions. As I have said before, I donít do new yearís resolutions. I set 10-15 goals each year; some of my goals are small and simple, others are complicated and time consuming. Knowing the answers to the questions I asked in the previous paragraph is what helps me come up with my yearly goals.

Iíve found over the years that creating achievable, measurable, realistic, and specific goals is much easier and more productive than coming up with a resolution that people often break. The definition of a resolution is to be determined upon a certain course of action. For example, most people resolve to loose weight. Instead of setting that as your new yearís resolution make a goal to loose 15 pounds in the next six months. Thatís measurable, you can keep track of how well you are doing. This goal is also realistic and it can be done in a healthy way.

Once you set your goals, you must then break them down. You must decide what steps need to be taken and at what time they need to be taken in order to achieve your goal. For example, in order to loose 15 pounds you need to start eating healthier, exercising more Ė which means finding a workout that is right for you and that you will enjoy, hanging out with others who will encourage you to meet your goal, get educated about being healthy, creating healthy habits and so on.

In order to set good goals for the new year you have to know yourself. If you donít know what you value most you might set goals that arenít really in alignment with what is important to you and subconsciously you will fight that goal. For example, if you value time with your family, but you set a goal to make more money and that means working 60-70 hours a week, then you will be exhausted, burnt out, and depressed the entire time. You will be at war within yourself. But if you know that the reason you arenít accomplishing this goal is because it goes against what matters most to you, and itís keeping you from spending time with your family you can adjust. Either find another way to make more money that allows you to spend time with your family, or find ways to spend quality time with your family, even though it may not be very often, or make a new goal.

Another example might be that youíve set a goal to do more this year than you did last year. Well we can all do more, the question is what will you spend your time doing and why? Without knowing what excites and motivates you then you will probably loose momentum on this goal fairly quickly. But if you know that helping others excites you then you can rely on that motivation to keep you going even when your schedule starts filling up and tasks start to become overwhelming. You can always find ways to help others, whether itís at your work, at home, or in your community.

The quote at the beginning of this article says that if you know yourself itís like knowing the secrets of the universe. The human mind, heart, and soul are complicated things. Itís hard to know another person, we canít read their minds, we canít feel what they are feeling, we canít truly understand what makes them tick. For all those reasons navigating relationships is hard work. However, we take on the task of working at relationships because itís important, because the other person is worth the work. Yet, how often do we take on the task of working on ourselves, on the most important relationship we will ever have Ė the one with our self? Sometimes we can say ďI Love YouĒ to another person, but not to ourselves.

I urge you this year to really get to know yourself. Ask yourself, ďWho am I?Ē Every few years I write an ďI AmĒ poem. I start each sentence with I Am and then write down all the things I think I am. Each time I do it I am surprised how much Iíve changed, happy about what has stayed the same, and glad to see how much Iíve grown. I am many things, and many things in my life change, but I will always be: a child of God, a woman, a mother, a daughter, a friend, and a writer. Take time to make your own ďI AmĒ poemĒ and if you care to share it with me I would love to read it. HAVE A GREAT YEAR!

I am poem

By Tori Vigil, 2007

I am a mother of the future

I am a mother of women

I am a dreamer of dreams

I am a seer

I am in touch with spirit

I am a light among many

I am a beacon

I am a voice in a chorus

I am an instrument in the hand of a great musician

I am meek-yet strong

I am quiet-yet my passion speaks loudly

I am humble-but not ashamed

I am who I am because I am that I am has made me

I am poem

By Tori Vigil, 2009

I am a womb of awakening

I am an arrow of acceleration

I am a facilitator of healing

I am a voice of purpose

I am a mind of creativity

I am an instrument of change

I am a window of heaven

I am an open door

I am me

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