Imagine being born into this world and you already knew exactly who are you and what you want to accomplish in life. You knew about your passion, you knew where you strengths are and you knew exactly what you want out of life, do you think you will accomplish better results and achieve greater success?
Everyone wants to know their inner calling, and that includes me. We know that if we only know exactly what we want and where we can shine, we will do so much better in life.
Albert Einstein once said this:
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Not everyone can be Bill Gates and not everyone can be Michael Jordan. Sometimes, you try hard and you work extremely hard, but if your destiny is not there, no matter how hard you try, it seems impossible to achieve the result you want.
You have to understand yourself and know your strengths. If you are fish and you enter into a competition to climb a tree, there is no way you can win.
And this is exactly what is happening to most people out there. They get into the wrong career and they thought that it is what they want because they see other people are very successful there.
So they follow the footsteps of other people instead of following their own path. They try hard in the beginning, but eventually, they find it too difficult to produce the amazing result they desire.
In the end, they will throw in the towel and they quit. They give up on their dreams and they give all kinds of excuses.
The worst is that they have spent most of their time and their life working on something that is not what they truly want; something they thought they can shine on but they can’t.
Learn To Unleash The Greatness Within You
Have ever have this kind of feeling? Feeling inferior and powerless?
So this article is here to help you to discover yourself. Why do you want to discover yourself in the first place?
The answer is simple; if you want to be successful and accomplish remarkable results in life, you need to know yourself.
“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” – Lao Tzu
Abraham Lincoln once said that if you give him 6 hours to cut down a tree, he will spend the first 4 hours sharpening the ax.
This simply shows the important of knowing yourself and knowing your skills. You want to know where you can shine. You want to discover your strengths and you want to know yourself.
If you are given 10 years to achieve the success you want in life, probably you may want to spend a year or two to discover yourself and lay the right foundation.
Sadly, most people never spend a minute to think about their future. They never really put in serious thoughts to think about what they really want in their lives.
No wonder most people are living in mediocrity and are going nowhere.
Below are the 7 simple steps that can help you to discover yourself. Go through each step and follow the action steps recommended.
After going through some of the exercises suggested, you will feel lighter and you will feel more enlighten.
1. Disconnect and Get Into Solitude
The first thing you need to do to discover yourself is to get away from this noisy world. You want to disconnect yourself from the world and get into solitude and stay in your world.
Albert Einstein discovered the theory of relativity while he immersed himself in his on the world. He was in complete solitude. It is said that he was standing by a train track watching the train traveling passed him.
It was that time that he realized that to him the train was moving, but to the people on the train, he was the one that seemed to move.
The same goes for Isaac Newton who discovered the Law of Gravity. Well, according to studies, Sir Isaac Newton was sitting in his garden doing nothing and day dreaming. And suddenly he saw an apple fall to the ground.
And that made him think about the apple and the forces of nature. That was how he discovered the gravity.
Therefore, if you want to discover yourself, you must spend time in solitude and alone. Switch off your phone, take a walk in the park, sit in the garden like Isaac Newton, take a long thoughtful travel or practice meditation.
Whatever you do, you must be calm and get away from all the distractions around you. You want to be in a calm and peaceful state and not in a fearful or lonely state.
No matter who you are, you need to spend time alone from time to time. You want to let your mind goes wild and dream whatever possible.
This is why meditation works, and research has proved that meditation can calm your mind, boost your creativity and relieve your pressure.
What You Can Do:
Schedule a free time for complete solitude. You can time-block 15 or 30 minutes to do this. Get yourself completely off the distraction and get away from your work.
Just let your mind do the thinking and see where your thoughts will lead you. You can practice meditation if you want to.
2. The Self-Discovery Questions
Anthony Robbins says:
“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”
Everything you do in life and every thought you have in your head is a result of the question you are asking yourself.
Every day when you wake up, you will start asking a ton of questions to yourself. “Should I wake up now”, “Can I sleep for another 5 minutes”, “What should I take for breakfast later”, “Is traffic doing alright today”, “What should I do later”, etc.
Thus, if you ask the right question, your mind will search for the right answer.
What you need to do to discover yourself is to ask some self-discovery questions. Take out a piece of paper or your notebook and get ready for some writing.
You may want to spend 30 minutes to an hour here for this exercise. If you do not have the time now, you can come back to this later, but I can assure you that you will never come back and do this anymore.
Most people are good in procrastinating important things that will help them in life. Instead, they choose to do something that is more pleasurable but is not helpful to them.
So I suggest you to do this right now if you are serious about discovering yourself.
What You Can Do:
Do this exercise right now and write down your answer.
- If you are rich and had all the money in the world, how would you spend your time and your life?
- Describe how your perfect day looks like.
- What do you love to do, what are your hobbies and what makes you feel passionate in life?
- What makes you feel joyful in life?
- What are the things that make you lost the sense of time and completely get in the flow?
- If you can live your life once more, what would you do differently?
- What are the things that you regret that you did not do? Would you do it if you can turn back time?
- What do you like about yourself and what would you like to change?
- Do you see yourself as successful? Why and why not?
- Write down 101 goals that you want to accomplish before you die.
It may take you longer to complete this exercise. This is important because you want to learn to understand yourself more. If you do this exercise right now, it tells you that you are serious about knowing yourself.
If you delay and do this exercise and choose to do it later, you know that this means something to you too.
If you just read through and do nothing at all, it shows your characteristics. While there is no right or wrong, what we want here is to discover ourselves.
Review and read through what you have written down. Trust me, you will be amazed and feel good after this.
3. Seek Inspiration
Another way to discover yourself is to constantly seek inspiration. The easiest way to do this is to read a book.
Previously, I have written an article on why reading is important. You can check out the post and I also shared the books I love to read there.
When you read, you are training your mind to imagine in pictures. This is totally different than watching TV. When you watch TV, the sound and the image are already there.
So your mind will do nothing much but just follow through the movie and enjoy the show. However, when it comes to reading, your mind has to put the words into sentences and visualize the picture in your head.
This will make you more creative and inspire you to think.
Furthermore, when you read, you are reading what the author’s thoughts. You are reading someone’s life and the experience he went through.
Imagine reading books from remarkable people like Einstein, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, etc.
You will get inspiration from them and to reflect it in your life.
Another way to seek inspiration is to question everything you encounter in life. Ask yourself any question you want and be curious.
When you are drinking coffee, ask yourself why you are doing that, ask yourself why coffee and not tea, ask yourself why the location, why now, or whatever question you can think of.
Seeking inspiration usually comes when you are in a totally relax state and a thought will suddenly hit you. This is your ‘Eureka’ time.
What You Can Do:
Make it a habit of reading books. Humans are creatures that can learn and evolve. Hence, you must be hungry for knowledge and be curious with life.
You can start by reading articles from the internet like this one. Or you can grab a book to read whenever you want.
It does not mean that you will fully understand yourself by just spending 30 minutes of reading. It is a continuous process where you need to do it consistently every day.
4. Discover New Things
Do you know that you can learn more about yourself from discovering new things?
Traveling to a country that you have never been before or doing something that you have never done before will give you fresh insights and ideas that will spark your life.
This is why studies have shown that people who travel more are more decisive, they know what they want, they can handle the unexpected situation properly, more daring and have a better experience in life.
When you see new things, you widen your perspective, and you put in something new into your mind.
Imagine if you work in the same company, at the same position, living in the same place, and doing the same thing for 50 years, how do you feel?
This is why you need to discover new things from time to time. Visit a place you have never been before. Do something new like getting yourself a dog, visit the museum, go hitch-hiking, attend a business seminar, etc.
You want to inject yourself with freshness and possibilities constantly.
When you are feeling lost and have no idea what you want to do with your life, do something different and new. Try out new things and be open.
Adopt the ‘shotgun’ mindset scatter around until you find what you want to do with your life. If you have never tasted Japanese food before, how can you tell if you like it?
The answer is simple, just try it and you will know.
How can you know if a career is suitable for you? Apply the same concept, just try it. Of course, you do not have to immerse yourself fully into it, sometimes by talking to someone who works in the industry or read about it, you will get a glimpse of how you will feel.
If you want to start a business selling pies, and you are not sure if this is what you want, just get a job in a similar restaurant and work there for a few weeks or a few months.
You do not have to spend all your hard earned money into the business to test the water. You can experience it by taking a job there.
This is what Harv Eker, the author who wrote Secrets of The Millionaire Mind, did when he wanted to know if the business is right for him.
What You Can Do:
Try out new things at least once a week. For instance, you can use a different route to work, you can dine in a new restaurant you never been to, you can read a book on a different topic, visit a new place, talk to someone from different industry, etc.
The key is to try out and learn as many things as possible. You want to discover yourself and find out your destiny here.
Thus, be open and get ready to experience the thing called life.
5. Serve and Help Others
In my previous article, Successful VS Unsuccessful People, I shared that if you want to have the unlimited motivation, you must be driven by a vision that is bigger than yourself.
When you have a vision so big that it will influence and change people’s lives, you will have a stronger purpose in life.
This is why people like Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa and Mahatma Gandhi are able to go against all the odds and fight for a bigger cause.
When you serve and help others, you will discover something different that will change your life and the people that you help.
Jack Ma once said that when you help others, the change does not only happens to the person that you helped, but it happens to you too.
Do you know that after you have helped someone, you will feel extremely fulfilled and satisfied? You will be happier because you have done something good and you have touched someone’s life?
You don’t have to save people’s lives or donate all your money in your bank to feel this. A small, simple act of kindness can help you go through your day and discover yourself better.
For instance, you can smile at strangers, and I’m sure they will return the favor and smile back at you. You can donate just $10 a month if you don’t have the budget. Visit the orphanage and help out with charity work. Or simply just pick up rubbish by the road can make you feel good.
If you have never done any of these before, you should try it. When you do good deeds, you will discover something deeper about yourself that you might not know.
One of the keys to becoming successful in life is to help and serve others. In business terms, it is often called creating values.
You create a better product to solve people’s problems. And when you do that, you are creating value to someone’s life.
This article you are reading right now is creating some form of value to you. You may feel lost, and you don’t know what to do, but somehow you come across this article, and you read it. I’m creating value to your life.
The computer or the smartphone you are using to read this right now is connecting you and me. The people who created these devices are creating conveniences to people. That is why they are successful because they helped others and solve people’s problems.
What You Can Do:
Commit yourself to serving and helping people each day. You can start small by saying “Good morning” to people you meet in the lift. You can help people to open the door or hold the lift for them.
Smile more at people and let them return the favor. Help whenever you can. Pick up the rubbish and do more good deeds.
You can discover your inner calling through helping others. Who knows maybe you will discover that you love to sing and entertain people, and you may end up becoming the next Michael Jackson.
6. Communicate with Positive Minds
Here’s a very powerful way to discover yourself, through connecting yourself with other successful people.
I believe you have heard the saying, “Birds of the same feather flock together.”
So when you network and communicate with people who have a clear vision and know exactly what they want in life, their thinking will influence you, and they can show you the way to finding yourself.
If you want to be a swan, don’t swim with the ducks. You will become who you mix with most of the time.
Therefore, if you want to be successful and chase your dreams, network with those who have dreams and who are successful. Let their positive thinking charge you and guide you.
Furthermore, when you mix with people who are doing much better than you, you will be introduced to the greater possibility of what you can accomplish.
It is like what I have mentioned above; you need to discover new things to widen your perspective. And when you mingle with other successful people, their remarkable results will inspire you and give you directions of what you need to do to reach higher in life.
What You Can Do:
Get yourself a mentor, a coach, and network with other successful and positive people.
Try to mix with other people that you have always been with. Network with new people from other industry and learn their thinking.
You can attend seminars and workshops to get to know other people who have similar thoughts as you.
Apart from that, you can join groups and forums on the internet to get to know more people. There are many sources available to you online; even Facebook has groups that may fit your criteria.
7. Follow Your Intuition
Finally, to discover yourself, you must follow your intuition and your heart. It is difficult to hear your inner voice sometimes, and this is especially true for people who think more logically.
The more you listen to your intuition and the more you follow it, the more powerful it can be. It is like a muscle; you can practice and train your intuition to grow stronger.
Your instinct is God given, and everyone has it. Without instinct, we will be just like a computer, acting and doing everything base of dead facts.
You have to listen to your gut feelings at times. And I believe that you had come across a situation when a problem occurred, and you listen to your intuition, you do something different and solve the problem.
Do you know that Steve Jobs was someone who used his intuition quite often? He listened to his gut feeling and made decisions in his business. He even went to India to discover himself and search for his purpose in life.
Sometimes ideas and solutions will just pop in your head; those are your instinct at work. In the old days, we called it “Eureka”, and today, we simply called it your “aha” moment.
For example, imagine your friend approaches you and invites you to invest in a business. You did your research and found nothing wrong with the business; in fact, it seems like a good investment opportunity.
But somehow, your gut feeling tells you to hold on because you just ‘feel’ that something is not right. After a couple of days, it turns out that the business is a scam, and you feel lucky that you listened to your heart and did not jump into the business.
Of course, your intuition does not only apply in the business field; you can also use it in every area of your life.
Learn to listen to your heart and use your intuition to discover yourself.
What You Can Do:
Meditate and spend time thinking . Studies have shown that meditation can boost your instinctive ability and make you more creative. When you spend time alone thinking, you will get closer to yourself.
Practice journaling. Write down your thoughts and record down whatever you came across in your life. Put down your challenges, emotions and whatever thoughts into writing, you will find that this is a great self-discovery activity.
Get away from the situation. When you feel lost and not sure what to do, just step away from the problem and let your subconscious mind performs its magic. When you step away and do something totally unrelated, it calms you down, relieves your stress and makes you more creative.
I don’t have the answer what you can accomplish and what you want to do with your life, only you can answer that.
Everyone’s life and destiny are different, but somehow, we intersect here at this article because I published my writing and you are here to read it. And I appreciate your time for this.
There is no perfect or right way how to discover yourself. All you can do is to follow the steps suggested above and start listening to your heart.
How do you know what you are doing is right, and it is your calling? Well, I will have to use one of my favorite quotes from the movie Finding Nemo to answer this.
“You never really know, but when you know, you’ll know. You know?”
If you like this article, do share it to enlighten others.
Do you think this article is helpful? Have you discovered yourself? Share your thoughts with me in the comment section below.