Thanks to all of you who keep on visiting here. You motivate me to write ..........even when all I want to do is eat, read blogs and sleep. LOL ................God bless you all
In concluding this series, I will go straight to my fifth L.L.S.F (Lessons Learnt So Far). This one is fairly simple: 'KNOW THYSELF - SELF REFLECTION IS A BLESSING'
This is not an easy task. Indeed, it has been said that 'The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself' (Thales, ca. 624 BC–ca. 546 BC). However, if one is able to do this, it makes so many things in life clearer and dare I say it............a bit easier.
When I say 'know thyself, I refer to knowing who you are including....
- What your family background holds:
All families have secrets and all families have flaws. However, a person can only know his/ her make up if s/he understands more about his/her family. Some people talk about 'generational curse' and how it holds people back. However, I believe more in 'generational stupidity' - when family members repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
Personally, I come from a long line of stubborn, determined women. This can be a good thing or a bad thing...............depending on the circumstances. However, since I know I have this trait, I try to use it to my benefit and avoid situations where this 'stubbornness' can put people off. Knowing your 'family background' does not only relate to common traits and behaviours we share with family members, it can also relate to health related issues. For example if one comes from a family with a history of high blood pressure/ strokes......... it is unwise to drink heavily, eat fatty foods or ignore one's weight.
- What your Weaknesses are:
We all have bad habits and sometimes we can ignore them because they don't hinder us in any way. However, when such weaknesses hold us back, it is imperative we sit up and take notice.
For example, I know a very intelligent man who is great at generating ideas but lacks the determination to follow through these ideas. Similarly, I know a very intelligent young lady who puts people off with her 'I-know-it-all attitude'. While she has 'book intelligence'; she lacks the common sense to realise that others who might not have her academic qualifications might know more than she does................. Again, I know a lady who seems to lurch from one abusive relationship to another. When a pattern is being repeated, it is time to look inwards.
- What your Strengths are:
Yes, it might seem crazy to say one does not know his/her strengths but I challenge YOU to highlight your 5 key strengths.....What 5 things set you apart from others???? This is not easy for everyone. However, it is important to know your strengths because this knowledge is (a) comforting in times of self-doubt; and (b) empowering in times you are challenged.
- What your Limits are:
This is a difficult one because it takes time and maturity for most pf us to realise/ accept our limits. However, I have found that knowing my limits has been key to keeping my sanity.......When to say NO......When to BACK OFF..........When to accept DEFEAT........When to accept SOMEONE will never change............When to accept you cant change OTHERS
I once knew a successful business man who was always being approached by people with one business idea or another. Ninety nine percent of the time, he ignored these people who approached him. When I asked him how he knew which business to invest in and which to avoid, his reply was 'I
stick to what I know' Simple !!!
So, 'Know Thyself'.....Where does one start?????
One of the best tools I have seen used for self reflection is the personal SWOT....which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. When it comes to a personal SWOT, an individual has to answer these questions:
- What are my Strengths?
- What are my Weaknesses?
- What Opportunities exist out there for me to use my strengths ?
- What Threats exist out there that will highlight my weaknesses and cause me to fail/ not achieve my full potential?
I strongly recommend a personal SWOT to all jobseekers and those caught at crossroads (between mutiple choices - of jobs, careers, partners, locations etc) Seriously, it has helped me make some really difficult decisions - especially where I had to consider my strenghts and weaknesses against external factors/ people/ situations I have no control over. If you are interested in carrying out a personal SWOT analysis, do visit here
Before I leave you all, I would like to recap my five lessons learnt:
(1) Knowing one's Locus of Control is important in understanding who/what you allow to shape your destiny
(2) Event + Reaction = Outcome
(3) Recognise your millstones and act accordingly
(4) Be aware of your Personal Brand and how your potray yourself
(5) Know Thyself - Self Reflection is a Blessing.
All I have shared can be summarised in this saying: ' (Darren L. Johnson)
I hope I have made sense. Many thanks for coming back again and again.
May God bless you all