The Person You Will Be In The Future Is Based On Everything You Do Today.

Man Know Thyself; The Only Bold Step To Self-Actualization Is Self Awarness

Martin Heidegger once said that "The worst malady of a man is the forgetfulness of the self".
I'm going to keep this post as straightforward
and formal as possible because my main aim of writing this one is not to ask you about what you know that you can do but actually those ones that you never even imagined you will be the best at.


The Socratic injunction 'man know thyself' has been used for more than 400years before Christ and hitherto, but has not been old enough to show any sign of wears. Rather than being obsolete, it becomes more resonant. Since the ancient history of critical thought, from Greek philosophy, humans have been preoccupied with the desire and quest for knowledge.

Aristotle recognized this natural tendency in man with this assertion: "man by nature seeks to know" (Aristotle, Metaphysica, Bk.1, Ch.1). Human beings seek to know virtually everything; to know about the origin of reality, the ultimate cause of things, the structure of the universe, the functioning or mechanism of the human system, the system of government and governance, the psychology of the human person and so on, but little care to know about themselves, which invariably should be the fundamental preoccupation of every conscious being.

Little wonder why Socrates broke into this philosophical or intellectual malaise with this fundamental mandate: Man Know Thyself (Plato, The Dialogues of Plato, 'Apology'). He latter buttressed it with this aphorism: "an unexamined life is not worth living". The aim of this article is to underline the importance of self knowledge or rather self-awareness in the life of the adolescents of the 21st century who are at their prime age and also to suggest or proffer basic steps or processes which will be useful and instrumental towards achieving meaningful self-awareness, and which will also hopefully and eventually lead them to, not only a successful life, but a fruitful one.


Self-knowledge or self-awareness is simply a quest or curiosity to discover who one really is. It is bringing into the consciousness of a conscious being, who he/she really is. The quest for self-knowledge is a philosophical exercise.

It starts with wonder or curiosity: who am I? Why are my created? What can I do and what can't I do? What are my strengths and weaknesses? and related questions about oneself. These questions are reflective questions which will inspire one to understand oneself better. This self-understanding then becomes a wonderful tool or instrument of self-development.

This exercise is better done by oneself and not others doing it for you. It is also an on-going process in that one cannot say that he/she is completely aware of him/herself at a particular point in life, but it is more important at the youthful age of one's life which is the prime age of life. This exercise is also preferably done in a quiet and serene environment.


It will seem a mere intellectual propaganda or rhetoric should self-awareness be discussed her on a cosmetic basis without proffering reliable or possible ways through which it can be achieved.

The scope of this piece will not an in-depth analysis on the processes of self awareness, but still will communicate the fundamental and key elements necessary for self-awareness, with the acronym DOCILE. The word formed by this acronym is significant in that it represents the most important disposition one must adopt for proper self-awareness process which is being 'docile'. Docility, openness or honesty is essentially needed so that one can penetrate into the depth of one's being in other to unravel, decipher and appreciate it.

D: Stands for Discover your strength and weaknesses: Every human being is a bunch of strengths and weaknesses. This mirrors what Heidegger meant when he said that man is a bundle of possibilities. Your strengths are your positive qualities. The abilities you have gives you advantage to do certain things especially at particular times.

Your weaknesses are your negative qualities so to say. They are your inabilities, your weak points which keeps you at a disadvantage of doing certain things at particular times. One of the important or necessary steps towards discovering your strengths and weaknesses is knowing your temperament/s. Temperament is your personality or nature that makes you act the way you do in certain situations or conditions.

It is the combination of traits we inherit from our parents and other influences from our environment. The heart of temperamental theory was conceived by the Greek philosopher and scientist Hippocrates over 2400 years ago and developed by recent modern scholars such as Tim Lahaye in his famous books Your Temperament: Discover its Potentials and Why You Act the Way You Do. In these books, Tim Lahaye recognizes four major temperaments present in individuals namely Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholic and Phlegmatic.

Each temperament is unique and has its strengths and weaknesses. Although one is not exclusively or entirely in one temperament but one temperament must be predominant in one's character traits. That would then be regarded as the person's temperament.

Below is a brief explanation of each temperament with its strengths and weaknesses.

  • Sanguine :» One is lively, buoyant, likes people around, receptive by nature, emotional, highly extroverted, fascinating story teller, warm and fun loving spirit, feelings rather than reflective thoughts predominate to form his decisions. Strengths -enthusiastic, compassionate, friendly, responsive and outgoing. Weaknesses-emotional, undisciplined, unstable, unproductive, egocentric and exaggerates.

  • Choleric :» One is quick tempered, hot, self-sufficient, very independent, practical, strong-willed, decisive, an extrovert and makes endless ideas, plans and ambitious. Strengths -practical, independent, strong-willed, visionary, productive and decisive and decisive. Weaknesses -unemotional, self-sufficient, impetuous, domineering, unforgiving, and sarcastic.

  • Melancholic :» One is self-sacrificing, gifted, analytic, perfectionist type, a very sensitive emotional nature, somewhat introverted but given to variety of moods, quite antagonistic, at times gloomy or depressed, a faithful friend but don't make friends easily, takes pleasure in fine arts and aesthetics. Strengths -gifted, self-sacrificing, aesthetical, analytical, self-disciplined and industrious. Weaknesses -moody, self-centered, persecution prone, revengeful, moody and unsociable.

  • Phlegmatic :» One is calm, easy going, never gets upset type, almost never becomes angry, easy to get along with, does not easily get involved in activities, almost a timid personality, never seems agitated, has a very capable combination of abilities, appreciates fine arts and beautiful things in life, never easily gets into trouble. Strengths -easy going, dependable, calm objective, diplomatic and organized. Weaknesses -self-protective, timid, procrastinator, stingy, indecisive, worries a lot, and fearful.

Since you cannot be wholly in one temperament, you should first of all discover your dominant temperament and then discover your other strengths and weaknesses which are not included in your dominant temperament.

The aim of this awareness is not to enable you celebrate your strengths or be ashamed of your weaknesses but to enable you utilize your strengths properly and then improve on your weaknesses. You can, instead of allowing your weaknesses to betray you, even transform such weaknesses into strengths in certain situations.


Human beings are not created primarily to be successful (Gen 1:28). 'To succeed' means to achieve a desired goal, whether good or evil, but to be 'fruitful' means to be productive, useful and relevant to yourself and the society. Many of our leaders have succeeded to be I their respective positions today but they are not fruitful or productive to the society. Rather than being useful to the polity, they are wasteful. Many of them ignored the necessary homework of self-knowledge in their early years and then are condemned to life of imitation, mediocrity and fruitlessness. They allowed their potentials as well as leadership ingenuity to lie buried in them.

Self-awareness is very important and indispensable for every serious-minded and promising youth who is ready to live out his full potentials in the future and be fruitful with that gift which is endowed only on him/her for the betterment of mankind. Your gifts or potentials are part of what the world is waiting for, to be a better home for mankind.


Many are still oblivious of the fact that each individual is unique. Everyone is created for a particular purpose which is quite distinct from others. Unless you take the bold step of discovering yourself and knowing why you are created, you will still be lost in the crowd.

Heidegger, would say that being lost in the crowd is living an inauthentic life (existence). The average position is already crowded that one will almost get suffocated if one remains there. Therefore, to be seen, you must have to stand out of the crowd. When you stand out, you become outstanding and when you remain there long enough, then you become a standard for others to emulate and make their model. This begins with taking the bold step of knowing yourself.


  1. wow really intresting, chess players you can read and see that right?

    1. No! The concept of the potters and the chess player is that what they do involves a lot of thinking


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