Know thyself … then what?

February 22, 2018


Editor-In-Chief | sjg021@latech.edu




Whether you consider yourself a philosophy expert or not, you’ve probably heard the phrase “know thyself” at least once in your lifetime.


Though only two short words, this phrase, made famous by Socrates, carries a heavy weight, but I was sure I had it figured out. I was sure I knew what I wanted out of life, and I was confident I was on track to get there. I was perfectly aligned with my goals and nothing could derail me.


As it turns out, that was not at all the case.


This quarter has been one of extreme growth for me, and to my own surprise, I haven’t been as put together as I led myself to believe.


I have learned that knowing yourself sometimes means confronting certain things — both things you avoid and desire — and deciding whether or not they’re truly holding you back or pushing you forward. Sometimes you have to ask the tough questions: should you confront the things you’ve avoided, and are your desires actually a hindrance?


How do these affect your thoughts and actions, and are they aiding you in being the person you want to be?


In my case, the answer to the latter was no. Many of the things I chased after were not good for me and the things I avoided needed to be faced.


Without realizing it, those things had negatively affected nearly every aspect of my life, and I had to do something about it. Then came the scary part: change. My focus had to shift, and I had to set new goals to achieve and find new objects to desire. I decided to make a conscious effort to confront the things I once avoided daily.


I challenge you to get to know yourself and what captures your attention. What do you desire? What do you avoid? How do these things affect you, and what are you going to do about it?


Once you’re aware of what you pay attention to, you have the freedom to decide what to do next. You can redesign or refine yourself. Or maybe, you will decide the things you have paid attention to have truly been good for you.


Socrates concluded that true wisdom and happiness is found in knowing oneself. Take the time to figure out who you are and what you pay attention to.


Who knows what you may discover about yourself?


Starla Gatson is a senior communication major from Farmerville who serves as editor-in-chief for The Tech Talk.


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