Analysis: KABAMBA MWANSA
A WORTH lived life is one which is reflected upon. Self-knowledge is fundamental in living a purpose-filled-life. Knowing oneself is not an easy road trotted on, just like a worth reflected life. However, the utmost assurance is that a person can come to know
oneself and live a worth reflected life. Many people who have succeeded in life are people who have known themselves and actualized their knowledge of self and identity.
For instance, Bill Gates, decided to take a leave from college knowing that he would succeed in pursuing what he identified himself with, i.e., Microsoft designing. Self-knowledge is the first step to living a purpose-filled-life. Living a purpose-filled-life is the same as living a successful life.
What is self-knowledge? Self-knowledge is the awareness of one’s being, which encompasses the giftedness of the person, hobbies, attitude and the recognition of one’s purpose of existence. Self-knowledge directly links itself with living a purposeful life.
Often time human beings as social beings, we forget ourselves in the things surrounding us. Some people lose their self-identity in wealth, friendships, professions, work, families and social media. Others don’t even know their identity due to so many social, economic, religious and political influence.
Tautologically, identity is what identifies somebody or something: the name or essential character that identifies somebody or something. Identity is the essential self: the set of characteristics that somebody recognises as belonging uniquely to himself/herself and constituting his/her individual personality for life.
Seek yourself knowledge
In order to perfect your self-identity, seek yourself in the things that you treasure most. Seeking yourself is been in cognizance with the things that you can do and those that you can’t do. Seeking yourself is learning to accommodate other people’s ideas and views while sharpening yourself in a person you want to be.
Seeking yourself is learning to questions certain choices and decisions that you make. Seeking yourself includes, questioning your principles, beliefs and values that you identify yourself with. Seeking yourself is questioning why you appear what you are not and yet that is the part which people appreciate about you.
The book of life tells us to seek so as to find. For that reason, to seek is to strive to search for one’s purpose of existence because knowledge comes from finding the answers, and understanding what the answers mean is what brings wisdom.
Self-identity and sense of purpose in a group
Self-identity is categorically particular to an individual. Regardless of the human being social, an individual needs to have a particular identity so as to accomplish its distinct purpose. As it can be perceived in a football team (T-together; E-everyone; A-achieves; M-more).
It takes individual characters and attributes for a football team like our own Zambia under 20 national team to have being a winning team.
Within the team we have individual characters that are well blended to produce a more exciting and passionate winning team. Irrespective of the player who scores, they all come out from the pitch as victors.
Therefore, discovering your true identity is a step towards realising the purpose of your existence and simultaneously becoming a winner in the midst of others. Each player on a pitch knows his purpose.
However, in order for a team to be victorious, it doesn’t only end with the players knowing their individual purposes but also pursuing their purpose and making an extension of what they ought to do where necessary.
Therefore, true identity is personal, it is an inner nature of who you are. Your identity, like your purpose of life ought to be lived in the midst of others. Normally, one’s purpose of life should be shared and it is communal in nature.
Meaning that true identity is invigorated at a more personal level when a person begins to evaluate life with a view of living a purposeful life with others. And to a larger extent, self-identity is maximised in a more social context.
Create a friendship with yourself
Here we need to note that we can identify ourselves with a crowd but it should dawn in us that it is by a dint of our personal identity that a community is formed.
Hence, creating a friendship with oneself entails coming to reality with the self, being able to relate with yourself intrinsically and extrinsically. We have people who fear to be quiet with themselves, most of the time they want to be with others, not realising that they are running away from themselves.
In this generation, it is very easy to live a social or group identity without paying recourse to the self mainly by panting a different image of self. In many instances, a person cannot have time to think of himself because most of the time it is either one is on social media or in the midst of others.
Creating a friendship with oneself is coming to terms with your innermost being so that it becomes the true reflection of who you are. Creating a friendship with oneself is being able to establish a responsible relationship between your individual essential characters with other people.
Creating a friendship with yourself is very important in grasping ones dreams because it imparts on an individual a right disposition towards avenues of achieving the set goals through purpose realisation. It is not justifiable to achieve your dreams through fraudulent means because it spoils your personal character, degrades your identity, destroy yourself rapport and your friendship with others.
John Powell SJ puts it plainly, “full human living is based on three components, like the legs of a tripod. Intrapersonal dynamics, interpersonal relationships and a frame of reference.
A frame of reference, a basic perception of reality through which one integrate, evaluate and interpret real personal events and ideas.” All the three components pointed by John Powell highlight the fact of friendship that emerges from one’s existence.
Frame yourself in the way you want to become
Framing yourself in the person you want to be is part and parcel of identity realisation for you only nurture what is already inherent in you. Therefore, framing yourself in this case simply points to the act of making use of your dominant gift if you are multi-gifted.
The sages would say, “The richest place on earth is the grave, for that is where you will find people who have died with their dreams.” The greatest gift that God has ever given man is the gift of the mind. It is through the operation of the mind that dreams and visions tend to materialise.
As a result, each day we live, it is either we are moving towards fulfilling our dreams or moving away from fulfilling our dreams. So the ideal way of actualising your dream is to own it, touch it and framing yourself towards achieving it. Since a dream is a future realisation, it is imperative that a person begin to frame oneself in a way one wants to become by bringing the future into the day-to-day living.
In framing yourself for your future success, there is a need to live the day as it comes. Living the day as it comes does not denote living a life without goals, planning and objectives. Living the day as it comes necessitates remaining true to oneself while working or pushing one’s future in the present.
Living the day as it comes requires not living an abstract life where someone tends to treasure impractical ideas but treasuring practical life while remaining determined and committed in fulfilling one’s dream. So, living the day as it come implies being honesty with yourself. Setting higher goals is good. However, setting achievable goals is better and is more life fulfilling.
Importance of self-knowledge and self-identity
Self-identity is a very productive in character formation. Categorically, specific personalities suit certain occupations. So it is through an exhibition of self-identity that some people acquire their job.
Self-identity is empowering for it brings out in a person the strengths of definite personalities at work, community and in families. Self-identity and self-knowledge is a basis for the principle of unity in divinity because every society is built on valuing individual identities. Self-identity gives the power to acknowledging ones limitations.
Acknowledging limitation is a strength in the sense that makes one maximise the capabilities. Self-identity helps us to be true with ourselves knowing very well what we can do and what we cannot do.
It follows that the moment you come to the knowledge of yourself and begin to realise yourself-identity, you are already pursuing your success and living a purpose-filled-life. No sooner had you start the journey of realising yourself identity, you begin the exploration of success and happiness. Hence, set goals for pursuing your purpose of your existence through character realisation and self-knowledge.
The author is a pastoral worker.