Once you know yourself, everything changes. You have more confidence. You are happier in your own skin. You cannot be side-tracked or feel shiny object syndrome or FOMO. You cannot be confused or sad. Once you know yourself, the rest is obvious. You know what you’re here to do. Knowing yourself really matters.
Here are five questions to truly know yourself:
What’s my perfect repeatable day?
If you had to live the same day on repeat, like Groundhog Day, what would that day look like? How can you define and design a normal day so you love to live it? I’m not saying you have to live it every single day, I’m saying it should be designed so you could.
Break it down hour by hour. What do you do at every stage of the day? What time do you eat, what time do you work, how do you choose to spend every minute? Defining your perfect repeatable day will show you who you are. Extrapolating that into the future will show you who you will become.
What’s in my dream year?
After you know your default day, it’s time to think about your dream year. What do you want to do in the following frequencies: every day, every other day, every week, every month, every quarter, every year. Write them down in columns and map out your dream year.
The next task is to cost it out. Write down the yearly cost of every inclusion to know how much your dream year actually requires. You might be surprised to see how most of it is free or inexpensive—seeing friends, taking walks in nature, reading books, stretching, and jogging. What makes us happy day to day isn’t extravagance and indulgence, but we might not know it.
What does “there” look like?
When you have made it, how will you know? It’s so easy to barrel forward “getting there”, towards a mythical “there” that isn’t defined. So define it. Paint a picture of the version of you that has everything they want.
In this version of you, how do you feel? Who do you hang out with? What are you wearing? What’s your expression? Where do you live and with whom? What does your day to day look like? Define it and feel it. You may start to realize you’re already there or just a few changes away. Even if you’re miles away, at least you know what you need to do.
What’s my zone of genius?
Your zone of genius is a three-circle Venn diagram. In one circle is the question What am I good at? In another is What do I enjoy? and the third is What does the world need? The intersection of the three circles is what you should be working on. It represents how you are uniquely placed to serve.
As with your definition of “there,” you may already be operating according to your zone of genius, you just might not know it. I use this concept for business ideas and for working out the role I take within the business itself. Knowing your zone of genius will mean truly knowing your purpose and your self.
What should I start, stop, and do more and less of?
A more practical question, this involves a piece of paper split into four. At the top of each quadrant are the words start, stop, more and less. Then into the box go the changes you want to make in your life. Start yoga. Stop worrying. More switching off by 8 p.m. Less road rage. Keep filling each box until you can’t think of any more. Only you know what should go into your boxes.
Start and more, on the left-hand side of your page, represent what you should move towards. Stop and less, on the right-hand side of your page, highlight what you don’t want in your life, which is just as important as what you do. Making space for what you love means clearing out what you don’t. Find out what drains you or makes you sad to clear the way for your perfect repeatable day and dream year.
The power to choose is always yours, but knowing how to make good choices requires truly knowing who you are. So many people aren’t familiar with themselves. They flit around straddling strategies, following the news or the latest craze, or chasing other people. Then they wonder why they feel empty. They wonder why they feel unfulfilled and left behind, with no idea what to do. The only solution is to truly know yourself.