The Oracle at Delphi has the inscription, ‘Gnothi Seauton’ carved over the entrance, which means “KNOW THYSELF.” How many people can honestly say they do?
For centuries, men and women have asked themselves things such as who am I? What do I want? Why am I here? along with a myriad of other seemingly imponderable questions. All with the same goal in mind – self-knowledge. The mere act of asking such questions is, by definition, an exercise in self-awareness. Moreover, all great philosophers have asked themselves the meaning of life as a means of self-direction. What is, Plato, Kant and Nietzsche asked, the good life?
The motivation behind the question itself is the quest for a life lived with purpose, or as Plato once claimed, a life worth living when examined. It is a worthwhile goal that Conscious Leaders embrace as well.
The pressure to solve the question: “Who Am I?” grows heavier with each passing day, and yet there is a lightness arising from the mere fact we are questioning our own existence.
Descartes famously stated: I think, therefore I am. I would add: I feel, therefore I am human. Like many great thinkers during the Enlightenment, Descartes focused on the brain. But there are two other pieces missing to the equation.
Taking a moment to pause in order to check in with not only our brain, but also our hearts and gut instincts is important. Our mind, the culmination of our bodies, souls and essence, is essential for understanding our place in the world, which reaches beyond titles and status symbols. The mind is our consciousness, which brings together intelligence from our physical sensations, emotions and thoughts. Taking a “read” on what each of these 3 critical sensory systems is a way to remain in the moment, a fundamental part of our daily routine in order to remain conscious.
When we trust our gut, and run the response through the filter of the heart and head, then we get our truest answers. Logic does not lead, emotions do not color outside the lines, and instinct isn’t lost in the static. Together, these 3 sensory systems provide a moment by moment question to the imponderable ‘ask’ – who am I?
Today’s Conscious Leader knows the answer to that question, and it is simple: “I am. I feel.” In that statement there are all the possibilities that lie ahead, and yet they understand their limits too – at least in the moment. For a Conscious Leader realizes that who they are or feel now is not their limit, but merely the next stage on their path of self-introspection, self-inquiry and self-discovery. Self-reflection is indeed the cornerstone for our human evolution.
Conscious Action Step: (1) Relax, accept you are exactly where you need – and should – be. (2) Self-check your heart, brain and gut instinct. (3) Alter your course based on your gut instincts once you’ve run them through the filter of your heart and brain. (4) Accept that maybe you will never truly have the answer – and that’s okay too because quite honestly, the answer is always changing. Not knowing – and accepting that – is the hallmark of the Conscious Leader.
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