Know thyself – Socrates
This is the beginning of wisdom. When you scrutinize the reflection in the mirror not everything will be uplifting. But you can improve only when you see and admit your flaws.
Socrates, Marcus Aurelius, Napoleon, Jim Rohn, Steve Jobs, Clint Eastwood, Saint John Paul II and hundred other successful people took time out of their busy schedules to analyze themselves. This is not just a whim of successful people who enjoyed it because they achieved everything they wanted. It’s the exact opposite: they succeeded, because they were habitually examining their thoughts and deeds.
Creating my personal mission statement in October 2012, I wrote: “Knowing myself is the most powerful thing I can do and in the end the sole weapon I possess.”
For 16 years, I was a self-analysis nonentity. The only times I reflected about myself (apart from regular self-pity sessions) were yearly retreats with my church community. Nonetheless, answering a few questions once a year is not enough to shake one’s philosophy. Only daily habits can cause that.
Armed with my personal mission statement, I developed such habits. About the same day when I published my first book I also committed to journaling. Since June 2013, I have missed only several, maybe a dozen, of my morning journaling sessions. They are an enormous help to me. I always have time for reflections I never ‘had time for,’ especially about my spiritual life, and surprisingly, about my business. I love being busy, so much that in the heat of daily battle I almost never stop to reflect what my next step should be or if the current task is really bringing me closer to the ultimate goal.
I’ve just published a book about self-analysis. But instead of the chaotic rambling about my activities, I will present each one I included in the book, and how they affected my life.
1. Personal mission statement.
Creating my statement was my jump start to self-analysis. I had never put so much thought into how I want my life to develop, what I stand for, what my qualities are, and my values before writing my mission statement. I can easily name the biggest discovery: I wanted to become a writer. Looking deep into my soul, I also discovered deep reservoirs of motivation which allowed that dream to come true.
The other pillar of my self-identity is my faith. The work upon my mission statement made me realize that I didn’t put enough effort into strengthening this area of my life. Thanks to my self-development quest, I doubled the time I spend on prayer every day. The results are purely spiritual. I understand more from the scriptures or saint’s work that I study.
I’m a journaling machine. Every day I have my morning self-analysis session with a pen and my journal in my hand. I also keep three different gratitude diaries, my online Progress Journal and a journal of my scripture studies.
Journaling is huge on so many levels, that I can only just scrape the surface in this short post. It’s a source of creativity. I don’t know what writer’s block is. I haven’t experienced it since I started journaling. When I read Claudia Alutcher’s “Idea Machine” I wasn’t very impressed. I just don’t see anything difficult in coming up with 10 ideas a day. I used my journaling sessions many times to generate ideas, and getting past the first six difficult ideas was never a problem for me. I had entries in my journal where I managed to put two dozen ideas on half of a page.
Recently, I’ve also realized that my morning sessions are the excellent source of content. I just can pick up my journal from 2013 or 2014, skim through a few pages and have a blog post half-ready.
That’s just a few tangible benefits, but journaling does much more to your mindset and character. My book contains more details about it.
I have never fully harnessed the power of meditation. I blame my journaling for that. It created so much deep self-awareness that meditation, when I finally started it, found no room for improvement. I was already aware of my self-talk thanks to continuous prayer and registering my thoughts on paper for over a year.
However, I got something out of meditation anyway. Those few minutes on a train platform every morning is the only time I allow my mind to go blank for the whole day. Before meditation, I was ALWAYS thinking, plotting, planning, and discussing internally. Nowadays, I take a break from thinking at least for those few minutes.
From time to time I’ve had smaller revelations from my meditation; such as, the world is not bad.
It worked much better for others. It saved the life of Rob Cubbon. Well, not literally, but it transformed his life from misery to success. Speaking of success, Pat Flynn after adopting meditation habits took his business to the next level and began to consistently hit 6 figures a month.
This is the simplest and easiest form of self-analysis yet, and the one which has brought me the most rapid and tangible results. Tracking didn’t directly affect my mindset, soul or character, but it generated the outcomes I desired.
Thanks to tracking, I noticed I wasn’t doing well with adopting the habit of talking to strangers. If not for that realization, I would never have been able to write “From Shy to Hi.” In 2013, I tracked twice every minute of my time for a couple of weeks. My productivity exploded as a result, and I wrote a time management book which became my first bestseller.
At the end of 2012, I tried to shed off the last few pounds. For the whole of December, the scale didn’t move an inch. On the 6th of January 2013, I started tracking my food intake. Within 8 weeks, I reached my dream weight.
6. Habits to bind them all.
It’s not enough to be curious about yourself or to have the awareness of importance of self-analysis to one’s success. If you don’t implement this concept in your daily life, it will stay as an interesting tidbit, like so many other interesting facts. But if you start a daily habit, which will give you some insight into your heart, and then you expand it- whether in scope or in quantity- I can’t imagine your life staying the same.
I transmuted from a shy IT guy who was mortally afraid of personal encounters into the writer whose books and articles are read by thousands every month. I tell you: it wouldn’t have been possible without my self-analysis habits.
Self-analysis is one of the basic steps to success. I am the right teacher of this skill for you. Coach.me examined thousands of coaches and their students and concluded that an ordinary person who “has been there and done that” has a success ratio three times higher in coaching, than a person who mastered the theory, got awards and certificates, but didn’t practice.
I was a self-analysis nonentity. Nowadays I spend thirty to sixty minutes a day collecting bits of knowledge about myself.
If you want to learn this basic success skill, purchase your copy of “Know Yourself Like Your Success Depends on It” today, and put the first step on the path to your success.
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