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Ways to know yourself

As long as you continue to exist just to fulfil other people's ideas of who you should be, you will never know who you really are. The term 'be yourself' really does count when it comes to finding yourself. Rajesh Bhola writes.

columns Updated: Apr 22, 2013 00:17 IST
Rajesh Bhola

As long as you continue to exist just to fulfil other people's ideas of who you should be, you will never know who you really are. The term 'be yourself' really does count when it comes to finding yourself. Make sure no one influences who you are; by all means listen to others and learn from them but let the final choices, decisions, and acceptances be your own.

If you simply brood over what others think, it will make finding yourself even harder since people influence who you think you are.

Each person has his or her own unique repertoire of gifts, talents, skills, qualities, abilities and interests. If we have some special talent or some particular virtue, then we have it for a purpose, which is to benefit the rest of the world.

Mahatma Gandhi once said "the best way to find you is to lose yourself in the service of others". All introspection and not reaching out to others can make you shut to the rest of the world. Service to others is the way to find the purpose and a sense of your place in the world.

When you get to see how hard life can be for those in greater need than you, it is often a wake-up call that puts your own worries, concerns and issues into perspective. Most people who have made great contributions in life have gone through a period of disenchantment - a time in the wilderness - during which they came to know about themselves better. They not only came to terms with the defeats in their little stories, but also found their place in the big one.

There also comes the enlightenment when a small river of little life comes out of its meandering paths and merges into the fathomless ocean. Do not prove your worth to the world. Do not waste time to think about how you should act - just be yourself. Do take a look inside every day. If needed, do introduce yourself to your own self every day.