Temet Nosce

Hmmmm.....Who am I and why am I here?

Know Thyself

In order to know your purpose you first have to know yourself.  What are your passions, interests, strengths?   What are your weaknesses, bad habits, destructive tendencies, and areas that can torpedo your effectiveness?  Self-awareness is a prerequisite for purpose.

John Maxwell has often said that “Leadership is Influence.”  That seems like an appropriate way to make the connection between self-awareness and leadership.  Follow the logic with me:

  1. In order to influence others, you need to understand them.
  2. In order to understand and influence others, you need to control yourself.
  3. In order to control yourself, you have to first Know Yourself!

When you begin purposefully learning about yourself then you have started down the road to becoming a leader.     

The Most Ancient of Quests

People have been discussing this topic for generations.  The Latin phrase serving as this post’s title was quoted by Plato 2,300 years ago.  More recently Disney reminded Simba to “Remember who you are” and the Oracle posed the question to Neo.  Over time, smart people have developed many ways to quantitatively and qualitatively answer this question, which is really The Question.  These are all subjective, and they depend on your own reporting, but I have found them to be useful for learning about myself and others.

Two easy ones that we will start with today are the Jung-Myers-Briggs and the 5 Factor Personality Test.  You can take the unofficial tests at these sites:  Jung-Myers-Briggs and 5 Factor.  (You can pay to take the official Myers Briggs test here.   There is also more good information here at the Myers & Briggs Foundation.  They point out that in order for this test to be most useful, it was designed to be used with professional assistance.  I am not a professional, so learn at your own risk!)

After you have taken these tests, think about the results, pray about them.  Do a search for your Myers Briggs type and read up on yourself.  Discuss your scores with those who are close to you.  There are tons of other self-assessments that we will share over time, but these two can be your beginning steps down the path towards Purpose and Leadership.

Discussion Questions 

Were these helpful?  What questions do you have about your results?  What surprised you?  Feel free to post public comments or send individual emails to nate@ourpurposefullife.com

– Nate

Bonus Content:  To assist you with a more spiritual take on the topic, please enjoy a printable questionnaire that briefly introduces other ways to begin thinking about your spirituality.

Click here to download: PDF_Picture  Temet Nosce Spiritualis

2 thoughts on “Temet Nosce

  1. Ruth Larkin says:

    Great food for thought!!! In all my reading and desire to always grow and change it was still new food for thought the link between self-awareness and purposefulness!!! Today the kids and I were studying Benjamin Franklin and as we were reading I thought of your post about knowing ourselves because we learned about how he kept a little book in which he wrote down his faults. The story said that if he wasted time, or money, or said something unkind, etc…he wrote it down in his book and carried it in his pocket all his life. He studied it over and over and never stopped working at trying to improve himself…he was a great example of living purposefully and made a HUGE impact! I told the kids that few people live like he did but we can if we choose to and God can do big things through us also! Thanks for the great links and download as well!!!

    1. Nate says:

      Thanks for the comment – great point, and a great example. I totally agree – his purposeful self-improvement made him a celebrity of his day. We can learn from him – it is too easy sometimes to be critical of everyone else, and not pay attention to what we can do to improve.

      I’m glad you brought this up – I love studying the lives of leaders…so many of them provide great examples of single-minded purposefulness.

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