Every piece of personal or professional growth you achieve in life starts with one thing: Self-knowledge.
Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher, who lived in the 6th century BC, put it best:
“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.”
Whether you want to make a million bucks, build a strong relationship with your partner, or get in the best shape of your life — you can’t improve yourself without knowing yourself.
Self-knowledge is a skill, not a trait, talent, or divine insight. I used to live my life without one bit of introspection. Naturally, I had no idea who I was. Now, I’m getting better at it with practice. And the impact on my life has been huge.
Today I received the 4765th email from a reader who said they are bored and stuck at work. And, almost all people I know, answer this when I ask how’s work? “Not bad.”
Not bad? You might as well say, “I’m bored. Stuck. And not challenged.”
In today’s economy, job burn-out is not the biggest problem. People are more likely to get bored instead of working so hard that they get a nervous breakdown.
People are also more likely to get an emotional crisis because they are bored out of their minds. Sounds familiar? If this is you, you must be careful if:
Do you sometimes struggle to be happy despite knowing that you live a good life?
I get it, we all chase happiness because it makes a difference on the quality of our lives. I’m no different.
But I also believe we should be careful that we don’t mix up happiness and pleasure. Otherwise, you end up on the Hedonic Treadmill: A state of continually chasing pleasure to elevate your happiness levels.
But the problem is that pleasure only gives us a temporary boost in happiness. Drinking alcohol, smoking nicotine, having sex, buying the latest iPhone—it gives us pleasure. But we always go back to our set level of happiness.