Know Thyself

Know Thyself

Words: Dr Rajgopal NIDAMBOOR

All of us are born with our own likes, dislikes, interests, prejudices, and talents. We all differ from each other. No two individuals are alike — each carries their own unique identities, as distinct as their fingerprint. If one of them visualises leisure on the sun-baked beaches in the Caribbean, another can recall every detail of an old film song at the ‘beat’ of its prelude. Studies suggest that our areas of interest are pre-set in our genes — this also determines the way we are, or the process we seek to follow in our lives and career. It is rightly said that before one aims at the next level, one ought to consolidate one’s solid ground. Likewise, one cannot think of jumping across the abyss in two leaps. This is impractical.

Nevertheless, all of us can learn to cultivate and develop interests in areas that may not appeal to us, or where we don’t really ‘stand out.’ For the most part — we love to live in our comfort zones. We don’t try to figure out what our interests truly are, and what is our latent potential in areas we may not have endeavoured to explore. It is only when we dare to strive, or discover, what our ‘extended’ talents are, can we make progress, surprise ourselves, and others. Life is not a bed of roses; nor is it a pathway of thorns.

Agreed that all of us have a distinctive personality; it is also likely that our personality type and learning, or scholarship skills are ‘patented’ the moment we are born. Here is how it works. For some, learning begins by watching, or observing; for some, knowledge accrues by listening; for some others, by doing. Likewise, some of us carry our emotional visiting cards on our face, while others don’t — even when they are troubled by life’s difficulties, or upheavals. This only means there is no one definitive model for being one ‘better’ than the other individual — even when the entire concept of learning and growing connects us to our personality type, learning style, cultural landscape, or nurtured connotation, or innate nature, we empathise with, or showcase within and outside our psyche. Remember — it takes a huge challenge to [re]discover our underlying, true self.

Our personality type is as much ‘wired’ to our brain, our mind, our thoughts, our actions, and our responses, as our emotional, or environmental, stimuli. This is reason why some of us with the same experience, as others, seem to magnify certain features of the same experience differently. To pick a parallel — it is our personality type that helps us with our career choices, or what we aspire to be from the time we leave the precincts of academics. While one can’t really measure one’s personality type on a scale, or instrument, the best thing is we are not absolutely one, or the other, but a blend of both. The stronger aspect often prevails; the weaker often fades. It is only when we fortify the lesser aspect, not overnight, but gradually, would we not only excel, but also make an impression for being more than just a face in the crowd.

It is our culture, not to speak of our environment, that moulds us in more ways than sundry. Yet, it is only when you understand your cultural landscape and appreciate why you do, or don’t do, certain things just as much your innate abilities want you to, would you be able to open a new window of opportunity to your personality type. Call it a voyage of self-discovery — a process of knowing yourself from the inside-out.

Dr RAJGOPAL NIDAMBOOR, PhD, is a wellness physician-writer-editor, independent researcher, critic, columnist, author and publisher. His published work includes hundreds of newspaper, magazine, web articles, essays, meditations, columns, and critiques on a host of subjects, eight books on natural health, two coffee table tomes and an encyclopaedic treatise on Indian philosophy. He is Chief Wellness Officer, Docco360 — a mobile health application/platform connecting patients with Ayurveda, homeopathic and Unani physicians, and nutrition therapists, among others, from the comfort of their home — and, Editor-in-Chief, ThinkWellness360.

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