Keys for Understanding Yourself

The first step is understanding intrapersonal intelligence. Howard Gardner, the author of "Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences", is one of the pioneers in advocating this type of intelligence. The ability to look inward to understand your own feelings, emotions, and intentions is called intrapersonal intelligence. This is a skill that can be developed by reflective thinking. People gifted with this intelligence are usually introverted, intuitive, self-aware, and philosophical. Aristotle, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sigmund Freud are a few examples of famous people with this intelligence.

Evaluate yourself based on the OCEAN model. This model considers five personality factors. These five factors include Openness (O), Conscientiousness (C), Extraversion (E), Agreeableness (A), and Neuroticism (N). How do you grade yourself on openness? Openness is the tendency to experience and learn about new concepts in life. People with a high degree of openness need constant intellectual stimulation. They like a constant challenge to stay motivated. Are you an extrovert or introvert? Extroverts have a wider spectrum of interests but not in a deep way. They drive their energy from outside. On the other hand, introverts have a few interests in science and technology, but they can get very deep into these topics. They drive their energy from inside.

Are you a conservative person or a risk-taker? Evolution has developed different traits that have been crucial for the survival of the species. Two of these traits are risk-taking and conservatism. Risk-takers move society forwards by introducing new ideas to society. On the other hand, conservative people build family values that are necessary for the function of society. Hellen Fisher is an American psychologist that talks about this concept in her book called "Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love." This book mostly discusses differences that people with different dominant hormonal systems such as testosterone, dopamine, serotonin, and estrogen have. She also discusses how these differences result in selecting the love-mates. For example, individuals high in dopamine are more curious and open to new experiences, and they prefer the same type of person in their love lives.

Meditation helps you to connect to your real self. Meditation helps thoughts buried in your unconscious mind to bubble to the surface. Thoughts that are not accessible in normal circumstances. It quiets your mind and helps you focus on yourself. Journaling is another technique that is like self-talk (a conversation with yourself). Constant recording of your daily thoughts can be useful in the long term. You can find patterns about who you are and what you want by connecting the dots at the end. Lastly, reflective thinking is crucial to evaluate your past performances and develop a plan for the future.

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