Saturday, 2 January 2010

The ‘Self Survey’

Image thanks to sashawolff

“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do you know yourself fully? It is no easy feat, but it is something we should be aiming for if we are to hope for all the elements of our lives to flow together towards the same ideal direction; towards our amazing life. How can we expect to improve upon ourselves, if we do not fully understand or know ourselves?

Surely, you are with yourself always, you see all your own actions and reactions, you must know yourself? But we have seen from experience that this isn’t always the case; we often surprise ourselves when a new situation is put before us; we often ask ‘what was I thinking?’; we often question what other people think of us when, if we’re honest, we’re not even sure what we think of ourselves.

Look at it this way: if we were to attempt to study or understand anything other than ourselves, we wouldn’t expect to learn much from just passively watching it and not making any notes, would we? Well, why be denied a true study of yourself? You’re the most interesting subject there is to you, after all.

Survey (noun) - a very detailed, critical examination of something such as a situation or event.

Thinking about who you really are is one thing, writing down and examining yourself is something altogether different, and, in my mind, is completely necessary if you are to really make the most of yourself and your life.


♥ Do you know yourself? Knowing yourself means a fast ticket to your amazing life.
♥ We wouldn’t expect to learn much on a subject simply as a bystander; you must gather information about yourself, in order to know that self.
♥ Thinking about who we are is one thing, observing ourselves in written format is quite another.


Put yourself on paper.

In your notebook, have a go at answering all of the questions below, and any more that arise for you. Don’t worry if you find this exercise difficult; if you struggle with a question share it in the comments and we can all post our own ideas for you.

♥ Who are you?
♥ Are you happy?
♥ What in your life really amazes/pleases/gratifies/encourages you?
♥ Where have you been when you have been at your happiest?
♥ What occasion has caused you to feel the most amazed by your own life?
♥ Where do you see your life going right now? Is this where you want your life to go?
♥ What does ‘amazing’ mean to you in terms of your own life?

We are aiming for a more presently focused, written version of what we achieved with our sketches yesterday, so refer back to that if necessary. One word answers, misspellings and ungrammatical responses are fully acceptable! Try not to censor yourself; put pen to paper and don’t stop scribbling until your truest, most amazing self is in real-world ink before you. 

Be prepared to surprise yourself in these writings. I know many of you will have never attempted anything like this and it may feel really stupid and silly and self-indulgent – but don’t hold back. We’ve only got 31 days to make your life amazing, so give it your all. See my example (which I will be analyzing a little in the comments): 

With the answers, think about yourself critically, rather than emotionally; problem-solve the matter of yourself. Take these hidden treasures that you have uncovered and ask: how does your life look on paper? Is it perhaps more encouraging than you first thought? Highlight the parts that feel the most authentic and inspiring. Does the page look like the coordinates of your most amazing life? If not, how can you adapt them so that they do? Share your findings!

(Note: Exercises will become more specific as we progress.)


Megan said...

MY ANALYSIS: I found that my voice became more honest about half way through my writing, I also became more specific, so a lot of what I will be highlighting such as: 'a big house in the country' 'making money from my art' and 'feeling content' are found in the second half.

I think I could problem-solve it by being even more specific, and using fewer descriptive words; although, I would leave some as they felt very powerful in places.

Please do share your own analysis! Your findings will be helpful to us all ♥

Eternal*Voyageur @ Venusian*Glow said...

I really love the last question. Off to write my answers now.

Aury said...

My voice became more authentic towards the end too. The last line gave a summary of everything that I wanted. The beginning was mostly made up of my intermediate goals such as improving in my art forms, learning to express myself better. But in the end, I said I wanted to be content and successful with my family and my businesses (based on my art) doing really well in the place I love the most (Northern Ireland).

Megan said...

Eternal - Get back to us with your results!

Aury - Sounds great! Combined with your sketch, you've got a really strong platform to build on throughout the month :) Thanks for taking part even though I know you have your own project going on!

Lielle said...

Wow I have just did this in German and I feel really inspired. I have found that the things I've struggled with most in my life and that I found most challenging and hard actually are what makes my life amazing.

With this knowledge I'll try to take more risks in life because even if I mess up and make mistakes it will help me to develop as a person and I've learned a lot about myself during those times.

In order to make my life more amazing, I've to get to know myself and learn what makes me happy and really matters to me.

Thank you so much Megan for these questions, I feel like after I've done this, I feel a little bit more in control of my life now. I really want to try new things now and make new experiences. I think that's what life is about.

Marthe said...

I haven't answered the questions yet, I want to do it while I'm alone...

But I fear that the answer to "Where do you see your life going right now? Is this where you want your life to go?" is going to be scary... A thought has been creeping into my mind lately, I am really going to be happy as a lawyer? Or am I more of a creative type?

Maybe the reason why I haven't answered the questions yet is because I am scared of the answers and the impact they will have on me when I write it down...

I do need to go this way though... ♥

Kat said...

i think this is such a great idea!
didn't get a chance to comment yesterday but found that exercise equally great.
like others have said i also found my answers to become more specific and honest towards the end, and highlighting personal goals and aspirations as well as more concrete professional ones.
i look forward to the next exercises!

Laika said...

nice exercise!
unlike many of you, I found myself repeating myself in every question. I want to be free from anxiety, embrace my creativity, live more simply (ditch consumerism) and a couple others. these are all things that appeared in my drawing too. I think why I was honest and clear the whole time as opposed to more just at the end is because I spent a lot of the past week reflecting on my life and what I wanted to change (I reread the Planning and Having your best year ever post in preparation for the new year)

so I had already started the process a little bit. Can't wait to start putting these ideas in to action!

val said...

megan you're the best! I already see this working out, I really did understand myself better writing, I felt honest with myself from the beginning because it's just me, I didn't have to hide what I really felt about my life. What I also noticed is how nearly everone mentioned wanting to endorse their creativity, which funnily enough is what my task was based on, and realising that the lack of opportunities in it is what I craved most in my life. don't you think it's funny how this creative thing was mentioned by a lot of people above? which brings me to the post you wrote on, wow, I never knew there were so many people in my situation.
Keep on writing Megan, I know the following posts will be great!

Eternal*Voyageur @ Venusian*Glow said...

Ok, I did it, after solving problems like whether I should use a pen or pencil, and which side of the page I should write on, and whether I should use a new page for each question... Yes, I'm an anal Virgo.

In this moment I realised how good my life is at the moment, and also that I could do much more... I have a problem with starting stuff, dicipline, actually making full use of what I have... I take the easy road too much :-(

BTW, Megan I appoint you accountable for m ;-). If I stop commenting, please drop me a line at my blog and remind me (I mean, shame me for being so lazy). I love starting workshops online, but I've never finished one so far... I loose steam too easily. But I really want to do this one !

Anonymous said...

hello marthe... if your reasons for studying law were authentic it is highly likely that you are on the right track.However being comfortable with who you are is a prerequisite to being comfortable with what you do. Your creativity may be given its deserved place in your spare time; as a dual career or occupy a major role in years to come. Remember too that activities entirely separate from earning money,kudos or other peoples expectations entail more freedom and self expression. Hope this helps.....tamsin.

Brittany said...

I found the hardest question to be who am I. I wrote down "a college student, a Christian, a Sigma Kappa (my sorority), education major, a friend, daughter, etc." But those are just my labels. I guess this shows me that I am not as completely sure of who I am outside of the things I am involved in. Or I am unsure how to verbalize it.

Loving these posts thought! Extremely good at helping me learn to self-reflect in a deeper way.

oohelen said...

Loved the last homework. Can't wait to start on this one, though just thinking about the first question already has me forming a sentence, then pausing and rethinking it, then again trying to write it out, etc ;D

But I like this whole idea, hope I'll keep it up for the next month :D It's like Being Erica and you're my doctor Tom haha

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