Monday, 2 January 2012

The ‘Self Survey’

Do you know yourself completely?

It is no easy feat, but it is perhaps the most worthwhile outcome of any self-development work we undertake, and a goal we must aim for if we want all the elements of our lives to flow together towards the same ideal direction; towards our amazing life. Because, of course, how can we expect to improve upon ourselves, if we do not fully understand or know that self?

...But, surely, you are with yourself always – you see all your own actions and reactions – you must know yourself? Not necessarily. We have all 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.

That’s where a self survey comes in.

Look at it this way: if we were to attempt to study or comprehend a certain phenomenon, we wouldn’t expect to learn much from just passively observing 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 an essential process 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 survey 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 attempt to help you. 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 & 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.
♥ 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?
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:

Click images for larger version!

I decided to add headings of the questions this time, whereas originally in MYLA 2010 I just did a long piece which incorporated all of the answers - how you'd like to do it is up to you, just as long as you get the answers on paper! Any questions about my answers? I'm happy to discuss them 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 about yourself; 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 it does?

P.S. You are very welcome to share the quote images I've created for MYLA 2012 on your own blogs. I've created a Flikr folder of them here and will be adding them daily!


Kayleigh said...

I love this, and think I might be spending the evening doing your 'homework'!

I just wanted to say I am particularly loving your inspirational posts on improving your life at the moment; I went through a difficult break-up a couple of months ago and your blog has helped me to focus on a direction when I felt rudder-less. Thank you!

Megan said...

Kayleigh - "Rudder-less" is a very accurate description of how I felt going through my break-up. I'm really glad you've re-gained some direction and that I've had a hand in that :) Thanks for joining in!

Natalie said...

Megan, this post is great! You state the importance of knowing yourself in such an uplifting manner. This just reinforced my plan to take time today to writing in my journal and planning my growth for 2012! Thanks!

Megan said...

Natalie - Great to hear! I really got a lot from the exercise and it's a good thing to refer back to if you start to feel a bit lost as the year continues.

DM said...

Megan i did yesterday task and i'm doing this one now, i think it's really helpful, thanks for sharing this

Kathy said...

This was a wonderful exercise for me . After a very difficult and sad 2011 , my sweet , beautiful father passed away , I am looking to 2012 to be full of light and happiness. This has made me stop to think about who I am and what my amazing life can become ! Thank you .

Elimy said...

I've just done it... felt really weird.

Megan said...

DM - You are most welcome, glad to hear your approaching the exercises with such gusto!

Kathy - I am so sorry to hear of your loss, and amazed at your ability to be positive for the new year. I can't even comprehend losing a parent, but I have had someone very close to me go through it and witnessed that devastation first hand. I feel humbled to have provided you with inspiration through such a difficult period, and your comment has helped me put a few of my own problems into perspective - so thank you. Lots of love & light to you xxx

Elimy - How so? It's a tricky exercise to be fully honest in as it's tempting to give cookie-cut answers. And, somehow, the honesty that does emerge is the weirdest part - because it can be things you didn't even know you felt. I definitely felt like I went deeper with the survey than back in 2010, and I think that perhaps shows that I have more stuff to tell myself now than then! But even so, there's still an element of just skimming the surface which I hope to rectify with the upcoming articles.

Tiffany said...

I just filled two pages of my pink Moleskin notebook with some very reflective, powerful answers. It's truly one thing to self-reflect & another to deeply contemplate the questions you provided.
Thank you SO much for creating such a simple yet inspirational post here. For the past few years I've really lost my way & my sense of direction but I'm successfully re-creating myself through exercises like these! Your guidance is magical. Thrilled to be working through MYLA this month. Thank you!

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