Know Who You Are to be Happy
A key element of personal leadership development is know who you are, self-awareness, and knowing our purpose in life, writes Emmanuel Ngara.
A key element of personal leadership development is self-awareness. An important element of self-awareness is purposeful living, and purposeful living entails consciousness of the ultimate purpose of life.
Do you just live from day to day, just receiving whatever comes your way; or just enjoying life or amassing wealth for wealth’s sake; or do you have a higher purpose?
Having a higher purpose entails knowledge of the fact that our lives have a purpose beyond our own intentions, beyond our preferences, wishes and desires. The Creator put each one of us on planet Earth for a purpose, and that purpose involves serving him and serving society in a special way. Having a higher purpose entails having a vision.
Among other things, this means asking yourself such questions as: Why am I here? What is it that I want to do with my life? What do I want to achieve for my family, my organisation, my church or my country?
This means having a goal or what is called a future vision, which entails developing the second of Stephen Covey’s seven habits, namely: “Begin with the end in mind.”
A future vision is not something that can be realised on the spur of the moment. It entails purposeful and action-oriented planning.
Very importantly, having a future vision involves being aware of the difference between what you are and where you are now (your current reality), and what you want to be and want to achieve (your future vision). In other words, you must be aware of both your strengths and your weaknesses.
What Are Your Strengths?
Your strengths are those qualities, tendencies, skills and competencies, habits, circumstances and resources that help you to attain your future vision; while your weaknesses are those qualities, tendencies, habits, incapacities and limitations that hinder you from achieving your goal.
You must therefore work at enhancing your strengths and reducing your weaknesses.
If, for example, you realise that one of the weaknesses that prevent you from achieving your goal is the lack of a skill or knowledge, then take a course or enrol for a diploma or degree that helps you acquire that skill or the requisite knowledge.
If you discover that what prevents you from attaining your future vision is a lack of financial resources, then try to get a job or to acquire a qualification that enhances both your chances of getting a job and your ability to cope with the demands of the career you have chosen.
A common problem in developing the discipline of self-awareness is the tendency to blame other people or what you might consider to be the unfavourable circumstance in which you find yourself.
True, you may have been born in a poor family or in a disadvantaged community, but the principles of personal leadership development tell us to take responsibility for all we do and to refuse to regard ourselves as victims of circumstances.
The more we know ourselves, and the more we are conscious of God’s purpose for us, the more purposely we will live and the happier we shall become.