The Importance of Knowing Yourself

by placers on February 5, 2021 in Outside Insights


Where does our confidence come from? How do I “fake it till I make it”? How do I know I am doing the right things with my life?

I spend a lot of time with good people, customers, employees, friends, family and outside-inners that find value in our words and podcasts. The questions above are what seem to occupy people the most.

Having recently read quite a bit about the philosopher Seneca, a word that comes to mind is “euthymia.” In Seneca’s essays on tranquillity, he defines euthymia as:

“Believing in yourself and trusting you are on the right path, and not being in doubt by following the myriad footpaths of those wandering in every direction.”

So, this belief in yourself comes from knowing yourself and putting the work in on you.

Burkhards call this “your culture of one”. Often, we spend time on everything other than working on ourselves even though it can be done with relative ease, in 30 minutes or less per day.

I recently led my company through a simple exercise during our monthly town hall meeting.

1 – First thing in the morning, decide what is most important to you that day. Pick one-three priorities. The most important doesn’t necessarily mean the most urgent.

2 – The second part seems easy enough. At midday, check-in on your plans and make an adjustment. Did you tackle your tasks for that day? If the morning got away from you, no worries. Adjust and focus the rest of the day.

3 – Fast forward to the end of the day. How did you do? Did you win the day? What did you learn and what can you apply to tomorrow? Were you the person you wanted to be today? Did you pick the right stuff to work on?

The interesting thing is, most people will find it easy to follow this plan for a day or even a week. Few will make this what it can or should be: A path of self-reflection and self-betterment. Study yourself. Do more of what you like, less of what you don’t, and learn who you are along the way.

If you’re not sure where you are right now, here are some tools that can help:

Use this Planner Chart. I did not invent the concept, but seeing a heat map of your life in total with things like money, hobbies, friends and family, career and spirituality can give you a great starting point.

Take a look at Verne Harnish’s take on personal planning. I use this as a Scaling Up coach with clients. When you follow the link, click on the One Page Personal Plan. Consider purchasing the Scaling Up book by Verne Harnish for more insight.

It’s my belief that if you know yourself and are working on you you will not be distracted by the next shiny object that goes whirring by you. Back to Seneca. We learn by observing and seeing the world around us. It’s that exposure that helps us shape our core philosophies. It’s when we lack a clear set of personal core values that we bounce around from jobs, hobbies and relationships. So work on you – decide what you stand for.

This will help you as you work towards your plan and vision for your life. You do have a plan right? Well, if not, we’ll talk more about that next time.

As always, send your personal reflections to my cell or email. I look forward to learning and leading.

Until next time,


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