“Self knowledge seems to be the major path of self-improvement…”
– Abraham Maslow
In my last article [link] I mentioned Abraham Maslow and Self-Actualisation. What a lot of people don’t realise is that NLP as a field of study and practice is a part of the original Human Potential Movement. And Neuro-Semantics is taking this even further.
I read the quote (above) from Abraham Maslow this morning in his book Toward a Psychology of Being. It struck me that figuring out how we work as people is the very thing we do in NLP – whether learning it to gain new skills to become a better parent, entrepreneur, sports person, etc. to expand your ‘outside’ knowledge of the world; or to have a better knowledge of and relationship with yourself and your ‘inside’ drives, emotions, thoughts, and to develop as a person just for you. Either way, both of these aspects ultimately work to enhance the other. All of these things tend to happen in a good NLP and/or Neuro-Semantics training.
Sticking with Maslow’s quote, what I’d like to offer today are some questions for self-knowledge and self-improvement. Answer the questions in order as they will build a deepening understanding of yourself. The first questions will probably be fairly quick and ‘easy’ to answer. When you get to one that’s harder to answer, don’t give up or dismiss it; spend some time with it, ponder it. Hold in mind a question that seems important to you in the quieter moments as you go about your day. The answer to this kind of question (when it comes) can give you wonderful insights into your true nature. I’ve given a brief explanation of what might come up, or where your mind may go for some of the questions (the deeper ones I’ve left alone), but whatever you discover is your truth.
- Who are you? (Here your first answer will probably be a role of some kind; a parent, a builder, a teacher, a sportsperson, etc.).
- Who else are you? And who else? (Probably more roles, but your mind will stretch and you’ll start to get more abstract in your thinking and recognise these are just different aspects of ‘you’).
- So who are you really? (Now we’re getting deeper. You might not know, and right now, that’s fine).
- And if that’s really you, what does that mean?
- What do you want – really want? (To start with you may come up with external ‘things’; money, a partner, the perfect job, etc.).
- Why do you want that?
- Why else?
- If you have all of that, why is that important?
- So what do all of those ‘why’s’ mean?
- So if that’s who you really are, and that’s what you really want; what is your purpose in life?
- What are you going to do about it?
Enjoy the journey! And feel free to share your experiences below J