Introspection and self-awareness can be quite difficult. We live in a digital age where people can put out different personas of who they think they are, or multiple versions of who they want to be for the world to see. Furthermore, with increasing globalization and international travel, people can also lose touch with their roots, their heritage, and their culture. Understanding who you truly are and where you come from helps shape your values and guide your moral compass. The issue with self-reflection is that you can easily confuse who you want to be with who you actually are. While getting to know yourself can be challenging, it is feasible.
Here are 4 unusual ways of getting to know yourself better.
To know who you are, you must know where you come from. Your family can have a very meaningful impact on your core values and helps determine what you hold dear. The way you are raised shapes your identity, but this isn't limited to immediate family. Your familial lineage impacts your personality and character just as much. Think about it, your parents, who help mold your personality, have their personalities shaped by their parents, and so on and so forth.
Multiracial people, people from immigrant families, and descendants of the first African migrants may all struggle to understand where they came from properly. However, with modern technology, you can easily trace your heritage. You can find a genealogist for hire who will conduct oral interviews, examine historical records, and conduct genetic analyses on your family to determine kinship and uncover your true roots. This can be an excellent way to study your familial past.
You can get very technical when trying to know yourself better, and with modern technological advances, you can affordably study your genetics. Many companies now offer DNA and genetic analysis for those curious about their body. Such studies have the participant provide the company with a sample of their DNA, and then receive a report detailing an extremely wide variety of topics.
The report can examine genetic ancestry, listing in percent, how much of your DNA comes from different regions in the world, and construct a timeline of it. It can examine over 30 different physical traits ranging from your susceptibility to motion sickness to your misophonia, which is your hatred for the sound of chewing. Some information gathered from such tests can help you determine how different foods will affect you in different ways and how different medicines will affect you; which will be more potent and which may not have the desired effect. Your genetic makeup can determine aspects of who you are that you thought you could never know.
We all have a stereotypical perception of what therapy is and what it offers. The famous trope of a patient lying on a couch talking about their childhood and mother while a doctor takes notes and asks them how they feel has been depicted through the media for decades. But, as with all stereotypes, that is not the case.
Therapists and psychologists can help you understand the root causes of why your character and personality are the way they are. Key moments in your life can shape you in ways that are impossible to fathom at the time. They can have you react impulsively to certain situations. You are likely subconsciously reacting to triggers created in your psyche as a child or teenager and are unaware of them. Trained professionals can probe to better understand these issues and explain them to you. They can provide you with the tools to manage any negative aspects and guide you to a better path. Many therapists today are affordable and covered by health insurance. Therapy is a sure-fire way of getting to know yourself better.
There are many ways to know yourself better; personality quizzes, introspective questions, and asking the opinions of close friends and family, which can reveal things you can't see yourself. But there are also definitive, scientific ways to find out a plethora of information as to who you truly are. Many of these methods have become relatively affordable, so go ahead and discover your true self!
It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.
Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.
Read with a Purpose
Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.
Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.
When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.
Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.
You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.
Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.
Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.
If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.
Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.