The four coordinates of self-discovery

Self

Self-Discovery
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

The four coordinates of self-discovery.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Counselor.

Your journey of self-discovery requires a map.

You will spend more time during your life with yourself than with any other person. So it makes sense to spend some of that time exploring yourself, who you are, and what life experiences made you think, feel, and behave the way you do.

One aspect of the self is your personality. It’s important to explore your personality and the life events that may have influenced your development of a sense of self. But the self is not an island. It’s more like a river that is constantly flowing downstream until it finally reaches the sea of destiny.

As you take the journey of self-exploration, there are four cardinal influences, like the four directions found on a map. These four factors influence how your personality develops from early childhood until late adulthood. Examining these factors can help show you where you are and what direction you should go in your effort at self-exploration.

Your relationships shape you.

Relationships are systemic influences. They will affect every other part of your life. The process of getting into and of leaving relationships changes you. By relationships here, I’m not restricting myself to your primary sexual relationship.

For good or bad, we have relationships with everyone we interact with. One of the most challenging relationships you’ll ever have to navigate will be your relationship with your exes. Romantic partners may come and go, but baby’s Mamas and daddies are forever. Even after you end a relationship, that time you spent with that other person leaves its mark on you.

One part of self-examination is to look at the relationships you’ve had, the friendships, the romantic relationships, and the people you met you decided you were better off without. Examine those relationships. Why were you attracted to this person? Was there a reason why you selected them for a friend? Or for a lover? Who you spend your time with and why tells you a lot about yourself.

Those bright shiny objects, meaning, purpose, and mastery.

Just like our attraction to people, we all have objects and activities that grab our attention. One of the most important things to discover about yourself is what gives your life meaning and purpose. Those important characteristics may be grand items like saving the planet are there might be many more personal ones like a collection of photographs of all the places on the planet you have visited.

One crucial human need that is often overlooked is the quest for mastery. Mastering something, no matter what it is, adds to your self-worth. When was the last time you took up a new hobby or practiced a new skill? Think about taking a class just for fun or picking up a new hobby.

Consider also what motivates you.

To understand what drives you get clear on your values. Be very careful about the mountains you choose to climb. A common calamity in life is getting to the top of whatever mountain you decided to climb and realizing you have been climbing the wrong peak.

More time and effort may result in more money in the bank, but it won’t be very satisfying if what you valued the most was the relationships with your partner and your children.

Significant life events can reshape your personality.

Who we are is massively impacted by the times we live in. Growing up during the Great Depression produced a very different group of people than those who grew up during World War Two. Even two people who lived through the same period in history may have experienced it in very different ways.

Consider whether you were in college during the Vietnam War or whether you joined the army and experienced that conflict firsthand. How is your life been altered because your parent or grandparent lived through one of these significant events?

The many aspects of the self.

One exercise I suggest to clients in my therapy practice is to write their autobiography. Start with the very first memory you have in life. Often this will be a picture from the time before you had the words to remember a story. Next, you should think about various events in your life you can reexamine them. Did something someone said to you in elementary school change your opinion of yourself?

As your work on your life review, examine the many roles you’ve played and how they have shaped who you are today. Many of the things that you do today automatically are the result of habits you developed early in life. Do you want to keep those habits? Would your life be better if you created a new habit to replace one of the old habits that are no longer working for you?

Look for one of those lists of 50 questions to ask someone on a first date. Go through the list and see how you would answer each of those questions. Charting where you are now and how you’ve gotten here can help you set a new direction for whichever way you want your life to go in the future.

Does David Joel Miller see clients for counseling and coaching?

Yes, I do. I can see private pay clients if they live in California, where I am licensed. If you’re interested in information about that, please email me or use the contact me form.

Staying in touch with David Joel Miller.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For more information about my writing journey, my books, and other creative activities, please subscribe to my blog at davidjoelmillerwriter.com

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available on Amazon now! And more are on the way.

For more about my books, please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

For information about my work in mental health, substance abuse, and having a happy life, please check out counselorssoapbox.com

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Purpose.

Purpose.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Purpose

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning, and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”

― Stephen Hawking

“Live the Life of Your Dreams: Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of the expectations and opinions of others.”

― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Meaning.

Meaning.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Meaning.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning, and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”

― Stephen Hawking

“If my life is going to mean anything, I have to live it myself.”

― Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief

“This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.”

― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

― Winston Churchill

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

What gives your life meaning, and purpose?

What gives your life meaning and purpose? Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Have you identified your life’s meaning and purpose?

People can go through some incredibly challenging times if they have a good enough reason to do it. But even the simplest tasks may be overwhelming if you don’t see a good reason to do what you’re doing. Another name for your meaning or purpose might be your passion. Is there something that you are passionate about?

A few people are fortunate; they discover their meaning and purpose for life early on and then devote the rest of their days to pursuing that purpose. Some people find their life purpose after a series of trials. I think it’s sad when I see people who have lived their whole life and never discovered anything that gave their life meaning or purpose. If you haven’t put some time into thinking about this, I would encourage you to do so.

The work you do may give your life its purpose.

For some people, the work they do is their life’s purpose. Other people work a job, so they have enough money to support themselves and their family, and then they spend every available moment pursuing their passion. Your life’s work doesn’t necessarily have to be the same thing you do for your paycheck. Just make sure that what you devote your life to doing has some meaning.

Relationships are an important source of meaning and purpose.

Caring for others can give your life its meaning. This can be a child, a pet, or an older person. Caregiving, loving, and being loved are significant sources of meaning. Few relationships will be with you your whole life. Make sure you put effort into maintaining your relationships with partners, family, and friends. However long that relationship is a part of your life, it needs to be nurtured. When you look back on the life you’ve lived, ask yourself, “have my relationships been a source of meaning and purpose?”

Religious or spiritual beliefs can guide you to life’s meaning.

For some people, the anchor that holds them to a purposeful life is their spiritual beliefs. If this life is all there is, then it’s essential to live it well. But if you believe in a life after death, then this life should be a process of growth and perfecting yourself. Do your best to live your life in a manner that is consistent with your spiritual beliefs. Feeling connected to something greater than yourself is a significant contributor to a life full of meaning and purpose.

More things don’t equate to a more satisfying life.

In this era of rampant consumerism, it’s become apparent that having more things does not equate to more happiness. Having more resources certainly provide you with more options. But money and things do not equal happiness. Every day you hear about some rich and famous person whose life was empty and meaningless. It’s not the things you have but what you do with those things that matter.

These days people are focusing more on getting rid of things, decluttering, than on accumulating them. Once a year, our city has a citywide cleanup day. On that one day, the city residents pile all their unwanted items out onto the street to be hauled away to the dump. One curious feature of this free trash removal day is at the piles of refuge are higher and wider in the poorer parts of the city. The pleasure you get from buying things is temporary.

Volunteering can be better than having.

Doing for others can be a significant source of life’s meaning. Being of service to others pays dividends long afterward. The things you buy can end up owning you, but the acts of kindness you give away will be with you forever.

Have you found your life’s meaning and purpose? If not, don’t you think it’s time you started your search?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seems like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Meaning.

Meaning.

Meaning.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Meaning.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“The language of Friendship is not words, but meanings.”

― Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

“An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.”

― Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

“The meaning of life consists in the fact that it makes no sense to say that life has no meaning.”

― Niels Bohr

“The attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in a humorous light is some kind of a trick learned while mastering the art of living.”

― Viktor Emil Frankl

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration