We all come into this world endowed with different gifts and talents. Harnessing our natural skills and abilities can lead to greater creativity and opportunities in life. But how do we go about discovering what they are?
Some people might feel disadvantaged when it comes to academic learning, but are highly skilled at making friends and influencing people. Others may have a particular craft, physical ability, or trade that they excel in. Still others can possess a mind capable of effortlessly solving mathematical and computing problems.
Know Thyself is a popular ancient Greek axiom used by Socrates, Plato, and spoken by the Oracle of Delphi. Remarkably, these words were also engraved on the back of the first Apple iPod. Why is this ancient wisdom still so profoundly important and relevant today?
I was fortunate when, at the age of twelve, my dad had me take a battery of psychological tests which showed where my aptitudes and shortcomings lay. In my case, it was indicated that I would be very good at counseling and aesthetics. However, mechanical tasks would be an uphill battle.
When it comes to measuring aptitude, IQ or intelligent quotient has been and still is the primary path through formal education. It measures one’s computational and linear thinking abilities in order to find the correct answer or path of logic.
Many decades later testing in the area of aptitude has been significantly expanded. In the 90’s, through the work of Daniel Goleman, EQ or emotional quotient became highly important. EQ is defined as the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict.
Shortly after the millennium the idea of SQ, or spiritual quotient, was introduced by Dahna Zohar and Ian Marshall. This form of intelligence is the ability to access higher meanings, vision, values, and purpose. You could say SQ measures one’s aptitude and capacity to learn how to reframe.
How might it look to apply each of these three types of intelligence to a particular situation? Imagine you are living in a place you really love, have a wonderful social relationship with your spouse or partner, and a great job. Everything is coming up roses except that you cannot stand your boss.
Using IQ, the solutions to your problem are linear. You look at the boss as your problem with separation as your goal. You may look at ways to get your boss promoted, transferred, or even fired. Or you might request a transfer for yourself to a different department. In all cases the problem is your boss. When your boss goes, so goes the problem. While having your boss go away might be nice, it is probably unrealistic and you really do not want to quit or get fired.
By bringing EQ skills into the equation you can, instead, consciously try to see things from his/her point of view. You can become more empathetic and understanding, both toward yourself and your boss. By changing your own behavior and reactions, your frustration levels can be minimized.
When you change your behavior through your EQ, your boss will experience a “new you”. Perhaps this “new you” turns out to be more agreeable. Thus, the problems can become tolerable or even disappear.
Finally, by developing SQ skills, you are able to find inner peace of mind by reframing how you see your boss. No matter how he/she behaves, it simply creates no emotional problem for you. You become the sole arbiter of your feelings, independent of what another person is doing or not doing.
SQ helps smooth out life’s inner ride, no matter what is happening in the outer world. It comes from finding a higher purpose and meaning in your life and work. In doing so, you are able to release judgement, resistance, and unconscious reactions and replace them with conscious responses.
These interpersonal skills are extremely important as they form the basis for our social interactions and to a great degree our life satisfaction. Finding out where your strengths and weaknesses lie on a broader intelligence band can give you a solid grounding. You will know the areas in which you function with ease, and those where you will have to apply extra effort.
Another aspect of knowing yourself is to understand what your own learning style is. For example, I was a “plodder” in school. This meant that I had to spend more time going over complex ideas, committing to memory basic building blocks, and applying them. Accounting, finance, mathematics, and economics were not my strong suits. With those, I had to really roll up my sleeves. Eventually, I became better at “learning how to learn.”
Yet being a plodder had its advantages. I knew that I had to put in the time, but once I did, I would get results. The results might not have been stellar, but with diligence my skills would improve. What I did not grasp at that time was that being a plodder also meant that I had been developing “high intention characteristics”.
Lynn Mctaggart in her book The Intention Experiment presented ground breaking research conducted at Princeton and MIT which showed that the universe is connected by a vast quantum energy field. Her research demonstrated that thought + intent = energy. This means that at the quantum level, our thoughts can begin to organize and manifest in the world.
For example, when I was first starting out in the business of advertising, there were many days when looking for potential business and clients seemed futile and depressing. Yet by showing up day after day, and trying one technique after another, new business finally did appear. This stick-to-itiveness was an example of operating in the quantum field. I also knew that advertising was the right profession for me because the language of aesthetics and social interactions were easy for me, thus my EQ and SQ skills would be highly utilized in this profession.
Knowing ourselves is of great benefit. Another way of finding an answer to the direct question of “who am I” is to engage the universe itself and let your higher intuition provide some answers.
As mentioned, there is evidence that intent organizes in the quantum field. We can be open to answers that might show up in any number of mediums, from a personal encounter, to articles, books, films, the internet, etc. If we explore this rich idea of knowing ourselves, and gain satisfactory answers, then the door is open to allow for more exploration and further expansion of who we are.
We are in watershed times. As we become more aware of our innate capabilities and how to interact with the quantum field, we are indeed learning to “Know Ourselves”. We are more intelligent and capable than we may give ourselves credit for being.
-Sanderson Sims, June 13, 2020
Photo by: Sajjad Hussain M, Burst Photos