Why is it important to know thyself?

Episode 19 in Part 2 of our Introduction series: Getting to know yourself.

Habits:  Know thyself | Be curious

Skills:  Self-awareness | Mindfulness

Description:  The first episode in Part 2 of our Introduction Series. In this episode, we introduce the importance of knowing thyself – a concept introduced over 2,400 years ago. We introduce 5 ways to know thyself including; understanding your emotions, recognizing your thought patterns, listening to your body, noticing your habits and understanding your beliefs and assumptions.

How this lesson might be discussed with your child

This episode begins to investigate the importance of getting to know yourself - or 'Know Thyself', introducing five areas of learning about yourself:

  1. Understanding your emotions

  2. Recognizing your thought patterns

  3. Listening to your body

  4. Noticing your habits

  5. Understanding your beliefs and assumptions

This episode is simply designed to introduce these concepts, as a starting point for further exploration in future episodes. 

Some questions which might prompt greater discussion include:

  • Do you think it's important to 'know thyself'? Why/Why not?

  • How can knowing yourself help you to achieve your goals?

  • How difficult do you think it is to really know yourself? Why?

  • Of the five areas listed to 'Know thyself', which do you think would be most difficult to master?

  • What strategies could you apply to help you improve in that area?

  • What do you think some negative outcomes might be of not 'knowing thyself'?

Some specific discussion points

This episode offers an opportunity to examine Ancient Greece, and in particular some of the famous philosophers and thinkers of the period, including Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. You might wish to have students investigate other influential thoughts from the time, and see if they can identify other famous aphorisms.

Discussion of any literary works, historical figures, or current events featuring prominent individuals offers an opportunity to discuss individuals who have been shown to have high degrees of self-knowledge, along with well known individuals who have been brought down through a lack of self-awareness. 

Some possible questions may include:

  • Can you think of anyone who particularly embodies the concept of 'Know thyself'? Why them?

  • Do you think of that person as successful? Why/Why not?

  • What benefits do you think knowing themselves has provided?

  • Can you think of anyone who has demonstrated particularly poor self-knowledge?

  • How has this lack of 'knowing themselves' impacted on their life?

  • How do you think 'Know thyself' fits in with previous ideas presented in Passion Arena episodes?

Discussing the quote from this episode:

"What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." — Oliver W. Holmes

Possible areas of discussion may include:

  • Do you agree with this statement? Why/Why not?

  • Why do you think Holmes says that 'what lies behind us, and what lies before us, are tiny matters'?

  • What do you think the possibilities of 'what lies within us' could be?

  • What does this quote have to do with the aphorism 'Know thyself'?