I have been having a series of strange dreams over the last couple of weeks. In the dreams, I am still a high school teacher (something I have not done for over 8 years). I'm also a full-time business analyst (something I have been for 5 years), and I'm having trouble deciding which career path to take.
A friend in the psychology field once told me that you shouldn't analyze the content of your dreams, but rather the feelings the dream invoke. Going along that line, the dream leaves me feeling confused and conflicted, unsure which path to take.
Looking at it that way actually makes a lot of sense. I have been wondering lately whether I should start looking in my company for other opportunities, possibilities for growth and a promotion. I am in this MBA program after all, spending all this money presumably to develop my career, take on bigger challenges, and earn more.
The trouble is that I absolutely positively love my current position. I love my manager and my team leader, and they constantly compliment me so I believe the feeling is mutual.
I am spending all this money on my education - but I really love where I'm at.
So I feel conflicted, and I think that's what the dream is about.
Only through really, truly knowing myself, my motivations, and my desires was I able to tease out all this and discover the meaning and implications of the dream.
Do you have dreams you can't quite figure out?
Do you wonder what you should be doing with your life?
Do you feel unfulfilled, like you're not doing your best work?
I have a solution that might just help you discover all that and more.
Journaling to Discover Myself
I have been doing a lot of journaling lately, mostly in an effort to overcome my food addiction. As I said in this post on my bariatric surgery, I have been reading and processing the book Rewire: Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self-Destructive Behavior, and it has been life changing.
The book has helped me to identify emotions and issues that have been drawing me back to overspending and overeating and being generally self-destructive over and over and over again.
If you've found yourself feeling defeated by bad habits, I highly recommend Rewire. I'd love to talk more about it one on one, so feel free to leave a comment below or email me.
I normally share pretty much everything here, but I've discovered things in this journaling journey that are too raw and painful and broken to share even with Joe, much less here in the light of the world.
What I can share is that I have found journaling to be much more evocative, much more productive, much more real and honest and since I started searching my soul through the questions in the book, I have discovered truths about myself that have opened up a whole new realm of possibilities.
I hope you don't have the self-destructive issues I have, truly I do. But whether you do or not, you may benefit from some soul searching in journal form.
Do you really know who God created you to be and why?
Do you really know what it is you want in life? What legacy you want to leave?
Do you really know what your history means and how it has shaped you to be who you are today?
I didn't intend to create another product so soon after the printable journal I shared last week, but this one just kind of sprung up last night. I think that means it was not my work, but God's, because I wasn't planning on doing it, and it just came together without my even thinking about it.
Know Thyself - Discover Who You Are With These 50 Questions
I called the journal Know Thyself for several reasons:
- Know Thyself is a maxim that has been around for thousands of years, having been inscribed on the ancient Greek Temple of Apollo at Delphi.
- Socrates is quoted as saying, "Know thyself. The unexamined life is not worth living." Your life is worth living, and it's also worth examining to find out what you really want and need.
- Plato said that knowing thyself meant discovering your place in the world. This journal will help you to do that.
- Benjamin Franklin said that there are things in life which are extremely hard: steel, diamond, and to know oneself.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a poem he entitled Know Thyself in which he explained that knowing oneself meant to know the "God in thee."
It's a loaded saying with tons of history, and if you're interested in knowing more, you can check out the Wikipedia page on it.
Here are the first few questions you will find in the beautiful, full color pages of my Know Thyself journal:
- Do you know your life's purpose? What is it?
- What would you say to a 5-year-old you? A 13-year-old you? An 18-year-old you? A 21-year-old you? Your current you?
- What do you wish your parents had done differently?
- What did you want to be when you were younger?
- What do you want to be or do when you're older?
- Ignoring practicality, what job would you love to do?
- How can you challenge yourself?
- What are you most proud of?
- What are you insecure about?
- What are you most afraid of?
- When do you feel most safe and loved?
- What do you ignore? Should you stop?
- What do you want to learn to do?
- What are you excellent at?
- What practical skills do you wish you had?
I hope you'll grab this pretty 15-page journal, full of flowered pages and peaceful colors, and even more, I hope you'll print it out and take some time to fill it up with your words.
I hope that you'll think through your past, your present, and your future through these questions, and that they will help you identify where you want to be and what you want to do in the days, weeks, and months ahead of you.
You are a great work, my sweet friend. God created you to be here, now, doing things that may feel small but are really huge in His kingdom, and I want you to find out for sure what those things are.