know thyself

Another commonly used phrase that is seldom applied with consistency is to “Know thyself” - a dictum originating out of Delphi and often attributed to the more formalised structure provided by Socrates.


But what does it really mean and why is it important?

We suggest that it means to know, first and foremost, one’s own character and it is important because only by knowing one’s character can one be aware of one’s limitations and avoid likening oneself to the gods. But, more simply, it is only by knowing one’s character that one can try and improve from a moral point of view, or make the right decisions in one’s life.

So by knowing thyself we can use it as a word of caution and a word of motivation.  In the modern world we want to know ourselves and with the tools we have available, we should be able to know ourselves better than anyone else does.  

Knowing thyself then is how much applied introspection to our personalities and motivations has been taken and if we can witness our strengths and weaknesses.

The world is constantly changing around us and in a phrase that can still apply in a completely different world, this is proof that applied introspection will remain as important now as it was in the ancient past.