'Know Thy Self' - Socrates or was it The Matrix?

Imagine Socrates back in ancient Greece around the 400BC mark. Sitting around in cool white robes, eating grapes with his best mate Plato thinking about stuff all day. What a life!  Much better than being a human battery like Morpheus was. 

Socrates created the phrase 'know thyself', which was the start of western philosophy as we know it. It is even written on the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Not a bad legacy. Yet it was The Matrix (and other pop culture movies) that really made my generation think about our lives in context of reality. Morpheus was all about 'being the one' rather than just knowing Neo was the one, which got me thinking what is more important, knowing thyself or being thyself?

Each generation will find their own ways to examine this age old question of self identity and their version of reality. For me it was the funky clothes and kung fu style of The Matrix that questioned reality.

'But what is reality?' If you measure it by what you feel, touch or smell. Well that's just electrical impulses interpreted by your brain'... Well that's what Morpheus would say before he offered you a choice of blue or red pills. (Take the red one if you want my advice way more fun).

Although it's fun to see who is cooler, Morpheus or Socrates, the real question is - does knowing thyself improve one's life?

Many people spend endless hours and many thousands of dollars to get to know themselves better. They climb mountains, run marathons, take drugs, meditate and do courses. I know, I'm right there with them! There are are specific tests you can take to identify your personality and strengths which I use too. But how does this knowledge assist us in improving our situation and lives?

In my experience the answer lies in not just knowing who we are but in taking action to be more who we are. That's the hard part.  

In my consulting practice I use five key tests to help clients know themselves better. We do this in order to do one key thing. Set an Intention. That is, clarify what they actually want. This shouldn't be confused with what most people think they want, what society expects or what others want for them. What I am talking about is the congruent realisation of their values, personality, resources, life stage and goals. 

It is vital to be crystal clear on what the individual truly wants for their life in order to attract it. It is only then that they can set their clear Intention and take action to Build a path to that life.

What a shame that many of us are living the lives others want. We operate as if we 'have' to do things and please others when in reality, it is only us that we have to please.  

I encourage you now to go ahead and honestly evaluate how congruent your life is with where you would like it to be. If you started out with a clean sheet of paper and designed the life you would like, would it look like it does? Then set an intent to better understand yourself, clarify your Intentions in your own mind and then pay attention to what starts to happen. You might just surprise yourself.

Like Neo, Socrates and all the greats, the did it their way.

 


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Andrew Ford

Social Star, Level 4, Suite 402, 517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Australia

Marketing expert Andrew Ford, the founder of Social Star, has discovered the secret of ‘Powerful Branding’. With a fire for unleashing people’s inner brand and developing business models to generate profit from an individual’s passions, Andrew leverages ground-breaking digital and social media marketing techniques to create digital strategies for clients to attract maximum opportunities. Having established a strong name for himself in the field, Andrew blends traditional business techniques with now-necessary tools for entrepreneurs to achieve scale, quality, and influence in their niche. Andrew’s comprehensive business background and qualifications consist of a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (RMIT 2003), a Graduate Certificate in Management (MBA Executive Program, University of Sydney 2005), and a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Swinburne University 2011). Continually on the cutting edge of his own education, Andrew has tested his marketing theories in forums such as the BCG Business Strategy Competition, which he won in 2005 against all Victorian MBA schools, and the Venture Cup Business Plan Competition (Swinburne University 2003), which he won in the Masters category. With experience working at Hewlett-Packard, Sensis (Telstra) and IBM, Andrew also has mentored dozens of junior staffs to help them achieve their professional goals. Meeting and influencing high-profile public figures helped Andrew to realise just how many professionals require more understanding and control of their public brands or appearance, and need help with the skills to use the many amazing free tools at their disposal to generate success. At Social Star, Andrew consults with clients to uncover their personal brand – both where it is today and where it can be tomorrow – and refine and define how that should be displayed in social media in order to attract their perfect target audience. Andrew mentors his clients to rapidly grow their business’ audiences, resulting in larger potential client bases and higher revenue. Applying formulas that integrate over twenty years of Andrew’s business experience and fifteen years of formal business education, Social Star specialises in building clarity and velocity for clients’ brands using the ‘Understand, Build and Leverage’ methodology. ‘Having a Personal Business enables people to have an authentic, congruent connection with their valued clients and partners, using their brand as the bridge,’ says Andrew. ‘I’m highly driven to work with the new breed of entrepreneurs and small business owners – people who have a passion for making the world a better place. Traditional business models are stepping aside as people follow their innermost dreams and my role is to see them operate within their values while creating wealth. Some people think you have to sacrifice what you love to be successful in your business, yet it is actually the opposite. Follow your passion and success will come.’ Lecturing at Swinburne University from 2009 to 2011 on brand dynamics and digital marketing, presenting at numerous conferences, and consulting to hundreds of clients, Andrew has seen his philosophy work that if you follow your unique path, based on your skills, experience, values and goals, you will automatically attract the opportunities you desire and achieve the success you deserve. Living his mantra, Andrew has created a successful business and attracts high-profile clients including musicians, athletes, authors, models, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, helping them find their ‘why’ in their business and fulfilment in their lives. Business for Andrew is more than work, it’s personal. Running a personal business means that he is able to fulfil all of his values rather than separating his life from work. It supports his two boys while providing social opportunities, educational development, fitness opportunities, spiritual fulfilment and many valuable friendships. Social Star has now become the vehicle for Andrew to crystallise his mission in the world, to help people love what they do, supporting his ‘why’, that if more people loved what they did, the world would be a better place.