By the time we reach puberty, the world has reached us and shaped us to a greater extent than what we realize. Our family, friends, school, and society in general, have told us – by word and example – how to be or not to be.
I was taught always to consider what the “people” would say first of all and not to challenge the norm. When I went to university it was my father who decided what I should study and the degree did not match my interests and abilities. These “prescribed recipes” turned out to hamper me in my life rather than take me forward towards creating my own life story.
“Know thyself” and “invent thyself” is, however, our key task in life. This means separating the person who we have become through societal programming and who we want to be. It is unpacking our mental bags, discarding what is not wanted anymore, making new selections and repacking them. It is about a process of re-inventing ourselves and shaking off the limitations others have imposed upon us prior. This process requires a committed search for self-knowledge.