How to Know Thyself
Become an Explorer
Explore various communities and interests to find your true niche. This could be academic, professional, or even recreational interests to understand and “know thyself.” Engaging with volunteerism or project management groups are also a great way to connect with and give back to your community.
Find Your Flexible Support Circle
Keeping the right kind of company is imperative to your growth and success. Stretch out your palm, and identify these five people: Guidance Counselor, Life Mentor, Government Official, Best Competitor, and Notebook. These five people are incredibly important in your life journey and remind you that you are not alone in your efforts.
Be Kind to Everyone
How you treat people is very important. It’s better to build bridges than burn them. Assume good intentions. You never know what someone has going on in their life. Your kindness goes a long way.
Always Ask Questions
We all have our insecurities about sharing our thoughts with others. Even in professional settings, when we need clarification for something, we keep quiet in fear. Asking questions allows your mind to be free and makes room for innovative ideas. Our greatest accomplishments as a society come from people who weren’t afraid to step out of their comfort zones and ask question the status quo.
Generate a Growth Mindset
The future is tomorrow, three weeks, and a year from now. Setting goals for each month helps with growing your business and strengthening your personal development. Personal reflection on these goals also helps with determining what you define as failures and successes, and the lessons to learn from those experiences.
Channel the Most Productive You
Fear holds us back from being our most productive selves. It manifests itself in procrastination, where we personally allow distractions to get in the way of our goals. Tracking your productive habits and sources of distractions is a great way to step into your potential. This could be finding a new space to work in like libraries or coffee shops, surrounded by other productive. Set up your day in a structured time frame that you're committed to following.
Find your Space of Expression
Your mind needs somewhere to relax and play. This could be through a collaborative co-working space within your office or your home, through an activity like solving a puzzle, dancing, or painting. Sticky notes can also fuel this innovative place or activity, where you can let your mind go to explore your own form of artistic expression.
Design your North Star
The North Star of your life is the biggest reward you have that applauds your efforts after reaching what you define as a significant success. My North Star is a year of travel. This reward comes after identifying what goal you believe would be your greatest accomplishment in the next five to 10 years.
Have a Constant Hunger for Feedback
No one is perfect. We need to fail often and fail forward in order to grow and learning from those who have been in your shoes only helps in furthering your journey. Having a hunger for feedback also humbles you as a person.
Designate your Life Motivational Quote
I have two quotes I live by. These quotes are sources of support, in addition to your circle, that you can use to reflect on in any stage of your life. One of mine is: “Who is the bravest? Those who see a storm and run in, or those who wait for the skies to clear?"
High-School Senior, DE Board of Education
Dorcas Olatunji is a senior at the Charter School of Wilmington. As the first-ever Student Representative on the Delaware State Board of Education, she has been leading advocacy initiatives for student engagement. She’s also the chief justice of Delaware's YMCA Youth in Government program and captain of the CSW Varsity Track team. She plans to double major in Economics and Finance this fall.