Nosce te ipsum – Know thyself! 

“Know thyself “ is widely attributed to Socrates and echoed by Aristotle and essentially means the key to understanding others is to understand yourself and who’s pulling your strings.

It seems to me that one’s ability to get what they want and where they want has a hell of a lot to do with how they make use of their mind. I am no different so this applies to me too; trained coach or not! I use myself as a kind of personal laboratory for human behaviour.

None of us came with an instruction manual. It would be a lot easier if our kids came with one. Those of you who are parents will get this. Equally though, it applies to ourselves. If we don’t know what drives us and what hooks us and pulls our strings how can we live a life of grace and ease?

Staying on track

Having spent much time in pursuit of self-understanding and self-development means I can identify pretty quickly what has taken me off track and what has hooked me and what is pulling my strings in the moment.

I know I am going to get off track. I accept that as a part of what it is to be human so I have turned my attention to getting back on track faster. We all have our things that hook us. One of mine is not being listened to. It’s an old story and one that I don’t experience so much these days. It seems a fact of life that those who are closest to us listen to us the least.

Are you listening?

One of my nearest and dearest was dealing with an upset and was clearly hooked by it. No matter what I said or how I phrased it, nothing seemed to make a difference. My message just wasn’t getting through. Already I was beginning to experience frustration.

I could hear what was going on and tried to relay it but my words fell on deaf ears. Finally, I suggested that she speak to someone whom I had a fairly good idea she would listen to. This person is younger than me and definitely up to the task and after a 15 minute conversation all was resolved for the better.

You think I would be happy. Instead I was in two minds about it. On the one hand, I was glad there was resolution. On the other hand, it reminded me of the past when I would make a great suggestion to my father only to have it dismissed, usually out of hand. I quickly learned to ‘go through my brother’; if the suggestion came from him it was generally well received and acted upon.

This situation felt eerily similar. Same message, delivered through a different person. Urgh! Old stories about not being listened to and not being able to make a difference came bubbling up to the surface.  The common denominator was me so the issue is mine.

I could see that was what had hooked me and I knew it was irrational. Here is what is relevant about that. My reaction may have been irrational and feelings are always true, they have a message to convey and something for me to look at, an opportunity.  It doesn’t mean they are right.


Ring someone whom I trust to hear me out and process the emotion around it so I can be my best self which is ultimately my commitment. It works every time.

Who do you call when you get hooked and someone else is pulling your strings?

Let us know in the comments below.