Knowing Yourself: Tips and Questions Worth Pondering

May 25, 2023 | Philosophy

William F. Merck II, Author, Leader, Speaker

by William F. Merck II

Excerpt from Bill’s guest article for Ms. Career Girl on knowing why you are who you are is a critical ingredient for success in life and in the workplace.

Where do my thoughts come from?
Why do I feel certain ways about people?
When did I form that opinion?
Why do I prefer one thing over another?
Why am I here?

These are a few of the serious questions we ask ourselves as we go through life. If you are seeking answers to these questions—about how you view the world and your place in it—you must first realize that the answers to understanding your core beliefs have been shaped by a lifetime of your unique experiences.

Each of us has our own set of life experiences that shape how we see the world—our likes and dislikes, our prejudices, our spiritual beliefs, our ethical and moral values. It began with our childhood experiences. What was our physical environment? Who were the people we were around? What were their values? What were we told about how the world works? Whatever these circumstances were in our early world environments, they set a foundation for what followed in our life.

You Grow as Your Knowledge and Experience Expands

As you grew older and your contact with the world expanded, you were inundated with new and different experiences, cultures, and attitudes. Your knowledge of the world beyond your younger bubble grew. This is when you began to make choices based on your core beliefs. The answers you had to the questions posed at the outset of this article began to be asked. You started to evaluate what you were told about the way the world works. Such introspection could bring on a sense of enlightenment, or maybe a sense of guilt, as you questioned what the adults in your childhood told you. But, based on your new experiences, will you stick to your old belief systems or adapt as you gain more insight and understanding?

A saying that guides me is, “We create the environment that controls us.” Do you stick with what you have always believed? Or, do you modify your beliefs based on new experiences you are having? Here are five tips to consider when presented with choices about what to believe:

Change is Healthy

Realize that deviating from the status quo can be painful, but sometimes it is necessary to grow and thrive as a human being. Staying in a miserable job because it is a known environment may seem better than risking change. Know this about yourself and choose to make a change, even if it seems scary at the time.

You can read the full article on the Ms. Career Girl website.

Bill’s book, Breadcrumbs: Finding a Philosophy of Life, is available on Amazon. Read excerpts from the book here.

Breadcrumbs: Finding a Philosophy of Life by William F. Merck II

Get your Copy!

Breadcrumbs: Finding a Philosophy of Life is now available in paperback and e-book editions.

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A leader is not restricted to any particular spot on an organization chart or any title. A leader is anyone who sets a direction and inspires others to follow.

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William F. Merck has a lifetime of experiences in the working world that contributed to his success in a variety of leadership roles.

Available on Amazon

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Being a leader is not easy for anyone. Thankfully, this book transforms more than a half-century of leadership experiences into a practical handbook for those looking to excel in leadership roles. In candid fashion, So, You Want to Be a Leader: Secrets of a Lifetime of Success, reveals what works—along with an unvarnished examination of what doesn’t—in a myriad of work-related situations.

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BREADCRUMBS: Finding a Philosophy of Life

In Bill’s new book released on March 14, 2023, the author uses stories from his life’s journey to illustrate points in time that helped form his view of the world and his place in it. From growing up in Southern Georgia in the 1940s, to becoming a military officer and a corporate leader, he discovers a nexus between early feelings and subsequent notions and beliefs.

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