Discovery Voyage – Shining A Light On Who You Are
The concept of self-discovery is not new; at every turn, you see people “looking for themselves.” That’s not a joke, by the way, by no stretch of the imagination. It is astounding to realize how little people know about themselves.
I’ve personally encountered this problem, and it felt much like running at full speed into a brick wall. By ignoring or actively refusing to go on this journey myself, I almost single-handedly destroyed my marriage, finances, and health. It took me years to get back onto some sort of track, and the amount of work it took was tremendous. So, for me, this discovery phase was a critical part of my journey. I was lost, and without going through this process, I’d have stayed lost. Really lost.
And it’s not because of a lack of awareness, per se. I had gained tiny pieces of awareness here and there, encouraged either by the people around me, like my wife, or by circumstances. But I’m talking more about the big-picture lack of holistic awareness, meaning an overall understanding of who one is across all dimensions of life and how those distinct lines connect and influence one another.
Most people know at least something about themselves, and it’s either something they are fantastic at, or something they are terrible at, or sometimes both. That’s normal because extremes are always obvious. For instance, you might be a magnificent cook and a terrible dancer. Those could be facts you’ve established about yourself over time and through experimentation.
But there are two significant points I want to address here:
1 Most of the time, those extremes are not your exclusive labels. Although they might be predominant, you are not only that. By ignoring the other things in your life (good or bad), you miss the opportunity to dive into other passions and also opportunities for self-improvement.
2 The second important point is that understanding what you are is one thing, but figuring out how that makes you feel and how it affects your life is a whole different one.
Maybe you are a terrible dancer, but do you even care about dancing at all? Was someone important in your life an outstanding dancer? Is your spouse passionate about dancing? All these things that stay elusive in a shallow analysis might reveal deep emotional connections when analyzed further. They might show up in unexpected places and unexpected ways.
The Discovery Voyage is an in-depth analysis of you, as of this moment in time. It’s about you, as you have developed from the day you were born until today, with all the baggage of good and bad. You won’t leave any stone unturned. You need to dig deep here and find the root of who you truly are. Only by knowing who you are today and what you are capable of will you be able to create a vision for your future self and work toward it relentlessly.
During this phase, we will look at eight separate concepts:
- Identity – Who Are You?
- Values – What Is Important To You?
- Beliefs – What Holds You Back or Pushes You Forward?
- Strengths – Where Is Your Energy Coming From?
- Weaknesses – What Drains Your Energy?
- Skills – What Are You Good At?
- Passions – What Fires You Up?
- Time – Where Do You Spend Your Time?
Let’s look at the sections you’ll go over during your Discovery Voyage.
1 Identity – Who Are You?
Identity is most likely the easiest concept to understand in this list. Your identity, at its root, is significantly influenced by the roles you fulfill in your life. Examples could be that of a father, husband, community leader, painter, and so on. You have “applied” for these roles and gotten the part at some point in your life.
They all influence what you do, how you feel, what you think, and what you desire, and they drive at least a part of your behavior and attitude toward yourself, others, and the world in general.
2 Values – What Is Important To You?
When we talk about values in the context of self-growth or personal development, we are referring to moral values. These are the things you hold to be of high importance in your life. They are specific and very well defined, although you may have never taken the time to uncover them.
Your values drive your behavior because they represent your personal barometer for what is right and what is wrong. Your values are your filter for the things you will or will not do. Therefore it is vital to understand your own value system and figure out if it’s solid enough to sustain your goals and aspirations.
3 Beliefs – Where Is Your Truth?
Beliefs are another dimension of our personality with a significant influence over our behavior and actions. They represent the ideas and concepts we hold to be true, regardless of whether we have proof of their objective truth or not.
Although the last part might suggest that beliefs are delusions, they are not. Some beliefs are backed up by facts, while others are merely rooted in faith. The reality is in the eye of the beholder, they say, and when it comes to beliefs, this is 100% true.
By going through the exercise of understanding your beliefs and identifying how they affect your life, you will gain the self-awareness you need to distinguish between those beliefs that lift you and help your progress and those that stunt your evolution and hold you back.
4 Strengths – Where Is Your Energy Coming From?
We often equate our strengths with the things we are good at; however, that is not what strengths are. Strengths are the things that strengthen you and fill you up with energy. They are the source of your biggest motivation and the kindling fire for your passions. They are your fuel.
By spending time to identify your real strengths, you can tap into them deeply and wholeheartedly and utilize them throughout your entire journey. By setting up your life plan with intent, you will leverage your strengths to propel you not only faster but much farther along the way.
5 Weaknesses – What Is Holding You Back?
As you might imagine, your weaknesses are the opposite of your strengths. They are those actions, events, or even people who drain your energy and leave you lethargic and uninspired. They are your emotional and mental black holes, sucking every ounce of power out of you.
The problem with weaknesses is that they will always be there for as long as you live. During this entire journey, though, you will not only dig in to find and understand them, but you will develop a system to work around them. You will design your life to use your strengths and skills to overcome those weaknesses and stop them from being impediments to your journey. In addition, you will develop the mental and emotional strength not to let those weaknesses keep you down through constant, deliberate practice.
6 Skills – What Are You Great At?
Your skills are the things that you are good at. You can think of them as your performance. They can be physical, mental, emotional, or social. Every person is good at a few things, either naturally or due to training and learning.
By putting deliberate effort into understanding your current skills and their level of performance, you set the ground for your future learning plan. Remember that your vision will be grand. Your goals will be gigantic. There will be a mountain to conquer in front of you. Most likely, no matter how many skills you have, you might need fresh ones or upgrade the level of old ones to succeed.
7 Passions – What Fires You Up?
Passion is one of the scariest words you can hear when talking about personal development. There’s a good reason for that: we often misunderstand passion. People think it’s in your DNA and that you need some magical potion to discover it.
During your Discovery Journey, you will learn how to shift your understanding of passion and work your way toward creating your own. That’s right—this is the first place where we connect your Discovery Voyage to your Creation Voyage because passion has a little flavor of both.
8 Time – Where Does Your Time Go?
Last but not least, to create the necessary space for your life plan, you must first understand how you spend your time. As one of the most elusive of all human concepts, time passes by mercilessly. It never stops, and it has a way of waving around us like a soft breeze. You can barely feel it, and then it’s gone.
Your vision and goals will require a solid execution, which you will design during your Action Voyage. But before you get there, you must first uncover the reality of your time today. How do you spend it? What do you do weekly, daily, every night, every morning? Understanding this aspect of your life will create clarity and open up space for the canvas upon which you will draw your new life.
Get On Board the Discovery Voyage
With this in mind, for best results, I recommend that you go through each discovery step one by one, in the order in which they are presented. Each builds upon the previous one, and they all come together into one big block of information about you.
If you skip any steps, even if you honestly believe that you’ve got that area covered, you might wind up with an unbalanced plan. So don’t sabotage yourself, and go through all the exercises.
Each step will have an associated downloadable PDF worksheet with detailed step-by-step instructions. I recommend you first read the theory and examples given in each sub-section and then download the work files and do the work.
During your lifetime, you might need to come back to this discovery voyage and re-do it every so often. It might be a good idea to even revisit it once a year during your annual review. It’s never a bad thing to learn more about yourself.
Without further delay, proceed to the first step of your Discovery Voyage, Discover Your Identity!
If you want to check any of the other steps in this voyage, use the navigation table below.
Feedback, Comments, Suggestions, Testimonials
Do you have any feedback, suggestions, comments, or ideas about the Self-Growth Journey Program? Or perhaps, you’d like to leave a testimonial for others to see? If so, please visit the feedback and testimonials page and let me know your thoughts. Thank you!