August 8

Temet Nosce (Warts and All)

Remember The Matrix? In one scene, we find ourselves in the apartment of “the Oracle,” an elderly woman considered to have all the answers. There’s a plaque above her kitchen door that reads, “Temet Nosce,” or “Know Thyself” in Latin. People flock to the Oracle for enlightenment, yet she candidly concedes that she cannot reveal anything individuals don’t already know or have the potential to discover within themselves.

This reminds me of the timeless wisdom embedded in the first four lines of the Serenity Prayer, widely adopted by those in recovery:

God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Think about it. This prayer beautifully encapsulates the essence of acceptance, surrender, and wisdom. And in line with this spirit of introspection, we always emphasize the importance of truly knowing yourself as you grow. It’s about understanding your strengths and acknowledging your limitations.

So, let’s be honest: What aren’t you so great at? Are you trying to fit into a mold that just doesn’t suit you? Are you trying to be something that you’re not?

The truth is, we all have our limitations, be it physical, emotional, or intellectual. And understanding them can seem overwhelming. Where do you start?

You start by learning and understanding YOUR TEMPERAMENT. 

One of the most profound realizations I’ve had from learning about my own temperament is getting a clearer view of my limitations. Some can be addressed and improved upon (where virtue building plays a crucial role), while others are just inherent traits we can’t change. And it’s precisely in recognizing the difference where wisdom finds its footing.

Interestingly, your limitations don’t necessarily confine you. They present you with opportunities to delegate tasks, explore collaborations, and cultivate enriching relationships.

Haven’t we all crossed paths with colleagues or business owners struggling to recognize their own limitations, to the point of harming their personal and professional lives? We’ve all witnessed it, maybe even experienced it ourselves.

Yes, you have limitations, just like everyone else. But they don’t have to be obstacles. Instead, they can be catalysts for humility and personal growth.

So, are you ready to dive deeper, to get to know yourself in a more nuanced way? Unraveling your temperament is the key. By understanding your temperament, you get an inside look into your unique mix of strengths and limitations. It’s your compass, guiding you toward areas you can improve and showing you where it’s best to let go and delegate. Take the next step on your self-discovery journey today.

Remember, it’s not about changing who you are, but understanding who you are – and embracing it, warts and all.

About the author 

Keith F. Luscher

Keith F. Luscher is a marketing strategist for the Authentic Leadership Foundation, which includes much of the media and communications work you see on a regular basis. He works as a fractional CMO for several organizations, and lives in Newark, Ohio.


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