7 Rules of Self Discovery

Hardly anything else reveals so well the fear and uncertainty among men as the length to which they will go to hide their true selves from each other and even from their own eyes.                    ~ A.W. Tozer

To help us remedy our inclination to hide our true selves from each other and even from our own eyes, Tozer came up with The 7 Rules for Self Discovery:

1. What we want most
2. What we think about most
3. How we use our money
4. What we do with our leisure time
5. The company we enjoy
6. Who and what we admire
7. What we laugh at

A. W. Tozer wrote this inventory long before the self-help sections began to overflow at Borders and Barnes and Noble. I decided to concentrate on the one question that might give me the most insight about myself and to choose the question that might help me tell me the most about another.

I learn about myself from each of Tozer’s 7 Rules, but for me, #2 is the most revealing.

What do  I think about the most?

More and more, I see the value in taking inventory of what I chose to think about, and in becoming increasingly conscience of where my mind tends to wander when it’s not called to active duty.

I can be surprisingly unaware of where my unbidden thoughts linger. The more I’m cognizant of what I’m thinking, the more I learn about myself, my heart and my true values.

Since I can’t know anyone else’s mind or motives, for insight into others I pick # 7.

What do they laugh at.

It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? There are a myriad of subtle and sometimes not so subtle things we can learn about each other based on what we laugh at. Laughter reveals more than just our sense of humor. Attitudes, opinions, prejudices, and values that often remain veiled in conversation, crop up in laughter. What makes us laugh reveals a corner of our unspoken hearts.

If I’m going to grow in grace, then I have to concentrate, not just on grace, but on growing. One aspect of that is following Tozer’s prompts for self discovery and another is to pay closer attention to the hearts of others.

Do you want to weigh in? Which two do you find most most telling? What do they tell you about yourself and about others?