This is perhaps the best known of the Delphic Maxims and probably one of the most difficult. In order to truly BE yourself you have to KNOW yourself first. This is something that will lead us through places where we many times do not want to be as this means we have to confront the parts of ourselves that we are not happy with or proud of.
To know yourself means being honest, first with yourself and then with others so as to make honesty a habit. To know yourself means acknowledging that one is both an emotional as well as a logical and physical being. To know yourself means facing mental and physical limitations with an eye towards overcoming the obstacles that the limitations bring with them. It is an ongoing process and as with some of the other Maxims, this one is an activeprocess.
The process starts by being aware of what you do and what you say (as well as how you say it). Then you must become aware of how your words and actions affect those around you so that you can make the effort needed to be the person you want to be
The effort to actually bethat person you want to be is also part of knowing yourself because you are constantly growing and changing as you interact with others. Knowing yourself involves being actively aware of yourself to determine what things you can (and should) change about yourself and what you cannot. In my case, I know that I cannot change my mental and physical illnesses, but I CAN take steps to lead as full a life as possible with medication and therapy (including writing a private blog with how I’m feeling on any given day so that I can track changes in my mind).
This effort to Know Yourself is one of the most important things we can do in our lives, especially if we desire to truly live the rich life the Gods have given us.