Aristotle, the great thinker, once said, “Knowing Yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Whether you want to be make it big in life, want to be content, want to live a life of your dreams, become a film star, athlete, politician, teacher or anyone, the first step that you must take, and take right now, is to begin knowing yourself.

According to all successful people, the key to having a complete life is knowing one’s self. That means having clarity of your strengths, weaknesses, emotions, reactions towards every particular condition and so on. Although it would be unlikely that you get a complete knowledge of your self once you finish reading this article, it may well be a  good start, still.

Your personality encompasses all the characteristics and habits that set you apart from others. At different times, psychologists have presented different modes of personality, but the most of them now agree on the Big 5 Theory of Personality. Every trait has also its reverse. You can memorize them through the acronym OCEAN

O  for Openness to Experience     reversed       Closed to Experience
C  for Conscientiousness                reversed       Lack of Conscientiousness
E  for Extraversion                           reversed       Introversion
A  for Agreeableness                       reversed       Disagreeableness
N  for Neuroticism                           reversed       Emotional Stability


Openness to Experience

Do you know anyone who always wants to experience new things or new ideas? Like eating food in various restaurants, selecting different spots for a picnic, listening to different types of music, enjoying the arts, keen to learn or have a creative hobby. Then that person may be considered as open to experience. An individual who scores high in this trait likes “change” and he or she is more creative, daring, curious and likely to meet new people.

Contrarily, an individual who scores low in this trait doesn’t like “change”. Such people prefer routine work and are less attracted to arts and entertainment. This may be one of your friend who always wants to have particular food in a particular place or watch the same season over and over again.


I am sure you happen to know such people. Maybe he’s your friend or colleague who always completes assignments on time, who is always punctual, is prepared for eventualities and is prepared for exams well in advance. Such a person can generally be considered as conscientious. Conscientiousness is the key ingredient to becoming successful. People who score high in this trait are self-disciplined, high achievers and hard working. However, individuals who score low in conscientiousness are disorganized, unpunctual, procrastinators and act spontaneously without realization.

So where do you think you fall? An organised, well-prepared individual or a messy, unplanned person?


This personality trait indicates how much outgoing and social a person is. Individuals who score high in this trait are more talkative, have many friends and feel perfectly comfortable even in a group of strangers. These type of people are often condsidered “the life of the party” and they themselves want to be at the center of attention. They find energy from the outer world and become bored or stressed when they have to live alone for a longer time.

The opposite type of this person is an introvert, who is mostly considered shy. They are not particulary afraid of social situations, they just do not like to get involved in them. They are a people of “few words”, as they mostly remain quite and live in their own worlds. They have a few friends, but form strong bonds with those who they become friends with. Have you figured out who you are, then? One who wants to be the life of the party or one who is content with sitting in a quiet corner with a book?


This is a charecterictsic that tells how well you interact with others. Individuals with a high score in this are people whose company is favorable for all. Rather than proving their own point of view, they try to resolve conflicts. They avoid arguments and aggression and feel happy helping others. Such people are selfless and listen to others with patience. They talk politely, are kind, humble and win the trust of everyone easily.

On the flipside are those that are selfish, put their interest before others, argumentative, unfriendly and uncooperative. Of course, it is not necessary that a person that is not agreeable is bad in any sense. It’s just that he or she may be more driven to prove him or herslef to the world, making him or her come off as more confrontational and ready for a battle.


This trait is directly connected to the happiness and satisfaction of life. Individuals who score high in this trait are generally more emotionally unstable. They are more sensitive to what is happening in the world and experience more negative feelings even from incidents that are normally ignored by others. They are moodier, feel fearful, lack confidence, insecure and tend to be a bit more sensitive. People who score low in this are emotionally stable and are less easily upset. They remain calm, do not experience more negative feelings, are confident and adventurous.

Success in a particular job requires a varied set of qualities. It’s not like if someone you know is successful at a particular job, you will be too. Before choosing a career for yourself, you must think about the traits that define you best. You must know your strengths and your weaknesses as well. To truly succeed at any task, you must love what you are asked to do. And the only way to do that is gauging your own self according to the big five theory of personality.


If you do what you love as your career, you must not ask for any other blessing!




Shehryar Ahmed Author bio pic 1


The views and opinions expressed in the article are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views and policy of The Academia Magazine.


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