The entrance to the Ancient Greek Temple of Apollo at Delphi was said to have had the phrase “Know Thyself” inscribed upon it. Many Greek philosophers have been given credit for coining this phrase over the centuries, but regardless of its true origins, the advice is sound, and it benefits those who follow it today.

The act of knowing oneself involves a number of things.  First, we can take an honest look at our abilities, our limitations, and areas in which we want to target improvement. Performing this assessment on a regular basis helps us to keep on track with our goals while also setting healthy boundaries in our lives.

Secondly, knowing oneself involves understanding one’s personal purpose and values. It is this defining of one’s personal purpose that can lead, according to psychotherapist Amy Morin, to a sense of control, satisfaction, and general contentment in life. Those who develop an internal locus of control and who feel satisfaction and contentment in their daily activities are more likely to live longer, healthier lives.

How does one discover their life purpose? A key factor in the process is practicing mindfulness. Check in regularly throughout your day to see how activities you engage in and the choices you make feel in your body. Explore your reactions to different events to see if any of them spark an intense reaction, either positive or negative. Examine your interests to see what really makes you feel alive. Could your purpose somehow be tied to these areas?

Routinely ask yourself, “Does this support the life I’m trying to create?” when making decisions or taking action.  If not, it might be time for a readjustment. Finding one’s purpose is a fluid activity that will likely change over time, so truly knowing oneself by regularly checking in and practicing mindfulness can help ensure that you are on the path to a fulfilling and satisfying life.