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The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living

Socrates’ claim that the unexamined life is not worth living makes a satisfying climax for the deeply principled arguments he presents on behalf of the philosophical life. The claim is that only in striving to come to know ourselves and to understand ourselves do our lives have any meaning or value. (Source: The Apology Summary by Plato Socrates 399 BC)

Maybe a little harsh, but what a truth. Having the insight to understand what makes us who we are; why we respond the way we do; what excites us and drives our passion; and what challenges us and produces negative thoughts. Surely, this self-awareness is the basis for doing life well and having success.

We’ve got the insights

Nothing is more frustrating in any relationship than trying to determine what is real and what is fake. One of the most rewarding aspects of working with my colleagues at DNA Behavior International is that I know them. Not just who they are – but their inherent personality and behavior. More importantly, they know me.

Why is this good to know? I work on the other side of the world and most of my connections with my colleagues is via social media and A/V conferencing software apps. If I didn’t know their behavioral style, I’m not sure wed work well together.

Were an interesting bunch made up of the quiet, the analytical, the relational, the charismatic, the creative, the young, the older and were led by a strategic entrepreneur. Sounds like a recipe for disaster! But because of what we do and how passionately we believe in what we do, we work together as smoothly as a Swiss watch. Why?

Because as individuals we invested 10 minutes into discovering what makes us tick by completing the DNA Behavior Natural Discovery. The insight didn’t stop there. We then took steps to understand how to manage and use this information to do life more effectively. Then, and this is the big step, we discovered as individuals how to interact with others whose behavior is diametrically opposite our own. Tricky, but doable.

A personal example

I’m a conversationalist and a debater, intensely aware of other people and yet reserved. Through self-examination, I know when to shut up. I see the signs of colleagues or clients glazing over if I’m saying too much. I know my subject and am passionate about it. Understanding behaviors has been my career but I needed to understand that self-awareness is not something others necessarily subscribe to. Many believe they are what they do. In other words, their sense of self is strongly linked to their career. Big mistake.

Self-awareness is important because when we have a better understanding of ourselves, we understand our uniqueness and individualism. This empowers us to make changes and build on our strengths and manage our limitations. Further, when careers change, we don’t.

So that’s me – how about you?

Do you have personality clashes at work or at home? How well do you know yourself and them? One take-away, I found, from self-awareness, is that it opens your eyes and mind to the behaviors you see in others. It gives insight into how to manage those differences from your perspective. I know in my life this self-knowledge has helped me navigate some complicated relationships. I don’t always get it right, but even with hindsight, I know where I went wrong and what I could have managed better.

Knowing who you are and why you say, do and react in the way that you do will help you in some very important ways. I know I can now read a situation either with a colleague, friend or client much quicker than before I had this self-knowledge.

In the key relationships, I ask the other party(s) to complete the same discovery as I have done. I’ve never had a no. This makes for very interesting conversations around the mask we wear to hide who we really are from each other, or the issues we face that concern and cause a reaction from us. More importantly, the mutual insight sets the relationships up to be far more genuine and transparent and this, above all else, leads to trust.

So, getting back to my story

I am who I am. Since early childhood I’ve been reserved, passionate about injustice, fearful of aggressive behavior, sceptical, spontaneous and risk averse. But knowing these inherent behaviors has given me an insight not only into who I am but more importantly into the behaviors of others that can take me off course.

I know how to manage me. I know where my confidence comes from. I know that self-knowledge has opened many doors of discovery for me, not just about me, but also those I work with, family and friends.

Time for reflection and action?

Think about what you are facing at work. Are there relationships that confuse you and take you off track? What about managing the behaviors of those around you who challenge you. How do you react to them?

Here is a call to action. Now is the time to find out. Take the DNA Behavior Natural Discovery on me. In just 10 minutes and at no cost, you can have the same self-awareness and understanding into you as I have into me.

Take your DNA Behavior Natural Discovery

It needn’t stop there; why not get colleagues to do the same? Then you will have deep insight into behaviors. You will be empowered to be who you truly were designed and meant to be.

And finally, your employees and clients DNA is their digital fingerprint. Why not talk to us about unlocking their DNA using a Personality API to predict outcomes, customize experiences and increase performance. Yes, this insight tool is scalable, in addition to being validated and practical.

Link to a 15-minute discussion.

Carol Pocklington

Carol Pocklington

Carol Pocklington - Chief Insights Accelerator

Carol is a Human Performance Accelerator. She has worked with Hugh Massie since 2001 since the Financial DNA understanding concept was conceived. She works with people and businesses worldwide. Her real-world application of behavioural insights, gives her the capability to serve as a business strategist, coach, mentor, and trainer. She is also a prolific blogger, a public speaker and author, specializing in human behavioural insights.


Carol's DNA Natural Behavior Style is - Facilitator


Carol is a Facilitator. Facilitators are persistent, goal-oriented people who promote team effort in order to complete tasks. Facilitators lead by setting examples and by achieving goals. Their strong work ethic encourages others to excel and they have an excellent ability to deal calmly yet firmly with people using a facilitative style.

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