Your Greatest Failure Is Not Knowing Yourself

Self-ignorance guarantees emptiness

Thomas Oppong
4 min readMay 8, 2023


Photo: Editorial rights purchased via Freepik

How much do you really know about yourself?

It’s a question that may seem simple at first, but upon deeper reflection, it can be a daunting one.

The truth is, many of us go through life without truly understanding who we are, what we want, and what we stand for.

We may be so focused on achieving external success and meeting societal expectations that we neglect to explore our own values, passions, and strengths.

But here’s the bitter truth: ignorance of your values, beliefs, strengths, weaknesses, motivations and desires is your greatest failure in life.

Self-awareness is the foundation of wisdom, personal growth and success.

“Knowing others is intelligence, knowing yourself is true wisdom,” says Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese Taoist philosopher.

Yet, despite its importance, many of us struggle with self-awareness, and we fail to recognise its impact on our lives.

This failure to know ourselves is our greatest failure. It’s the root cause of many of our personal and professional problems.



Thomas Oppong

Making the wisdom of great thinkers instantly accessible. As seen on Forbes, Inc. and Business Insider. For my popular essays, go here: