Skip to content

Self-Awareness Leads To Self-Knowledge

“Verily, the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul and then walks grinning to the funeral.” Kahlil Gibran

Comfort is the stealthy thing that enters the house as guest, and then becomes the host, and then master. Once it becomes a master, it makes puppets of your larger desires.

What does this really mean? It means that comfort is not the sort of thing that the soul yearns for. The soul wants to be free, to love, to explore, to know and follow paths that comfort would detest. On the other hand, comfort is no friend of learning what the soul would like to find.  So, between your large desires and your comfort, one has to win the war and guess who that is? Well, the one who triumphs for most people is comfort. Triumphantly and with big ego, comfort goes to the funeral of all things the soul wants and desires. As comfort does this, he grins in much the same way a victorious athlete does when they have destroyed their opponent. Oh, comfort is so heartless, he devours all the desires, dreams and all that could have been. The reason I, Veli Ndaba – ‘The Engineered Mind – to WIN’ was born, was to speak this truth to you and help you raise your level of self-awareness so as not to allow this heartless comfort into your house, your life that is.

As a speaker – neuro-conscious leadership and motivational as well as a life and business coach, I often hear people cheaply tossing expensive and valuable expressions around. They boldly share their knowledge about how much they know about goal-setting techniques, they explain in details but never get to achieve them, why is that? Well, once again, it goes to prove that knowledge can only take you so far. I love this quote by Brian O’Driscoll, “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.”

Knowledge means awareness of facts. This is context insensitive, the fact that tomato is a fruit is not going to change wherever you go. Whereas wisdom is very much contextual. Something wise in one context can be a foolish act in a different context. Knowledge can only take you so far. Many people are forever collecting information and knowledge without engaging their wisdom aspect hence they remain stuck. Wisdom is understanding the knowledge and having the ability to apply it.

Self-knowledge starts with self-awareness. Self-awareness is a process of waking up. Waking up to your world and waking up to yourself. This is opening your eyes and really seeing what is happening around you and then interacting with your environment. This is what my talks and coaching sessions are structured around, rather than just dumping people with loads of information and knowledge, which they are already victims of, I help them engage the wisdom element into their lives. Once you begin to clearly see everything around you in a fully waking state, questions start to form in your mind and you feel compelled to answer those questions and that’s the beginning of self-awareness which is also called mindfulness. So, clearly and honestly speaking, until you get to a stage of being fully awake, you’ll never start a life-long journey of self-knowledge, you’ll be stuck in a state of somnambulism – which means sleepwalking.

When I was starting on this journey of self-knowledge, I came across these powerful and profound words by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. which say, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Wow! These words hit me right between my eyes. To me, these words simply meant that we are boundless and measureless. They meant that a human life cannot be catalogued and contained because we take different forms and shapes as we journey along this life. This was a light bulb moment for me which resulted in me retiring in my career as an engineer to becoming what I was truly meant to be – speaking, writing and coaching. This expired my truth and believes I had then. I soon realized that knowledge is mainly a perception. It is that which is perceived. Every perspective is unique

In Physics, I learned about Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion which states that: An object will not change its motion unless a force acts on it. Later on in life, I also learned about the extension of this law called: The First Law of Soul Dynamics which tells us that; “For every Perspective, there’s an equal and opposite Perspective.” There’s no one-size fits all ‘knowledge’. Everyone’s perceptions are unique; some just a bit, others very much so.

I have two sons that saw and watched me playing soccer and squash over the years until I stopped playing soccer about seven years ago at the age of forty three. They watched me scoring goals as a striker, running fast to their amazement and they knew they couldn’t take me on. My first born son, who will in three months turn twenty one said, “Dad, my brother (who is eighteen years old) and I, truly believes that we can now take you on in running and beat you!” I quickly replied, “Boys, you are now dreaming, have you forgotten my lightning speed?” to cut the long story short, yesterday, we went for this much-anticipated run and guess what, they beat me and I tore my muscle in the process. This is a stern reminder that we must keep checking and verifying our truths, knowledge and beliefs because they expire and you don’t want to hold on to beliefs that are no longer valid and serving you.

Don’t let the heartless comfort murder the passion of your soul and boastfully attend the funeral with a stinking attitude of triumph.

Veli Ndaba is a Neuro-Conscious Leadership Speaker and Trainer, Life & Business Coach, Motivational Speaker and Author of four books (You Are Born to Win, Your Dream is Calling You and SWITCH ON! And Set Your Soul On Fire!), Newspaper Columnist and Entrepreneur. To book him to speak at your next event or to help you and your team unleash your greatness, contact him on, or +27 83 304 9773