The School of Life on Self-Knowledge

Self-knowledge matters so much because it is only on the basis of an accurate sense of who we are that we can make reliable decisions - particularly around love and work. Our range of classes and workshops offer individuals a radical new approach to learning; our Self-Knowledge curriculum has been designed to equip us with tools to combat the tendency to avoid important insights into who we really are.

In Ancient Greece, when the philosopher Socrates was asked to sum up what all philosophical commandments could be reduced to, he replied: ‘Know yourself.’ Self-knowledge matters so much because it is only on the basis of an accurate sense of who we are that we can make reliable decisions - particularly around love and work. Unfortunately, self-awareness is devilishly hard to acquire. Our minds are hugely skilled at hiding the truth about ourselves from our conscious grasp. We start off as children fathoming very little of who we might be, and then must spend a share of our adult lives attempting to understand the often garbled legacy of childhood.

That's why we've created a range of classes and workshops which allow us to learn more about our desires, our fears, our strengths and our failings, taking us on one of the most exciting journeys: into our deepest, most elusive selves.

Our Classes on Self-Knowledge

How to Develop Self-Knowledge
How to Develop Self-Knowledge takes us on one of the most exciting journeys: into our deepest, most elusive selves. £55 - Book now
How to Develop Self-Knowledge
Self-knowledge matters so much because it is only on the basis of an accurate sense of who we are that we can make reliable decisions - particularly around love and work. This class takes us on one of the most exciting journeys: into our deepest, most elusive selves. We come away armed with a newly clarified sense of the distinctive nature of our personalities, what we need to watch out for and what our priorities and potential might be. £55 - Book now
How to Be Sociable
This class equips us with the tools to make a greater success of our relationships with friends, colleagues and strangers. £55 - Book now
How to Be Sociable
Knowing how to get the most out of the people we meet, live with and work around is fundamental to our chances of a fulfilled life. Too often we feel we’re unable properly to convey our real selves and cannot relate naturally to others. How to be Sociable tackles, head on, the multiple challenges of knowing how to be with others. £55 - Book now
How to Be Serene
This class teaches us a toolkit for how to mine our distress for wisdom, and by so doing, to triumph over moments of exasperation and emotional distress. £55 - Book now
How to Be Serene
Calm has a deep and natural appeal. Most of us long to be more patient, unruffled, at ease and capable of reacting with quiet good humour to life’s setbacks and irritants. But if calm is an ocean, most of us are still in the shallows. How to Be Serene teaches us the art of responding with greater serenity to moments of emotional unrest. £55 - Book now

The Steps to Calm - one-day workshop

For those looking to combine our Self curriculum into a single high intensity session, we offer all three classes in workshop form for £150. A calm life isn’t one that’s always perfectly serene. It is one where we are committed to calming down more readily, where we strive to have more realistic expectations, where we can understand better why certain problems are occurring, and be more adept at finding a consoling perspective. Our progress may be limited and imperfect, but it is genuine - and this day of study provides invaluable and robust lessons that last a lifetime.

£150 - BOOK NOW

Examples of lessons learned during our classes include:

  • How to clarify vague and almost-out-of-reach emotions and thoughts.

  • How to understand the emotional dynamics of childhood.

  • What is charm and how do we acquire it?

  • How can one be at ease in social situations?

  • The things we worry about are obscure yet critical signals about what may be amiss in our lives.

  • We should not try to deny or neuter anxiety or rage, but learn to interpret it more skilfully.

Testimonials

"Great; it's the first time I've found something like this and it's come at the right time. I can't wait to learn more."

"The School of Life have taken me into a journey of self discovery I'm excited to follow."

"Very positive."

"An eye-opening experience."

"It's been so comforting to begin to understand that I'm just human. Thank you for creating a space where it's OK to be a little bit crazy."

Decision Dice
The Decision Dice is a tool for making wiser choices that invites us to think through an issue from six distinct angles. £15 - SHOP NOW
Decision Dice
The Decision Dice invites us to think through an issue from six distinct angles: our Enemy, our Gut, Death, Caution, Courage and our Parents. As we try out, juggle with and then synthesise these perspectives, we will feel our sense of possibility expand, and a tolerable way forward will gradually emerge from our present confusion. £15 - SHOP NOW
Emotional Baggage Tote Bag
This bag celebrates one of the most glamorous projects any of us can undertake: learning how to carry our emotional baggage well. £35 - SHOP NOW
Emotional Baggage Tote Bag
At The School of Life, we believe in trying to learn ways to be more deft about the damage we are burdened with: how to fathom it, how to set it in context and how to warn others of its existence in good time (when we are still calm). This bag celebrates one of the most glamorous projects any of us can undertake: learning how to carry our emotional baggage well. £35 - SHOP NOW
Know Yourself Prompt Cards
60 prompt cards designed to help lead you through the important task of knowing yourself a little better in life. £10 - SHOP NOW
Know Yourself Prompt Cards
These cards are designed to assist us in a journey of self-knowledge; they present us with a range of ideas and questions that can help us to understand ourselves better. Each card carries an exercise on one side and a piece of analysis on the reverse to help you gain insight and clarity on that ever elusive subject: yourself. £10 - SHOP NOW