The Power Of “Knowing Thyself”— a story of Self-discovery

At the end of Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Ivan lies dying after leading a colorless, mediocre life. He has only one thought: What if I lived my entire life wrong? I read this book in college almost twenty-five years ago, and in 2010, it came back full circle to kick-start my transformation.

I used to get angry and fret about the simplest of things. I was continually frustrated and disengaged. I never stopped to consider if what I was doing was what I really wanted to do. I just set out like I was in a short hurdle race, running at full tilt and overcoming whatever came my way. I would finish the race, ask for some more, and then finish that off as well.

The truth was that I got bored easily. I was never truly satisfied from the inside. I had followed the formula for success that worked for my father and his Lebanese forebears and never once stopped to question whether it was also right for me. I had held that image of success in my mind. I was comfortable climbing up that particular ladder. It wasn’t until I suffered a series of misfortunes—my nephew was involved in a near-fatal accident, and banks threatened my fifteen-year-old company with bankruptcy because I had overexpanded—that I finally woke up.

I started to ask more questions, and as the quality and the complexity of my questions grew, so did the realization that my old belief system didn’t serve me anymore. My very own Berlin Wall had begun to crumble brick by brick.

From darkness came light and understanding. Over the following five years, I would embark on a self-discovery journey to deeply infiltrate my mind, body, and soul.

About the author
Mo Issa is an entrepreneur, born again writer. He finally gets that he’s a spiritual being having an earthly human experience.
Mo loves Hemingway, Hesse, and Kahlil Gibran, meditates regularly and runs when he can sense the rain coming down.
Mo has powerful conversations with anyone and everyone reminding them the story The Death of Ivan Ilych by Tolstoy where on his deathbed he says: ”what if i lived all my life wrong?” He recently spoke at TedxAccra about Awakening to his Aliveness.
Mo writes everyday when the clock strikes at 6 in the morning and is regularly published by both Rebelle Society and Elephant Journal. He also blogs regularly at and on

One thought on “The Power Of “Knowing Thyself”— a story of Self-discovery

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