2016 is almost in the books. Wow! It is amazing how fast a year goes by. It is amazing how fast a life goes by. I just turned 50 this past week. Looking at that number as I type it causes me to do a real double take.
It reminds me of the words of an ancient author by the name of James who wrote, "What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."
That is why it is so vital to step out of the busy daily rhythm of life and reflect on what we have learned and the kind of people we've become over that past 300 plus days.. It is really healthy to set aside time for reflection at the end of each year to seek to understand what we have learned, how we have grown, what we need to do more of, what we need to do less of, and what circumstances or experiences shaped us in a significant way.
You and I both know people who avoid this and experience the consequences as a result.
- They fail to change destructive behaviors.
- They repeat the same mistakes time and again.
- They fail to capitalize on the experiences that could open new doors of opportunity.
- They miss the opportunity to gain true wisdom.
I recently read an email from Ryan Levesque, a very successful entrepreneur and creator of the Ask Method, in which he outlined 9 vital questions to ask yourself at the end of each year. These are fantastic questions. I thoroughly enjoyed working through them for myself and have provided them for you below with a few minor tweaks of my own.
- The 10 biggest wins in your business or life in the last year
- The 3 top lessons you’ve learned
- The greatest influences that have had an effect on your business or life in the last year
- The smartest decision you made last year
- The biggest risk you took
- One word that best sums up and describes last year’s experience
- Three things you need to do less of in the next year
- Three things you need to do more of in the next year
- Three things you need to stop doing altogether in the next year
Victor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, author, and psychiatrist once wrote, "We need to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead think of ourselves as those who are being questioned by life, daily and hourly."
There is so much wisdom and truth in that statement. Namely that the circumstances, choices, and experiences of our lives and how we choose to respond to them, reveal so much to us about ourselves. Answer these questions and find out what life reveals to you.