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Postanly Weekly: 30 Short (But Meaningful) Questions to Ask Yourself Every Year
What would I do differently if I could go back?
Hello and Happy Wednesday!
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A quote I’m pondering: “The art of living is to enjoy what we can see and not complain about what remains in the dark. When we are able to take the next step with the trust that we will have enough light for the step that follows, we can walk through life with joy and be surprised at how far we go.” — Henri Nouwen
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Book of the week
Do you spend your days doing work that’s not a good use of your skills or spend your nights worrying that you won’t reach your potential? In The Genius Zone, psychologist Gay Hendricks writes that the best way to stop living an unfulfilling life is to start tapping into your creativity.
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Essay of the week
30 Short (But Meaningful) Questions to Ask Yourself Every Year
Self-improvement seems like the easiest thing to do. The moment you realise that it becomes challenging. You are looking at it from all sides, analyzing everything till you reach a conclusion and then making that change.
But no matter how hard you try or how many times you analyse, you will not be able to come up with an effective method to improve yourself at once. Trying to pinpoint what you need to work on can be overwhelming.
Self-improvement can be challenging. It can be uncomfortable and feel like a never-ending uphill battle. You have to constantly be willing to work, try new things, and adjust your habits if you want your improvement efforts to have any real effect. However, the benefits are endless.
A better approach is to start to make it too small to fail — one better habit at a time. Self-improvement doesn’t have to be a chore — you don’t have to force yourself to painfully read a book you don’t like or start a routine you may never stick to.
Designing a meaningful self-development journey means taking intentional steps toward becoming a better version of yourself. The process can be easier or more practical if you ask yourself a few meaningful questions every year as part of your self-improvement plan.
Self-awareness and self-improvement are two of the most important things you can do to improve your personal life. Self-reflection might not seem like a big deal, but it’s essential if you want to keep growing as an individual.
Self-reflection exercise not only helps you reflect on the previous year’s events but also provides a framework to explore future plans and goals. With clarity, you’re more likely to make the right choices in the coming year.
A self-awareness ritual forces us to ask tough questions about our goals and actions. It’s a chance for us to reflect, set goals and take stock of where we are in life.
“Life is as simple as these three questions: What do I want? Why do I want it? And, how will I achieve it?” says Shannon L. Alder.
Here are some meaningful questions to ask yourself every year. These questions will help you to figure out what you are looking for in your future and where your priorities lie.
From dropping unhealthy habits to establishing new healthy habits, these questions can help clarify the path to a better year.
“A prudent question is one-half of wisdom,” says Francis Bacon.
Did I achieve any of my goals from the past year?
What’s the one achievement I’m very proud of?
Am I happy with the direction my life is taking?
What do I want my life to look like one year from now?
What are my long-term goals? Can they be achieved 5 years from now? 10 years from now?
What are the short-term goals that can help me achieve my long-term goals? Can they be achieved next year by now?
What do I deliberately have to learn next year to become a better adult?
What am I working on that I’m excited about next year?
What are the new opportunities I’m looking forward to pursuing?
What changes do I want to make and why?
What do I want to create more of in the coming year?
What’s the one habit that made the most difference this past year?
What are my favourite memories or experiences from this past year, and how can I repeat them?
What was my favourite TV show, and what did I learn from it?
What was the most impactful book I read?
What minimised stress and improved my mental clarity?
Who/what caused more misery or unhappiness?
What skill made the most impact in your career?
What made me happy or miserable?
What music helped me focus and get more done?
What were some of the best and worst moments of my year?
What’s the one thing I bought that made the most impact?
Which of my current habits can help me achieve my short-term goals?
If I repeat the same habits, rituals and routines, will I become a better or worse version of myself?
Which practices do I have to stop repeating, and which ones do I double down on?
What social connections helped me become a better version of myself?
How can I improve my relationships, physical and mental health and work/life balance?
What would I do differently if I could go back?
What was my biggest failure? Or my biggest challenge? What did I learn from this experience?
What should I do less of this or next year?
Insightful Essays I Read This Week
14 Attributes of Greatness — In the mid-1980s, David Hemery set out to answer a burning question: “What makes a winner?” Hemery was a winner himself, having taken the gold in the 400-meter hurdles at the 1968 Olympics. He was curious as to what contributed to this achievement, and to the achievements of others.
The Spectrum of Financial Dependence and Independence — Level 0: Complete financial dependence on the kindness of strangers who have no vested interest in your success. Panhandling when unable to work, or companies reliant on raising money from first-time investors who don’t care if you fail.
The Art of Moving On: When and How to Disengage From a Goal — When discussing goals, we typically talk about employing perseverance and persistence, even in the face of adversity and setbacks. “Quitters never win, and winners never quit,” and all that.
If You Want to Learn From The Smartest Minds, Read Biographies
No good book can replace experiential learning.
There is no substitute for personal experience or learning by taking action.
But the experiences and life stories of great minds can inspire, motivate and encourage us to take the right action and step towards what we want in life and career.
That’s why I invest in biography and autobiography books.
These are a few of my favourites:
Einstein: His Life and Universe and Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. A Promised Land by Barack Obama. Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman! by Richard Feynman.
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. And Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by Ashlee Vance.
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To our common journey,
Until next week,