7 questions to wrap the year up with
1. What can I be thankful for?
Gratitude is a rocket fuel discipline. When things are going well, gratitude is an easy and natural response. Similarly, it serves little benefit—it’s easy to be focused on the good when you are surrounded by it. Gratitude is most helpful and life-enhancing when it is needed most. When you most feel the burden of your circumstance, look around, notice the good, and offer a verbal appreciation of gratitude. It will immediately shift your focus from the bad to the good.
2. Who do I know that loves me?
There are few things more affirming in life than the realization that we are known and loved by another—whether that be a parent, a spouse, a friend, a mentor, or a child. Whether they live close or far away, remember their faces. Whether you have spoken with them recently or not, remember their voice. If you are loved, you have all you need to be happy.
3. What progress have I made?
Many of us get down on ourselves and our lot in life because we feel unaccomplished or unchanged. When we focus too much on the things we wish to achieve, we forget to appreciate the progress we have already made. When you are feeling down, take a moment to remind yourself of who you were before and who you are today. Have you arrived fully? Doubtful. But are you closer today than ever before? Probably.
4. What contribution do I bring?
Whether you paint, landscape, manage people or answer telephone calls to provide customer service, thank you. Your work matters. Though you may not always see it, you make the world better and improve society. Don’t view your job as just a paycheck—after all, there is no money amount worth the sacrifice of your life. Instead, view your work as a contribution.
5. What pursuits bring me the most joy?
Where in life do you find your most joy and fulfilment? Your kids? Your work? Your hobbies or passions? Look around to see what makes you most alive. Now go do it more often. Your television isn’t making you happier, neither is staring at Facebook or Instagram. Divert more of your energy towards the things that breathe life into you.
6. Who can I help?
One of the reasons we miss happiness in our present circumstance is we get so focused on trying to achieve it by serving ourselves. But we find our greatest happiness and our greatest fulfilment in serving others. It’s one of the six pillars that are common to us all.
7. What choices do I have?
One thing that can never be taken from you is your power to choose. Remember, we may not be able to change our circumstance, but we can always choose our response to it. To live is to retain the power of choice. Look around. What options still remain? Look hard. There is significant happiness to be found in the simple truth that you can still show up in your own life.