An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

Socrates said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” –
At a recent presentation, an audience member said, “Sam, you’ve shown us how to POP! our business. How can we POP! our life?”
Great question. I think every new year affords us the opportunity to have a fresh start.
It is a family tradition for us to take a walk and examine
the highlights and lessons-learned of the previous year – and look ahead to clarify our hopes and goals for the upcoming months.
The questions below can help us examine what worked and what didn’t so we can continue to do what’s contributing to our quality of life – and stop or do differently the things that our compromising our quality of life.
Once we’ve crystallized our answers to these questions, we post them where we’ll see them every day so we can keep them “in-sight, in-mind.”
Perhaps most importantly, we remind ourselves on a daily basis to appreciate each and every morning we wake up with the realization that we’ve just been blessed with another blank slate to do with as we please.
To keep this epiphany POP! of mind, I also have the following two quotes on my refrigerator as they remind me to look around and be grateful for all that’s right with my life.
“I’ve had a wonderful life; I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” – Collette
“Perhaps we never really appreciate anything until it is challenged.” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

1. Looking back, what are two highlights from the past year? Experiences, achievements that stand out, went well, were fun, memorable?

2. What are two lessons-learned, regrets, challenges, something that didn’t go well? What insights do I take from what happened?

3. Who is someone who influenced me this past year? What did this person say or do that has had lasting impact?

4. Looking ahead, what are two priorities for the upcoming year?
a. What are two commitments and plans of action I’m going to focus on and take responsibility for making happen?
b. What are two things I’m going to stop, start or do differently to create a more satisfying, better quality of life now vs. someday?
c. How am I going to hold myself accountable for doing these?

Perhaps you and your loved ones can sit around a dinner table or go for a walk and share your answers to these questions. Not only will it be a wonderful opportunity to have a meaningful conversation about things that matter; it will be a chance to examine your life and clarify what actions you’re going to take to make sure the months ahead are more than worth living.

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