REFLECTION FOR 2020: 12 QUESTIONS FOR A MEANINGFUL INTROSPECTION
Many years back, when the word ‘Zombie’ was becoming popular on mainstream media, my siblings and I were fascinated and still are by the dramatic depiction and characteristics of zombies and ghosts. I, the naughty older sister, will often cripple their young minds with the reappearance of a long-dead great uncle who likes to suck young boys’ brains with a straw. Sometimes, I became the chased, forgetting there’s nothing like a zombie resurrection. Or is there!We believed zombies are deadly. We believed they are completely unaware of what they do and incapable of controlling their own extremity. And we trembled at the mention of the name.
As I hopefully approach the age of thirty, old memories reappear. My aging uncles and aunts are reminding me to get serious. Young cousins and nephews are questioning me like I have committed a crime- why? Because I’m one of the oldest. And (I think) I have failed their expectations. What is my crime? I was raised to think and live responsibly. I am responsible. All these incidences forced me to reflect, more than the usual reflection I do from time to time. Trying to find an escape from looking inward reminded me, continuously, of every zombie trailer that scares me. Was I going to go through life without understanding and perspective? I have to self-inquire. I am not a zombie. I have consciousness.
Self-inquiry sounds like an exhausting exercise. Why do we need it? What’s the use? After all, we all possess an excellent ability at giving reasons, sensible or not, credible or not, for our actions. “Why should I have to question or reflect on my life when I can just defend or justify it?” Giving reasons for our present outcomes always seems like the easiest escape. Or we can, instead, choose to turn inward. I will argue for the latter- that regular self-inquiry and reflection can be life-changing, redirecting us on a more fruitful and healthy path in life.
In 2020, I want to be more focused, less stressed, have mental clarity, and feel more active and alive. Practicing this a few times in 2019 brought me much clarity and interesting revelations about myself. I would have paid a professional to listen to me think out loud. The best part is the honest and friendly relationship I have begun developing with myself. I discovered that the ‘whys’ and how’ didn’t hurt me. Instead, what I found gave me vision into the intricacies of my being.
To quote a favorite author: “People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.” -Paulo Coelho
I second that. I really believe humans are capable of achieving whatever they set their minds to. What are you setting your mind to achieve in 2020? A bird’s eye view isn’t enough. A deeper reflection of 2019 could be what you need for a better and richer 2020. I have chosen physical and psychological awareness that I believe will lead me to self-development. Self-inquiry is a worthy, simple habit we should all cultivate.
Not-scary and straightforward questions to reflect on:
#1: Do I Feel Good?
#2: Am I Grateful to be Alive?
#3: How meaningful is my work?
#4: What’s my number-one priority right now?
#5: What’s the one thing I do that brings me pain?
#6: Who are my helping outside myself?
#7: What do I need to prioritize?
#8: When do I feel the most alive?
#9: When do I feel fearful?
#10: How do I share my gifts with others?
#11: How can I get better at what I do?
#12: (add more to the list as your life and circumstances change)
Please, DON’T ASK, “what’s my purpose in life?” It is very daunting. I find this scripture line comforting: “whatever your hands find doing, do it with all your might” and ”trust God to guide your path.”
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