January 3rd, 2014
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The new calendar year, like birthdays, is a common time for us to remember to take a pause from all our doing to reflect. This often takes the form of “New Year’s Resolutions.” These are goals which some strive towards and others take as unbreakable promises; and which typically involve some self-improvement.

As I wish a Successful, Productive, and Happy New Year to all, I’ll offer my own take on reflection. The following is a self-check-up, which I outlined for myself a couple years ago:


Do I see my family enough?

Do I have a fair amount of friends?

Are any of them doing badly? Am I letting any of them down?

Do I spend the right amount of time alone/socializing?


What am I trying to accomplish right now to better my community?

Am I focused on the right issue?

Am I putting in enough/too much time?


Do I like what I’m doing?

Is it worth my time?

Am I working too much?


Am I exercising enough?

Am I eating well?

Do I have any problems I have not been attending to?

Am I sleeping enough?

Do I use my mind to solve difficult problems frequently enough?

Do I think about new ideas?


Am I having enough/too much fun?

Is there anything I love that I’m forgetting to do?


Is there anything unimportant on which I spend a lot of my time?

The exact questions of this check-up can certainly be adjusted for different people, depending on what they value or find important. If you are privy to a theory of health that I don’t know about, wherein exercise is not an important component, then obviously you should leave out that question. But I believe that a lot of these questions would apply to a great many people, and that the structure of considering different areas of one’s life, and then asking a few questions about each, is quite helpful.

At one time in my life, a certain question will have an easy and instant answer, while another question provokes a lengthy reflection. At another time, this may reverse. Regardless, I find it useful to go down the full list of questions, and at least briefly check in on each area.

As for timing, I try to remember to do this about twice a year (or when facing a critical moment in my life) without the aid of New Year’s or my Birthday; but in reality both those events often serve as needed reminders.

Within these questions, you may observe some of the framework of my thinking on life: that habits have a very strong hold on us; that conscious thought can be applied to tinker with our habits, and produce significant results; and that much of decision-making is a matter of prioritizing, and choosing what is most important to us. If any of these ideas seem exceedingly strange or erroneous to you, you may not be interested in my check-up; but if you are curious, I highly suggest you give it a try!

This entry was posted on Friday, January 3rd, 2014 at 12:12 am and is filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Reflection”

  1. Tony Says:

    Am I overthinking things?

    Is it possible that asking myself a bunch of questions in the belief that that will automatically lead to my improvement is a self-deception and a waste of time?

  2. D Says:

    It’s possible that many things are a waste of time. I think it would be a false belief that asking yourself questions will automatically lead to your improvement. But asking ourselves questions is often a vital step towards improvement. Which questions we ask also matters, and I’ve put some thought into the questions offered here, and found them useful for myself.

  3. Yasaswy Says:

    Hi , thanks for this.. Just sharing below an excerpt from Coca Cola CEO in past :

    “Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the Air.

    You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four Balls – Family, Health, Friends and Spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.”

    The questions which you wrote are quite introspective and help formulate goals in each of the areas..

  4. pyrta Says:

    I miss your videos, dear David. I hope you are doing well. Best wishes.

  5. D Says:

    thanks! i am. i’ll probably be posting more chess videos soon. (i have a youtube channel ). best wishes, david

  6. :Donna Says:

    Hi, David :)

    I’ve been checking in on occasion to see if you guys have posted anything. Just recently another member (fellow TV mod) agreed that we miss the way ChessTV used to be. He misses you, too. Things just aren’t the same. I hope you’re doing well!

    :Donna (RookedOnChess)

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