• What to ask the person in the mirror

    When was the last time you took a look in the mirror and asked some revealing questions?

    When we were children our parents and teachers were our primary source of feedback. Sometimes we liked it while other times it was hard to hear. Then in the early stages of our careers, we started to learn about our strengths and weaknesses from supervisors and mentors. As we advanced in our careers and got older, the sources of honest and useful feedback became fewer. At a certain point we felt pretty much on our own.

    As adults we still need some form of support, guidance and feedback to learn how others experience us. In many cases our friends and colleagues are reluctant to give us candid feedback, even when asked. Politeness often trumps candor. If we don’t develop self-awareness along the way, we can easily lose perspective on our lives.

    It’s up to us to periodically step back and reflect on our lives. Many of us avoid “mirrors” for fear of what our reflection might reveal. Unfortunately, it may take a personal crisis to force us to reexamine our beliefs and challenge some long held assumptions about our lives. During this time of reflection it is more important to ask the right questions than to force the answers. The answers will reveal themselves in time. Here are seven simple (but maybe profound) questions you might consider:

    • Do I know who I want to be?
    • Am I moving in the right direction?
    • Do I spend my time consistent with what matters to me?
    • Do I have relationships that nurture me?
    • Does my behavior reflect who I truly am?
    • Am I proud of the difference that I make?
    • Am I content in my life?

    The questions may be the same as yesterday but the answers may be different tomorrow. Which questions are most relevant to you right now?


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