As Jewish people around the world welcome the year 5771, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share with the readers of Spin Sucks seven questions to reflect on in the New Year.
I know, I know, it’s September. But the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, took place last week. The High Holidays, the 10-day period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), give us a time to reflect on the past year, take stock of what we have accomplished, where we fell a little short, and to ask for forgiveness for our sins.
In thinking about what to write for this guest post, I was reminded of the sermon my Rabbi gave last year at this time. He talked about the book, “The Seven Questions You’re Asked in Heaven” by Dr. Ron Wolfson (affiliate link). According to Wolfson, when you get to heaven, you’ll be asked seven questions about how you lived your life on Earth.
I’m not here to debate the existence of heaven (or the other more fiery location) but rather to ruminate on these types of questions and how you might answer them in the here and now. And since the New Year, no matter what version you celebrate, offers a time for reflection, let’s consider those seven questions.
Were you honest? In all your dealings, both personally and professionally, did you act honestly and ethically? Did you remember that the person sitting across from you is a human being with feelings? Did you treat others with dignity and did you make decisions that you can be proud of?
Did you leave a legacy? What are some adjectives that you would like people to use when they describe you? Yes, it may be important to leave a financial legacy, but a personal legacy has a bigger effect.
Did you devote time to study? Sure, reading blogs like this one and glancing through newspapers and magazines counts as “study.” But did you take the time to study something new, just for yourself? Basket weaving, cooking, snorkeling, you name it – do something good for you?
Did you have hope in your heart? The first three questions are about what you “did;” this one is about attitude. Yes, the stress of life can get in the way – tough economic times, illness, whatever. But can you still look at the world with hope and anticipation?
Did you get your priorities straight? A very personal question indeed. We all have our own priorities, and I’d suggest that getting them “straight” varies from day-to-day. So whatever matters most to you, be sure to give it the attention it deserves.
Did you enjoy your life on Earth? Have you done or tried to do at least one thing you’ve always wanted to do? What might that be? Can you make it happen?
Were you the best you could be? Most of us are too busy living our lives to take the time to reflect. But go ahead and give yourself the time and ask yourself are you the best you that you could be? Did you exceed your own expectations?
Because it is a New Year for some us, it’s a great time for all of us to answer these seven questions, make any changes, and see what’s in store for the rest of 2010 (or 5771).
Abbie S. Fink is vice president/general manager of HMA Public Relations, a full-service marketing communications and public relations agency based in Phoenix. Known for asking a lot of questions, she’s still trying to figure out the answers.