The Examined Life

Socrates once said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.”

This is still true today and may even have a more significant role in success than at any other time. Our world is hyper-connected and fast-paced. We go, go, go, and yet find no time to stop, think and reflect on what we are doing, what we are saying, who we are or whom we want to be.

I see, at least once a month, people in elected positions and high business positions making unethical, illegal or immoral decisions. There should be a moment of pause in our culture for us to question and to stop and wonder what was going on in their lives to cause them to make such bad decisions.

Socrates’ quote is a reminder of the modern-day challenges we face.

Finding and keeping your true identity or your “True North” takes time, effort and reflection. Here are several good questions to ask yourself in a moment of reflection and contemplation:

  1. Have I reached a point in my standard of living that I would compromise my core values to hang on to financial security? Several years ago, a study was released that showed over 60% of the freshmen in college would be willing to be considered a criminal and serve prison time if it gained them $5 million.
  2. Do I wish for other people to fail, or am I excited when other people achieve success?
  3. What do my kids think of what I do? In other words, are your kids embarrassed to tell people what you do for a living?
  4. When was the last time I used my position or power to help someone else have something great happen for them?
  5. What would my younger self think of what I have become? In our journey of pursuing a career, we sometimes lose sight of what our original passion was all about.
  6. Has the pressure to keep my position and power caused me to treat people in ways I regret and for which I wish they would forgive me? The law of scarcity has a powerful impact on how we view the world.
  7. What have I not done that will haunt me when I am 80 years old?
  8. How would I start my career over if I lost my job today? Are you continually developing your skill set and your experiences or do you hate Mondays?
  9. What is keeping me from getting to know my co-workers and staff around me at work?
  10. Do I keep redefining what is acceptable behavior and my core beliefs or core values? Having “red lines” in our lives is a good thing – these are the line we will not cross.
  11. Has lying gotten easier and does it happen more than it used to? Having the ability to speak the truth and do it in a genuine way is a powerful tool.
  12. Are there traits of mine people look up to that I wish they didn’t? Whom did you become when you were not looking?

  See you in McAllen!