I believe that some of our biggest problems, both as individuals and as a society, are due in part to a lack of introspection. We take things for granted, make unfounded assumptions, and turn a blind eye to issues we don't want to deal with, often without the slightest clue that we're doing it. Switching from autopilot to manual every once in a while allows us to confirm that we are, in fact, on the right course—or else it prompts us to make some necessary course corrections.
Here are ten introspective questions I feel we should ask ourselves periodically:
1. Am I happy?
What brings me joy, what drags me down, and what am I doing to tip the balance in favor of being happy?
2. Am I healthy?
Physically, emotionally, intellectually, and (if applicable) spiritually, are my needs being met?
3. What kind of support network do I have?
In times of need, which people and groups can I rely on for help and encouragement?
4. Who are my role models?
Real or fictional, who inspires me or embodies the kind of life I want to live?
5. Am I a role model or part of a support network for anyone else?
At home, among friends, at school, at work, and in my various online and in-person communities, am I setting a good example and being a reliable ally?
6. What are my goals in life, and am I working toward them?
Does the way I spend my time reflect what I want out of life?
7. What are my strengths and weaknesses?
Am I putting the things I'm good at to good use, and am I either working on or willing to accept my shortcomings?
8. What do I believe most strongly, and why?
What are the arguments I won't back down from, the causes I won't turn my back on, and the beliefs that guide my actions—and what makes me so passionate about them?
9. What if I'm wrong?
If—however or unlikely or impossible this may be—it turns out that the people who oppose or disagree with my strongest beliefs are actually right, and I am wrong, then what kind of a person do I look like to them?
10. How do I want to be remembered when I die?
What kind of legacy am I leaving behind with my words and actions?