A life review provides an indication of whether or not you are living as your best self. Sometimes you think you are doing whatever possible to live into and become the best version of yourself, but…in reality…you are not.
The Jewish High Holy Days, like the secular New Year, provide a fabulous time to go inward and conduct a life review. First, you need to have some idea of what living into that best self would look like.
How would you describe your best self? What qualities would you exhibit if you were living as the grandest version of yourself? How would you describe yourself?
Then, it’s time to see if your past behavior—or even day to day way of showing up and behaving in the world—meet that vision. Have you been your best self in your relationships, your health, your career, your self-care, your finances, or any other area of your life?
10 Days to Return to Your Best Self
The 10 days between Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Repentance, are meant to be spent conducting a life review. Yes, this includes reviewing your sins—where you “missed the mark”—and asking for forgiveness for your misdeeds. You might ask forgiveness of God, yourself, or specific people. You might make an effort to rectify whatever wrongs you might have made in the last year.
But it can be so much more than that—for anyone. It’s a life review that helps you determine how to return to your best self.
If you’re not Jewish, consider doing a life review on the secular New Year, on your birthday, or at the end of every quarter of the year. I propose a 10-days life review you can start today.
Describe Your Best Self
It’s hard to know if you are living as your best self if you aren’t clear on what that would look like. So take a few moments to describe the greatest version of yourself.
You can even choose a few words to describe your best self—one’s you’d be proud to have others use when they speak about you. Maybe you want to be honest, inspiring, giving, or loving, for example.
Once you have a vision of your best self, you can conduct your life review.
How to Conduct a Life Review
To guide you in the process, I wrote 10 Days and 10 Ways to Return to Your Best Self. I call this little book a “T’ shuvah tool bridging religious tradition.”
T’ shuvah is the Hebrew word for “turning or returning”—in this case, turning toward or returning to your best self. The book provides a tool that bridges religious traditions because it’s not about Judaism per se.
The lessons in the book provide a powerful way to do a life review and determine what is necessary for you to live as your best self. So you can easily go through this 10-day process, I’ve included a brief description of each of the ways in which to review your life. For each day, think about how you could do a better job of being your best self.
Day 1: Identify how you’ve sinned against other people. How have you not been your best self with other people? Were you not present? Were you mean, judgmental, selfish, or angry?
Day 2: Identify how you have sinned against yourself. Have you taken care of yourself physically or emotionally? Are you a workaholic? Have you eaten an unhealthy diet? Do you not sleep enough?
Day 3: Identify your sins against God. Have you failed to pray, have faith, offer gratitude, or develop your relationship with the Creator? Have you littered, not helped someone in need, or failed to give charity? Or have you not pursued your soul purpose or taken action on what feels like a calling?
Day 4: Determine if you are living as your best self. Once you can describe the qualities of your best self, you can express those more often. Maybe you need to behave differently, perform more righteous deeds, or set new targets you want to hit. Have you been authentic and expressed your true self?
Day 4: Evaluate if you are fulfilling your soul purpose. You come into this world with a purpose. If you aren’t fulfilling it, what do you need to do to become the kind of person who will do that? What actions would you need to take? How can you use your purpose as a GPS that guides your every action?
Day 6: Determine if you are living up to your human potential. Are you continually developing new habits, new thought patterns, new ways of being in the world that help you become all you can be and do all you can do? Or are you holding back, feeling stuck, or simply too afraid…or lazy…to take actions that would help you achieve our potential?
Day 7: Admit to your dishonesty—in word, deed, and action. How honest are you with others or with yourself? (It takes honest to answer that question.) Are you telling white lies, offering excuses, or, in some way, covering up your true feelings?
Day 8: Discover where you lack or need to improve communication. Are you communicating well or avoiding tough conversations? Are you silent when you should speak up or too verbal when you should be quiet? Do you lack diplomacy or speak too harshly?
Day 9: Identify your payoffs. If you continually have to make the same resolution, turn over the same leaf, or return to your attempts to be your best self, you’ve got a payoff for not changing. Where in your life aren’t you changing for the better so you can live as your best self? What payoff—benefit—do you get for remaining the same?
Day 10: Rate your level of faith. Do you believe that everything is happening for a reason or by a Divine Plan or that it’s all random? Do you feel the Universe has your back or that bad things happen to good people? Do you trust in a Universal Mind or Creator, or do you feel alone and unconnected to anything that might constitute God?
You are Your Best Self Now
We are all born with the potential to become our best selves. Most of us get off track during our lifetimes. Then, we set new targets, but, more often than not, miss them.
And we think we no longer possess that potential. We feel as if our best self has vanished.
But that’s simply not true.
In fact, you don’t really need to “return” to your best self. Just “turn” toward him or her.
You see, you’ve turned away from your best self. Therefore, you cannot see him or her.
Turn around and look at yourself. (You can do this in a mirror.) Look into your eyes. You’ll see your best self staring back.
You need only to express the person you already are. The life review will help you do that, but, ultimately, you just need to allow your best self to show up in the world every day.
Have you ever done a life review? Tell me in a comment below. And, if you found this post helpful, please, share it with your friends and family.
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