Michael Jackson has this great song called Man in the Mirror with the lines:
"I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change"
Since a young age, those lyrics have spoken to me about reflecting on how my actions impact others. So many times we want to see change in the world but won't change our own ways. Because I can't control others, I learn to deal with it by controlling my actions and trying my best (although it might not seem that way at times) to be my best. To help make sure I am doing all that I can, I ask myself a few questions such as:
1. Are you happy?
This question is first because it is hands down most important. You should put your happiness above all and have a love for the life you live. But if the answer is no, what is stopping you from being happy? How can you as a person change this? I have been in situations where it was hard, but I had to cut off people because they were too toxic and were taking away from my happiness. At the end of the day, you are the only one who knows what you need to do for yourself.
2. Are you a good person?
Of course, I am a great person! I bet almost everyone reading this just told themselves that, but there are levels. I am a true believer in supporting other people's happiness along with my own. This can mean giving someone a compliment or holding the door. Perhaps that might be too basic, let's take it farther- stop talking negatively about other people. This is by far the worst habit we as a society have developed. Take some time before you talk poorly about a 'friend' or peer and think if you would say it to their face and how it would make them feel. I have learned the hard way that what comes out of your mouth will get back to the person. Not to be cliché but, if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all.
3. Are you on the right track?
Whether you are 10 or 80, there is still a future in front of you. Are you heading in the right direction? Can you see yourself being happy and successful in 1, 5, 10 years from now? If not, what can you do today to better tomorrow? For example, I find myself constantly doubting my major because I am torn between doing something that will challenge me and something that is easy. I needed to sit down and tell myself I can get through medical school and be successful because hard work now will pay off later. Push yourself – you can do so much more than you think!
4. Are you the best version of yourself?
This could be interpreted as you physically, mentally, or emotionally. Are you happy with how you look? A poor self-image can really put a damper on your happiness, so working it out with yourself is important. Also, are you eating right and treating your body well? Mentally, are you happy with how you think? Are you a glass-half-full or half-empty type of person? What can you do to make yourself view things around you in a positive light? Are you challenging your mind and the way you see the world? Emotionally, are you stable? That sounds weird but are you on the verge of a breakdown? If so, are you reaching out for help when you need it?
These are just a few questions to ask yourself when you're in the need of some self-reflection. It is very important to stop judging everyone around you and take a look at yourself. Not everyone is perfect, and neither are you, but that's okay! Everyone has different priorities and hopefully these questions will help you reassess yours.