Vail Relationships column: Questions to get to know yourself better
July 9, 2016
Editor's note: This is the first part of a two-part series.
We tend to focus on the relationships with the people closest to us: our spouse or intimate partner, our friends, children, parents, extended family, friends and co-workers. We ask ourselves how these relationships are going and what we need to do to improve them. Those questions are clearly important. But in putting our focus on those bonds, we ignore the single most important relationship in our lives — the relationship we have with ourselves.
Much is required to have a good relationship with ourselves: being productive, self-discipline, living with integrity, self-esteem and so on. However, one obstacle to a great relationship with ourselves is related to our tendency to not dig terribly deeply into our own soul, spirit and emotions. The result is that we are left not knowing ourselves very well.
Here are some questions that may assist you in the art of self-discovery. Hint: Write down as many answers as you can. Remember that you're looking for more depth, so dig deep.
• How have you changed in the past 10 years? 20 years? 30 years? What do you want to change about yourself today?
• If you had unlimited money, then what would you be doing with yourself? What would you do less of? More of?
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• What are you most proud of? (Include your relationships, your experiences, your accomplishments and your traits.)
• How would you like people to remember you?
• What do you want to accomplish or experience before you die?
• What events, experiences, successes, failures and lessons have shaped you into who and what you are today?
• What do you need in order to be happy?
• When are you most productive? Least productive? How do you fritter away your free time?
• How well is your life working? Where is it not working?
• What are you procrastinating? Why are you doing that?
• What have you lost in life?
• What inspires you?
• What talents, traits or skills are you wanting to more deeply develop?
• What makes you smile?
Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Westminster and Boulder. He is the author of the best-selling book "Love, Sex and Staying Warm: Creating a Vital Relationship." Contact him at 303-758-8777, or visit neilrosenthal.com.