Reflecting on 2013

As the last post in 2013, I won’t be writing about games or gadgets, because although they’re enjoyable, it’s the people in my life that bring me the most happiness.

As the year comes to an end, it’s natural to spend a moment thinking about what we have accomplished in the past year.  It’s a moment of patting ourselves on the back, or sighing with relief that we survived the tough times and/or achieved more than we expected.

It becomes a sort of checklist – I bought xxx, we went to xxx.  And while this is useful to feel satisfied with life, it’s also a good time to think of the future and our goals and aspirations for next year.

Other than thinking of things and events, we can also focus on the relationships we have with others.

When it comes to relationships, it’s human nature to attribute our mistakes or poor behaviour to external factors (e.g. I haven’t called my friends recently because work is so busy) and attribute other’s actions to maliciousness (why don’t they call me more? Perhaps they’re self-absorbed or lazy).  Because of this, it’s important to take some time to reflect on our relationships without this filter of attribution.  To honestly and humbly consider how we have affected others.

Naikan therapy originated in Japan, and has it’s basis in introspection and self reflection.  This therapy asks a few key questions and requires judgement, blame and guilt to be set aside in order to truly determine our weaknesses and consider how we can improve.

I’ll be asking myself these questions about the people in my life, in order to develop and self improve.

  • What have I received from (person x)?

  • What have I given to (person x)?

  • What troubles and difficulties have I caused to (person x)?

By asking myself these questions previously, I have acknowledged weaknesses in myself that I’ve started to address and will continue to do so in 2014.

It’s hard sometimes to identify weaknesses in oneself, but I found it helped to remember the sort of person I am when I’m at my happiest, or if that doesn’t work, to think about someone who seems the epitome of everything I value (kind, friendly, generous) and then identify the qualities I’m missing at the present moment.

By keeping these questions in mind and taking a moment of self reflection, we might be able to make some meaningful new year’s resolutions.  Hope you have a fantastic NYE. 🙂



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