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Reflections, by Dina Aronfeld

As we welcome 2011 some of us will experience a sense of relief that the year 2010 is over; some of us will be grateful for a new year full of possibilities and a chance to improve our lives. Despite these emotions we all experience at the beginning of a new year, I invite you to revisit and examine your life and ask questions that will determine the kind of life you will lead. Socrates said “The unexamined life is not worth living.” As human beings we have the obligation and responsibility to examine our lives and make the necessary changes to make it worthwhile.

In order to examine our lives and determine if we are living a life worthwhile, we should ask ourselves the following questions:

Am I doing something that matters?

What would I do today if there is no tomorrow?

What are my values? What do I represent?

What am I most grateful for in life?

Did I spend enough time with loved ones?

What am I doing to help others? And how can I help others?

Have I been kind and compassionate towards others? Did I volunteer for those in need?

What is one thing I can do for someone else?

Am I as good a person as I want to be?

How do I want to be remembered?

What can I do less in order to live a more meaningful life?

How do I simplify my life?

Living in today’s fast-paced world leads us to be compelled by doing or having without paying attention to giving or just being. We can only find happiness once we have found our purpose in life. The Dalai Lama explained his philosophy on inner tranquility and happiness when he said, “I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warm-hearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It is the ultimate source of success in life.” Finally, it’s important that you think about how you would like to be remembered when you die so you can start living the life worthwhile now. Live with purpose in life, and wake up every day with that purpose in mind.