The year-end is a time for reflection and anticipation.
Most of the time, we look ahead rather than at the rear-view mirror. Why else is there a proliferation of new-year wishes and a dearth of hearty farewells to the year just passed?
Let’s stop to ponder: Is celebrating a year well-lived not as important as receiving a wishful new year?
On another level, a year well-lived provides the impetus for one to try to do as well, if not better, in the coming year; and a mark of active ageing.
Just like savouring a delicious dish or fine wine, the after-taste of a year well-lived lingers on, making one yearn for more good years.
But, how does one know objectively whether the past year has been well-lived?
In business, we rely on a set of pre-determined success factors to evaluate whether a project has been successful.
We could, similarly, agree on a checklist of what constitutes a year well-lived, and populate the list with metrics that allow for a self-assessment of how the year has been.
By assigning positive or negative values to these metrics, the checklist could allow one to conclude whether the year has been net positive, neutral, or net negative, corresponding to having been well-lived, uneventful, or squandered, respectively.
The process calls for an honest self-assessment. One has to recognize that there is no upside to fooling oneself in this exercise.
Depending on individuals, the outcomes may vary from one attribute to another. Efforts could then be directed to those areas that require attention by the individual concerned in order to live well the following year.
Included in this article is a proposed draft checklist, to get the ball rolling.
The intent is for SilverStreak readers to ponder, comment, amend, and expand as necessary.
With your active participation, we could produce an improved version of the checklist by early 2023.
The finalized inaugural checklist could be used in a pilot survey among SilverStreak readers to test its usability.
The data collected from the pilot survey will be seen as initial conditions to be used for comparison in the future.
I try to present the metrics in the checklist with some levity, in a departure from the cold hard format usually associated with questionnaires.
The truth is, a light-hearted approach is probably more in tune with the mindset of us seniors.
Chances are the checklist would require multiple iterations before the metrics receive an approval by consensus. That is perfectly desirable.
The checklist comprises four sections representing four attributes deemed to have a bearing on how well one manages one’s personal life in a year. These are as follows:
A combined score for the four sections could also be obtained to provide an overall analysis.
As scoring is on the basis of year-on-year comparison, these ratings should only be entered when significant changes have been noticed between metrics for the year of assessment and the previous year.
As an ardent student of laws of nature, I am particularly interested in one of the most amazing discoveries of quantum physics, and that is: Reality only exists when it is observed.
If anything, the proposed checklist enables users to take a close look at ourselves and what we did in the past year.
Besides the fact that some of us would like to forget what happened for personal reasons, it is probably true that events of the past year mostly remain hazy and unresolved in our recollection.
Therefore, the checklist can be a tool that allows us to examine in some detail things that help define who we are in real life. And the next logical consideration would be what we would like to do about it.
Referring again to laws of nature, life is a series of events that occur in space and time.
While we have to accept that the past and present cannot be undone, the future is still up for grabs. For seniors, each year well-lived deserves another good year ahead, and another, and another….
Let’s all find out for ourselves how well we have lived, and celebrate each well-lived year as it comes to pass.
Do take the self-assessment and share it with others who may find it useful.
The information, material and views contained in this article are entirely that of the author.
This questionnaire is an original piece of work by Dr. Yeoh Teng Kwong.