In Think And Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill suggests 28 questions for service providers to reflect on the last year. Even though written for someone in business, those questions can easily be adapted to be used by anyone. Everybody is of some kind of service to someone else:
– the cashier to the retail company
– the mother to her children
– the father to his family
Though not everybody gets paid for their service or caring, we can still set ourselves a standard and “measure against it”, however without being too harsh on ourselves, please!
So here are the 28 questions to ask yourself, to reflect on, to think about and to grow as a result as they are listed in the chapter about “Organised Planning”:
Annual self-analysis is an essential in the effective marketing of personal services, as is annual inventory in merchandising. Moreover, the yearly analysis should disclose a DECREASE IN FAULTS, and an increase in VIRTUES. One goes ahead, stands still, or goes backward in life. One’s object should be, of course, to go ahead. Annual self-analysis will disclose whether advancement has been made, and if so, how much. It will also disclose any backward steps one may have made. The effective marketing of personal services requires one to move forward even if the progress is slow.
Your annual self-analysis should be made at the end of each year, so you can include in your New Year’s Resolutions any improvements which the analysis indicates should be made. Take this inventory by asking yourself the following questions, and by checking your answers with the aid of someone who will not permit you to deceive yourself as to their accuracy.
1. Have I attained the goal which I established as my objective for this year? (You should work with a definite yearly objective to be attained as a part of your major life objective).
2. Have I delivered service of the best possible QUALITY of which I was capable, or could I have improved any part of this service?
3. Have I delivered service in the greatest possible QUANTITY of which I was capable?
4. Has the spirit of my conduct been harmonious, and cooperative at all times?
5. Have I permitted the habit of PROCRASTINATION to decrease my efficiency, and if so, to what extent?
6. Have I improved my PERSONALITY, and if so, in what ways?
7. Have I been PERSISTENT in following my plans through to completion?
8. Have I reached DECISIONS PROMPTLY AND DEFINITELY on all occasions?
9. Have I permitted any one or more of the six basic fears to decrease my efficiency?
10. Have I been either “over-cautious,” or “under-cautious”?
11. Has my relationship with my associates in work been pleasant, or unpleasant? If it has been unpleasant, has the fault been partly, or wholly mine?
12. Have I dissipated any of my energy through lack of CONCENTRATION of effort?
13. Have I been open minded and tolerant in connection with all subjects?
14. In what way have I improved my ability to render service?
15. Have I been intemperate in any of my habits?
16. Have I expressed, either openly or secretly, any form of EGOTISM?
17. Has my conduct toward my associates been such that it has induced them to RESPECT me?
18. Have my opinions and DECISIONS been based upon guesswork, or accuracy of analysis and THOUGHT?
19. Have I followed the habit of budgeting my time, my expenses, and my income, and have I been conservative in these budgets?
20. How much time have I devoted to UNPROFITABLE effort which I might have used to better advantage?
21. How may I RE-BUDGET my time, and change my habits so I will be more efficient during the coming year?
22. Have I been guilty of any conduct which was not approved by my conscience?
23. In what ways have I rendered MORE SERVICE AND BETTER SERVICE than I was paid to render?
24. Have I been unfair to anyone, and if so, in what way?
25. If I had been the purchaser of my own services for the year, would I be satisfied with my purchase?
26. Am I in the right vocation, and if not, why not?
27. Has the purchaser of my services been satisfied with the service I have rendered, and if not, why not?
28. What is my present rating on the fundamental principles of success?
Make this rating fairly, and frankly, and have it checked by someone who is courageous enough to do it accurately.