‘I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in’

Time to improveBefore he became a country music star, Kenny Rogers recorded a song with the First Edition called “Just Dropped In.” It’s a relic from the counterculture ‘60s with lyrics that don’t make a lot of sense, but I’ve always liked the refrain: “I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in.” Seeing what condition your condition is in is a good way to begin a new year. Assessing where you are and where you’re headed, in fact, is essential to growth and self-improvement.

There are lots of resources out there to help you conduct a self-inventory, from assessment tools and checklists to formal instruments that require administration and interpretation by a licensed or trained professional. Riley Guide’s Self-Assessment Resources lists quite a few tools, depending on whether you are interested in learning more about your personality type (as in the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator), measuring your interests, surveying your career skills or better understanding what motivates you and is important to you (values inventories).

The goal of self-assessment is to learn more about yourself or your business so you can improve your “condition,” whether that’s learning new skills, becoming a better manager, expanding into new markets, or deciding that you want to devote more time to family, hobbies or volunteer service.

Those familiar with the classic self-help guide Think and Grow Rich, written by Napoleon Hill in 1937, know that self-analysis is an important aspect of growth and change—whether it’s in business or your personal life.

“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,” Hill writes. “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.”

Hill’s “self-analysis questionnaire for personal inventory” is just as relevant today as it was nearly 80 years ago. There are 28 questions altogether, but I’m listing 10 here for your consideration:

  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 permitted the habit of PROCRASTINATION to decrease my efficiency, and if so, to what extent?

  3. Have I been PERSISTENT in following my plans through to completion?

  4. Have I dissipated any of my energy through lack of CONCENTRATION of effort?

  5. In what way have I improved my ability to render service?

  6. Have my opinions and DECISIONS been based upon guesswork, or accuracy of analysis and THOUGHT?

  7. How much time have I devoted to UNPROFITABLE effort which I might have used to better advantage?

  8. In what ways have I rendered MORE SERVICE AND BETTER SERVICE than I was paid to render?

  9. If I had been the purchaser of my own services for the year, would I be satisfied with my purchase?

  10. Am I in the right vocation, and if not, why not?

How much progress would you say that you made on your goals this past year? What fears or habits are holding you back? What do you need to do to make 2016 a banner year so that the next time you “drop in to see what condition your condition is in,” you can report that everything is A-OK?

This entry was posted in Careers, Getting started, Goal setting, Staying motivated and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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