“Search others for their virtues, thyself for thy vices.” -Ben Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac
“Every night I try myself by Court Martial to see if I have done anything effective during the day. I don’t mean just pawing the ground, anyone can go through the motions, but something really effective.” -Winston Churchill
The great acting teacher and my friend Howard Fine asks his students the above three questions at the end of every scene. The idea being that by answering the questions, they can objectively dissect their own work. They become self dependent actors. Howard never wanted to be anyone’s guru. He instead wanted everyone to be their own guru. Their own toughest critic.
Setting acting aside, asking yourself these three questions every night also work great for your overall life. Especially if you have or are thinking about starting a journaling practice.
Try it for a month. See what kinda progress you make. How does it make you feel? The Stoic philosopher Seneca said that by examining the events of the day right before going to bed, “the sleep that followed was particularly sweet.”