"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow."
Benjamin Franklin began and ended each day with a question: "What good shall I do this day?" in the morning, and "What good have I done this day?" in the evening.
In fact, many great thinkers embraced the idea of constantly questioning things.
As Albert Einstein reportedly said, "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
The important thing is not to stop questioning and learning."
Of course, getting into the habit of self-reflection is easier said than done, as we often prefer to avoid asking ourselves the tough questions. As philosopher and psychologist John Dewey explained in his 1910 book, "How We Think," reflective thinking involves overcoming our predisposition to accept things at face value and the willingness to endure mental unrest.
But enduring this discomfort is well worth the effort, as it can result in the confidence boost necessary to perform better in our work and daily lives.
To help kick start your habit of self-reflection, here are nine daily questions you can start asking today:
'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?'
In 2005, about a year after he received his pancreatic cancer diagnosis, Apple's then-CEO Steve Jobs told Stanford's graduating class that, for 33 years, he would look in the mirror every morning and ask himself, "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?"
If the answer was "No" for too many days in a row, he says he know he needed to change something.
"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important," Jobs explained. "Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."