Martin Short has always had a knack for seeing and working to make even low points a positive experience. In 1975, while between acting jobs, he devised a self-evaluation framework known as “The Nine Categories”. In essence, by working through these categories, he could weigh the good with the bad in his life at the moment.
Category 1: Self.
What is my current state of physical and mental well-being?
Category 2: Immediate Family.
How are my spouse, children, and pets doing?
Category 3: Original Family.
How well am I getting along with the people I grew up with?
Category 4: Friends.
What is the state of my friendships and the level of connection?
Category 5: Money.
Am I financially secure?
Category 6: Career.
How fulfilling and satisfying is my professional life?
Category 7: Creativity.
How does my innate creativity manifest outside of work?
Category 8: Discipline.
Do I possess the self-control and willpower to pursue and achieve my goals?
Category 9: Lifestyle.
Am I making a positive impact and enjoying my life?
An ongoing evaluation of one, some, or all of these is a great exercise in self-examination and improvement.