Constant attention to developing the proper character in ourselves is an essential precondition to spirituality. One of the oldest Jewish spiritual practices is a technique called "self-accounting" (cheshbon nefesh). This is the practice of listening to the inner voice and of taking note on a daily basis of our life's balance sheet, of all the good that we have achieved, and the faults that we must continue to correct. In fact, Rabbi Simcha Bunim suggested that we need to carry around with us two small ledgers, one in each pocket. On one, we write at the top, "For my sake the world was created," on which we list all the good things in our lives. In the other, we write at the top, "I am but dust and ashes." On this we list all the things we still need to improve.

To Practice: Try this practice of self-accounting.

David S. Ariel in Spiritual Judaism