Business people who are involved in many transactions employ accountants to analyze their operations and to determine whether or not they are profitable. They may also seek the help of experts to determine which products are making money and which are losing. Such studies allow them to maximize their profits and minimize their losses. Without such data, they might be doing a great deal of business, but discover at the end of the year that their expenditures exceeded their earnings.
Sensible people give at least as much thought to the quality and achievement of their lives as they do to their businesses. Each asks himself, "Where am I going with my life? What am I doing that is of value? In what ways am I gaining and improving? And which practices should I increase, and which should I eliminate?"
Few people make such reckonings. Many of those that do, do so on their own, without consulting an expert's opinion. These same people would not think of being their own business analysts and accountants, and they readily pay large sums of money to engage highly qualified experts in these fields.
Jewish ethical works urge us to regularly undergo cheshbon hanefesh, a personal accounting. We would be foolish to approach this accounting of our very lives with any less seriousness than we do our business affairs. We should seek out the "spiritual C.P.A.s," those who have expertise in spiritual guidance, to help us in our analyses.