Reflection….A 2020 buzz word or something we should be taking bit more seriously? You may have heard motivational coaches or some of the worlds high achievers throw this word around and thought you should do something about it but are not quite sure: what, how or when!
Well lets first understand what reflection really is and then I will throw out some ideas on the how and the when which I am sure will help you.
Dictionary.com gives us 9 definitions of this work, 6 of which I have noted below:
- the act of reflecting, as in casting back a light or heat, mirroring, or giving back or showing an image; the state of being reflected in this way.
- an image; representation; counterpart.
- a fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration.
- a thought occurring in consideration or meditation.
- an unfavorable remark or observation.
- the casting of some imputation or reproach.
So you understand what the above mean in isolation but still confused? Not overly surprising and hence why I have taken the liberty to come up with my own definition which is perhaps a mishmash of the above.
Reflection: looking into the past and figuring out how you can use what has happened there to help in the present and future.
Yep for me it is that simple. We have to start examining the behaviors of the past as these are vital tools to help us in life. An example could be: I did A and the result was B. I liked the result of B so will do more of A. Easy peasy right.
So let's bring it to life…..get out a note pad and pen (or use a device) and think about a array of actions that you took in 2020 (and before as it has been an odd year hasn’t it) ask yourself if you enjoyed the action itself and then in the next thought think about the result of that action and how much you did or did not like that.
Now we start to learn as we become conscious of our actions and the results they can bring and this is very powerful in mapping out our immediate, mid or long term future. Whilst this all sounds super simple, the exercise of reflection needs focus, it is not always super easy. It needs you to be in a good space, free from judgment, free from distraction and in a place where you can think clearly.
Don’t be shy, write, write and write, fill pages, books if you want. It may seem a bit odd and unnatural at first but once you get into it you will actually have a great time as it is a great form of therapy, of letting things go, of appreciating some great moments and of understanding ones self a bit more.
And then we come to the when or rather, “how often should I do this?” Well if you have just arrived at the party as I said it will feel a bit odd so it would not be right for me to tell you to reflect daily, weekly, monthly and annually but the more you get into it and reflection becomes a part of life this will naturally happen and you will start to reap the benefits of it. For now spend a few sessions over the coming weeks until the end of the year with your note pad and pen and see how it goes. No not all reflections need to be noted but it will help, as your journey continues you may only note some reflections and not all, thats also cool, it has to be what is natural to you.
Wait wait wait I am not done yet. Once you have been through this process you have put yourself in an unreal position to be successful in life in a number of different ways. You have started to create a new play book that allows you to play on new levels so my final advice is simple. Whilst reflection is great, action on reflection is paramount to continued human development and being the best human you can be.
Thanks for reading and if you are struggling drop me a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be super happy to try and help.
By; Marcus Smith, Innerfight Founder