R For Reflect
R for Reflect
Reflect simply means, “to think deeply or carefully about a particular thing or subject.” It also means "show an image of something on a mirror or shiny surface ".
Alan Cohen said, “Everyone and everything that shows up in our life is a reflection of something that is happening inside of us.”
Senora Roy, as if to affirm what Alan Cohen had said went on to say these words, “The more peace we have within our own lives, the more we can reflect into the outer world.”
In other words, what you see on the outside is a sign of what is going on in the inside. This reminds me of a story I once heard from Joel Osteen. Here goes.
One day I hopped into a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving on the inner lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us.
My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. I mean, he was really friendly.
So I asked, “Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!” This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, “The Law of the Garbage truck.”
He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they’ll dump it on you.
Don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, and wish them well, say a prayer for them and move on. Don’t take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets. The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.
Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so…love the people who treat you right. Forgive the ones who don’t. We’re not always responsible for everything that happens to us, but we are 100% responsible for how we react to what happens. Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!....
For this taxi guy to come up with "The Law of the garbage truck", he must have taken time to do a lot of introspection i.e. reflection. It felt like he himself had at one point or another been full of garbage.
Why is it important to reflect?
Because as John Dewey would say,“We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.”
And when we reflect there are some benefits we gain:
- Avoiding repetitive mistakes. Unless you are unstable mentally, you would be a full to walk into a mistake you have commited before and got bad results from. When you reflect, you get to identify how the mistake happened in the first place so as to avoid a similar scenario in future.
- It gives you great ideas. For instance, today you are reading this article because I was reflecting on the circumstances and situations that gave the strong personality I have today. The lessons learned then have consistently contributed towards generating the content you read here.
- It helps you help others. I’ve often said I don’t know how to train people or advice people from theory. If you hear me telling you to do something, it means I’ve been there, done it and accomplished my mission successfully. That’s why I am yet to start talking about personal finance management because I need to win this battle first, then I can tell someone else how to win a similar battle. What I can do right now though is tell you what not to do in order to avoid a personal finance crisis like the one I put myself in. I can tell you all that because there is not a single day that goes by that I don’t reflect on this situation and how I’m going to get out of it.
- It gives perspective. Using the personal finance management as an example, reflecting on how I got into this mess has given me a completely new point of view of how I can actually derive something positive from it. For instance, writing a book titled "the fastest way to create a personal finance mess".
- It introduces you to yourself. How? Because when you reflect, you are having a conversation with yourself. You know what, sometimes the most intelligent conversation you can ever have is with yourself. Personally, I love those conversations though sometimes they can be very loud, especially when I am trying to tell myself that my stomach is not hungry, and my brain wants to convince me otherwise.
- It makes us better versions of ourselves. Deep reflections really empower us to gain self-awareness and to improve and become better humans, eventually translating to happier and meaningful lives. This is how you get to do a personal SWOT analysis to discover things you probably wouldn't have discovered without reflecting.
How and when should one reflect?
Personally, I prefer doing this at night just before my night prayers. I ask myself a series of questions and answer them truthfully. Of course some are annoying but they are important to ask.
1. Did I live up to my core values and personal mission today? [This means you have to have your own personal core values and a personal mission to answer this question.]
2. Was I a person others can respect today?
3. Did I respect my body the way I should today? [For instance, did you eat wrong, did you allow yourself to be abused physically by someone, etc]
4. Did I make a positive impact on the world today?
5. Did I perform at my best today?
6. Did I have negative emotions today? Why?
7. Did I use my time wisely today?
Daily reflection is one of the tools I used to help me deal with many ghosts from my past that were threatening to drown me in my own pool of self-pity. When you do this consistently, it will have such a profound impact on your life that you will start seeing yourself in a different light.
As we reflect on what we have reflected on today, my humble request is that you may take up this challenge and start a daily reflection routine. You can borrow some of the questions above but make sure you can answer them honestly otherwise you won’t be doing yourself justice.
Listen to the podcast on R for Reflect here.
Be ignited. Be inspired. Be influenced. Reflect yourself into becoming the best version of yourself yet!