The Power of Reflection
Many of us-executives in particular-don’t have much patience for the process of reflection. We say we want results, yet what we’re really saying is that we want speed. Einstein said, “There is more to life than increasing speed.”
We’re also saying that we want action. We believe that if we’re not busy doing, then nothing is happening, which is not true. We get our best ideas when we are not busy doing – when we’re driving, showering, running, playing, meditating, relaxing, waking, or falling asleep.
We get our very best ideas when we’re inspired. And one of the most powerful ways we become inspired involves the process of reflection.
Reflection is an action, a very powerful action. Taking a moment to reflect not only brings invaluable learning and opportunity for growth. Reflection invokes a power within ourselves to expand upon what really matters, on what is significant to us, as an organization, a leader, and a human being. When we know who we really are and what we really want, as an organization, a leader, and a human being, we become inspired, and our goals and action plans become inspired, meaningful, and purposeful. We stop wasting time, money and energy living each day as we did yesterday, wondering what the heck happened, not noticing the difference we are making, and not experiencing the joy of our work.
When we take a moment to reflect, without blame or judgment, and in a state of wonder, on significant events, triumphs and challenges we experienced during the year, we often discover we’ve accomplished so much more than we have given ourselves credit for. We discover how much strength we have and we see the values which we embody. We realize the valuable lessons we have learned. And in these moments of acknowledgment and celebration, we receive ideas on how to build upon and expand these strengths and accomplishments.
When we take a moment to reflect, without blame or judgment, and in a state of wonder, upon how we spent our time and money, and what and who influenced us (the economy, a customer, a supplier, a department, a book, an advisor, a competitor, fear, worry, creativity, inspiration…), we see very clearly what we focused on. We then discover we are in alignment with what truly matters – or not –and we receive ideas on how to move forward in a way that serves our purpose.
When we take a moment to reflect, without blame or judgment, and in a state of wonder, on what happened with our relationships with customers, suppliers, and investors, internal and external, the community and employees, we can see the difference we have made – for better or worse -and receive ideas on how to move forward in a meaningful way.
And when we step back, reflect upon the reflections, and notice what we are thankful for, we become truly inspired-in touch with our highest awareness and creativity. Our vision and purpose becomes clear and we develop goals and action plans that are inspired
I invite you to include reflection in your strategic planning process, in your day-to-day meetings, and for yourself, at the end of the workday, so you can begin to see difference you make, move powerfully in alignment with who you truly are what you truly want, experience the joy of your work, and be inspired.
It is when we are inspired that we are unstoppable. It is when we are inspired that we achieve significant, long-lasting results.
Mary J. Lore is the founder and president of Managing Thought, LLC, which helps individuals and organizations develop self-awareness and change how they think and conduct business to attain long-lasting success. She is an internationally recognized thought leader, public speaker, executive mentor, and author of the multiple award-winning book Managing Thought: Think Differently. Think Powerfully. Achieve New Levels of Success and audio book Managing Thought: How Do Your Thoughts Rule Your World? Mary also serves an expert resource for Vistage, served as a Chair from 2002 – 2010, and was a member during the 1990s when she served as a CPA, business turnaround expert, and entrepreneur. Information on books, DVDs keynotes, workshops, coaching, e-columns, podcasts, and on-line tools can be found at www.managingthought.com.
For Vistage Members: Managing Thought- Vistage Knowledge Center