Every month I take some time to reflect on my life, and check on my focus. In a way it’s like cleaning the windscreen of my car so I can see the direction in which I’m going, making sure I’m on the right road. It’s so important on a regular basis to check to see where you are and whether you are on the right path to where you ultimately want to be. For me this time for reflection gives me an objective view about how I am running my life.
Do you ever take the time out of your busy life and your hectic schedule to do some self reflection? By this I mean taking the time to figure out who you are, and what makes you tick. It includes looking at what you care about most, the things that are most important to you, as well as how and why you feel and act the way that you do in given situations.
If you don’t do this it’s about time you started. When you do what I call a helicopter view of your life you consider how satisfied you are with each of the key areas. It’s revealing. When you find you’re off track, you can immediately re-focus and get yourself back on the right road.
I know you already have a busy life, but taking the time to reflect on everything about you and your life is an unbelievable worthwhile activity. By taking the time to reflect on your own self, you can start to clarify your own personal vision of what it is that you want to be, do and have in your life.
No matter how busy you feel, you need to take time out to make changes. You have to consciously and deliberately work towards establishing the direction you want your life to take.
With a 24/7 lifestyle you can so easily get caught up in being busy all the time however if we do not take time to rest and reflect we diminish our capacity to perform at our best.
Taking the time to properly reflect on your life is a practice that will help you understand yourself. Not taking the time to reflect is like going through life with your eyes closed where you’re sure to bump into everything and get nowhere near where you want to go.
It will enable you to monitor why you are feeling the way you do. If you want your life to feel balanced, then your actions need to be connected to your fundamental goals and values. Ask yourself what you believe in, what you stand for. What kind of person do you want to be? How do you want to be remembered?
To be nobody but yourself, in a world which is doing its best to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting. E.E. Cummings
Self Reflection is not easy, because getting to know ourselves this intimately shows us some things about ourselves that we don’t like. It shows us where are life is going wrong, and what we just have to change. It can be quite daunting.
Personal reflection recharges your batteries. It makes you feel calmer, more focused and energized. That is the power of personal reflection. A reflective mind turns its attention inwards, and is a conversation between yourself as the lead character and as an observer of the actions you take. By considering your actions, you get an outsider’s view of yourself. So a person who is reflecting is both the subject and the object of reflection, and both the giver and the receiver of attention.
Take some time to self-reflect today and see what you find!
So now you are going to spend some time reflecting on your life. First find a private, quiet and comfortable place to do it, where you won’t get disturbed. Now you’re going to begin questioning yourself.
Ask yourself these reflective questions;
- Do you love the job you do or do you hate going to work every morning?
- Do you see yourself being on a positive motivating career path or are you treading water?
- Are you sufficiently paid for what you do?
- Is there another kind of work that you’d rather be doing?
- Are you appreciated by your employers, colleagues, clients?
- Are you making use of all your strengths?
- Do you look enviously elsewhere, or at others, or is this your dream job?
- Are you contented with your current level of income?
- Are you financially independent?
- Are you in control of your finances or do you spend more than your salary?
- Do you worry about money or are you relaxed about it?
- Have you planned for the future, building your nest egg, or reliant on every penny you earn?
- Would having more money enable you to do anything different?
- Are you happy with your partner, or do you enjoy being single?
- If you are in a relationship, do you share the same values, enjoy the same interests?
- Do you make time for each other or perhaps spend too much time together?
- Is this person your soul mate or a stop-gap?
- Have you got the relationship you deserve?
- Is there mutual respect, trust and appreciation?
Family & Friends
- Do you spend quality time with your family?
- Do you have a loyal circle of friends who support and energise you?
- Would you go the extra mile for them and vice versa?
- Do you feel that your family loves you, or takes you for granted?
- Do they know that you love them?
- What will those closest to you be saying about you at your funeral?
- Is your home a place where you feel relaxed and at ease or stressed to high heaven?
- Is it a happy loving environment you enjoy or just a drain on your energy?
- Is the household budget under control have all the bills, the mortgage been paid?
- Is the home well maintained inside and out, or are there dripping taps to be fixed, shelves to be put up, lawns to be mowed and garage doors to be mended?
- Are you at a good fitness level or should you be exercising more regularly?
- Are you happy with your body or do you need to lose some weight or maybe tone up?
- Do you have a healthy, balanced diet?
- Do you drink or smoke too much?
- Do you get enough sleep?
- Do you take care of your?
- Do you feel energised?
- Do you walk with your head held high, proud to be you and glad to be alive?
- How far have I come – and where am I going?
- Are you just stuck in a rut or taking every opportunity you can so you can reach your full potential?
- Have you set yourself goals to bring you closer to ‘living your dream’?
- Are you thrilled about what your future holds?
- D you have a ‘can-do, will-do, must-do’ attitude?
- Do you feel that you are making a difference?.
- Do you feel that you are connected and contributing?
Your answer to these questions can tell you a lot about what you need to change and what is working for you. There are many questions you can ask yourself, these are just your starting point. They’ll get you thinking.
“Whereas the average individuals “often have not the slightest idea of what they are, of what they want, of what their own opinions are,” self-actualizing individuals have “superior awareness of their own impulses, desires, opinions, and subjective reactions in general.” Abraham Maslow
The way to make absolutely certain that you are taking your life forward, is regularly taking a break, go inside of your yourself, and reflect on where you are and how you have got there.
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Terrific post, Larry! I totally agree with you…self-reflection is so important if we want to live a happy life. I like to use my emotional guidance (my feelings) from moment-to-moment to help me stay aligned with who I am…it makes it really easy to stay on my path.
Great words of wisdom! Thank you.
Bec – its a magnificent way to be when you can be in touch with your emotions. Listening, feeling, seeing when you need to make an adjustment.
Great one as usual,Larry..It is when you lose sight of yourself, that you lose your way. To keep your truth in sight you must keep yourself in sight and the world to you should be a mirror to reflect to you your image,the world should be a mirror that you reflect upon.Even if you think you’re doing well and have it all figured out, there is a voice you will always inevitably hear at some point which nags at you and says “but wait…” Don’t ever dismiss it, listen to what it has to say. Life will never be close enough to perfect, and listening to that voice means stepping outside of yourself and considering your own wrongdoings and flaws.
Great point Alpana – lose sight of yourself, that you lose your way is definetely the best support statement to why we all, no matter where we re in our lives, need to reflect and question ourselves.
Wonderful post, Larry. Reflection is so important in life…and even when you think you’re pretty introspective, you look at your checklist of questions above and realize that you have a lot to learn about yourself. 🙂
Thank you Gen – that’s the beauty of reflection, it’s get us to see within, open our mind, and we will always find things that maybe we haven’t focused enough time on, where we need to improve. You do a beautiful job both in pictures you take and the little gifts you photograph.