The importance of reflection
It’s 7am on a Tuesday morning and my clock is switching to Island time for a few hours. I learned about the island time while visiting the Cook Islands two years ago during my trip around the world. Island time has different meanings, but for me it refers to time well spent, away from the daily busy routine, in a place that refreshes my mind and my soul.
I am sitting here, nearby a window, and while sipping my second cup of coffee, I watch the world pass by. It is in those little moments that great things happen – my thoughts start to wander all around, discovering the unknown parts of my brain and reconstruct itself in something useful and important. It is exactly in these moments that I discover, learn, create and decide.
Since I became an entrepreneur and started my own company, moments of reflection have become a daily routine. We are all so busy and easily get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, that we sometimes forget to sit back, take a deep breath and just simply reflect. Reflect on anything important to us, our life, family, friends, work, next holiday, something that is bothering us, it can really be just anything and everything, no agenda needed.
How would it feel to just let your mind go? Give it a try!
So why is the time we take to reflect so important?
- First of all, we claim time for ourselves. We find back to our core by reconnecting with our soul, our heart and our mind.
- When we take a distance from things, we are able to see the bigger picture, connect events and everything becomes much more clearer.
- When we let our imagination go and we allow ourselves to dream, new ideas come around and we realise dimensions we never thought we would be able to see.
- As we reflect about our past experiences, we learn about ourselves, about what is important to us and what went well and what didn’t. Learn from it. By doing this we can be sure we will do better next time, at work, at home, on a project, in all kinds of relationships.
- Most of us are people of action – so what about just being for a moment, without having to do anything? If you are not used to reflection, it might feel uncomfortable at the beginning, so start with 1 minute a day and make it more as the time passes by. You will be surprised by the results.
- Set aside time in your schedule to reflect, it might be a daily routine or an off-site meeting.
- Take all distractions away, phone, computer, TV, people that might distract you (yes, people), as this is an important moment, you are claiming time for yourself, your company, your family.
- Go for a walk, in the city, in nature, soak it all in. No surprise some of mine coaching clients love it when we go for a walk during our coaching sessions – the experience gives them a completely different perspective on things, their life, job, their company and the challenges they are facing.
- If you need a sparing partner, find one or work with a coach who will help you reflect and realign with your values, leadership style, company strategy and business. One-a-one coaching sessions or off-site meetings are perfect for this.
- If you would like to motivate others to reflect, ask them open-end questions and see what happens…
Let me just say it can be anytime, anywhere – below are some ideas:
- while drinking a cup of coffee or tea
- while watching out of the window for a moment
- under the shower
- on an hour long commute
- while enjoying a new view
- while going for a walk
- when discovering new places
- on off-site meetings
- It doesn’t matter if you are the CEO of a billion dollar business or a stay-at-home mom, working hard to raise your children, the time for reflection is important for everyone. Try it out and let me know what happened for you.