Yesterday I celebrated another birthday. Birthdays are personal New Year celebrations.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a birthday mid-year like I do, not only do you get to reflect on the past calendar year, but several months later you also get to reflect on your past year of life.
When walking down the road of reflection, it’s important to shed the jacket of criticism and the hat of judgment. A critical and judgmental nature does nothing but condemn. Condemnation makes us hurry through the path of reflection. Such a quick journey causes us to overlook and rush by the many lessons to be learned.
Instead of criticism and judgment, put on the coat of understanding and the cap of wisdom. Take a long leisurely walk down the reflective path and learn from past actions. Contemplate. Ask yourself questions like, how could I have handled that situation to produce a better outcome? What did I learn and how can I improve in the future? What did I do right? How did this year’s reflective journey compare to last year’s reflective journey? Am I still facing the same obstacles or have I graduated to a higher, deeper and more character building set of obstacles?
I am where I am because I chose to be here. Each little choice and decision I made throughout my life landed me right here. If I don’t like where I am, I had better decide where I want to go and start making little choices in that direction.
For example, the choices I’ve made in my life landed me right here 10 pounds overweight. In order to lose 10 pounds I have to make small decisions in the direction of a 10-pound weight loss.
First I had to make up my mind that no matter what, I’m going to lose 10 pounds. Next, I took a reflective stroll down the path of my dietary/exercise habits. I asked myself a few hard questions, came up with several answers. Based on the answers, I implemented a weight-loss plan.
I now walk 6 days a week and have made a few minor dietary changes. I’m 2 ½ weeks into my new program and my clothes are fitting a wee bit better and I’ve lost a pound or two. I’m still on my weight-loss journey, but by making a few different choices I’ve created a doable plan that will enable me to reach my goal.
This is a simple example of the power of reflection. Learning from the past is one of the best ways to have a more productive future.
“There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience and that’s not learning from experience”
“Study the past if you would define the future”
This is another of several posts that came from a blog of mine that I decided to discontinue. Instead of letting all of the content go into oblivion, I decided to capture it here.