Sunday, September 11, 2011

Honest Reflection

Photo: Anders N.

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

This blog frequently serves as my vehicle for self-discovery and reflection.

I often take stock of life, mostly mine. If you’ve ever read the prose I post, you’re aware. I evaluate where I’ve been, where I’m going, how I’ve gotten here, how I’m getting there, and all things between.

Why do I do this, you ask?

Part of it, by blessing or curse, is that I’m wired with a philosophical mind. It’s also because I’m convicted that we get one shot to live life on earth, and there’s no sense in living it in any way but meaningfully.

I’m on a constant quest to improve my time here, and one way I do so is to reflect as often as I can.

Reflection may have many meanings, but I loosely interpret it to mean stopping between activities rather than moving from one to the other without awareness, be it at your desk, in your car or on your feet. Simply stated, it means taking a minute.

On this day, September 11, 2011, a particularly reflective one for my compatriots and me, I consider the importance of honest reflection. It is critically important in terms of linking the past to the future.


1. Allows for appreciation of accomplishment. Pausing to consider what was just done, especially if done well, akin to celebrating after a test or a project, is valuable simply for the sake of giving yourself deserved credit, even if on a small scale. Do it often.

2. Brings greater energy for future activity. Take time to consider what’s up next, rather than jumping right into it. Ask yourself first, how does what I’m about to do matter? It may be that you end up not even doing what you originally set out to do. Here’s the positive spin on that: The appropriate elimination of an activity may, in and of itself, be an accomplishment. Take credit.

Linking the past to the future through reflection increases our ability to focus on the present and offers more purpose to what we do.

Now my hope is that you have a chance to quietly reflect for a few minutes, appreciating your achievements and renewing the energy you need to do whatever you pursue next.

Give yourself the present.