Wednesday, December 24, 2008
It is late December in 2008 and as the year quickly comes to a close I think of how important it is to reflect upon the passing year. On November 28 a blog posted by Scott Boyle, called ‘Transitions’ made us aware of 3 stages that can be considered for every action. They were preparation, performance and self reflection. On a macro scale, I like to consider a year on the calendar as one great act of performance that we all take part in that considers the 3 stages. Most of us do a great job at preparing for a year and we also do very well performing on the heels of our carefully thought out plans. Yet sometimes we fail to reflect upon the year before transitioning back to the preparation stage again for the following year.
Another way to consider a year is to think of it like a destination. We have all heard that a destination is more about the journey than it is about where we finish. The thing to realize is that each year is a journey that takes 365 days along new roads giving us new experiences and new challenges to learn from. These annual journeys are made up of countless opportunities that ultimately allow us to grow as individuals and it is up to us to reflect upon these experiences that have led us to where we are at the end of the year.
To embrace the accomplishments we made through the year allows us to build personal esteem and inspiration that will fuel the action cycle again. Boyle writes; “the transition of self reflection to preparation is a time for renewal”. This reflective period is the time for us to renew our focus and ambitions that parallel our inner values and make up the core of our being. This is the time for us to evaluate how much we have grown. Without doing so we really do not know where we are in the greater scheme of life and fail to properly prepare where to go in the next year.
When reflecting, we must consider what went well for us, what did we learn during the process and how has that made us a better human being? Where many of us who reflect go wrong is that we also fail to acknowledge the events in that were less than positive. Living is about learning and we must be able to find the lessons in the bad for the only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing from.
Next, after reflection we begin the preparation stage again. What do you want to do differently in the new 365 day journey which is around the corner? Let me re-phrase that - what WILL you do differently in the new-year? How are you going to challenge yourself to become better? Will you seek more support from loved ones? Will you take up an intellectual challenge like reading? Will you begin exercising more to better your health? Will you choose to engage your children in other ways that set their bar higher? Whatever it is, it is up to each one of us as we are the ones responsible for what happens to ourselves. Take the time now to reflect upon the events that have made you a better person over the past year and take this higher level of self awareness and empowerment into a new year and that will make positive impact that you will enjoy reflecting upon one year from now.