Updated: Feb 11
Learning to Pause Allows Growth to Catch Up with You
"Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From quiet reflection will come even more effective action." -- Peter F. Drucker
There are many different ways to grow and an infinite number of lessons to be learned in life. But there are some kinds of growth that come to us only if we are willing to stop, pause, and allow the lesson to catch up with us.
Reflection Turns Experience into Insight
People have innumerable experiences every day, but many learn nothing from them because they never take the time to pause and reflect. However, if we pause to allow growth to catch up with us, it makes our lives better. Not only because we better understand the significance of what we’ve experienced, but so we can also implement changes and course corrections as a result.
How often do you take the time to sit and reflect on your experiences?
Time alone allows people to sort through their experiences, put them into perspective, and plan for the future. The thing to remember is that continual growth from experiences is only possible when we discover insights and truths within them. If you reflect on the events of the day and how you responded to them, the results should either applaud you or prod you. In the end, you will also be better equipped to teach others from the wisdom you have gained.
"All of us are watchers — of television, of time clocks, of traffic on the freeway — but few are observers. Everyone is looking, not many are seeing." -- Peter M. Leschak
So how do you apply the Law of Reflection to your life?
1) Create a space where you can consistently and effectively pause and reflect.
If you don’t already have a quiet space where you can sit and reflect without distraction, it’s time to create one. It may be a rock or a bench in your favorite outdoor landscape or perhaps it’s a small isolated room where no one will bother you, or maybe it’s as simple as your favorite chair that you can just sink into. There isn’t any magic to creating a special space just for pausing and reflecting, but there is something to be said for being intentional about selecting a spot and making it your own which means you will be more likely to use it.
2) Schedule time to pause and reflect and guard this time as most valuable.
If you’re not intentional about scheduling time for reflection, it will always get shuffled off of your to-do list. I strongly encourage you to use your created space and discipline yourself to pause and use it, because it has the potential to change your life. Schedule 10-30 minutes every day to reflect on the events of the day. Schedule 1-2 hours every week to reflect on you daily reflections. Schedule 3-4 hours every couple of months to reflect on the big picture. Schedule an entire day or more at the end of year and the beginning of the year to reflect on what was and what could be.
Obviously, you are very busy. There are so many demands on each of us every day and we rush from place to place and task to task just trying to squeeze it all in. Yet this is one of the most important things you can do. Don’t skip this step just because it will cost you something. Remember, reaching your potential is always going to cost you something. The question is whether or not you are willing to pay the price to be the person you want to be.
3) Use your time intentionally by asking yourself tough questions and giving honest answers.
Whatever your goals and vision, create thought-provoking questions around that area and spend time writing out the questions and your answers to those questions during your scheduled times of reflection. You may think that you can ask the questions and answer them without taking the time to write them out, but writing actually helps you to discover what you truly know, think and believe. I promise that the extra effort to write it all out will be worth it. If you need some help getting started with some questions, consider the following:
What is my biggest asset?
What is my biggest liability?
What is my highest high?
What is my lowest low?
What is my most worthwhile emotion?
What is my least worthwhile emotion?
What is my best habit?
What is my worst habit?
What is most fulfilling to me?
What do I prize most highly?
Do I value people?
Do people know I value them?
How do I show it?
Am I a “plus” or a “minus” in my most important relationships?
What evidence do I have to confirm my opinion?
What is the love language of the people I love?
How can I serve them?
Do I need to forgive someone in my life who needs to be given grace?
Who in my life should I take time to thank?
What in my life should be receiving more of my time?
Personal Growth Reflection
Do I know and practice the 15 Laws of Personal Growth?
Which three laws do I do best?
Which three laws are my weakest?
Am I growing daily?
What am I doing daily to grow?
How am I growing?
What are the roadblocks that are keeping me from growing?
What are the breakthroughs I need to keep growing?
What were the potential learning moments I experienced today, and did I seize them?
Am I passing on the someone what I am learning?