The Real Importance of Reflecting

I think I have one of the shortest attention spans known to man. Truly! I have made numerous attempts at sitting down with only a journal and a cup of tea, and within minutes of “quieting my mind” it is running again at 120km/hour down 3 different paths. What should I make for supper? Who am I going to see this weekend? What do I have to get done today?

I recently attended the Global Leadership Summit, a two-day conference that has some of the world’s top leaders of our time presenting on several topics, all ultimately focusing on growing yourself as a leader. Interestingly, a unanimous message that I heard from most presenters is that the most important thing a leader can take time to do each day is reflect. Greeeeeeat. For those of you who are anything like me, I can see the eye rolls and hear the groans.

But what if reflecting doesn’t need to be hours of sitting quietly in a room with scented candles and meditative music playing in the background?

The beauty of reflecting is that you can do it anywhere and in any setting you find yourself. Start with 15 minutes each day. If you are someone who enjoys the morning take this time when you are finished your breakfast with a cup of hot coffee. If you have a flexible work or school schedule, slot it into your calendar at a consistent time each day. If you are a night owl, take 15 minutes before you head to bed to reflect.

Some questions to ask yourself include:

  1. What is one area I feel successful in? What is one area of growth I need to focus on?
  2. How did I/will I empower people around me today?
  3. What are three things that I am thankful for today?
  4. How am I doing – mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually?
  5. How would I rate my job satisfaction on a scale of 1-10? What actions can I take to improve or change this?

Making reflecting a priority in your day has been shown to literally change your neurological pathways, make you more self-aware and ultimately create a more positive and successful person. I challenge you to set a realistic goal for yourself this autumn and see the benefits of reflecting firsthand.

By Barbara Winzeler – Registered Nutritionist/Dietitian