Reflection – Reflect Upon Today to Improve Tomorrow.

December 9, 2012 — 3 Comments

Why can’t a vampire see their own reflection? Is it because they have no soul, they subtract from people, sucking the life out of them. Is that what happens when we fail to reflect properly and I’m not talking about your reflection in the mirror.

Man sees other self in mirror

If we don’t reflect on our past and how our actions affect others, we may be sucking the life out of others and not even knowing it.

People usually think about past events, what happened to them and how it made them feel. If it was a negative experience, we tend to ignore it.

Did you ever think about what you could have done to change the outcome? If you don’t do that, how do you expect to do anything different the next the same situation comes up?

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

– Albert Einstein

How do you change what you did? You reflect on what you could’ve done better, and then do it. Reflection is great, as long as it’s followed up with action.

In John Maxwell’s book, “How Successful People Think” he has a chapter on reflective thinking and states five reasons why it’s so important to do it;

  1. Reflective thinking gives you true perspective
  2. Reflective thinking gives you emotional integrity to your thought life
  3. Reflective thinking increases your confidence in decision making
  4. Reflective thinking clarifies the big picture
  5. Reflective thinking takes a good experience and makes it a valuable experience

John also list three actions to make the most of your reflective thinking;

  1. Set aside time for reflection
  2. Remove yourself from distractions
  3. Regularly review your calendar or journal
  4. Ask the right questions
  5. Cement your learning through action

Asking the right question was Socrates quest; he would go through the marketplace and ask the different craftsman about their trade.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

~ Socrates

Part of reflection is self-analysis and Socrates insisted that we examine our lives. Ronald Gross in his book,“Socrates’ Way,” gives his readers two steps to examine the choices and the chances that have occurred in your life.

  • The first step to examining your life is by reflecting on the high points in your life and ask yourself, “As I look back, I am struck by how much my present situation resulted from choices that I made and goals that I set for myself, for example …”
  • The second step is to reflect on the major turning points in your life and ask yourself, “As I look back, I am struck by how much my present situation resulted from occurrences (either good or bad) I could not have predicted and over which I had little or no control, for example …”

I think that some people don’t reflect because they consider it as dwelling on the past. I agree, somewhat, if you keep reflecting on a failure, without coming to a conclusion to what you could’ve done better, then you’re dwelling on the past. Maybe if you reflect on a failure after it happened, and determined what you could’ve done differently, you won’t have to dwell on the past because you already came to grips with it?

Napoleon Hill in his classic book, “Think and Grow Rich” listed 28 questions to ask yourself at the end of each year. Take this inventory by asking yourself the questions and think if you had a decrease in faults or an increase in virtues. Check your answers with the aid of someone who will not permit you to deceive yourself as to their accuracy.


  1. Have I attained the goal which I established as my objective for this year? (You should work with a definite yearly objective to be attained as a part of your major life objective).
  2. Have I delivered service of the best possible QUALITY of which I was capable, or could I have improved any part of this service?
  3. Have I delivered service in the greatest possible QUANTITY of which I was capable?
  4. Has the spirit of my conduct been harmonious, and cooperative at all times?
  5. Have I permitted the habit of PROCRASTINATION to decrease my efficiency, and if so, to what extent?
  6. Have I improved my PERSONALITY, and if so, in what ways?
  7. Have I been PERSISTENT in following my plans through to completion?
  8. Have I reached DECISIONS PROMPTLY AND DEFINITELY on all occasions?
  9. Have I permitted any one or more of the six basic fears to decrease my efficiency?
  10. Have I been either “over-cautious,” or “under-cautious?”
  11. Has my relationship with my associates in work been pleasant, or unpleasant? If it has been unpleasant, has the fault been partly, or wholly mine?
  12. Have I dissipated any of my energy through lack of CONCENTRATION of effort?
  13. Have I been open minded and tolerant in connection with all subjects?
  14. In what way have I improved my ability to render service?
  15. Have I been intemperate in any of my habits?
  16. Have I expressed, either openly or secretly, any form of EGOTISM?
  17. Has my conduct toward my associates been such that it has induced them to RESPECT me?
  18. Have my opinions and DECISIONS been based upon guesswork, or accuracy of analysis and THOUGHT?
  19. Have I followed the habit of budgeting my time, my expenses, and my income, and have I been conservative in these budgets?
  20. How much time have I devoted to UNPROFITABLE effort which I might have used to better advantage?
  21. How may I RE-BUDGET my time, and change my habits so I will be more efficient during the coming year?
  22. Have I been guilty of any conduct which was not approved by my conscience?
  23. In what ways have I rendered MORE SERVICE AND BETTER SERVICE than I was paid to render?
  24. Have I been unfair to anyone, and if so, in what way?
  25. If I had been the purchaser of my own services for the year, would I be satisfied with my purchase?
  26. Am I in the right vocation, and if not, why not?
  27. Has the purchaser of my services been satisfied with the service I have rendered, and if not, why not?
  28. What is my present rating on the fundamental principles of success? (Make this rating fairly, and frankly, and have it checked by someone who is courageous enough to do it accurately).

Spend the last week or two in December to reflect on these questions and ask yourself what improvements you should make in 2013. Maybe there is one main objective you want to achieve. Set your goals high and then think about who you can help while achieving that goal, the more people you help achieve their goals the more they will want to help you achieve yours, because;

Life’s a journey, it’s better taken with others.

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