Time for re­flec­tion

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - News - DEN­NIS J HOIBERG The Re­silience Whis­perer

2017 is al­most done and dusted, ex­cept for the presents, al­co­hol and food-gen­er­ated heart­burn! So, what hap­pens now for you?

Is it more of the same or an op­por­tu­nity to grow by re­flec­tion?

Don’t worry, this ar­ti­cle is not about mak­ing 2018 “your best year ever” or “find­ing your au­then­tic self in 2018” – it’s any­thing but, and you will be ex­posed to enough of those sen­ti­ments in your so­cial media feeds be­tween now and the end of Jan­uary. Rather, it’s about look­ing for­ward and achiev­ing per­sonal growth... by look­ing back.

Socrates once said that “An un­ex­am­ined life is not worth liv­ing”. So, let’s ex­am­ine your life now and see what lessons you can learn for your fu­ture jour­ney.

If we can’t re­flect, then we run the risk of ex­pect­ing a dif­fer­ent re­sult while do­ing the same thing – and that is, as they say, one of the def­i­ni­tions of in­san­ity. Al­ter­na­tively, if we will­ingly re­flect, then we grow and learn the crit­i­cal lessons life has given us over the past 12 months.

So, what are the tips for ef­fec­tive re­flec­tion? The first one is to com­mit to do­ing it. Ac­tion is more im­por­tant than in­ten­tions – so cre­ate that will­ing­ness to re­flect.

An­other tip is to set a tar­get date – and that key date is De­cem­ber 15. Why? Be­cause af­ter that date the busy­ness of the fes­tive sea­son takes over and we all go into au­to­matic mode un­til about the second week of Jan­uary.

Ef­fec­tive re­flec­tion is about the ques­tions not about the an­swers. Pose ques­tions to your­self and let them rum­ble around in your heart and mind for a pe­riod. The an­swers will come when they are ready to come – it’s a process.

Carry a notepad or, if you are tech­no­log­i­cally in­clined, a smart­phone to cap­ture your thoughts and re­ac­tions.

I no­tice in the per­sonal devel­op­ment re­treats I con­duct, when I first pose a ques­tion to some­one about them­selves I get what I call a level 1 re­sponse – the first thing that comes to them, an off-the-cuff re­sponse. As the week pro­gresses and they al­low these ques­tions to per­co­late much deeper, more mean­ing­ful level 2 and 3 re­sponses oc­cur – and that’s when the real learn­ing and growth oc­curs.

Again, the ques­tions are im­por­tant. I don’t be­lieve there is a right or wrong list but here are some ques­tions you can use for re­flec­tion. When ask­ing your­self these ques­tions, use the present tense and speak in the first per­son – this will make it real and cur­rent for you.

Some ques­tions in­clude: Am I on the path to find­ing my why – my rea­son? Am I us­ing my time wisely? Am I tak­ing any­thing for granted? Am I em­ploy­ing a healthy per­spec­tive? Am I wak­ing up in the morn­ing ready to take on the day? Am I think­ing neg­a­tive thoughts be­fore I fall asleep? Am I putting enough ef­fort into my re­la­tion­ships?

Take your time with these ques­tions. If need be, ask a trusted friend for their opin­ion, ad­vice and ob­ser­va­tions. It’s all about you and you are worth the in­vest­ment.

So, re­flect. Start it now – it’s later than you think. And have it done by De­cem­ber 15.

Happy fes­tive sea­son!

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