Are You curious about You?
Socrates is quoted as saying that the unexamined life is not worth leading. How does one examine one’s life?
Reflection gives one insight.
Insight is the fuel for learning.
Learning is the by-product of evaluated experience.
Reflective thinking is when you spend time alone, with your thoughts, under your ‘willow tree’ as described in the book Leading Self and Others. It is one of the most undervalued or neglected activities amongst the people I coach. This thinking is not for hastily flushing a brain-fogged, muddled mind. It’s about being mindful and asking purpose-lead questions relating to what is going on in my life right now, how well am I doing, and what needs to change?
Prioritise the time within in a serene environment and then deliberately quieten your mind. Derive greater benefit by engaging in a breathing exercise to help you relieve tension and relax. Tranquillity is vital because it helps create an optimal state for the executive functions of your brain to kick-in, enhancing problem-solving and learning.
Reflective thinking is incredibly rewarding because the depth at which your thinking takes place allows you to see what you otherwise may not have seen, feel what you may not have felt, and think what you may not have thought, while in the midst of your ‘whirlwind’. Some things you can only see when you slow down
Evaluate your experiences (use benchmarks and goals) for insightful learning.
Philosopher and theologian Soren Kierkegaard once said that if he were a doctor and were asked for sound advice, it would be to create silence. Our daily ‘noise’ can be so loud that it distorts our thinking and the unnecessary strain of seeking clarity drains our vitality.
Where do you create silence?
Under your willow tree.
When should you create silence?
If you don’t deliberately take your thoughts somewhere, you won’t take them anywhere!
I am the author of Leading Self and Others (how to make a difference where you are with what you’ve got) and Teaming with ideas (life lessons from business, sport and parkrun). You can contact me here.