The Lessons are All Around You!
Using the Power of Reflection
Use Reflection to Learn from Them.
The concept of learning from the world around you may be as foreign to you as it was to me on my first day of Freshman Honors English. The first week of college should be an exciting experience filled with an unlimited future. Instead, I was looking at a syllabus that outlined out major assignments as follows:
- “Reading” a landscape and writing a book report on it.
- “Reading” the movie The Godfather and writing a book report on it.
At 18 I did not have much of an abstract thinking brain. Initially overwhelmed by the thought of “book reports” on these non-book things, I found by Christmas I was taking more notice and learning more lessons from the everyday moments around.
A few years later, I took a class that taught leadership while viewing Remember the Titans. As an adult and leader, the idea took me back to that freshman year and back to the basics of learning.
I share these experiences with you to encourage the power of reflection. When I teach the Law of Reflection from John Maxwell’s The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, the prevailing lesson is the power of the pause. Life styles of leaders in 2017 are not conducive to a pause. The blink of multiple indicator lights on multiple devices, decisions to make, meetings to attend. How can you pause when in reality you are looking forward to self-driving car so you can work on the commute?!
To ‘read,’ and really READ, a landscape, movie, play, or story you see on the news, you must pause. Pause to see the interaction of the colors, lights and sounds. Pause to think about the impacts of words, actions, and staging. Pause to consider the implications of what you see.
There’s no wrong time to hit that pause button, but it will not happen if you are not intentional to do so. The blinking lights on those devices will win. Books, speakers, and classes are still important, this pause will not replace them. Use your pause button to ensure you maximize the content from those sources too. Consider each pause to be the half-time moment that you are going to make some Patriot like adjustments to those things that trouble you.
Bottom Line: Pick the time that suits your routines; put it in our planner, calendar, and phone; then hit pause. Reflect on the day or the week, duration is your choosing. If you stop to consider what lessons were there, you might recall the interactions of your children, something from the television, or even another perspective from that last conversation at the office. If your day or week included a book, speaker, or class, it’s time to reflect on the key learnings.
Consider what time and place you can designate for a regular pause. Plan for this pause and use the time to really reflect on what you have learned, want to learn, and plan to implement. Just examining these topics will alert your sense to notice more of what you are looking for, some of which may have been right there all along.
As attributed to Socrates, the ‘unexamined life is not worth living,’ so pause and examine!
Anthony Bird – Independent Certified John Maxwell Coach