The Season for Personal Reflection
“Reflect upon your present blessings -- of which every man has many -- not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
Really we should be reflecting on our lives every day a few minutes of thought, but it seems there isn't always time. As the holidays roll around 'reflection' becomes more obvious and in tune with the holidays. Stopping to think and appreciate what we have, where we are, and even who we are should be part of our holiday celebrations. It is a time of renewal and a time to look to the future, not dwell in the past.
Granted you may want to look back and think about what you've learned, what your life has taught you....and make sure you don't make the same mistakes again. Remember, Albert Einstein said of insanity: "[it is]doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Though most of us may wonder about the current state of our minds, we know we aren't insane so, we shouldn't be making the same mistakes over and over again. I figure two times is enough, three strikes and you're out. That is sometimes easier to say than do but if we make a conscious effort to see our mistakes and what led us to make them, we can hopefully avoid them the next time.
Think about what you've learned
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."
So, as you decide to reflect maybe one of the things you should ask yourself is "what have I learned?" You may have learned its not a good idea to leave your keys in the car and lock the door, or you may have learned that boyfriend that never calls really isn't a boyfriend after all....so many things you can learn in such a short time! You may have learned a new language or how to finally program the DVD player!
If you're not sure about what you've learned, how about what you've accomplished? Surely there are many things. You might've changed the oil in the car after putting it off for weeks, or maybe you mastered playing that piano that's been just sitting in the living room gathering dust. Of course if you're a writer, you may have written more than you ever thought you could....all accomplishments.
People in your life
"If your treat an individual... as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be."
---Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
How about the people in your life? Have you called your parents lately? Have you told your children that you love them? Did you ever apologize for that argument you had with your brother?
How do you treat other people? Do you give out compliments freely? Do you appreciate those around you? What about helping others, even if its just holding a door opening or carrying a bag of groceries for someone who is really loaded down....of course there is so much more you can be doing for people, but that is up to you and your life and circumstances. It would be more generous for someone with little income to donate a can of food than it would for someone very wealthy to write a check .... circumstances sometimes dictate what we can do for others. If we do for others with love in our hearts we accomplish generosity. Maybe just helping a neighbor mow his lawn or rake his leaves, even the simplest things...
What about goals? Do you have any goals right now? This might be the time to reflect on your goals and what you want them to be? Do you have goals about your job or your education? What is your ideal future? What do you want from your future? Your goals could be a bucket list or a to do list!
Reflecting on goals
"Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now."
As you are reflecting on your goals and your future remember to keep it simple and attainable. If you set goals that are way beyond your abilities you are setting yourself up to fail. If you live in the city for example, don't set a goal to go on a five mile hike every day....be reasonable and fair to yourself. Set goals that you actually have control over....that way you will feel that sense of pride when you are able to accomplish the goal you've set.
Remember reflection is about focusing on yourself. This is a personal reflection and what other people do is not your responsibility and not something you can control. Maybe it is best for you to write down your reflections. Make a list to refer to from time to time. Write down the positive things you have in your life, your health, your relationships, maybe even your job. Think about all the things you like about yourself...you're tall or you're short...you're blonde or you're brunette...maybe you have a bubbly personality and always look at the bright side...any of the things you like about yourself.
Begin your journey
"If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else."
As with any journey, the journey to personal reflection begins with the first step. Make a searching inventory of yourself. Who are you? How would you describe yourself, honestly? Are you a happy person? If not, that may be a goal...to become a happier person. Are you overweight...if so, that may be a goal, to lose a few pounds. In order to reach that goal you would need to examine yourself and your life to find out why you are not happy with that particular thing right now.
Now is the time to try to make sense of your life. What are your feelings? Does any of this make sense to me, in my life? What would I like to change?
As you reflect, that's what its all about, "ME". Worrying about me, thinking about me and helping to make a better me.
"I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself."
What others do or think is not important in your reflections. Only you are important and what you want to do. You can't change other people, contrary to what some people think. You can only change yourself to make your life happy. Truthfully look at yourself and your life.
Maybe writing things down isn't for you. Maybe you need to take a walk by yourself or a drive. Whatever gives you the time to think about your life...that's the way to go for you. Each of us is different in how we live our lives so why not be different in how we reflect on our lives?
Take the time to reflect....take stock of your life and who you are....let go of the negative things rattling around in your mind...be happy and look to the future with pride and joy in who you are and if you think you need it, make the changes that will make you a better person and make you happy.
“The girl in the mirror wasn't who I wanted to be and her life wasn't the one I wanted to have.”
― Francesca Lia Block
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- How to Write a Personal Reflection | eHow.com
How to Write a Personal Reflection. All too often in life you can become so busy and distracted that you forget to focus on yourself. You can easily lose sight of the things that you used to deem to be so important. If you have somehow lost focus of
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