When was the last time you looked in a mirror?
What did you see? What did you think?
Did you think that your hair was too long, too curly, too straight, or too thin? Did you think that your nose was too big, too small, or even a little crooked? Did you think you looked too old or too tired? Or did you simply think – ‘damn I look fine!’
Alternatively, did you look beyond your image and ask ‘Who am I? What are my values? What is my purpose? Am I proud of how I’ve treated others, or who I’ve become? Do I have any regrets? Am I living the life I desire?
There is power in reflection.
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” — Confucius
When we look at a painting or sculpture we often seek to understand the artist’s vision. After watching a film, we frequently ponder the film maker’s message. And when reading a book, we benefit from considering the writer’s perspective. For without reflection we are simply passive observers – watching but not engaging – missing out on the opportunity to truly learn and grow from our experiences.
Do you use reflection?
Not as judgement or as a way to critique yourself – but as a way to improve or enhance your self-awareness. Reflection is the key to self-awareness – to identifying our strengths, ensuring alignment with our values, and to identifying opportunities for future improvement. As kids we often used marks on the inside of a door frame to track our growth. But what do we use as adults to evaluate our non-physical development?
There is power in reflection – and it doesn’t require a mirror.