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My reflections… or yours?

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Generally, at this time of the year we all reflect back on the year that was and try to anticipate what lies ahead. It doesn’t matter what age you are at; one usually reflects on the past year and we try to visualize what we can do in the coming year. Visualization is an expression that seems to be used very often these days, which really is a fancy word for dreaming.

Charles Haanel / 1866-1949 said and l quote…

“The visualization of mental forces is the finest and consequently the most powerful in existence.”

This year more than ever, in reflecting on my life…and asking myself – have l accomplished what l wanted to do and have l done good?  Well, l don’t know if there is a right answer to any of these questions, but l will express to you how l was able to put some sort of clarity to my dilemma and maybe yours.

When l started to write down what l would consider in my mind successes and failures it started to take shape and by writing these points down on paper, it got me visualizing the past and in some cases the future. Categorizing or just simply writing things down made it much easier for me to consider these past accomplishments. 

When doing a list of pros and cons, do not feel overwhelmed if you can’t immediately think of many pros/cons in order to facilitate the decision making. When doing this l have realized that it will take a couple of days in order to let the brain analyze the whole situation and generate at random moments more pros and cons to you past life endeavors. 

Let me explain this by asking you, have you ever been doing something and out of nowhere a random thought entered your mind making you think “Wow, l didn’t think about this, l have to remember this later” and then you completely forget about it? l am sure your subconscious has tricked you as it has done to me. Thus, the importance of writing down the pros and cons out of your mind as they come in is so important.

For me to have a reflective list of what l did in the past and what l can do in the future helps you set a base, especially when you can go back to this list and visualize what you did right or wrong. A simple list will help you mold in your mind a better strategy moving forward with what accomplishments your sight is set on.

As we all know, life doesn’t follow the path we want to go, setbacks either professionally or personally that set you off track, equally, you may change your view on how you want to set your life and aspirations. This may be a downfall to some as if you like structure and planning you may not want to change your plan and adjust as your life is changing.

My life has taken on many challenges and hopefully many more to come, but on reflecting or visualizing my accomplishments and my failures and where l will go became somewhat clearer and with some sort of perspective. Reflection is always good and writing these things down, truly helps put things into focus.

Self-reflection may feel like the latest new trend, but the concept has been around forever. When looking back at yourself, life is life, after all, and always worth living-examining your beliefs, your attitudes and your actions, is a vital part of personal change and growth. 

Remembering the past and more importantly, analyzing it for patterns is the way that we learn. 

The real magic happens when you make self-reflection part of your personal practice. You can do a short self-reflection at the end of every day. Try and reflect on what you accomplished today, what made you grateful today and what you wish you’d done differently. What’s more important, though, is to make time about once a month to go back over the past few weeks and think about what you’ve done. See how far you’ve come and pinpoint ways to improve going forward. These longer periods give you a chance to celebrate your progress, evaluate where you fell short of your ambition and readjust your plans and strategies to make next month even better.

These basic checks and balances are simple methods to keep you on track no matter what you want to accomplish. Using reflection methods at this time, will help you stay focused, especially in this COVID-19 pandemic time. Learn from the past good, bad or indifferent, mapping out what you have done will help guide you into the future with some stable ideas. 

Reflection at this time in bringing 2020 to an end for many of us can’t come any sooner. We must reflect and know where we came from with all our faults, in order to continue to move forward and always trying to improve ourselves, our community and the people around us.

This simple step of reflection is a good thing, especially now and this tool will serve you well for the future. This costs you nothing, except for using your imagination and taking a few minutes out of your day to write things down.

Visualization or reflection has been around for centuries, it has worked for many in the past and will work for you today. My gift to you at the end of this trying year is the simple method of visualization and reflection. You will not regret it.

I have realized that while doing reflection/visualization the amount of energy spent is minimal and at the end of the day it leads to the same conclusion – l am not perfect, and nobody is!!!

Happy New Year.

Vince Black/MS

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