Personal Reflection Practices

Originally Written By Ayiga Patrick Obita ..

The practice of personal reflection is a must for each of us if we are to have the desired changes in our lives. All you have to do is to instill it so that it becomes a personality trait.

As I think about personal reflection my mind races to meditation, a practice perfected by the Monks. This is discipline of the highest order that has been attained through practice by these Monks. To reflect is to go over what, why, how, and the next steps to be taken. This is where you think with a deep analytical, rational and logically over an event that took place in ones’ life.

Do we reflect? How often? Does the reflection help us in coming up with improvement in all spheres of our life or not? What stops us from reflecting? These and many more questions need to be answered if you want to reap from personal reflection. 

Some of the benefits of personal reflection include;

· Nourishes your soul and mind with great insights.

· Reduces stress.

· Focused future plans by thoroughly thinking about your life, career, etc.

· Respect for others perspectives.

· Come up with viable discourses for the next action plans.

· Rational and logical decision making practices.

· Springboard of our innovativeness and creativity minds.

· Discovery of our life purposes.

Let me prescribe these five ingredients that are needed to get the best results from your personal reflection.

1. Feel at Peace.The peace of the mind is so powerful. It has a way of suppressing the mind storms one might be going through. Whatever worries you have are gone. To attain this state, it has to be a conscious and intentional decision. The bible also tells us that we do not need to worry about what we shall eat, or dress for the Lord will provide. This He says if he can look after the birds of the air with no might of them growing their own food, then what about humans. It is a command that we are given to not worry as it will not add an hour to our lives. For personal reflection or meditation to be useful, you have to attain the peaceful status of our mind. This gives you the objectivity and clarity with which you will think through the issues. 

2. Stop whatever you are doing and just reflect.This is a very special and important time for your own good. You cannot give unto to others what you don’t have. This should be the foundation that you concentrate on yourself to make it work. Is it work, a meeting, a meet up with friends, phone call, a documentary or TV program you crave, your children or spouse, etc.? They all have to be put on hold if you already have your schedule set as you need to follow through. This principle needs to be set by you and no one else. You will be amazed at how the others will respect your time and space as they are also beneficiaries from you in the long run.

It calls upon you to learn to say no and you actually mean what you are saying. Let people know that you have your time for personal reflection and you cannot compromise on it. 

3.No Interruption: When is it that you find no interruption to get your mind into a reflective mood? You need to be able to identify this point or activity. Is it when you are taking a bath, sleeping, whenever alone in a secluded place, early in the morning in your office, etc.? After knowing, then you do all in your mind to follow through with a consistent routine in observing that time or place for reflection or meditation.  

Personally I have found myself reflecting whenever I am going to take a bath. I spend most of the times reflecting on some of the issues that I have gone through. Actually most of the things I end up doing are thought through during this period of time. Ideas seem to keep coming out of my mind one after the other. This shows to you that at least in a day, I am reflecting not less than once.

We have many interruptions in our lives like our families that need your time, work tasks, alerts of emails and chats from the different social media, phone calls, no privacy, etc. you have to know that interruptions will never go away unless you put a foot about it. You can reduce or eliminate the disruptions by first knowing it and then intentionally working in overcoming it. This drive from the inside will give you your target of reducing or eliminating a disruption. 

4. Write down the ideas that come up.One of the mistakes we make during our personal reflection is to not write up whatever was reflected upon. If this is not done, you will continue to suffer from the same issues because it might slip out of your mind. Ensure that you have a note book and a pen to jot down whatever you reflect upon. It can also be your phone as most of us have these smart phones in our hands almost all the time. Rightfully why they are termed mobile phones.

The benefits of writing up the ideas that came through means that you will not lose them, can build on, it can be shared with others, a point of reference, shows the shift in your thinking at a later date, etc. some of these ideas if they had been captured and implemented, then you will have profound impact on any sphere of your life. 

5.  Regular Reflection for Better Results.Often times, we are good at starting up something and all very good at not being consistent. Better results are only obtained through consistent practice. This has to become a behavior trait for it to have the sustained impact that each one of us needs.  

A simple illustration of what I mean here. During my free time, I do train children in soccer and adults in exercise and fitness. We already have a schedule for these sessions on a weekly basis. There have been days I pray that it was not there as the body and mind are not in for the sessions. However, due to the fact that without me then the sessions will not take place, I get up and go. This is the kind of state we need for our minds and bodies to obey because we have an obligation to honor.

The excellent and sustainable results come from consistency which results from commitment. The regular the practice, then it will become a habit, a habit to a character, a character to an attitude and an attitude to your personality.

The practice of personal reflection is a must for each of us if we are to have the desired changes in our lives. All you have to do is to instil it so that it becomes a personality trait.

Ayiga Patrick Obita is a Development and Management Consultant, Speaker and Author / Writer with The Manager Resource Centre.

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