Greek philosopher, Aristotle, wrote, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Reflection lets us take pause amidst chaos to untangle and sort through things to confirm if we’re on the right track—or if we need to regroup and consider a different path. American author, Margaret J. Wheatley, said, “Without reflection, we go blindly on our way.” Rather than doing things as they’ve always been done, reflection allows us to question, in a positive way, what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and if there is a better way to do it.
Reflection is Critical in the Learning Process
Without strategically integrated reflection, deep, meaningful, and long-lasting learning is left to chance. This is not meditation, but mediation, active, conversational exercises of analysis and synthesis; multi-layered discovery to organize, reorganize and search for greater understanding. Christian Theologian, Soren Kierkegaard, wrote, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
Not only does habitual reflection ground us in our learning, but also in our attitudes, behaviors, and our sense of who we are. Contemplating the “why” behind our beliefs can offer alternative perspectives that challenge us to learn more and make better decisions. By thinking about what we’ve done, what we’ve learned, and what we still need to do, reflection creates a continuous learning progression to help carry ourselves and our ideas to the next level.
Mothers who ask open-ended questions tend to inspire reflection and growth. Open-ended questions typically have no right or wrong answer; with a reasonable explanation for why, all relevant responses are acceptable. As children mature, they can build on what they already know by using reflection to dive deeper, realizing considerations not within reach of younger kids who are limited by single-minded tunnel vision.
A commonly overlooked, yet very important habit, reflection allows us unhurried time to just think; to ensure that we are living in alignment with the things that truly matter. French painter, Claude Monet, said, “It’s on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So, we must dig and delve unceasingly.”
“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” -1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT
Questions have changed John Maxwell’s life. In Good Leaders Ask Great Questions, he shows how they can change yours, teaching why questions are so important, what questions you should ask yourself as a leader, and what questions you should be asking your team.
Stoic insights, exercises, and powerful quotations, as well as historical anecdotes and commentary from great philosophers across history.
One of the world’s great philosophical teachers, Krishnamurti, explores many of life’s questions, such as “What is the significance of life?” and “How do I live life to the fullest?” to reveal the best way of being true to yourself.
In Upon Reflection, Randy Hain introduces readers to timeless lessons and practical ideas, encouraging readers to slow down, savor the moment, and be more reflective.
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