There is no denying that we live in a fast paced world. Information about world events travels in an instant, products and companies in the marketplace are seemingly disrupted overnight by innovation from all corners of the world, and schedules in our home and communities seem jammed to capacity that planning a meal with friends takes on the complexity of planning a massive military operation.
In this busy world of ours, many times we do need to figure out how to keep pace just as a matter of survival. Ask someone in the taxi business how their life has changed since UBER came to town. Ask someone in the music business how their life has changed since the days of NAPSTER, YOUTUBE and streaming music. Just mention Amazon.com and most traditional businesses (not just bookstores), start to get anxious.
These events are not just “business” events. These massive, rapid shifts in the marketplace impact homes, families and communities. It is important that we all figure out how to keep pace with our rapidly changing world just to ensure we can provide the basics for those closest to us.
However, even in our fast pace world, there is the need for pause and reflection. As a matter of fact, our intentional effort towards making time to reflect on the things that matter most, is even more critical in a fast paced world. As we continue to build and strengthen our character, the power of reflection will provide opportunity to more effectively navigate a world that is moving at light-speed.
“The unexamined life is not worth living” Socrates
Whether we describe it as prayer, meditation, quite time, or whatever, the need to make time to consistently reflect on our lives, the relationships we are building, the choices we are making and the direction we are headed is critical to reaching our full potential.
In the busyness of this world, without reflection, we run the risk of heading full steam over the proverbial cliff, climbing the wrong mountain, or unknowingly dismissing those close relationships that we will most certainly regret at some critical moment in the future.
Here are a few thoughts on leveraging the power of reflection to reach our full potential:
- Be intentional and make a plan. Nothing worthwhile ever gets done when we just “wing it.” Sustaining a plan for reflection takes some personal initiative.
- Be specific and consistent on a time. Some of us are early morning people, some are night owls, and some can tune out the noise in the middle of a busy day to find some time. Just like the research tells us that great, healthy sleep patterns are found with a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, the same is true for strengthening the power of reflection. Find a time that works and stick with it.
- Be focused on the big picture. In reflective moments, try to move from the day to day issues to the longer term big picture thoughts of relationships, areas of service and legacy building. Reflecting on these items has been shown to build hope even when facing very difficult circumstances in the present.
- Be prepared to take a few notes. Jotting down a few thoughts and ideas has been demonstrated to be an effective first step in achieving our hopes and dreams in the important areas of our lives.
As we become intentional on finding some time to reflect away from the busy lives we all lead, we will continue to build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity® to reach our full potential and have a positive impact on those around us.