“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” Peter Drucker
As educators, we’re taught that reflection after teaching improves our instruction. Being honest about our mistakes helps us improve.
At night, I like to take time to reflect on my day. It’s at this point that I sometimes remember the things left undone. When and how do you reflect on your work?
Reflecting on patterns- As life moves along, we often get a few curve balls we were never expecting. This happened to me the other day. I overheard a comment I had heard before. Where do these comments come from, and how can they be avoided? I pondered and asked questions. Some patterns are good, but some need to be changed. Reflection helps us know the problem. If we can hear a repeated problem without getting defensive, we can reflect and improve.
Reflecting on positives– Negative reflection can be overwhelming and not always helpful. When I notice my mind heading in that direction, I try to remember to reflect on what is good and noble. I love the Bible verse in Philippians 4:8 which says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” As I get older, I’m learning to let my reflection be changed in a more positive direction.
Reflecting on shortcomings- I read an article in Psychology Todaywritten last September about Yom Kippur. Here, Allen R. McConnell, speaks about how reflection, which is suggested on the Yom Kippur holiday, helps us focus on change. When we see how different our goals are from where we want to be, the reflection can cause improvements, as long as goals are reasonable and not overwhelming.
If you see a pattern, a wonderful thing, or a shortcoming, give it a little reflection and see if gives you wisdom for the future.
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” Soren Kierkegaard