I must start by saying that, although I want to be good at this part of my personal growth plan, I am actually really bad at this.
Reflection time. What does this mean?
John C. Maxwell is known for saying the following quote: “Experience is not the best teacher. Evaluated experience is the best teacher.” He usually goes on to say that if experience was truly the best teacher, we would all know 90 year-old people who are wise and on top of their game. The fact is that you and I know people who stopped learning right after college. When school let out, they stopped growing and reflecting.
I am going to be bold and say that there is more knowledge to learn from reflecting on our experiences than in going after another degree program.
Everyday, we experience things that are meant to teach us things. Yet, most of us, myself included, never take the time to mine the nuggets of wisdom that come from our daily experience. Why? Because we’re busy.
When I make a mistake, I need to learn from that experience so I don’t make the same mistake again. That’s where reflection comes in. It’s the same when something awesome happens in my favor. If I take the time to reflect on why I was able to make it happen, then I can repeat that process again in the future to guarantee success.
Here’s what I try to do, but fail often. At the end of the day, whether that is some down time before heading to bed or at the end of my day of ministry, I want to ask myself three questions that will allow me to think back and learn from my experiences that day:
- What did I learn today?
- What should I share with others?
- What action must I take?
As I have mentioned before in this series, if I don’t write this stuff down, then all my thoughts are lost. So take a computer or paper and pen and sit with those questions each day, if you can.
You can get creative with the questions you ask or how to go about your reflection time. The idea is to be intentional about your reflection time.
One way I do my reflection is through my blogging process. I have on my task list to spend a little time writing everyday. Many of my blog entries are me evaluating my experiences and trying to learn from them. Instead of just writing them down, I just happen to share them with the world.
What did you learn today?