The Need for Reflection
Life is crazy, busy, and fast. A few days ago, I began to follow the twitters of Guy Kawasaki, the marketing legend. Does the guy ever sleep? Twitters every 10 minutes. You’ve got to be kidding me. Come on, Guy. Take a deep breath. Relax a little. Within 24 hours I chose to “unfollow”.
Either life is moving faster and faster or I’m moving slower and slower. Perhaps both are true. Help. We need time just “to be” – to sit quietly, to listen, and to reflect.
Tragedy forces us to reflect.
Nearly a decade ago, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 led many of us into serious soul-searching about purpose and meaning. But, we quickly moved on and returned to normal living; getting and accumulating, from Wall Street to Main Street.
A year or so ago, the tragedy cycle returned and struck again. This time it was the economy. It spiraled downward and once again we found ourselves in the midst of reflecting. For the unemployed, reflections about careers and finances. For policy makers, discussions (or arguments) about boundaries (rules and regulations) in financial transactions.
Months ago, tragedy struck for me in the near death of my daughter from H1N1. Not surprising, I did a lot of reflecting.
I wonder: must we experience tragedy in our lives before we will stop moving, take time to reflect, and ask ourselves, “What is really important here? What changes do I need to make in my heart and soul?”
I’ve come to understand that life is a journey which requires of me daily reflection to be healthy. It requires self-discipline. It requires me to think and act holistically – to see myself as a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual person.
How important is this to me? To be completely candid, my most important time each day is not when I’m putting together business deals. It is not even when I’m with those I love. It’s when I’m alone. It’s in the early morning hours. When the sun rises and darkness falls. Silence is everywhere. My family sleeps. And, the only voices I hear are the whisperings of my soul and the small, still voice of my God.
It is in these daily times when I reflect. It is here when I think about where I’ve been, where I’m at, and where I’m going. I reflect – on what type of person I’ve been, I am, and I want to be. I listen. And, I write. I journal. I rant and rave. I curse and weep. I am both profane and proper. Sometimes profound. Sometimes pitiful.
“I think, therefore I am.” I reflect therefore I am – healthier. I’m not into checkbox living – check, I did it. My motivation is not to impress you or anyone else. I take time to be quiet, to journal, to pray, and to read a chapter in my Bible because I need to. I must. It’s that simple. If I want to avoid being controlled by the greed and lust that is around me and also deeply rooted within my own heart, I must practice this self-discipline of reflection. It is the only way I know how. There is no other option for me.
I feel better when I take time to reflect about life in general and my life in particular. I’m healthier. I also believe I’m a nicer person for doing so, which is much healthier for those who live and work with me.
So, take some time for yourself, my friend. You will be a more joyful person. You will like yourself better. And, others will like you better as well.
Blessings to you.