Are you fast forwarding just to get through another day? If the answer is yes, read on… Have you ever considered how many days, weeks, months or years you have been doing so and forgetting to take even 5 minutes a day to reflect on what you learned? If you’re thinking,’I don’t even have an extra minute let alone 5 to reflect,’ I hope you read this blog.
We have all heard the saying, “Stop and smell the roses,” yet in our often hectic lifestyles we seldom heed the advice until a major life change happens and we think to ourselves, ‘If only I had …’ We won’t fill in the blank with another task or accomplishment but most often with the thought, ‘if I had known or taken the time to realize.’ Taking just 5 minutes a day before going to sleep to think about what you learned about yourself or others that day gives you the chance to fill in the blank, not with regret but with gratitude. So, I ask once again, “What new ‘Aha’ did you discover today?”
The American mindset is often to do more, faster, better and you win. This non stop pressure has caused us to be not only innovators and achievers but we lead the world in most areas…except…wait for it…self reflection. We often get so lost in our constant activity that we fail to see that the real work of our life involves learning our unique life lessons and growing from them.
By taking 5 minutes to reflect on what you learned from the experiences of the day you begin to rebalance the scale of doing versus understanding – activity versus wisdom. You achieve a deeper understanding of yourself and inner peace from the practice of ‘Taking Five’ than ever by checking just one more thing off your daily ‘To Do’ list will ever yield.
We have a lot of responsibilities and expectations on our time. Often, we feel exhausted just getting through the day. I believe some of this exhaustion can be attributed to not only the pace we work at but the lack of self reflection. Visualize a mouse running on a wheel as it spins faster and faster. It’s hard to appreciate the journey when you’re simply getting through a cycle – in this case another day.
When we alter our perspective and take 5 minutes daily to reflect upon what we learned about ourselves or others we feel reaffirmed even more energized for tomorrow. We begin to see that each day is meaningful to our self growth. We achieve more than a paycheck we receive a ‘note’ in our personal life file that will be remembered and celebrated both in this world and the next. In essence, we become the wind beneath our own wings.
We can achieve a greater peace about life and ourselves when we internalize the idea that it is not simply the number of days we live but the understanding – the life – we put into them that makes all the difference. Think of this practice as a personal gift you give yourself everyday that brings a smile to your face just before going to sleep.
Let’s try for a couple of weeks to take 5 minutes at the end of each day and reflect with gratitude that you made it through and what you learned along the way. You will be surprised at the result!
Have a great few days!