It’s the end of the year – there are less than two weeks left until New Year. To most people this is the busiest time of the year. Deadlines have to be met, holiday festivities need to be organized and preparations have to be made for the coming year. Survival mode is on and it is hoped for that everything will work out the way it was intended to.
It is a shame that time is scarce at this hour, because the end of the year is the moment we should focus on the past time. We should reflect on our past experiences, our past choices and the outcomes thereof.
A recent research by the Harvard Business School showed that in order to learn, we must reflect (Di Stefano et al., 2014). Learning is more effective if prior experiences are analyzed and reviewed. Through the process of reflecting, we are better able to comprehend why things unfolded the way that they did. By means of feedback we can store this gained knowledge more efficiently. Accordingly, reflecting helps us to become better educated, which leads to an ability to grow in life.
Reflecting starts with reflecting on oneself. Self-reflection is essential in order to achieve personal growth. This is due to the fact that it helps you in the process of realizing self-awareness. Namely, it makes you aware of your strengths and weaknesses and most importantly it gives you insight into your own happiness.
Furthermore, it is important to reflect on your studies, your career and on your social life.
Concerning your studies and career, it is of great value to know what went well and what did not. This way, you become aware of the qualities and skills you possess, which is necessary in the act of goal pursuance.
Concerning your social life, it is significant to reflect on your relationships with family, friends and acquaintances. What role you play in people’s lives has an effect on your own being. Forcing yourself into fulfilling a certain role can undermine your prosperity.
In addition to providing insight, reflecting helps to let go of the past. Sometimes letting go can be a necessity in the process of getting ahead. Namely, as you go through life, you will too accumulate bad experiences – some the result of bad choices, others the result of the caprice of the fate. No one makes it out scot-free. Nevertheless, it is important that you do not let bad experiences determine your future; you should not hold yourself back by holding on to things. In order to move on and to move forward, it is essential to reflect, to analyze, to comprehend and to eventually let go of bad encounters.
By no means am I trying to trivialize the impact and severity of certain experiences, but if you have a choice, you should strive for letting go of past negativity and with that focus on what lies ahead of you.
All things considered, reflecting is a demanding undertaking. Still, if you wish to grow and prosper in life, you have no choice but to look back and reflect.
Your path continues – don’t let it progress without you.
Di Stefano, G., Gino, F., Pisano, G. and Staats, B., (2014). Learning by thinking: How reflection aids performance. Working paper, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA.