Do you learn from what just happened? Or do you lose the learning by beating yourself up for failing, or swimming in your success, or just ignoring your past experiences?
Constructively reflecting on your experience of events is arguably the only way you will ever grow and develop who you are, so you have a better experience of the future events in your life.
And I don’t mean just ‘big’ events. I also mean events like going to the supermarket, mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, reading a book. Do you do any of those ‘perfectly’ yet?
The habit of tweaking what you do, even by only a little bit, will permeate your life and over time improve it immeasurably. Think Kaizen, which is a combination of two Japanese words that together translate as ‘good change’ or ‘improvement’.
So, how do you reflect effectively?
What do you ask yourself?
Stop, reflect, and answer these three questions…
- What did I want to happen?
- What actually happened?
- What caused the gap – or What contributed to success?
Note: You MUST start the answer to this question with “I did…” or “I did not…”
- What am I going do about it next time?
Note: You MUST start the answer to this question with “I will…” or “I will not…”
Keep it short and simple, and stick to the questions. A long story is not required. Don’t be too soft on yourself, and don’t be too hard on yourself either.
You can also use these simple but powerful questions as a tool to coach others.
My best wishes, Paul