When you are driving down the wrong road you don’t need a boost of motivation to get you to the wrong destination faster, you need to stop, reflect, and change direction.
We have all been there. Our priorities are focused on the finish line even if we took the wrong exit.
Instead of correcting our path we double down and put the pedal to the medal. This small change made me better and this is why self-reflection is important.
The Law of Reflection
John Maxwell’s Law of Reflection states that you must pause and reflect on every win and every lesson learned in order to grow. We have a tendency to rush through life without taking a moment to think about the small things.
If you are like me, you soak in self-help book after self-help book after self-help book looking for the Holy Grail of growth that will open the door to infinite intelligence.
I can relate to this and when I learned this law it really touched close to home. In fact, it made such an impact that I chose it to be the topic of my next speaking event. My speaking time will be limited so I decided to elaborate on it in this post.
Let me tell you about my journey of self-reflection
Before the Law of Reflection
When I find something that interests me I tend to catch a bug. I build sort of an obsession to the subject in question.
When I learned to hunt I obsessed over firearms and learned everything I could about them and their history. I even learned to put some of them together from parts kits.
When I learned my way around the gym I read everything I could about the different types of exercises and different diets.
When I turned 34 I got serious about my personal development and immersed myself in self-help material.
I consumed as much as I could as fast as I could. I read everything and anything I could get my hands on. When I finished reading one book I picked up another one.
Unfortunately, my focus was always on how fast I could finish the next read so I can move on to the next one and learn about the next best strategy.
I had no real sense of direction. No real focus. I did not have a clearly defined purpose and I was not being intentional with my development.
This all changed with the law of reflection.
This Changed My Life
A few months before discovering the law of reflection I experienced a divine moment. A co-worker delivered a very special message.
One day a co-worker, named Tom and I were having a conversation.
I was actually driving him to his vehicle because he was leaving early. Normally someone else would drive people to the parking lot but for some reason I decided to drive him myself.
When we arrived at the parking lot and just before Tom jumped off the truck he paused, turn back around to look at me and said,
“I’m proud of you. He is proud of you. He told me that. Its not me saying that. I am just a messenger. You have come a long way in a short period of time and He wants you to know, He is proud of you. You just have to trust Him. Follow Him.”
Before this conversation I had only known Tom for a couple of weeks, but he talked to me like he had known me my whole life.
I was going through some tough emotional and financial struggles at the time and Tom had no idea about what I was experiencing, but it felt as if he had known me my whole life.
When he gave me that message it felt like time stood still. I was dumbstruck. All I could say when he was done talking was, “Thank you for that.”
I had no other words. We said our farewells and Tom jumped off the truck and made his way to his vehicle.
Before heading back to work I stopped to think about what had just happened and wondered if it really did happen. Even though I was grateful and at peace that I was on the right path I never really paused to reflect on that moment and what it meant.
The Moment that Made Me Better
Ever since I scheduled the upcoming speaking event I had been trying to figure out what to talk about. Coincidentally, I was reviewing the 15 Laws of Growth and came across the Law of Reflection.
My first thought was, “My God its like John is speaking to me,” and that thought was quickly followed by a second, “now I know I am in the right place with the John Maxwell Group.”
The law of reflection made me realize I was not stopping to reflect on my experiences. I was not appreciating and learning from my achievements in life or the lessons learned from my mistakes.
I was so busy trying to learn the strategy that would give me the edge to succeed that I was neglecting every other part of my life. I was neglecting my health, my family, and spirituality.
I was confusing urgency, drive, and ambition with my true intention which was to provide stability for my family.
My learning experience turned into a vicious cycle. I kept trying to be perfect about trying everything I was learning. I kept thinking I did not know enough. It was never perfect. It was never the right time. If I could just learn one more thing.
All this was happening while I was trying to rush through the material at the same time trying to see how fast I could get to the finish line.
I was not being present because I was always pushing fast forward on what I was supposed to be playing in slow motion.
How the Law of Reflection Can Help You
I think we all have a leader inside every one of us. Whether it is a leader in a team, a company, a relationship, or a household.
Many of us are cursed with the gladiator mentality. We are hardwired with a conquering attitude.
We look for inspirational and motivational quotes.
Lions don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep or Make it happen. How about, Just do it? All very powerful, right?
Maybe its just me looking for that quote that will help me find my spark.
But, we have to take a moment to pause and reflect on our daily lives because if we don’t, life will pass us by in a heartbeat.
Stop and reflect on the small wins. Appreciate them. Instead of sobbing on mistakes pause, reflect and learn from them.
John likes to say, “a minute of thought is worth more than an hour of talk.”
So take a minute and have your food for thought.
I hope you found this post helpful and if you have any questions about The Law of Reflection or want to share your experience, leave a comment below.