Reflection Is Different Than Thinking Things Over - Grasshopper
“Thinking things over” means you go over and over the same territory; reflection offers an exit strategy to a remedy.
Many people like to do the “pro & con” thing - a benefits analysis of their current situation that needs a solution. That would work fabulously well if our decisions were made intellectually. Most of them are emotional decisions that we rationalize with our intellect after the fact. The key to removing both the pros and cons and the emotion from our decision making is to reflect.
Reflecting is letting go of thinking. Your thinking will take you to the same place it took you before, because thinking is repetitive.
Reflecting is recognizing you have a situation and not attempting to “figure out” a solution. Once you’ve recognized your difficulty and you’ve noticed that your thinking is taking you the same place as before, it’s time to reflect.
Reflecting begins with acknowledging there’s a resourceful part of you that will come up with an answer once you set your thinking about the situation aside. Then it’s time to let that part of you go to work. It works best when you are doing something else. Did you ever notice how often your “good” ideas come to you when you are otherwise occupied? - Taking a shower or bath, sitting in your favorite chair, walking the dog, washing the dishes or car, or some other way of occupying your time.
One of my favorite ways of reflecting is dedicating a specific task to solving my problem. Let’s say that before I take a walk, I dedicate that walk to coming up with an answer. During that walk, I purposely think of other unrelated things or pay careful attention to the things I encounter on my walk. That frees up the creative part of me to fully use its resources to work on my dilemma. It doesn’t need my help, only my absence of thinking about the problem.
When you focus your conscious attention elsewhere, you unleash your internal resources to go into “Mission Mode.”
Once you figure out you’re not the smartest person in the room, you turn things over to the part of you that is. That’s reflecting.
All the best,
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