Check Your Map Regularly
“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” ~Margaret Wheatley
There is only one way to take stock of your current level of effectiveness in life, both personal and professional.
It is not what you’ve accomplished, not how far you’ve traveled, but rather how you feel—how you feel about yourself, your life, and the choices you’ve made along the way.
There are lots of people who have achieved accolades and feel like a phony. Others make lots of money and never feel content with their efforts.
If you don’t like where you are, it behooves you to turn around and notice the steps—the choices—that got you there.
But if you’re moving too fast—and in today’s world, we’re all moving faster than we did twenty years ago, heck, faster than we did last year—reflection falls by the wayside even as the need for it increases.
There has been a flurry of leadership articles recently stressing the need for reflection time for leaders to sustain their effectiveness . You didn’t see that in articles twenty years ago!
I believe people are generally doing the best they know how. Continuing to be open to learning (which becomes far more difficult and painful if we are not open to it, because life tries to teach us each day) is the secret behind those who continue to improve.
They make small, daily choices, incremental choices, that move them step by step toward a more fulfilling and successful life. A life that feels good, no matter the measuring stick.
We all need to take time to reflect, to review where we’ve been, assess the journey, and make adjustments, else we’re destined to travel in circles, repeating behaviours that don’t serve us long term.
You can’t course correct if you never check your map.
“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” ~Peter Drucker