Compounding Reflection

Today I had a conversation with a buddy about reflection. He’s thinking of reflecting more and learning about various ways to reflect. He’s looking for the one that suits him best. I’m a huge fan of reflection. Experience is important, but it’s reflecting on that experience that contributes to wisdom. I wasn’t aiming for this when I started writing earlier this year, but my daily posts have become a form of reflection.  

Here’s what I’ve noticed:

  • Thinking – Coming up with a topic every day is hard. I’m forced to replay the entire day in my mind. What did I work on? Whom did I speak with? What did I read? I look for the most important thing and then think about it more. I consider it from different angles, do a bit of quick research, mull over relevant past experiences . . . whatever comes to mind. I try to connect less obvious dots and better understand my experiences. I usually (not always) uncover a nugget that becomes the foundation of my post.
  • Writing ­– Creating the post is an important part of my daily reflection. It crystallizes my thoughts. It’s one thing to have thoughts in your head. It’s quite another to articulate them logically in writing. Writing helps solidify my learning.  
  • Compounding – Identifying the most important thing that happened every day and making small adjustments in my opinions, beliefs, or decision-making is effective. The effect of compounding lots of small changes over time is huge.
  • Frequency – I’ve found that daily reflection is ideal for me. The rhythm is perfect. I only have to think back 24 hours. If I had to reconstruct a week or a month I’d be bound to overlook something worthy of reflection.

My approach to reflecting probably won’t work for most people, which is understandable. If you’re interested in the idea of regular, intentional reflection, I encourage you to test a few approaches to find the one that works best for you. It’s something simple that can have a powerful impact!