There’s a good reason why discussion, feedback and reflection leads to better, clearer and more honest thinking.
Insight comes from that gap between what we consciously think at a moment in time, the freshness of another frame or push, and the reflections as we steep in a new perspective or a calmer light and just let that sit with us for a while. In an age where busyness is the badge and everyone seems obsessed with productivity and the sprint toward output, how do we grapple with the practice of personal purposeful work?
How do we think about the change it might bring, the impact it might have. . .? Many of us when faced with work and the desire to get runs on the board, have a tendency to jump in headfirst with a definitive idea of what we think needs to be done, to be ‘output'. We might seek direction or clarity, we seek boundaries and instruction, but how do we reflect on our own work and what it means to self-lead and self-learn in this situation we find ourselves in? If we have a challenging situation either with the work or the people around us, how might we think about that in a way that acknowledges the
messy, honest human-ness of this challenge?
Our conscious mind is volitional and even as we acknowledge that we might have the opportunity, the resources and the capability; we may set the goals, make the decisions to do the work we’d like to do . . we can still get in our own way. Many of the constraints we have are real, but they are not insurmountable. To really commit to the work sometimes we need to redraw boundaries for the very real constraints of time and responsibility and energy.It’s the other stuff . . the storehouse of beliefs, memories of what happened before and the emotional headspace to move forward. The domain of purposeful impactful habits that sometimes trips us up. All of us.
Try this self-reflection process for starters.
Each new story we tell ourselves has the potential to reshape our attitude and the behaviour that follows. The idea that we might be the only ones standing in our own way is as unsettling as it is reassuring isn’t it? To lay it all out. . .the fears, the acknowledgement that we might hide in the busyness and that we have the power to reframe the narrative . . is empowering as much as it is unsettling. There’s something about seeing it all there on a list, tasks to be tackled . . that makes it seem . . . do-able.
How might we reflect on the work to be done in a way that enables us to course correct, to review and to lead ourselves?
What would that look like? How would it work?