Throughout history, many individuals made a big difference in this world.
- Mother Teresa – Charity worker who devoted life to serving the poor and destitute.
- Charles Darwin – Credited with theory of evolution and natural selection.
- Galileo Galilei – Scientist who made discoveries about the galaxy and stuck to his principles.
- Albert Einstein – Scientist and peace advocate.
- Dalai Lama – Spiritual leader of the Tibetans, helped popularise principles of Buddhism.
The list can go for miles, but let’s focus on what these people had in common to make that worldwide difference? Why are they different than us?
According to psychologists “Reflective Thinking” is one of the pillars of self-improvement, and that’s exactly what these people in the list above had in them that makes a distinction from the rest.
WHAT IS REFLECTIVE THINKING?
When things don’t turn out as we expected, or as we famously say “when the sh*t hits the fan” what’s the course of action that we take? The truth is that most people will easily find thousands of excuses instead of looking for solutions.
The secret of reflective thinking is looking the solution in you instead of looking it outside of you – in external factors.
I know that many will say that self-focus can be narcissistic and destructive force for us, but that’s not the case. As a matter of fact, psychological research shows that it is a critical component of positive change in life. A variety of theories on self-regulation emphasize that change requires two things: a goal, and an awareness of where ‘one’ currently is in order to assess the discrepancy between the two.
The conclusion is that if you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up nowhere.
Reflective thinking offers solution through your eyes and perception.
THE 2-HOUR RULE
According to some experts, the 2 hour rule might be the solution to every problem.
Two hours might seem like a long span of time, but if you separate 2 hours a week, more or less you’ll have only 15-20 minutes a day.
So here’s how you perform it: when you get back home from work, remove all distractions. When I say all, I mean everything, including phones, tablets and noises. For this awesome exercise, you’ll need a pen and a paper.
Here are a few questions Zat Rana reflect on:
- Am I excited to be doing what I’m doing or am I in aimless motion?
- Are the trade-offs between work and my relationships well-balanced?
- How can I speed up the process from where I am to where I want to go?
- What big opportunities am I not pursuing that I potentially could?
- What’s a small thing that will produce a disproportionate impact?
- What could probably go wrong in the next 6 months of my life?
Zat Rana states on Business Insider:
“I can quite honestly say that this is the highest return activity in my life. It forces me to balance the short-term with the long-term. I catch problem before they become problems, and I’ve stumbled onto efficiencies and ideas that I wouldn’t have come across otherwise.
Interestingly enough, much of the value doesn’t come out of the routine questions, but from the time I have left after I run out of things to think about. It’s when I let my mind wander.
I’m not one for easy one-size-fits-all solutions, but this is an idea that I think can serve a lot of people well. We all think, of course, but not all of us do so deliberately and without distractions and guilt.
There is immense value in leaving time for that.”
If you are honest, how many trivial things did you do today, yesterday, and the week before that? If an average person spends 2 hours and 22 minutes a day on social networking, taking out 15-20 minutes a day to solve the biggest problems in your life is not much of an ask, right?!
Trust me. If you try this, solutions will flow like never before. Also, make sure that you write everything in the notebook (or paper) because once you have your thoughts in writing, magical things can happen! Just try this and see for yourself!
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