To reflect on ones life is to remember the good, the bad, the blessings, the lessons and everything else that comes with it. Question of the day: When was the last time you took time to reflect on your life?
I remember working 50 hours a week sometimes more, at times leaving for work before sunrise and not getting home until long after the sun had set. I remember there were stretches of days when I didn’t even see the sun because I was so busy with work. When I wasn’t working, I was at home on my days off trying to keep on top of all the chores that had accumulated while at work. I remember desperately trying to stay on top of it all, while trying to find the time to see the people I cared about, friends and family alike, and spend some time with them. I remember at night I would find it difficult to wind down and settle for the night, consumed with thoughts of the tasks yet to complete. This felt like an on going battle for the best part of two years and I was becoming more and more exhausted with each alarm that I set to wake me up and prepare me for the day ahead.
I sometimes wonder how different the outcomes may have been had I taken the time to reflect on what was going on at the time. Had I taken the time to sit down and ask myself what was going on, what I was struggling with, what I was enjoying, I may have been able to adjust accordingly. Thats the thing about life. It’s never consistent, no two days are ever the same. It has a way of throwing things askew when you finally feel like you have control over things. We are continually adjusting ourselves, our routines and actions to what’s going on around us and what is being asked of us.
If you feel like you are struggling, that your workload is too much, the many tasks still yet to complete are overwhelming, your energy levels are low, that you can’t keep juggling so much so often, then my advice is to sit down. Sit down and reflect. What is all this telling you? What has the past taught you? What can you do differently? And most importantly, are you happy? We do things when it is asked of us, but do we ever stop and ask ourselves whether we’re happy doing it, or even if it’s something we want to be doing?
You are not weak for doing this. Can I just make this point very clear? I always thought that if I stopped, or admitted I was struggling then it was a sign of weakness and that I needed to become stronger. When really all it would do was make me SMART. Sometimes it’s not about how hard you work, but how smart you work. If I had taken the time to sit down and reflect, I may have been able to take the things that were making me unhappy out of the equation. I would have been able to filter out the non important things to make room for the very important people and opportunities in my life. I would have been able to do all within my power to make those around me, that really matter happy. But more importantly I would have been happy. That is the easiest thing to achieve but the very same thing we overlook countless times to make room for less important matters. ‘The best answers are found when we point the questions inwards, towards ourselves.’
Never expect anything off of anyone. Don’t expect people to notice you’re struggling and make the changes for you. The change may never come. Never wait for the right time to make changes in your life. The right time may never arise. If it doesn’t bring you happiness, its not worth it. Don’t expect things to change for the better on their own. Circumstances can at any point become worse than they are. It’s up to you to determine whether you want to make changes for the better.
I hope the next time you feel like you’re swamped, you take the time to sit down and reflect. Take it from someone who eventually learned how to do it…it’s the best thing that could have ever happened to me and for me. And for this I will always be grateful.
‘self reflection is a humbling process. It’s essential to find out why you think, say, and do certain things…then better yourself.’