Creating Margin for Reflection
“The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.”Thomas Paine
I think I’ve avoided reflection now for a while. I’ve too often made the excuse that I’m distracted by other responsibilities in my life. It’s not a completely invalid excuse. My responsibilities at work have ramped up over the past few years as I’m responsible for leading over 100 employees and generating over $85 million dollars of revenue a year (more this year). This year I’m the President of the Blue Bell Rotary Club. This has certainly added to my time commitments. This year, I’ve navigated some rough waters as my wife has struggled through mental health challenges (she’s amazing and is doing quite a bit better right now). And I’ve had other things going on as well.
When it comes to making time for reflection recently, here’s the truth: I’ve done a terrible job taking time to reflect. I’ve allowed my own exhaustion and perhaps my own fear to prevent me from prioritizing time for the real, deep reflection necessary for the growth for which I’m called and created.
After 51 years (I celebrated number 50 on Thursday, December 8th), I learned that life isn’t always going to be easy. There will be challenges. There will be failures. There will be a revealing of shortcomings. These are the facts.
I’ve also learned (and relearned again and again) that we can learn from our tough experiences, mistakes, and flaws. We can learn if we take time to reflect, to understand what is happening in our lives, to celebrate the victories, to mourn the losses, and to find areas of our lives in which we can STRETCH and experience new life and growth.
As I blog for the third day in a row, I’m realizing that these 17 minutes are important to give me a platform, a time, and a place to reflect.
That’s what I’ve got today.