Did you know that self-reflection is the #1 “common denominator” among "successful and very happy people" (whatever “successful” may mean)?
Self-reflection does not have to be difficult or take a lot of time. In another blog (click here) I wrote about how I make an offline moment cool, fast & simple for myself. This time I share three questions that can help you too!
We can’t ignore it
Researcher Giada Di Stefano and colleagues studied people who spent 15 minutes on self-reflection daily. A group of participants asked themselves at the end of the day what they had learned that day and wrote down their observation. This group scored 23% better on a final measurement (including work performance) than the control group of employees who had not reflected.
A study in Britain got the same results on commuters. The group of commuters who reflected on what would make their day successful as they went to and from work, felt “happier, more productive and less burned-out” than those who didn’t.
Make time for self-reflection
The only challenge is finding a way that encourages you to take that precious self-reflection moment for ten minutes a day.
Click here to go to the Vertellis Chapters webpage.
Together with my two friends, Lars and Liz, we were looking for a way to create a precious moment for ourselves, one that we can use with pen and paper. We wanted to have a book to help stimulate our reflection time, but we found the book we wanted didn’t exist! So we developed our own “all-in-one-booklet”: Vertellis Chapters!
Vertellis Chapters is part notebook, part diary and part inspirational book. We’ve included space for things we find important, such as:
- writing notes of gratitude (which greatly increases your sense of happiness!)
- writing down feedback sessions with yourself (what's going well, what could be better…)
- writing “prompts” that make you think…these prompts may be inspiring quotes, stories or facts. You might write your own provocative questions for yourself — this is something Vertellis is particularly known for!
Three questions for self reflection
The questions that were answered in the studies by Giada Di Stefano: “What did I learn today?” and “What will make my day a success?” can be supplemented with questions from the Vertellis Chapters. They will help you shape your life more consciously, to stop living in reactive mode and to take control of your own life!
# 1 What are you grateful for at the moment?
All too often we dwell on what goes wrong in a day. That’s just negative reflection. Instead, if you answer the question about what you are grateful for, you force yourself to shift focus to positive events. Do this often enough and the synapses (the links between the nerve cells) in your brain will form more positive connections. You become more optimistic and will begin to see more opportunities around you.
# 2 What is going well? What can be done better?
By asking yourself these two open-ended questions “What is going well?” and “What can be done better?” you are training your brain to make continuous improvements. These questions motivate you and sharpen your mind. They are perfect for asking yourself at the end of your day.
# 3 What are you going to start in the coming period; What will you stop; What will you continue doing?
Verne Harnish (“the Growth Guy” and writer of the Rockefeller Habits) describes the triptych of starting-stopping. What will you start next? What will you stop doing? What has merit so you choose to continue? Asking yourself these questions provides the perfect feedback loop for yourself. Just like “What is going well?” and “What can be done better?”, this starting-stopping set of questions keeps you sharp.
Ask yourself questions 1 and 2 daily; ask yourself question 3 at the end of the week. As you do this, you will notice becoming more aware. You will gain more control over your life in various areas, from better performance at work, to being an all-around happier and more productive person. Self-reflection questions are powerful.
Create a moment for yourself
A moment for yourself is incredibly valuable: reflect, grow, shape your life more purposefully and consciously. Choose an area of your life that you want to reflect on, whichever one you want. Writing about it in Vertellis Chapters might be just what you need.
Go for it!
Check-out the Vertellis Chapters web page here
(And a nice quote to end this article!)
“Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself” – William Faulkner.