How self reflection can help you become successful, wise and happy
Updated: Aug 2, 2022
Self reflection is fast becoming a catch phrase in the modern world as people have begun to lose sight of who they actually are. Whilst it is an emerging modern trend, throughout time the wisest of people have given it great importance. The reasons why we reflect on ourselves is to try to understand ourselves and the world, and to try to find ways to increase our happiness.
The ancient eastern philosopher Confucius defined self-reflection as one of the most powerful ways to learn wisdom - and wisdom is that which helps us to understand the world and ourselves. Even in western culture, as far back as Aristotle, this idea pervaded the times when he said:
Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom
The philosopher and psychologist John Dewey suggested in the early 20th century, reflection in education was a powerful tool to differentiation routine action from reflection action in his book “How We Think”. Others like Albert Bandura in his book “The Foundation of a Thought and Action” also showed how self-reflection plays a significant part in one’s academic achievement in the Journal of Education Psychologist. Not only is self-reflection a powerful tool for academic success, but also in improving ones self-esteem – success can only come when these two attributes are hand in hand!
Did you know that this is precisely how Beyoncé, one of the most successful performers and musicians of our time operates? After every performance, she reviews the entire show and as she travels to her next show, she delivers pages of improvements to the individual departments - from lighting, videographers to back up singers! This is an incredible practice which has no doubt lead to her tremendous success. It's become a part of who she is, as she constantly reflects on her past, it's also become a way to build her happiness and self self esteem through her success. And the science totally backs this practice up!
So what are the key points of self-reflection?
The key points are first have an overarching plan or goal towards your success, and second develop a way to objectively observe yourself and your progress. To improve your chances of reaching your goals towards success, you need to be able to look at yourself objectively and see the type of habitual patterns you are living by in your day to day to life, and work out which ones are helping you lead to success, and which ones are not.
When you have a plan, you can always refer to your plan in the context of your current life and see if it is on track or if there are any gaps that need closing between your desired future self and your present self. Successful people grew up developing strong habits which contribute to their success, but unsuccessful people are the opposite. The following are some tips to help you with self reflection.
This is hand down the most effective way. A method to self reflect is the most powerful method, particularly because we all live inside our own bubbles - aka our own self made mind worlds.
"When you are in your false mind world, you cannot be happy. You can only be happy when you are born in the Land of Truth with your true mind. The way to go to the true world is to repent for your sins and to be absolved of them. When you discard the life lived, which is false and is your mind, and eliminate even the habits and your body, you can be born again as Truth and live forever. The method to eliminate your false mind would be the method to find happiness and your true self. When you do the meditation to discard your false self, you will become Truth and thus know how to find your true, happy self and live forever." -WM
In other words, because we are self centred, we only see from our perspective, and so self reflection truly helps us to find out who we truly are. To find our true selves is to find the Land of Truth - aka the place of peace, happiness, joy and bliss that is within you.