Reflect on the Recent Past

When last did you take some time to reflect on what’s happening within you? Most of us can easily regurgitate the state of the world/economy/[insert-your-noun-here], but what if I were to ask you to reflect with me not only how this affected you, but also what it reminded you to appreciate or acknowledge more?

As I consciously decided to press pause on some things to re-stabilise and reflect, let me share with you three key things that jumped out to me.

1. Remember to give yourself credit

Sometimes we need to climb seemingly unsurmountable mountains and deal with immense complexity. For me, this was the multitude of roles I had to fulfil during the past two years, like being both father and mother to my children during times of work-from-home and school-from-home whilst my wife, as a front-line worker, had to go out into an uncertain world and deliver much-needed services.

When we get through these events, or even just move through them, it’s so important that we give ourselves credit for what we’ve done. It’s NOT easy, and often it’s NOT something you’re comfortable with, but when last did you take a step back to reflect and appreciate what you did, how much you gave, and how much you learned?

2. Remember what “important” means to you

Most of us know the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People phrase “first things first”, but there’s more to the word “important” than that. Is it allowing your children to disrupt your thought process when they’re just having fun and playing games outside your home office so that you can appreciate the moment fully for a few seconds? Is it biting your tongue and choosing to let peace prevail when the little irritating things cross your path so that you set a good example to those that look up to you?

“Important” often gets lost during the little things in life. And it’s not necessarily an either/or matter. Do you permit yourself to enjoy these little things, or to let the little irritations go?

3. Remember to breathe

Running around like headless chickens gained a new definition over the past two years. When what we know gets turned upside down we enter survival mode and crisis-manage. Of course, that’s important, and it’s needed. But in-between all the running and surviving, do you allow yourself the time or space to breathe? To take a temperature-check of where your mind, health and wellness is? To remember what your needs are behind the survivor instinct?

Taking a breath, reflecting and centring yourself is not necessarily something reserved for “after” crises, should it not be part of the process of dealing with crises?

What is your take on these?

Thanks for your time,


PS: In another article, I wrote about what I learned from Marcus Aurelius about reflection.

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