In the course of time, many unique individuals made a big difference.
- Mother Teresa – Charity worker who devoted life to serving the poor and destitute.
- Charles Darwin – Credited with theory of evolution and natural selection.
- Galileo Galilei – Scientist who made discoveries about the galaxy and stuck to his principles.
- Albert Einstein – Scientist and peace advocate.
- Dalai Lama – Spiritual leader of the Tibetans, helped popularise principles of Buddhism.
The list can go for miles, but we will narrow the focus on another crucial thing: what these people had in their mind to make that difference? Why are they different from the rest of us?
According to psychologists “Reflective Thinking” is a must to self-improvement, and that’s exactly what the people in the list above had in mind that separate them from the rest.
WHAT IS REFLECTIVE THINKING?
When things are not paving as we expected, or as we say “when the s*it hits the fan” what do we do? Most people will start discovering excuses instead of solutions, and when I say most, it’s over 90%.
The secret in reflective thinking is looking for the solution in you, instead of looking at external factors.
Many will say that self-focus is narcissistic and can be destructive force for us and the people around us, but that’s not the case. As a matter of fact, psychological research shows that it is a critical component of positive change in life. A variety of theories on self-regulation emphasize that change requires two things: a goal, and an awareness of where one currently is in order to assess the discrepancy between the two.
Long story short, if you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up nowhere.
What reflective thinking offers is solution through your eyes and perception.
INTRODUCING THE 2-HOUR RULE
According to some experts, a 2-hour of reflective thinking might be the solution to every problem!
When you say 2 hours, it may seem like a long time, but if you cut 2 hours in an entire week, more or less you get 15-20 minutes a day.
Here’s how your daily routine can look like: come back home from work and remove all distractions. When we say all, we mean ALL,everything, including the noise from the street outside. The only things you need are pen and a notebook.
Here are a few questions Zat Rana reflect on:
- Am I excited to be doing what I’m doing or am I in aimless motion?
- Are the trade-offs between work and my relationships well-balanced?
- How can I speed up the process from where I am to where I want to go?
- What big opportunities am I not pursuing that I potentially could?
- What’s a small thing that will produce a disproportionate impact?
- What could probably go wrong in the next 6 months of my life?
Zat Rana states on Business Insider:
“I can quite honestly say that this is the highest return activity in my life. It forces me to balance the short-term with the long-term. I catch problem before they become problems, and I’ve stumbled onto efficiencies and ideas that I wouldn’t have come across otherwise.
Interestingly enough, much of the value doesn’t come out of the routine questions, but from the time I have left after I run out of things to think about. It’s when I let my mind wander.
I’m not one for easy one-size-fits-all solutions, but this is an idea that I think can serve a lot of people well. We all think, of course, but not all of us do so deliberately and without distractions and guilt.
There is immense value in leaving time for that.”
Let’s be brutally honest, how many trivial things you did today, yesterday, and the week before that? If the average Joe can spend 2 hours a day on social media, 15-20 minutes a day to solve the biggest problems in your life is not much, right?
Believe me, if you try this, you will find solutions like never before. Make sure to write everything in the notebook, because once the idea becomes physical (even written on a piece of paper) magical things happen.