A focus on Self-Reflection
When we begin to enjoy the rewards of right living and right thinking, we experience many freedoms. We have the freedom to choose new friends and a new life-style. We have the freedom to put aside or reject old habits and ideas.
An especially gratifying freedom for some of us is, no longer having to buy into the idea that ‘we’re not living up to our potential.’ This message may have been subtly transmitted by teachers and friends, or constantly drummed into us by our parents. For the most part however, we are the ones who burden ourselves with the notions that we aren’t where we should be – we aren’t doing what we are capable of doing – or we haven’t progressed far enough.
The difference today is our self-awareness. Now that we know who we are, what we want, and what our capabilities and limitations are, we’ve begun to lose many of our insecurities. We’ve become less vulnerable to outside pressure and are less likely to react defensively when people or our own self-destructive ideas try to convince us we’re not living up to our potential. Charles Schulz once said, ‘There is no heavier burden than an unfulfilled potential’.
Does this apply to you? Is it time to do a little self-reflection?
The poem ‘The man in the mirror’ offers sound advice and helps one to re-think about where we might be at a certain time in our lives:
When you get what you want in this struggle for self,
And the world makes you king for a day,
Then go to your mirror and look at yourself,
And see what the man has to say.
For it isn’t your father, your mother, or wife,
Whose judgement of you – you must pass,
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life,
Is the guy’s staring back in the glass.
He is the man you must please – never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear up to the end.
And you have passed your most difficult and dangerous test,
When the man in the glass is your friend.
You can be like another and chisel a plum,
And think you’re a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum,
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.
You can fool the whole world, down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartache and tears,
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.
The more self-aware you become, the freer you are to make your own choices. Remember to continue to have a growth mindset and strive to be better than you were before in all that you do.