In the long days of winter, I encountered the beautiful golds of the prairie on my walk through the woods. I continue considering the importance of being present and reflecting. I recently read a good definition of what it means for us to reflect written by Dr. Daniel Siegel of UCLA in Mindsight. He says that the fundamental components of reflection are a tripod: openness, observation, and objectivity. Here is a summary of his definitions:
Openness is the willingness to accept things as they are, without expectations and preconceived ideas about how we think things “should be”.
Observation is our ability to watch our roles in events and our reactions to them; we are able to see how we fit into the context of life as we experience it.
Objectivity allows us to have thoughts or feelings and not be had by them; we are able to see that our thoughts, feelings, beliefs are temporary.
I like this analogy on many levels. In photography a tripod stabilizes a shot, giving it more clarity, detail, color, and shadow. In reflection, we can choose to be open, observant, and objective about ourselves, others, and our context. With the reflection tripod, we gain clarity, detail, color, and shadow about events around us and our role and reactions to these events. Reflection can give us distance and freedom to choose our actions and reactions. We can turn off our internal autopilot and change our behaviors, which leads to the possibility of change in our organizations and relationships.
Action precedes transformation; take time to reflect.