The Value of Reflection

Insanity: doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. This quote is credited to Albert Einstein (and many others). Regardless of who said it first, it rings true in all aspects of life.

As humans, we strive for continuous improvement, whether we realize it or not. No one wants to stay where they are because, if you think about it, that means you’re truly falling behind, as others move ahead.

But how do we move forward? Through reflection.

Remember when you were a kid in science class? You were given all the tools to run an experiment, you knew the hypothesis, and you proceeded to execute the steps to learn. The outcome: you either proved the hypothesis to be right or wrong, and you learned from it.

So why have we gone away from this practice? In our work environment, we feel we need to do everything perfectly to avoid rework. This is not possible. We stifle creativity in an effort to improve, but how can we get better if we avoid the learning process.

At this point, many organizations have stunted their growth by “playing it safe.” They feel, if they keep doing what they have always done (the actions that have led to success), they will increase their success. That is the definition of insanity.

The only way to grow and improve is to learn from the past, make new choices (that may be similar to previous decisions, but with a twist), and see if the outcome is one we like or if we need to adjust further.

Agile and it’s related methodologies focus on using the empirical process: transparency, inspection, and adaptation. Inspection is the same as reflection. After we try something, we naturally go through a thought process to determine if we liked the outcome or if we are seeking a different or better result. With data and reflection we can adapt and improve.

Each moment is an opportunity to improve. Pause, reflect, and consider what changes you can make to improve yourself and your life. These changes will ultimately improve the lives of those around, you as well. Enjoy the transformation.

All my best,

Paulie Skaja
your mindset muse 🙂

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