It has been a month of reflection over here. Being halfway through the year, I deliberately took it slow to reflect on what I have been learning over these past months. I wanted to see how it is impacting me on my journey. The idea came while we were in the preparing for our mid-year review of our annual work plan at work. We were just about to go through the performance appraisals and I thought it would also make sense to have a review of my personal life too, outside the job being paid to do. I’m I learning? What has changed? What can be better? What have I neglected that I need to revisit? In the process, I discovered so many things, big and small, silly and serious and my past and present self. Some of these I share here. I like to believe that someone may pick up on a few lessons learned and who knows, learning is just getting started. Read on.
First of all, reflection is part of learning. I smiled when I realized that I was getting deliberate about it. In the past, I would just run through my year and the only close point I ever got to, in line with personal reflection was when I had to go through the mandatory performance appraisals at work. This time, I had a different perspective when appraisal time reached, I looked forward to it as I knew it would be the best way for me to discover gaps in my work. This is liberating in a way. That weird feeling of nervousness I used to get when the season came around was no more. Instead, I was really looking forward to sharing my new insights with my supervisor. Above just my work performance, I reviewed how I am faring with my personal goals. I celebrated my wins and made a plan for those things still lagging. Reflection helps us get better at the things we purpose to do. Make it a part of your day, month, year etc. Whatever you wish, have time for reflection.
Secondly, I realized I used to waste so much time. Granted, the year has been super busy, yet I am awed by the important leaps I have made towards my personal growth. Since I became quite intentional about my personal growth, I subconsciously filter all my activities through The Five capitals. This was among the first lessons at Harvest Institute. The Five Capitals tackle some important life questions. Is there more to life than what we are experiencing? How do we invest our lives to have maximum impact and minimum regrets? The Five Capitals are; Spiritual Capital (Wisdom and Power), Relational Capital (Family and Friends), Intellectual Capital (Ideas and Concepts), Physical Capital (Hours and Health) and Financial Capital (Money). To grow in anyone, we must invest in the other four. I encourage you if you haven’t heard about these before, to do some research on them. Personally, the lesson on them changed my perspective to life. I realize now that my decisions (big or small) are made subconsciously in line with the Five Capitals. It has helped me to focus on the most important things in life. Did I mention that I used to waste time? I used to feel too busy but unlike back then, this time, my busy has much more to show for.
Learning is a journey that never ends. This used to sound like one of those cliché phrases that people like to say but really never mean, but I have discovered it true for myself. It really never stops. Everything in life has something to teach us. When we put on our learning cap, we see the lessons in most of life. Otherwise, we miss the lessons. In staying humble and open-minded, we get these lessons even through the most unlikely persons, or situations, Talk about my less than 2-year-old teaching me about seeking the Father. Let’s broaden our perspective to discover new things in our ordinary lives.
Don’t be afraid to go into the unfamiliar. However scary it may seem; all new things always have new lessons for us. Think about God, our ultimate life teacher, did he ever take anyone through familiar grounds while He taught them about Himself or His Kingdom? No. In fact, He threw them into the deep of unfamiliar situations. If you have read the Bible or at least heard Bible stories, you can remember that Abraham was asked to leave his familiar land into the unknown Promised Land. Joseph was thrown into slavery to get to the realization of his dreams. Moses was asked to lead people out of slavery with all his flaws and no history of leadership at all. Who else? You name it, am sure you now get the drill. Are you always waiting on the perfect conditions to act on that dream God has ignited in you? Guess what, that perfect time may never come. Do it anyway, He will equip you and make it clear as you DO. This realization helps to keep us humble because sometimes we humans love to get ahead of ourselves. When we get stuck along the way, we remember who is and has always been in charge. Have faith enough to get you started, and reverence in Him to keep you going.
Are you always waiting on the perfect conditions to act on that dream God has ignited in you?
My final share from my reflections is; Invest in your relationships. Life gets busy and it never stops but you need family and friends to keep you fueled up for it. Don’t desert them.
As I end my month of reflections, I am grateful for this year of growth. It is really giving me a great foundation for my future learnings.
The journey has only just begun.