Pondering through one’s self reflection

When you are sixty years old, you will probably be sitting down near a pond throwing bread for the ducks whilst down on a chair. Much like a movie of the old days.

P5-DucksAndBread

Maybe thinking about your triumphs and victories over obstacle and obstacle. Or maybe thinking of regret for having to stop trying in the first place. Reflection is the word for today’s theme.

But what is reflection?

Apparently, to save time for you readers googling the word, it means serious thought or consideration. A bit broad, if you ask me. So let’s define it properly.

Suppose you watch an action movie, coming across this one, amazingly memorable scene. You wish to watch it again. So you put in your VCR tape and fast forward it back to the amazing stunt scene. And notice something different.

The amazing man had protection rope being guided behind his back as he was doing the stunt.

You become shocked at the moment, possibly infuriated at the fact that such an amazing scene forgot to edit the movie like it was suppose to be.

And you decided to watch it again to see anything more fishy. And this time:

You saw that the man had a black water pistol on his waist.

Now you turn off the movie throwing it into the trash.P5-NoticeMe

Despite the absurd story, the main point here conveyed is that as each time it has been reviewed, certain elements that were not noticeable. Become noticeable.

Now there is a difference between reviewing one’s work over and over again in relation to reflection.

Reviewing one’s work is improving the quality of the work with each check over it. With its focus towards work.

Reflection is like a story where the aim is to improve yourself through a journey. Hinting emotions along the way, and an analysis of yourself on your daily missions. Allows for overall growth and a measure of how to perceive yourself previously until now.

We could state that the only value is to reflect and learn from the situation, that’s all. On the contrary, it brings the increasing development in multiple areas. Carrying forward the creative process, personal development and awareness of the situation. These are only a few.

Building on this foundation, there are several models out there. However I will just redefine my own based on my experience, exposure along with my curiosity.

As a personal comment, i will try to not make up words along the way in constructing this which will be fairly difficult.

How I will be developing this process will first be an explanation. Why does it matter, and some suggestions along with examples of reflective entries.

Firstly, a recount of the event must be done, as boring as it sounds. I cannot empathize how important this is. Where this will become the backbone of your reflection, being the playground you wish to interact with as the process becomes deeper. A few suggestions to get you started would be to write the overview of the event, what you saw and what actions have been done.

The overview of the event specifies the playground of what you are going to interact with your focus of what you saw and the actions being the interest.

Afterwards, hints of emotions come into play. Now I don’t mean pouring your heart and tears into the reflection. Ideas such as frustration, satisfaction and curiosity are employed into the reflection. Suppose you are given two different lines, tell me which one is more interesting and more enjoyable.

I went to the shops, bought some milk, went to the cashier and the cashier gave me a stare. I went home with my groceries.

Or

I was in an alrightish mood when I went to the shops, I bought some milk and went to the cashier. The cashier was being a bitch giving everyone death stares ruining my mood, so I went home with my groceries in annoyance.

Given, this is a personal reflection and you may end up disappointed, frustrated or cringe about it. However it is more memorable and relatable which allows you to keep reading. Rather than reading a direct recount, this allows to examine the why’s along with hints of curiosity.

This seems to be a diary at this point. So we have to push it to the next phase.P5-GearsAndAnalysis

The separating factor is analysis, googling the word once more, it means the detailed examination of the elements or structure of something. In other words, a breakdown of something in order to see what’s happening. This step allows your actions to be more vivid and noticeable.

A few suggestions to use would be, describing the action you have done, potential result and actual result. Potential result could be a what-if all day, though the idea is to hint your intentions behind that action. Whereas the actual result is the reality of what has occurred due to the action.

Having this element can only be achieved properly when the previous two steps are in place. Without it, potentially confusion will take place along with the issue of heavy self criticism. Here are three of the same stories with each step integrated with the writing.

I gave the person a slap ruining my relationship with my friend, I have no idea what I did back there, I had to do it, there was no choice. (analysis only)

I was so pissed off I couldn’t take it no more, I gave the person a slap potentially ruining my relationship with my friend, I couldn’t think properly in that situation, so I had no idea what I did back there. I believed it was the right thing to do, there was no choice.  (Analysis coupled with only emotion)

Being at my friends place, she said something obscure, I could barely hear the words. She said “I have no place in the world nomore”, I remember it like it was the back of my hand. I was so pissed off I couldn’t take it no more… (analysis combined with recount and emotion)

Probably a bad example, I should use professional examples instead.

From here, it is okay to stop for a moment when rereading your entry. Because that reinforces the next step of the reflective process.

Deep analysis, you will become more deeply focused thinking of that action asking yourself, why?

And this becomes the crux of reflection. The ability to ask yourself why, and answering it hopefully, calls for hidden development. Maybe its empathy you may associate yourself with, or technical ability. Or the awareness of making a major mistake so it won’t happen again.

Here’s a real life example.

I found it enjoyable to disconnect monitors and IT gear. With everyday I was eager to come to work and help the project reach completion. I felt like I disconnected at a fast rate. However when the boss noticed that literally everything was disconnected, he told me in concern that I was in fact slowing down the process. I felt bad, not because of guilt, but because I was slower than I should optimally be. I felt that I was able to disconnect one section in a level myself within a reasonable time-frame. Though the blame of the project being behind doesn’t feel great. I pushed on ahead until finally it finished.

So reading from here, realize that the person doesn’t indulge in feeling bad or ’tilt’, however with a resolve to get things done. The motive for the project was apparent which was to complete the project. The ability of disconnecting IT gear before and after showed the person where there is always improvement.

Finally, the final stage.

Incept.. I mean experiment

Strange as it sounds, I mean now that there is a serious intent behind what you wrote. The idea is to be open to yourself honestly and write what could be done in the future. Any improvements that could’ve been done, or future acts should this incident happen again. Potential outcomes that could have been influenced such an action be done.

Although it is one of the first things that drop when the pressure is high, it is one of the least items on the list that needs to be dropped due to its high value in development.P5-Book

Because in truth, it is fairly difficult to start a reflective journal. I experienced it myself, however it is an amazing tool that can provide self-development, hindsight and future propositions in terms of actions.

It is up to you whether you want to utilize that tool, though having experienced this tool before, it’s worth a try.

haha, See ya on the next post,
Edward Luu

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