While everyone else is hammering on goals for the new year I felt the urge to take a moment of reflection in this last week of the year.
Don’t worry – I know the quote about the reverse mirror.
“You do not move ahead by constantly looking in a rear view mirror. The past is a rudder to guide you, not an anchor to drag you. We must learn from the past but not live in the past.”—Warren W. Wiersbe
I used to really struggle with evaluations and team debrief and all the likes. My personal pitfall might be to live in the future a little too much.
Years ago, our wise leader in Amsterdam, Charles Ariston, challenged us one day and said, “the expression goes: ‘experience is the best teacher.’ I don’t believe that. Here’s my take on it. It’s not experience that is the best teacher. ‘Evaluated experience is the best teacher.’”
Without intentional evaluation we might live through the same experience over and over and over again without ever learning our lessons from it.
A few days ago I started writing down 3 questions that I decided I wanted to start asking some of the people that I work and live with. I ended up adding a fourth, just because I realised the people I’m asking these questions might be better even at thinking of the right questions to ask.
Consider it a modified version of a personal SWOT analysis.
- Actions speak louder than words. If there is one message that I share with my life how would you summarise that in one or a few words?
- Strength – what do you see as my biggest strength?
- Weakness – what is one thing about me that annoys you, or an area of weakness?
- What is another question that should have been on this list, and what would have been your answer to that question?
Last night Luan (our third, 11 years old) was sitting next to me in the front of our car, asking me all kinds of driving questions on the high way. It’s funny how much of our driving is on autopilot and you don’t even notice yourself looking over your shoulder before you pass the car in front of you.
Did you end up using these questions for your personal reflection? Let me know in the comments!
Would you like to receive my messaging script, of how I introduce the questions and turn this into an opportunity for dialogue with some of the people that are closest to me in work and life? Send me a quick message and I’ll get back to you before the year is over. Or maybe next.
Rearview mirrors are not for staring, but take a moment to use the powerful tool of reflection, check your blindspots, and – this is my son’s favourite part – hit that gas in 2023.
Happy new year!