Reflection: Day 27

CONCENTRATION — “It takes but a little to destroy and overturn everything, just a slight deviation from reason. To overturn his ship, a helmsman does not need the same proficiency as he does to keep it safe, but, if he turns it a little too far into the wind, he is lost: and even if he does not do so deliberately, but simply loses his concentration for a moment, he is lost. Such is the case here too. If you nod off for just a moment, all that you have acquired up till then is gone.” ~ Epictetus, 4.3.4-6


You are using a trigger to practice reflection. Is there anything in your day that resembles the reflection trigger? Opportunities where you could reflect spontaneously?

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Arrived in the middle? Visit the first post, Where to begin?
(The entire series is available to download as a PDF ebook.)

Reflection: Day 26

THINK WIN/WIN — “Most people tend to think in terms of dichotomies: strong or weak, hardball or softball, win or lose. But that kind of thinking is fundamentally flawed. It’s based on power and position rather than on principle. Win/Win is based on the paradigm that there is plenty for everybody, that one person’s success is not achieved at the expense or exclusion of the success of others.” ~ Stephen Covey


Were there any moments yesterday when you suddenly—it can be quite jarring the first few times—became aware that you were _aware_ of your own thoughts?

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Arrived in the middle? Visit the first post, Where to begin?
(The entire series is available to download as a PDF ebook.)

Reflection: Day 25

RESOLUTION — “Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.” ~ Benjamin Franklin


We’ve been developing our awareness via self-reflection. What happens if we turn our awareness outward?

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Arrived in the middle? Visit the first post, Where to begin?
(The entire series is available to download as a PDF ebook.)

Reflection: Day 24

TAKE ACTION — “Action’s ecstasy is instantaneous and compounding: Even if for the millionth time, it works its magic. Its trigger is sure: All you do is peel your ass off the bottom of whatever hole you are in, and climb!” ~ Bryan Ward


Are you surprised by your thoughts’, and your mind’s, complexity? Are you amazed? Are you empowered?

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Arrived in the middle? Visit the first post, Where to begin?
(The entire series is available to download as a PDF ebook.)

Reflection: Day 23

SINGLE-TASK BY PUTTING LIFE IN FULL-SCREEN MODE — “Imagine that everything you do — a work task, answering an email or message, washing a dish, reading an article — goes into full-screen mode, so that you don’t do or look at anything else. You just inhabit that task fully, and are fully present as you do it. What would your life be like? In my experience, it’s much less stressful when you work and live this way. Things get your full attention, and you do them much better. And you can even savor them.” ~ Leo Babauta


Having now spent at least 46 minutes in self-reflection and practicing awareness of your own thoughts— …any change in daily lived life? …any change in your relationships? No right answers, simply awareness.

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Arrived in the middle? Visit the first post, Where to begin?
(The entire series is available to download as a PDF ebook.)

Reflection: Day 22

AM I AUTHENTIC OR OBSEQUIOUS? — Discerning the difference between obsequiousness and politeness can be difficult, but courtesy should be rooted in benevolence. Politeness should be the expression of a benevolent regard for the feelings of others; it’s a poor virtue if it’s motivated only by a fear of offending good taste. In its highest form Politeness approaches love.


A good mirror shows an accurate image. A fun-house mirror shows a distorted image. How is your reflection on your own thoughts?

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Arrived in the middle? Visit the first post, Where to begin?
(The entire series is available to download as a PDF ebook.)

Reflection: Day 21

CHOICE — “For there are two rules we should always have at hand: That nothing is good or evil, but choice; and, that we are not to lead events, but to follow them. “My brother ougth not to have treated me so.” Very true, but it is for him to see to that. However he treats me, I am to act rightly with regard to him. For this is my concern, the other is somebody else’s; this no one can hinder, the other is open to hindrance.” ~ Epictetus, 3.10.18-9


Reflection. Inward-facing. Intentional awareness of our own thoughts.

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Arrived in the middle? Visit the first post, Where to begin?
(The entire series is available to download as a PDF ebook.)

Reflection: Day 20

PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST — “The degree to which we have developed our independent will in our everyday lives is measured by our personal integrity. Integrity is, fundamentally, the value we place on ourselves. It’s our ability to take and keep commitments to ourselves, to “walk our talk.” It’s honor with self, a fundamental part of the Character Ethic, the essence of proactive growth.” ~ Stephen Covey


Our practice of reflection is an explicitly inward-facing activity. We’re repeatedly, intentionally being aware.

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Arrived in the middle? Visit the first post, Where to begin?
(The entire series is available to download as a PDF ebook.)

Reflection: Day 19

WHAT CAN I DO TO BE SO GOOD THEY CAN’T IGNORE ME? — Continuous improvement? A “big swing?” A simple but insightful solution? The path to “the best” is not obvious and likely does not pass directly through the most-obvious next thing.


It’s not necessary to move beyond simply observing our thoughts. Simply practicing _observing_ your thoughts will make you more aware of your thoughts.

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Arrived in the middle? Visit the first post, Where to begin?
(The entire series is available to download as a PDF ebook.)

Reflection: Day 18

NOTICE THE SPACE — “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ~ Viktor Frankl


Reflection is about self-focus. Each day you’re practicing holding up a mirror. Specifically, you’re observing your thoughts, in response to a prompt.

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Arrived in the middle? Visit the first post, Where to begin?
(The entire series is available to download as a PDF ebook.)