As Human Beings one of our most treasured abilities is that we can (if we want) reflect on what we do and accept the outcome and correct what we feel is not right. But it is not a common act because Acceptance and Correction are not the favorite phenomena for most people.
In business and at work we have this process of retrospective to check what went well and what went wrong. Most people take it as part of the job because they feel something is at stake and it is always a collective effort to improve the process and make things faster, easier and of better quality.
But what about the same be on a personal level?
On a personal level there is much more happening that needs serious Reflection, Acceptance and Correction that can dramatically change your outlook of life. But it needs time, a dedicated time which is always not there to invest easily. The whole concept of unwinding oneself is for the same. But vacations are spend on another rat race to do more in such a short precious time. So where does the unwinding happen?
But when the same concepts of Reflection, Acceptance and Correction that you so flawlessly do on a professional level is extended on a personal level a much bigger part of your life gets positively impacted. You, Your loved ones, your colleagues and your company all get benefited.
Reflect on the Past: The thing about past is you cannot go back and Change. But it is also true that you can reflect on it and make changes for the future. Do a one time dedicated effort to Reflect on your Past life be it professional or personal. Create three columns (Vase for an artistic feel) ‘Repeat’ , ‘Abandon’ and ‘Rethink’ and start filling them.
- In the ‘Repeat’ Vase fill in everything you have done in the past and are proud of and wish to repeat it based on where you stand in your career and who you are today.
- In the ‘Abandon’ Vase fill the things you have ‘done or thought’ that you would not like to carry forward with you and against each mark a level of effort as ‘easy’ , ‘moderate’ and ‘Tough’ and a target date when you will abandon and work towards it
- In the ‘Rethink’ Vase fill in items that you are unsure about, may be things that you might have to continue but you are no more passionate about or things you are passionate but your current state does not give you the freedom of time or resources to continue. Next to each put a 3 level criticality such as ‘Low’ , ‘Medium’ and ‘High’ denoting the criticality on continuing it or abandoning it to define what you want to be in the future.
Reflect Every Week: Usually people say one needs to reflect everyday but the idea is to do this as a fun thing on a weekly basis so you can spend a longer dedicated time reflecting on your week. Add the same 3 Vase exercise mentioned above to your weekly routine.
The Art of Acceptance: Acceptance is an Art because it is about accepting both the positives and negatives and the ability to see them in the contexts of who you are and what you do Today and what you want to do and be in the future. The foremost thing here is accepting that an ‘acceptance’ does not make you weak, but it is the first step towards a positive change. It is not a ‘defeat’ but a step closer to ‘success’. There is no ‘Correction’ where there is no ‘Acceptance’ and so if you cannot accept that something you did was/is wrong you can stop here and the rest few paragraphs would be a waste of time for you. If not feel good that you have embraced the unique ability to accept yourself.
The long Journey to Correct: The Journey to Correct is long one but you will be happy to know that there are some that are short and you get to see results fairly quick. The Journey to correct has three prongs to it based on the 3 Vase approach.
The Repetition Journey: The Repetition Journey is where you take items in your Repeat Vase and see if you have been doing a conscious effort to ‘repeat’ them. You might even see that some of these would have become a habit because repetition is a step towards becoming habits.
The Abandoning Journey: Abandoning as a Journey many times is a longer one as some of the traits that you reflected on as ‘to be abandoned’ would have solidified itself as a habit and we all know breaking habits is always tough. Take the ones that you marked as easy and abandon them and then move on to the next and have a plan.
The Rethinking Journey: Rethinking is the process of real learning and progress. This is what results in a change from the inner you to the outward you. It makes a person look through the various aspects of an item and go deep into understanding oneself and the environment they live and work. You start Rethinking on the facets of your life that you yourself are unsure about but have been carrying with you with no real effort. Take the ones that are marked high critical and ‘Rethink’ them
Closing Notes: I will close by repeating two lines from the start of the post to reiterate that this exercise is the most humane thing you can do.
“As Human Beings one of our most treasured abilities should be that we can (if we want) reflect on what we do and accept the outcome and correct what we feel is not right. But it is not a common act because Acceptance and Correction are not the favorite phenomena for most people.”
Get started; Reflect, Accept and Correct with ‘The 3Vase Approach’