Learning to Pause Allows Growth to Catch Up With You: The Law of Reflection

Do you know what does one internet minute include? The statistics on this area are so scary. In 2017 and every one minute, there were 3.5 million of search queries on Google, 452,000 tweets on Twitter, 4.1 million views for YouTube videos and many more as shown below.


Within this information age, do we really take time to analyze what we consume? Do we recognize how can this big scale of information affect our lives positively and negatively?

If you are concerned about your personal growth, then you might need to follow what John C. Maxwell his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, illustrated as the Law of Reflection. I already summarized the first one, The Law of Intentionality, the second one, The Law of Awareness, the third one, The Law of Mirror, and in this post I will summarize the fourth one; the Law of Reflection, i.e. to stop, pause, and allow the lesson to catch up with us”.

The personal reflection process doesn’t have to be a very formal and structured one. Sometimes, we need just to pause and ask ourselves: how do we feel right now about a situation? What can we do about it? And how could we do that?

Why is Pausing so Powerful?

Maxwell identified four reasons that clarify the power of reflection which are:

  • “Reflection Turns Experience into Insight”

Maxwell believes that not only “Experience is the best teacher of all things” as Julius Caesar said. He believes that “Experience is not the best teacher. Evaluated experience is”. We need to create a habit of pausing and asking ourselves: what is this experience or situation trying to teach me?

  • “Everyone Needs a Time and a Place to Pause”

As we noticed above, there are huge things that are going out there. Therefore, we need to constantly pause and reflect on them. This will help us to grasp the opportunities and avoid the threats that come with them.

  • “Pausing with Intention Expands and Enriches Thinking”

We all know that the learning process doesn’t just happen by a chance. Instead, a conscious effort is needed to convert the raw data into meaningful information, and reflection is one of the ways that can help us to achieve that.

  • “When You Take Time to Pause, Use Your I’s: Investigation, Incubation, Illumination and Illustration”

Reflection can take four directions as the following: Investigate: keep asking questions to clarify things. Incubate: take the experiences that you have in your life into a higher learning level. Illuminate: recognize your “aha” moments in your life and finally, Illustrate: so you can allow the learning process to catch up with you.

 Using Reflection for a Good Personal Awareness

Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, once said: “to ask the right question is already half the solution”.  One of the benefits of reflection is to achieve a good personal awareness. Within this context, Maxwell suggested ten questions that help us to achieve that as the following:

  1. “What is my biggest asset?” this can be a habit, a behavior, an attitude ..etc.
  2. “What is my biggest liability?”
  3. “What is my highest high?” this can be your family, career, health..etc.
  4. “What is my lowest low?”
  5. “What is my most worthwhile emotion?” this can be love, gratitude..etc.
  6. “What is my lowest worthwhile emotion?” this can be anger, anxiety..etc.
  7. “What is my best habit?”
  8. “What is my worst habit?”
  9. “What is most fulfilling for me?”
  10. “What do I prize most highly?”

We can tailor as many as we can of such questions and around any area in our life. The most important is to answer them openly and honestly so we can get the value of this exercise.

Applying the Law of Reflection in our Life

In order to implement this law in our daily life, Maxwell suggests three simple steps

  1. Create a place where you can sit and enjoy this exercise.
  2. Schedule time to pause and reflect. This can be daily 5 minutes, weekly 30 minutes on the weekends or several times a year.
  3. Ask the tough questions. Be honest to ask and answer the hardest questions so you can be a wise person as cartoonist Henri Arnold said: “the wise man questions himself, the fool others”.

11 thoughts on “Learning to Pause Allows Growth to Catch Up With You: The Law of Reflection

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