Reflect to Extend Daily Reach

To reflect is to shuffle the human brain out from its daily ruts, rouse it from from routine resting places and compel it into wider reaches. Reflection often signals a lofty vision, not evident to a non-reflective mind.  What’s your mind-bending aspiration?

According to Robert Lee Holtz, Wall Street Journal Science Columnist, Researchers found that sudden insights or Eureka moments show unique neural activity in EEG sensors. Interesting, ahha moments of sudden insights are the culmination of an intense and complex series of brain states that require more neural resources that methodological reasoning. It seems the brain is most actively engaged when our mind is wandering and we’ve actually lost track of our thoughts.

Visualize inner purpose with outer consequences, and you’ve also grasped the brainpower packed into reflective thought. Like water cascades from mountain peaks on a spring day, successful practices fall and swirl in reflective pools until sustained somewhere between selah and the cadence of rippled motions. 

When action flows from introspection, the brain creates new neuron pathways toward the higher reach you seek. Have you found success tends to follow when you pause to mix fresh new realities with deeply held inner beliefs?

Take problems that hold back most people, or truncate an entire nation. Winning’s more about an inspiration that kick-starts action in the brain, than most people realize. Whenever you find yourself at the outer edges of an insurmountable problem, try reflecting to spot new directions for the next growing season.  Has reflection opened a new world to you lately?

You could say growth happened here at the MITA Brain Based Center quite recently in just this way, when an international contract seemed to wither away before it started. We thought carefully about new directions, went ahead with back projects that lacked attention due to our busy schedules, and surprisingly the lost contract slipped back into view in finer ways than we anticipated.

Not that you’ll always get back what’s lost. Yet, reflection is to growth, what non-reflection is to stagnation, when you need to grow most. Is your workplace powered daily by reflective growth questions and curiosity that challenges – Where to from here? Do problems lead you to genuine solutions and new approaches at work?  Or does stagnation power down growth?

Perhaps the best cure for the fear of failure, is to reflect on expansion possibilities, since the brain’s equipped to advance toward clear targets. What’s your top peak in sight? The person intent on coping with failed results gives little attention to the brain’s ability to reflect life-changing solutions? Focus for the reflective thinker, on the other hand, allows a glance back to see why failure stunted growth, but a gaze forward to plan new solutions from multiple intelligences.

You can see it in firms that face the grim reaper results of our current economy. Yet my own visit to Wegman’s store today, showed me a business with success firmly in mind. Leaders handed out cake samples to celebrate another win the Fortune 100 list as the best place to work, and people packed into the store as if they were its winners.

All to say, the lasting fix for a broken economy lies less in banks, or government dictates, than in active chambers of the reflective brain. Awaken thought for more. You’re mentally equipped to reconfigure a finer approach, restore collective responsibility, and reboot strengths in those willing to redirect with you, a community or a nation’s brainpower.

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19 Comments

  1. Wally Bock says:

    This is another fine post. Ellen. It seems to me that reflection is often a form of feedback. You reflect on what you intended and what actually happened and make a judgment about what will be different. Sometimes that means deciding to spend time on other things.

    Wally Bocks last blog post..2/1/09: Leadership Reading to Start Your Week

  2. eweber says:

    Wally what an interesting thought. Would you agree that it’s a kind of looped feedback. Reflect back to see what worked and reflect forward to tweak the next steps based on best results in past? Gets scary when life speeds up too fast for reflection! Thoughts?

  3. Conrad Hake says:

    Ellen, a lot of good physics theory would postulate that each of these loops initiates motion through different probabilities, a range of universes. It is quite possible that I am only one of the bifurcating selves at each point of reflection, decision and universal coordination.

    Which me? Which universe? These used to seem like fantasy questions of very little merit – but that may not be true. One universe may be economically depressed while another is experiencing good economic activity.

    Conrad Hakes last blog post..See What Snake Oil Did for Me!

  4. eweber says:

    Interesting notion of looping Conrad, although I am not sure of the physics theory that would support it in just this way.

    You build a good case for the many worlds we navigate — which is also a case for deeper reflection. With reflection at the helm, we keep the balance between these worlds and we remain autonomous in spite of outer fluctuations such as economic depression and so on, as I see it. You?

  5. Conrad says:

    In practical terms, it makes little difference whether we are navigating through alternate worlds or whether worlds psychologically flow through us. In either scenario, you are right on the mark. It is continuous, exhilarating flux and there has to be a part of ourselves outside the maelstrom.

    It seems to me that no part of ourselves currently engaged can serve the reflecting role, so the activity of reflecting itself calls upon a portion of ourselves that is autonomous. I’m all for giving that part the role of captain of the ship. I just want that part to pay attention to input from the crew, too! :-)

    Conrads last blog post..See What Snake Oil Did for Me!

  6. eweber says:

    Spoken like a pro:-) I agree:-)

  7. Wally Bock says:

    I definitely agree that it’s looped feedback, Ellen. And when life speeds up, we need to learn to recognize the symptoms (one for me is that my “Idea” list that develops during the week starts getting shorter) and make conscious effort to haul back on the reins and make time to reflect.

    Wally Bocks last blog post..Book Review: Great Business Teams

  8. eweber says:

    Ok Wally — you take the cake on this one — if we’re tethering these ideas to research. Wow! Makes me ready for a crazy day! Thanks.

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