photo coutesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/51035621724@N01/266787781/

5 reasons why we need to pause and reflect

Life’s a marathon, not a sprint. Pausing to reflect is not a privilege — it’s a must.

Life can be crazy. There’s always work coming in and piling up, chores and errands to be run, people and relationships to take care of, and deadlines to be met.

And if we are not careful enough, it’s easy to go into a frenzy, get extremely busy, but end up achieving very little. Think about the moments where you’ve seemed to be very busy, but surprisingly unproductive at the end of the day. Therefore, it’s important to not only slow down, but to take a pit stop to pause and reflect before continuing with the journey ahead.

Here’s 5 reasons why we need to pause and reflect:

1. To take a break

Our lives and the pursuits of our dreams are a marathon, not a sprint, and this means that it’s crucial that we pace ourselves instead of charging ahead because this can lead to burnout very easily.

I’ll always remember the story of two lumberjacks who went into the woods. The first one went chopping down the trees for the whole day straight while the second one did some sawing and stopped during regular intervals. So the first guy instinctively knew that his day’s yield will be greater since he actually spent more time bringing down the trees.

Unfortunately, he was wrong. The second lumberjack came back with more timber pieces because when he stopped his cutting, he was taking the time to sharpen his tools.

So take the time to slow down, unwind and relax, and you will feel more refreshed and recharged to take on the world later on!

2. To evaluate what we have accomplished

You’re in the middle of pursuing your dreams and hitting the pause button will give you time to evaluate whatever you have accomplished thus far. Are you on track with your goals and milestones? Do you have sufficient resources to progress to the next step?Do you need to speed things up? Or can you afford to take things slower?

3. To celebrate our victories

Sometimes in the busyness of things we can get so overwhelmed that taking the next step is too laborous and arduous — sort of like a runner struggling to put one foot ahead of the other when he’s at the point of extreme fatigue.

In such a case, pausing and reflecting will give us the chance to look back and celebrate the victories, however big or small they may be, which we have achieved along the way.

4. To learn from our mistakes

Certain mistakes which we make during our dream journeys may not be apparent until we look back in hindsight. With this in mind, we should see our failures not as reasons for disappointment but as valuable learning opportunities. Moreover, the more we learn from our previous mistakes, the less likely we’ll repeat them down the road.

5. To check our future direction

I feel that this might be the most important reason for pausing and reflecting.

When things get busy and crazy, it is easy for us to lose track of where we are heading and even forget the reason why we are doing what we are doing. For instance, if you’re rigorously learning a new instrument and you begin to feel burdened by your music lessons or the practice sessions, it helps to pause for a moment to remind yourself why you’re doing this in the first place.

Additionally, taking a breather will give you the chance of ensuring that you’re still on the right track and not deviating off course.

Therefore, as much as we need to be zealous and enthusiastic about pursuing our dreams, it doesn’t hurt to take a breather regularly!

Have you been taking the time to pause and reflect lately?

No one says “I’m glad I played it safe!” when on their deathbeds. It’s time to step up and play a bigger game in your life and career. I’ll see you at Industry Bootcamp.