I’m writing this from 30,000ft in the air on the trip my family was supposed to take exactly one year ago today. We didn’t go because, while we didn’t exactly know what was about to happen in the world, we knew things would get strange. But that’s a story for a different day, and, quite frankly, I’m so sick of thinking about and talking about COVID19 that I almost didn’t include these first few sentences.
But you read them, so I must have decided to keep them in for a reason. And the reason is…
Thinking about thinking got me thinking about the power of reflection.
I have a tendency (as do most people) to look at the anniversary of things as a reason to reflect on things from our past.
This week also marks 18 years of my being at ETE REMAN (which was only known as Engine & Transmission Exchange back then). And, just in case my wife reads this, I better mention we met 20 years ago this month. I have a friend who says, “Days and weeks are long, but the years fly by.” I’m starting to sound old. I don’t feel it, though. Nor should you.
You see, reflection doesn’t require reminiscence. Reflection is about thinking, not just remembering. And it doesn’t mean you have to remember things fondly.
Reflection is an exercise in evaluation: what happened, how you reacted, how you responded, what actions you took or feelings you had.
And all of this is just the lead up to what I’d like you to reflect on with me right now:
So whether you’ve been with us for the full 500 weeks (that’s nine years, seven months, and two weeks for those of you keeping score), or even if this your first time reading…please join me in going way back to early 2011.
It’s important not to spend too much time thinking, “I should’ve….” When you should all over yourself, you’re applying today’s knowledge to yesterday’s decisions. Life doesn't work like that. If it did, we’d all be billionaires because we would have known what stocks to buy before they hit.
So when I say, “I should’ve bought Bitcoin,” and you tell me, “Yeah, but who could’ve known,” it’s the same thing as anything you might have done way back when. You made the best decision you could have at that time, considering the information available to you and your circumstances.
Don’t beat yourself up. Just commit to making future decisions that are more in line with who you are and where you are now.
I made lots of mistakes in 2011. And I’ve made more since.
A friend of mine just introduced me to an idea I can really get behind. Mistakes or wrong decisions (but for a few that are deadly or undoable, and hopefully you’re not in a position to be reflecting on those) are only mistakes or wrong decisions until they are corrected. Imagine if you reflected on a regular basis. Instead of waiting for an anniversary, try reflecting on decisions or actions a few days or weeks, or months after.
So that one day, when you are looking at your reflection in the mirror, you know you did your very best.
Want to reflect a little more with me? Go back to a time when I lacked gray hair, wrinkles, and the last ten years of experience and wisdom.
Turn it up a notch and get yourself in the running for a $500 gift card to ATSG or ETE REMAN by sharing your reflections here. if