Connect with us


How to Use Reflective Thinking to Transform Your Life

Clarity of mind is the key to success in the contemporary world



reflective thinking
Image Credit: Midjourney

The world has become so fast that people don’t find time to take care of their families. People don’t find time to think through other than their deadlines.  People have become very busy indeed!  Everybody says I’m busy.

What is the solution? Why did God give us life?  Is there any meaning to such life where we constantly struggle for something that most of the time found to be meaningless?

In this regard, let us concentrate on the concept of reflective thinking as it provides solutions for several evils in society and pressures in today’s life. 

What is Reflective Thinking (RT)?

John Dewey coined the concept “reflective thought” in 1910 in his work captioned How We Think, for Teachers.  He defines reflective thinking as “Active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusion to which it tends” (Dewey,1933). 

However, the concept has undergone a lot of modifications over some time.  RT sounds like a thinking chair—a practice by John C. Maxwell that allows thinking through silently in clearing the clutter and making decisions. 

Reflective thinking is reflecting on what you do for your progress.  It polishes your approach to reach your goals faster.  It paves the way for your success.  It is one of the ingredients for your smart work. 

Reflective thinking is beyond introspection.  It involves analyzing the current trends and patterns in the mind. It streamlines your mind by removing irrelevant and outdated ideas and insights thus allowing more space to accept and accommodate new ones.  

It is like deleting the waste files and replacing them with wanted files in any computer system. 

It provides breathing space to your mind.  As people find it hard to breathe properly due to pressures, they find it hard to think as well.  Therefore, reflective thinking is an effective tool for reflecting and thinking through new ideas.  

It enhances your creativity.  There is tremendous potential in this concept to utilize your vast human potential.

Advantages of reflection

If people spend a little time in reflective thinking they can find their personal and professional lives to be more meaningful and productive. At times people pursue routine activities without taking stock of the situation resulting in outdated practices and ending up nowhere. 

Here are some advantages of reflective thinking. 

  • Reflection makes life meaningful.  We get out of outdated practices and habits.  
  • Reflection helps you analyze your areas of strengths and weaknesses. It helps you realize where you stand in terms of your performance. It provides you with the right feedback.  Like solitude, reflection helps you take stock of the situation. 
  • It provides you with growth opportunities. 
  • Whenever you face challenges you can adopt this tool to find appropriate ideas. 
  • It removes confusion and clutter from your mind thus providing you clarity in mind. 
  • It helps in problem-solving.
  • Above all, it manages your time effectively.

Hence, spend some time in solitude to reflect your mind. Your mind goes for self-introspection and reflects your thoughts effectively for behavioral changes. 

Daniel Patrick Forrester rightly refers to the importance of reflective thinking as follows: “It was said that Thomas Edison would often take his fishing rod, sit at the end of the pier, cast away, and then just sit there for hours. However, he would never put any bait on his hook. He didn’t want to catch any fish. What he wanted to do was to sit there uninterrupted, just reflecting on the issues of the day, on his work, or on whatever else came into his mind. He knew that if he looked as if he were fishing, no one would bother him, so he could reflect uninterrupted. All he wanted to do was catch ideas.”

Edison signed many pictures for friends and admirers filled with the visionaries’ advice. To one friend he said, “All things come to him who hustles while he waits. Your friend, Thomas Edison.” Therefore, it becomes clear that great people spend some time reflecting on their thoughts. 

Reflection and Information Overload

The invention of the internet led to information overload.  People think less and reflect less as a lot of information is available to them on a platter.  

They are often confused between what to choose and reject.  By the way, what do you mean by information overload?  Let us find out. 

The term ‘Information Overload‘ was coined by Alvin Toffler much before the internet revolution.  It is about giving excess information that clutters the human mind and confuses people. It prevents people from understanding the real content.  Sometimes it deviates from the main topic and area of interest.  

John C. Maxwell reveals in his book Success, “More new information has been produced in the last thirty years than in the previous five thousand.  A single weekday edition of the New York Times contains more information than most people in seventeenth-century England were likely to encounter in their lifetimes.” 

Reflection and Contribution

Reflection is beyond introspection.  It is an imaginative inquiry.  Everybody must reflect on how much difference is made to society.  It is talking to oneself and inner self.  How far an individual is useful to himself and others?  

What value is an individual adding? What difference does an individual make for others?  If everybody reflects then there will be all-round peace and prosperity universally.

Reflection paves the way for progress.  It paves the way for success. It breaks the traditional barriers and limitations.  It makes people stretch beyond their capabilities and competencies. It develops human potential.  It raises your dreams and aspirations.  It bridges the gap between aspirations and accomplishments. 

Reflection is a powerful tool for promoting human potential.

The human mind is a powerful device.  It has huge potential and man does not use it fully. Man must learn to use it properly.  Reflective thinking comes in handy in using the human mind and potential properly.  

In addition, clarity of mind is the key to success in the contemporary world. By reflective thinking, you remove clutter from your mind and that helps you simplify and overcome many obstacles in your life paving the way for your success.

Viktor Frankl wrote Man’s Search for Meaning long ago.  Now it is time again to search for meaning in one’s life by introspection, removing clutter, managing time, caring for your family and friends, and making a difference in this great human civilization. 

Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. is the Father of “Soft Leadership” and the Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He is an International Leadership Guru with forty years of experience and the author of fifty books including the award-winning ‘See the Light in You’ URL: He is a C-Suite advisor and global keynote speaker. He brings a strategic eye and long-range vision given his multifaceted professional experience including military, teaching, training, research, consultancy, and philosophy. He is passionate about serving and making a difference in the lives of others. He is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine. He trains a new generation of leaders through leadership education and publications.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


7 Resumé Secrets to Fast Track Your Career Change

Leaping into a new career is an exciting adventure, but navigating the resume writing process can feel like climbing a mountain without a map



how to write a resume
Image Credit: Midjourney

Dreaming of a career switch? While the change can be thrilling, crafting a resume that bridges your past experiences to your new dream job is a challenge and a half. (more…)

Continue Reading


10 Ways Your Life is Like a Video Game



life is a video game
Image Credit | Joel Brown

Watch this amazing TED presentation by Steve Kamb to find out how you can live your life like an awesome video game. (more…)

Continue Reading


The Best Techniques to Boosting Your Memory in a Busy World

The human brain is highly complex. You must know how to make use of it to improve your memory.



best memory boosting techniques

People often confuse weak memory and poor recollection.  They complain of weak memory.  It is not a weak memory but a poor collection of information.  How sad it is when you cannot recall the name of a person you met in the past. (more…)

Continue Reading


The Power of Elevating Others: Steps to Change Your Life for the Better

Making others feel important can change the world



lifting others

People often look for elevating themselves rather than elevating others by focusing on their strengths and merits.  It is unfortunate to note. People have become so busy that they don’t find time to care for others. (more…)

Continue Reading