A time for introspection

Introspection is a deep and personal form of reflection and ‘soul searching’ is a  more elevated term to describe the act.  A time of quiet solitude can help to us ‘mute conflicting  noises’ and aid effective introspection. At this stage, we must also take care to avoid all negative thinking. 

DR RAJAN PHILIPS –
rajanph@yahoo.co.uk –

With just a few days left in the current year, the count down for ushering in the New Year has already begun. While excitement and expectancy of New Year festivities are understandable, this is also a most appropriate time to look back, introspect and take stock of our achievements in the days gone by.
It is relevant to note here that according to Roman myth, January, the first month of the year, is named after Janus, the god of beginnings and endings. He is depicted as two-faced since he looks to the future and to the past.
Looking back, have we accomplished at least some of the tasks we resolved to carry out, when we stepped into 2016?
Year-end stock taking in business involves physically making an inventory of the stock and matching this with the records, discover discrepancies, if any, and apply corrective measures.
A similar process needs to be carried out periodically in our personal lives at the emotional, physical and spiritual planes. This involves an honest self-evaluation about where we are in life and where we are heading to.
Introspection is a deep and personal form of reflection and ‘soul searching’ is a more elevated term to describe the act. A time of quiet solitude can help to us ‘mute conflicting noises’ and aid effective introspection. At this stage, we must also take care to avoid all negative thinking.
The exercise should be an open- ended one, prompted by the desire to change for the better. It is not very easy really as it calls for effort, courage and integrity.
It will be great if we can effect a meaningful change in career, attitude towards health issues, living habits and personal and social interactions. We must discover things to add or subtract from our chock-a-block and hectic lifestyle to make it more purposeful and possibly happier!
The whole process is quite similar to reorganizing a cluttered room or office desk or closet. It must be carried out with clinical efficiency and unflagging determination. When we redefine our goals to reshape our life, we must be careful to set pragmatic and achievable goals with a reasonable time frame. We must take simple steps forward, one step at a time. If not, we run the risk of failure , which leads to frustration and depression.
In this journey forward, it will be great if we can enlist the support of our dear ones or a couple of dependable friends or colleagues. If they happen to share a similar dream and are willing to work as a team, the mutual support and encouragement can do wonders to our resolve to succeed.
We see this happen when a group of like-minded people embarks on a weight reduction program through work- outs in the gym or enroll in a Toastmasters Club for honing their public speaking and leadership skills.
While changing for better through introspection and positive action is laudable, the wisdom to discern and the courage to accept things that are beyond our control are important traits to cultivate.
Obviously, the healthy process of periodic introspection holds the key to discovering our true potential in life and personal happiness.
Let us certainly look back and recognize our shortcomings s as well as accomplishments, we can be proud of. But let us also get moving forward with optimism and self-belief.
Quotes :
Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. – Aristotle
The only true journey is the one within. – Rainer Maria Rilke
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. – Albert Einstein