97. If it works for them …

An interesting week it’s been.

In the few days since I posted my blog on The Habit of Daily Reflection I have received three calls from people attesting to its awesome power.

Two of those callers contacted me to share the immense success they have both enjoyed in their chosen fields is directly attributable to a habit acquired by both many years ago – The Habit of Daily Reflection.

The third caller is a long-time assistant to an extraordinarily successful Canadian business person. The caller would not identify her boss by name but did tell me that he is a household name and that she has worked for him since the early days of his career more than 40 years ago.

She told me that many years ago he shared with her a famous quote by Henry Ford which stated, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it,” and explained that this was going to be the secret weapon that would propel him to huge success.

While both the other callers identified themselves – one explained she had been sent a copy of my blog by her granddaughter – they both asked me to respect their anonymity as keeping a low profile has always been of great importance to them.

After completing the third call I spent some time in quiet reflection replaying each of the conversations in my head to ensure I understood the common theme from each.

What I learned is that there is no more important activity to be placed on the To Do list of a high achieving person than the one that says, ‘Think.’ I learned that each of these three folks are strongly disciplined to ensuring that this habit is present throughout their day.

The common theme from all three conversations was that they each devoted several hours each day to this practice and had done so for many years.

The behaviour common to all was that their Think Time is for that purpose only and during that time they do not interact with others in their organization, answer their phones, respond to email or in any way communicate with anyone.

That time is an interrupted brain time during which they allow themselves the latitude of judgment free thinking to address and resolve present challenges and to determine future strategy.

In each case I heard several examples of powerful flashes of inspiration that occurred while practising The Habit of Daily Reflection and how those ideas have helped catapult each of these three folks to lofty heights. I also learned how that time is often spent in developing creative approaches to present-day problems that are used convert challenges into opportunities.

I was flattered to be contacted by such people whose calls validated for me that the old axiom, “I’m so busy I don’t even have time to think,” is an assured way of ensuring mediocrity reigns supreme.

The trick to this I am learning is to work at de-cluttering our minds and to try and focus on just one item, one topic, one thought at a time. I am told by those who have done this for years that the ability to quiet their voice in our heads and to de-clutter the thoughts in our minds is simply a function of practising The Habit of Daily Reflection.

It’s hard, having heard from three such remarkable people, not to adopt The Habit of Daily Reflection into my own life.

So I’m gonna.

Will you?

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

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