Quality Blog

Jim's Gems: Take Time to Reflect

July 16, 2012

Most of the country has been under heat distress with many areas setting all time temperature records. Summer came on like gang-busters this year. With the onset of the lazy days of summer, I am reminded of when I was somewhat younger, when the summer sunshine promoted some lively daydreaming. It was a little like letting my mind "off the leash" to wander where it would. For many, thankfully, the daydreaming has continued. It is valuable time to think which can give us the opportunity for what many call "ah-ha!" moments.

How many times have you suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, found yourself saying, "OK! Now that makes sense! Why didn't I think of that before?" Insights seem to come at the strangest times for some of us. A friend of mine once said that he got his “ah-ha” moments when in the shower. He didn’t know why, but he thought it had something to do with his body being refreshed from the water rushing over him. His body and mind seemed to be cleansed from the water, almost like a therapy session. Although he couldn’t pinpoint the reason, he swore that it worked for him.

Personally, I believe our insights come when we give our minds time to think, without forcing answers at the conscious level. Many is the time in my personal and professional life when I have been presented with a problem. By giving the problem to my subconscious mind, and letting go of conscious control (and given enough time) the answers come through, complete with most of the important details.

There is great value in giving yourself time to reflect, for reflection is the launching pad for change and personal growth. Those few moments of quiet reflection allow us to drain away the stress of the situation, and also focus on what is truly important.

I would encourage you to give yourself time to think and reflect, time to focus your thoughts on what you truly want and need. Let go of the conscious demands of the day, and wait for those insights that will surely come–maybe even in the shower.

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Charles J. Hellier has been active in the technology of nondestructive testing and related quality and inspection fields since 1957. Here he talks with Quality's managing editor, Michelle Bangert, about the importance of training.
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