Strengthen your Mind and Spirit with the LionMind Agenda - 8x mental skills for a calm mind, free spirit and brave heart.


“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. ”

Søren Kierkegaard


Time for reflection is time well-invested, especially during development and change. We can learn something from everything that happens, but only if we leave room for new memories to be stored. The most important form of reflection is gratitude. The ability to see everything you already know and have, gives you greater access to appreciate it.

Discovering and getting to know ourselves is the first thing we need to do to strengthen ourselves mentally, but perhaps primarily to be able to give MORE of ourselves to other people. In moments of deep breathing and meditation, as you relax and quiet your mind of swirling thoughts, a very special form of concentration arises. A concentration that heals, opens to insights and allows new information about who we are and what is important.

Different qualities of fast and slow thinking.

Daniel Kahneman, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics, writes in his book on brain science: "Thinking Fast, and Slow", how slow thinking is negatively correlated with fast thinking. This means that slow and conscious reflection - which examines the underlying assumptions, values, intentions and dreams - cannot go on at the same time as fast, automatic thinking; which is reactive, instinctive and problem-solving. When one is on, the other is off, and we need both.

During slow thinking, you get a chance to access information from your subconscious mind. This reflection is thus an important source of information about ourselves that we miss, if we do not give it enough space. In today's society, the natural breaks - moments of silence and nothing - of waiting and just being, have become a scarcity. Today we have access to a wide variety of opportunities to fill our "boring" moments with information and entertainment. If the breaks disappear, time for reflection disappears. It is a pity, because during reflection time we have a chance to learn something about ourselves and see something new.

In the book LEJONAGENDAN, reflection is described as "The ability to let what happened to play again, but in the light of something new". Reflecting means that we pick up something, an experience or event that we carry within us, and look at it in daylight. Maybe we can find a new way to describe and understand what happened. If something bad has happened to us, if we carry on an event that feels like a sharp heavy stone in our chest, reflection can help. Maybe we can grind a little on the edges of the stone and rebuild it to make it easier to carry. Wearing something as an experience is so much easier than wearing something like a sharp heavy stone.

Quiet time for reflection is our window of time, while deciding our next step.

Celebrate wins     

Stopping, seeing and enjoying everything you have already accomplished easily falls into the cloud in favor of launching new plans and projects. Time should be used efficiently, and staying put does not have the same measurable value as kicking off the next plan, the next project.

Unfortunately, when we do, we miss valuable lessons from both mistakes and success factors. Interestingly, there is a biological reason for this. The dopamine hit you get from reaching a goal seems to imply a direction. It has even been seen that the dopamine mark-up - that is, the body's reward hormone that gives happiness and satisfaction and that tells you to continue with what you do - is higher while we are on target than when we reach it. The impetus we get from reaching the goal pushes us forward rather than making us stop and celebrate. It explains part of the feeling of emptiness we can feel after a moment when we have reached the finish line. In other words, it is true that the way to the goal - rather than to arrive - is the reward. Once we know this, we can catch ourselves. The better we are at highlighting a success, staying put and maybe even reversing to look over the various steps we have gone through, the higher value your endeavor gets. If you give your processes high value, you will have an easier time working in them in the future. This is an important insight of leaders. Use the finish to stop and see, and return, what everyone has done to contribute to victory or success. Create a learning. Sometimes it is not even a victory or a success, but hard work done with great tolerance. Pointing to the process rather than the goal is the best way to establish developmental mindsets.

THANKFUL EXERCISE - 3 good things.

Gratitude diary: Every night before you fall asleep, write down three things you are grateful for, from the day that has passed.

It has two purposes. One thing is obvious - directing our energy to what we are grateful for gives us a good sense of ourselves and our lives. The second is that it gives us a rich and functional focus.

As you do this exercise, you will also start filling up your days with behaviors that you would be grateful for, which you will remember later in the evening. The better you get at thinking about what you are grateful for, the faster and easier it will be to find something. For brain cells that work together, those which are often used become helplessly dependent on working together. This is how your brain shapes thought patterns, memories and strong pathways. Attach a curious attitude of learning and a positive sense of yourself, to your memories. It's your life.

The athletes I coach and the leaders I support often make use of this simple exercise, and we often find out how powerful it is. Research shows how it strengthens the immune system and provides a measurable change in happiness, health and attitude towards life.

What you focus on becomes your reality. What you give room to grows. Welcome to a life in reality!

  1. When do you give yourself time for reflection? How does it look?
  2. What does your mobile phone use look like - how would you like it to be?
  3. Have you tried to be quiet for a whole day at any time? Would you like to try? Make a plan to create your own quiet retreat!
  4. How do you limit information? (Email, social media, availability / sms, working hours and calls.)