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The Mirror Doesn't Lie: Learning through Reflection

At what point do we reach perfection? Or at least get so good at what we do, that we no longer need to practice, adjust, and improve? 

Never!

Every athlete, musician, and educator is haunted by the fragility of their core skills. Talent doesn't exist in a vacuum. We age and we change. The conditions and expectations around us are similarly dynamic. 

Thus, mastery is most effectively focused on expert habits and systems more than on knowledge and techniques. We are all a work in process ...

 

 

 

Without reflection, we go blindly on our way,
creating more unintended consequences, 

and failing to achieve anything useful.
Margaret J. Wheatley

Corey Seager is regarded as one of the best hitters in baseball. A recent article on ESPN describes how he works at it daily! Before every turn at bat, he finds a mirror to study his motion and get in sync. At all 30 stadiums around Major League Baseball, he knows exactly where he can find one before stepping up to home plate.

His success is the result of carefully studying and refining each detail of his swing. For Seager to achieve his goalsto consistently be the very best version of himselfhe must constantly tweak his mechanics to gain the proper angles.

Studying his movements while looking at a mirror, he adjusts to be ready for today. He's not worried about the last game or the last at-bat. He's focused on the present, and that commitment to such personal discipline flows from zealous humility and curiosity.

Each one should test their own actions.
Then they can take pride in themselves alone,
without comparing themselves to someone else.
— Galatians 6:4

To what or to whom do we compare ourselves to assess effectiveness and progress?

- We can compare to others, but they have different talents, stories, and resources. Comparing to them is a trap that tempts us everywhere. No matter how much we do, satisfaction and serenity remain elusive because the comparison trap keeps moving the goals. That's not a pathway to joy in our life and work. 

- We can compare to the average of what's expected, but that's hardly motivating. The life-changing work of an educator is worth investing the extra effort to grow, and we want to be masters of our craft. 

- We can compare to ourselves, gathering intelligence to evaluate how well we are aligned with the purpose and the pathway to which we have been divinely called. We elevate our energy and engagement when we celebrate our progress and enjoy those special moments.

The mirror doesn't lie, providing feedback for inevitably needed improvements. But we do have to stop, study, and learn from it. 

Behavior is the mirror in which 
everyone shows their image.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Each day, we make subtle choices that move us closer to or further from our goals. Starting the morning with zealous humility and curiosity to calibrate our expertise enables us to listen to our body, to our soul, and even to the One who makes us whole.

So much is outside of our control, but we can be certain of the power given through self-reflection and correction. Learning from the mirror yields deeper connections and more authentic personal development.

Seek sources of reflection this week, my friend, daily challenging yourself to learn and grow as the best in the game. 

 

 

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