5 Tips of Daily Reflection

In The Words of Father George Rutler- Tips on How to Reflect on Your Day

George Rutler is a renowned Catholic priest who was ordained into the priesthood in New York in 1981. He wrote many books and spoke numerous sermons. Here are some lines taken from his speeches and interviews. Using some of his quotes and phrases, we will examine tips on how we can reflect on our day.

1. “Avoid uncommitted behavior.”

Schedule enough time. Making a habit of doing daily reflections requires setting aside time for it. In an interview, the priest urged people to move away from noncommittal behaviors. Providing people want to develop the habit of daily reflections, pencil it into a calendar, and even write it down. Set a reminder. Do whatever it takes to ensure one does not forget to evaluate themselves at the end of the day. Practice habits that force the idea to make commitments and keep them. Again, schedule enough time.

2. “Do not panic, remain calm.”

The priest encouraged us to remain calm in his book ‘Calm in Chaos.’ How can someone tie this into their daily reflection? Analyze a day in chronological order. Sometimes we become overwhelmed and panic because we are not organizing our thoughts. Usually, when a person starts to lose their sanity, their surroundings become unkempt. Untidiness happens because they cannot collect their ideas enough to arrange the “stuff” around them. If a person reviews the day’s events as they appear on a calendar, daily reflection should be a lot easier for everyone.

3. “Be able to laugh at yourself.”

When a person is reflecting, they take a step back and be objective. When an individual reviews their day’s events and genuinely laughs at some of their mistakes and silliness rather than getting defensive or embarrassed, they are unbiased. Consider all the angles of the conversations we’ve all had or the mistakes we’ve all made. Focus on how we all can improve ourselves in these areas, not on how critical we can get.

4. “Focus on ‘me’.”

In an interview, Father Rutler said that he saw a baby who was looking at him intently. He concluded that the baby was focusing on him, not his credentials—practice self-acceptance. In doing reflection, people become more enlightened concerning their ways, moods, preferences, and attitudes. When a person notes a negative trait they showed for the day, counteract it with something positive. Look at both strengths and weaknesses and begin to learn to accept being able to grow. 

We end with this quote from the priest. He said:

5. “When light shines on an infestation, all the cockroaches run away.”

Whatever conclusion arrives towards the end of reflection, learn from it. Please do not dwell on it. Make a note of things that come to mind while reflecting. Note the ones from which everyone can learn. Work on eliminating the ones that do not add substance to one’s development. Keep a journal or even use a cell phone to help track these notations. Try not to be like the cockroaches the priest mentioned. Do not hide in the dark of infestations. Instead, unearth them, and learn from them.