What follows are 10 of my favorite go-to quotes on reflection, along with my narrative on what may be in it for you.

Read them. Sit with them. Absorb them.

Let them permeate how you feel about the reflection process. If the reflection quote fits, keep it. It’s yours. If it doesn’t fit, release it and move on.

Here goes.

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    ➀ Three Methods Of Learning Wisdom

    By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

    Reflection is one of the most powerful, yet in my opinion, underutilized tools in the small business owner’s Toolbelt… period!


    Reflection brings contemplation. It brings critical thinking.

    Reflection is about working smarter, not harder.

    Reflection gives us time to come up for air. To acknowledge and smell the roses of our successes. To examine and contemplate all else.

    Ultimately, reflection leads you down the noblest path to wisdom.

    ➁ Turn Experience Into Insight

    Reflective thinking turns experience into insight.

    One thing about being a small business owner, we make a lot of mistakes. We are often so busy taking action that we fail to stop for a moment to critically think… to reflect on exactly what has transpired and how we can learn from it.

    This is why, so many times, we see small business owners making the same mistakes over and over.

    In small business, a little critical thinking… reflective thinking… goes a long way. It broadens our perspective while refining our insight into both what to do as well as what not to do going forward to achieve the result we desire.

    ➂ Quiet Reflection... The Perfect Follow-up

    Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.

    So when should you use reflection? I bake it into every project I’m involved in as well as every system I create.


    Because I truly believe in that overused cliche of working smarter, not harder.

    I think Peter Drucker nails it here, though by adding the word quiet. Not only do I believe the reflection process should be formalized, I believe that through the ‘quiet’ comes clarity.

    Remove the noise… the clutter. Give your mind the space to critically think.

    Quotes on Reflection
    Reflection... The Perfect Follow-Up to 'Action'

    ➃ Leveraging Failures

    Failure is only an opportunity to begin again more intelligently.

    Failure is good. Embrace it. Fear of failure has thwarted many a dream. 

    I believe it was hockey great Wayne Gretzky who said “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

    How true is that?! Allow yourself to take the shot.

    Put it in a healthy perspective though, as famous inventor Thomas Edison once had said,  “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

    Powerful… don’t you think?

    If you simply reposition each failure as a stepping stone to your greatness, wow, what is possible!

    And if you reflect properly on each one of those failures, you’ll significantly shorten the learning curve and increase your likelihood of success.

    ➄ Heighten Your Understanding

    Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

    No pain, no gain… right? Right!

    Allow your understanding of what works and what doesn’t to evolve. Let it expand. Then refine it. Keep what works and throw out the rest.

    Remember what Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”

    True words. Be open to them. Allow the membrane that confines your wisdom to stretch… so much so that at some point it even snaps open a whole other level of understanding.

    ➅ Evolove Your Thinking

    We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.

    This quote on reflection dovetails the previous one by Kahlil Gibran.

    If we want a different result, we have to be willing to evolve our thinking. The process of reflection further develops the muscles needed to do so.

    Like weightlifting is a strengthening exercise for the body, reflection is a strengthening exercise for the mind.

    No, it’s not the only exercise possible, however, it’s a damn good one when it comes to continuous improvement.

    ➆ Better Questions, Better Answers

    A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.

    Want to change an outcome going forward? Ask yourself better questions.

    Be willing to put the time in to come up with questions that touch, move and inspire you into better, more purposeful action.

    I’m not talking about softball questions here. I’m talking about ones that uncover root causes and truths. Many times they are the tough questions that we really don’t want to deal with. The ones that force us to critically think and evolve.

    ➇ Numbers Never Lie

    That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially.

    I could not agree more with this particular quote on reflection. The numbers never lie. It’s our interpretation of those numbers that may mislead. This is why we not only accept the numbers as they are, we reflect on them in order to siphon wisdom from them.

    What we choose to do with that wisdom is another topic of conversation (see articles on Act).

    ➈ The Power Of Thought

    Thoughts become things.

    This reflection quote may be a bit of a controversial one. Why? It brings in concepts of Quantum Physics, a science that may or may not conflict with your beliefs.

    That being said, if this conversation fits, run with it. If not, release it and move on.

    As Nikola Tesla once stated, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.”

    Well, thoughts are energy. They are energy that may or may not manifest into matter (physical form) depending on how much focus you place on them.

    So yes, be careful what you think about. The Law of Attraction is that powerful. Your thoughts will move you closer to manifestation. Followed up with purposeful, intentional action and you have a fantastic recipe for success.

    Why not use this universal law to your advantage? Through the process of reflection, gain the wisdom and insight needed to manifest the results you desire.

    ➉ Reflect And Move On

    You can’t have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time.

    The key here is having a formal process for reflection, this way you can reflect, and move on.

    No dwelling.

    Dwelling for the most part creates sewage that clogs your mind. Learn to let go.

    However, I do not suggest squandering the opportunity to evolve through reflection.

    Wrapping Up 10 of My Favorite Quotes on Reflection

    Well, there you have it. 10 of my personal favorite quotes on reflection… ones that I firmly believe every entrepreneur needs to know.

    Do you resonate with any of them?

    Do any of these reflection quotes inspire you to take action?

    I’d love to know. Feel free to share them in the comments below!

    Reflection: What Is It and Why Should You Care

    Share on facebook
    Share on twitter
    Share on linkedin


    The Dean Mercado Company helps Small Business Owners optimize and scale their business.


    150 Motor Pkwy, Suite 401
    Hauppauge, NY 11788
    ☏ 631-333-7436

    Scroll to Top