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.

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    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 and reflect on exactly what has transpired and how we can learn from it.

    This is why we often see small business owners repeatedly making the same mistakes.

    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 genuinely believe in that overused cliche of working smarter, not harder.

    I think Peter Drucker nails it here 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 think critically.

    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 hockey great Wayne Gretzky 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.”


    Repositioning each failure as a stepping stone to your greatness avails tremendous possibility!

    And if you reflect correctly on each 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 with 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 for continuous improvement.

    ➆ Better Questions, Better Answers

    A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.

    Want to change a future outcome? 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. They are often the tough questions that we don’t want to deal with. The ones that force us to think critically 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. That is why we not only accept the numbers as they are, we reflect on them to siphon wisdom from them.

    numbers never lie

    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.

    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. Ten of my 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

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    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.




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