Self-reflection is a recurring practice that comes up in lifestyle and self-improvement blogs. And, honestly, it’s a compelling idea. As Kevin Daum of Inc. Magazine writes, “It’s easy for busy ambitious people to get lost in the day, week and even the month… But I also like to feel very connected to who I am and the people I choose to include in my life. To make sure I keep the connection I consciously set aside time for self-reflection.”
Daum goes on to mention that self-reflection involves regularly asking himself a few questions: Am I setting myself on a path that will fulfill my goals? Am I being good to those around me? Am I being responsible to myself?
The way Kevin Daum describes self-reflection is not unlike the way other high achievers have. I’m here to tell you that this idea self-reflection is for morons.
Self-reflection means you’re looking into your past and improving. That implies you did something wrong.
The best — like myself and other rappers — never engage in this type of self-evaluation. It takes ego and confidence to know you can succeed. The world is much too cut throat and competitive to take time to look back on your actions. Keep pushing. Just look at Beyoncé’s lyrics to her aptly named song, Ego:
It’s too big (big) / It’s too wide (wide) / It’s too strong (strong) / It won’t fit (fit) / It’s too much (much) / It’s too tough (tough) / He talk like this cause he can back it up / He got a big ego / Such a huge ego / I love his big ego / It’s too much / He walk like this cause he can back it up
Whether she’s talking specifically about a big ego or some other male body part is up for you to decide. But when the Beyhive talks about the ego being too strong, too wide, and too much, that’s because that’s what it takes for you to succeed.
If Beyoncé took time to self-evaluate, she may never performed at the Super Bowl, married Jay-Z, or starred in Austin Power’s Goldmember. She’s achieved a lot in her thirty-six years on this Earth. She can’t waste time looking backwards to keep doing it. It’s also why she has gone so far as to claim supremacy for women in her song, Run the World (Girls).
The ego of Beyoncé and her understanding to never look back has won her Grammy’s and has successfully pushed forward her agenda.
This takes us to the second part of our overall premise against self-reflection:
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know.
Many great thinkers have pondered this idea and have grasped with people’s limited cognitive ability. Socrates famously said, “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” Mark Twain said,“It’s not what you don’t know that kills you, it’s what you know for sure that ain’t true.”
There’s a common thread for these great thinkers. They both felt a sense of inferiority and humility, but it only happened the moment they acknowledged that they didn’t understand something.
Do. Not. Do. That.
Philosopher René Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.” Claiming that the only thing he knew for certain, was that he existed. Everything else, the sky, the earth, the ocean, could be an illusion. But because he was conscious, he knew, at the very least, that he existed.
If we take Socrates’s idea of understanding your limitations and Descartes idea of understanding your reality, we can come to an interesting conclusion:
If I look backwards on life, if I self-reflect, and if I think I may be wrong, then I can actually be wrong. But if I refrain from acknowledging this, then my reality will never come into question. I am the greatest person alive, because I know one thing: I have never been wrong. I am great, therefore I am.
Embracing this credo, we can create our own reality in which all of our actions are justified. We can be the hero of our own story. All it requires is the ego Beyoncé describes and the lack of self-reflection opposite to what the great thinkers have described.
So, with that, I say this: Always move forward, you are never wrong. And when you achieve your dreams, I’ll be waiting for you on the other side.
Thank you for reading.