Take the time to pause and reflect

Take the time to pause and reflect

Human Resources

Author: David Frank King

In 2023’s insanely paced trajectory, we often find ourselves caught up in a never-ending cycle of work, social obligations, and personal responsibilities. We become so consumed by the demands of our daily lives that we forget to take a moment to pause and reflect on our journey.

From a business perspective, taking the time to pause and reflect can help us gain a fresh perspective on our goals, assess our progress, leadership style, team dynamics, role contribution, career choice and make necessary adjustments to our strategies. This is particularly important for South Africans who face unique challenges in a difficult and competitive market – think load shedding, high unemployment rates, crime, political uncertainty and economic turmoil to name but a few!

A wise being once said: “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” Let’s call that resilience. At least we will never die of boredom, as we will always have something to improve and strive for! Out of this is born ingenuity, creativity and endless opportunities.

From a personal aspect, pausing and reflecting can help one develop a greater sense of self-awareness, which is essential for personal growth and development. In South Africa, the concept of ‘ubuntu’ emphasises the interconnectedness of all individuals, and the importance of taking care of one another. By reflecting on our actions and experiences, we can develop a greater understanding of ourselves and others, and cultivate a more compassionate and empathetic world view.

Let’s hear from some living gurus on this topic.

According to Brene Brown, owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.

Similarly, Richard Rohr reiterates: “We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.” So, by taking the time to pause and reflect on our experiences, we can live ourselves into new ways of thinking and being and embrace the infinite power of our own light.

In conclusion, pausing and reflecting is an essential practice for personal and business growth and development. By taking the time to reflect on our experiences, we can gain a fresh perspective, identify our strengths and weaknesses, and cultivate a greater sense of self-awareness and compassion. As South Africans, we can draw upon our unique cultural heritage and values such as ubuntu, to guide us on this journey of self-discovery and growth.

Here are some practical pause and reflect activities to try:

  • Meditation or mindfulness practices
  • Journaling or writing down your thoughts and feelings
  • Going for a walk in nature or spending time in nature
  • Practicing gratitude by listing things you are thankful for
  • Engaging in deep breathing exercises
  • Listening to calming music or sounds
  • Taking a break from technology and social media
  • Talking to a trusted friend or family member about your thoughts and feelings
  • Engaging in a creative activity like drawing or painting
  • Practicing yoga or gentle stretching exercises

These activities can help you slow down and be present in the moment, which can help you gain perspective, reduce stress, and increase overall well-being.


David Frank King is a learning and development activist and founder of David King Corp. Contact him on 083 393 6105 or email [email protected]. Find more on social media on https://www.facebook.com/david.f.king.16 or https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-king-he-him-his-659b5577/.