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What Did I Learn This Week (Day, Month, Year)?

Review and Reflection are important principles of Learning in Life and Leadership

Here are my questions, 1) What have you learned recently? and 2) What have you reviewed recently? Leaders not only DO they REVIEW & REFLECT!

“Revision is the heart of writing. Every page I do is done over seven or eight times.”

–  Patricia Reilly Giff

Last fall, Dr. Scott Cormode shared something that stuck with me regarding writing: “There is never bad writing, only good rewriting!”  I believe this quote came originally from Robert Graves, who said, “There is no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting.”


Now, here is the thing: for this principle to be valid, you must discipline yourself to rewrite and, significantly, to do the work of reviewing. And then, if you are brave, have others review with you. 

Life and leadership need the same principle. One could argue that there is bad leadership, and no matter of ‘rewriting’ would undo the consequences of the experience. And there are moments in life when we have blown it and don’t get the opportunity to rewrite.  However, even if we can’t go back and edit what has been done, we should still take what we learned and apply it in the following chapters of our lives. 

With that said, I recognize that one of my strengths (according to Gallup) is Learner.

Gallup defines a learner this way: People exceptionally talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to improve continuously. The process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.

So, I love to learn. Yet the desire to learn does not necessarily always require the discipline of review. Remember, the process is valued higher than the outcome.  Therefore, I must constantly remind myself that I must not only review but also reflect upon what I learn and have the courage to act upon.  

According to the following resource, The Four Keys To Learning are THINK, KNOW, ACT, and GO. To prepare students to be lifelong learners, they need to THINK deeply about what they are doing, KNOW contextually why they learn, ACT purposefully to achieve their goals and GO successfully through life’s transitions. 

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

And I would encourage that type of learning requires the discipline of reviewing. Roger Greenway shares the following in his excellent article, Reviewing: What, Why and How, on the importance of review:



 The value gained from experiences depends very much on how experiences are reviewed. Reviewing is an opportunity to add value and meaning to experiences, however ‘small’ or ‘large,’ ‘negative’ or ‘positive’ they may be.


 Without reviewing, groups and individuals can get stuck at a particular stage of development. Reviewing provides a range of strategies for moving beyond this stage and for getting the cycles of learning and development turning again.


 Reviewing can help to clarify, achieve, measure, and celebrate objectives.


People may be habitually reviewing experiences from their ‘normal’ perspective. By also ‘seeing’ an experience from the perspectives of others and by ‘reviewing’ an experience through various ‘windows’ (reviewing techniques), people can escape tunnel (or normal) vision and learn from the bigger picture.


The more involving an experience, the harder it is to observe what is happening. Reviewing can encourage observation, perception, and general awareness during and after experiences.


 By reviewing activities, we show that we care about what people experience, value what they say, and are interested in each individual’s learning and development progress. When people feel cared for, valued, and respected as individuals, they will be better learners!


 It is not always easy to talk about experiences. An imaginative and sensitive approach to reviewing can help people find the medium, situation, symbol, or question through which they can most readily express themselves. This is where the expressive and creative arts can be beneficial.


 Focusing on success may be a strange experience if problems are usually the focus of attention in reviews. Reviewing can help people enjoy success, understand how it happened, and get accustomed to the idea that they can be successful.


 Reviewing can be a valuable safety net. The reassurance that support will be available in the event of failure encourages people to take risks (of the kind that will be supported). Whether people experience failure or success, the causes can be analyzed so that they learn how to avoid failure (or win from failure) and how to achieve success.


 Reviewing enhances people’s ability to learn from individual or group experiences. Improved learning ability and increased confidence allow people to become more independent and capable of self-development and even … self-actualization! (‘Self-and-others-actualization’ may be a more suitable aspiration for those who acknowledge the mutually supportive nature of much reviewing.)


Photo by Hannah Grace
on Unsplash

It is one thing to learn in life and leadership, but adding the discipline of review helps us grow to another level in our faith, relationship, and vocation. 

So, what in your life needs a good rewriting? Or, in other words, a good review and hopefully edit? 

And remember the following quote by Jade Varden, “This book is good.” – An important reviewer.


Good news: God thinks you are good, so your story is good. Trust Him. He is a good reviewer.

You are loved!

Quotes on Review to Reflect upon this week:

“All our words and acts are passing in review before God.” – Ellen G. White

“Review your goals twice every day to be focused on achieving them.” – Les Brown

“To run a big marathon and win takes five months. When I’m on the starting line, my mind starts reviewing what I have been doing for the last five months. I believe in my training and treat myself as the best one standing on that line.” – Eliud Kipchoge

“The importance of reviewing is apparent and proven. However, the majority of people do not do it in their own lives. Do you want to live your best life now? Take deliberate action and begin to REVIEW where you have been, where you are now, and where you would like to be.” — Susan C. Young

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