On the Benefits of Blogging: Self Reflection

I’ve skimmed through the expected benefits of daily blogging, but I haven’t gone too in depth on what I’ll gain from it. After all, there’s very little reason to do something without expecting something out of it – whether it be self satisfaction from exploring hobbies, or physical improvement from exercise, and so forth. This entry will focus on one aspect – self reflection. I leave the option to follow up on this theme if I want to discuss other benefits.

On my list of personal values, self reflection rates pretty highly. In reality, I practice it rarely. In this regard, it’s similar to diet and exercise: while I feel maintaining my physical health should be a high priority, I frequently prioritize other things like work or convenience. While the physical health issue is still a work in progress, I’m trying to work on the issue of self reflection by keeping up my daily blog.

Self reflection is important to me because it’s crucial to personal growth. If I want to grow, I have to work on my issues, but if I never take the time to reflect and figure out what issues actually I’m having, I’ll never fix them. Looking back at my high school and college years, I notice I spent a lot of time on self reflection. In high school, I would occasionally walk back home after classes ended – at roughly 5-6 miles, this was about two hours of walking. Because it took so long to get home, my mind would wander and I could ruminate on whatever happened to come up. In college, I took the train to school. I would often walk from the train station to school. At about 1.5 miles, it’d take me 30 minutes or so. Not as long as in high school, but because the frequency was higher, it wasn’t so bad. However, nowadays, I take the bus to work. It already takes about an hour by bus; the time it would take to walk to work would be completely untenable.  The takeaways:

  • Walking is a great outlet for self reflection.
  • Habits are easier to build when you can tack them onto mandatory parts of your schedule

I still think long walks are great, but it’s not something I can build into my schedule anymore. Blogging is a great substitute, though, since I can do a write up from anywhere I have access to a phone, computer, or pen and paper. The one problem with blogging is that it doesn’t have that immediate need built in like walking – if I didn’t walk to school, I would miss class. If I don’t blog, nothing bad happens. This is where those flywheel inputs I talked about previously will theoretically kick in.

I originally thought I was going to write about the benefits of self reflection, but I kinda meandered onto a tangential topic. Such is life.

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