You have nearly completed the four-stage plan of virtue education. It is now time to draw all this together into a short piece of reflective writing. This will help you consolidate your growth.
You may feel like you have already achieved much. And, that is true, for if you have been constant in your habituation in the last months, you have indeed achieved much.
But there is something about reflective writing that adds a final touch. Think about it like putting a plant in the ground. You’ve nourished it and it has begun to take root, but putting it in the ground will allow it to go deeper and truly flourish. Reflective writing will help you hold together what you have done and consolidate it in your memory as a part of your life and character.
The benefits of reflective writing include:
Is not an hour or two of your time worth reaping these benefits?
You may think: ‘Why bother writing?’ It is not the same thing to simply go for a nice walk and reflect in my mind about my growth? No, it is not. There is something about the slowness of writing, the forced clarity of putting words together and the sense of completeness of a manuscript, that has a much different effect. As E.M. Forster has said, ‘How do I know what I think until I see what I say?’
Reflective writing is a simple art, and here are some sample points to guide you.
Length is not an issue, and your piece of reflective writing can be as long or as short as you want. A short set of bullet points works best for you, or you may ramble and follow your thoughts for many pages, gaining clarity and insight as you progress. Whatever you do, take the time to do it well and do not yield to the temptation of shortcuts. What you produce will hopefully be a meaningful landmark for your growth.
You are likely to be surprised by the benefits of this activity. If you are working with a group, or have chosen to be accountable to someone, share what you have written.
When you have done, proceed to the final section where you will celebrate and make plans for next steps.