Tips from TV: George Washington and The Importance of Reflecting


Yesterday I tuned into part of a program called Washington the Warrior on the History Channel. The experts were talking about how early in Washington’s career, when he was in the Virginia militia protecting the frontier from the French and the Native Americans, he made some serious mistakes, which were due to his lack of experience and knowledge. The experts commented that Washington’s habit of reflecting and being ruthlessly honest with himself enabled him to uncover his weaknesses. He realized that he didn’t know enough about military tactics and strategy and that he needed to continue learning about how to be a good leader so that he could better inspire, motivate, and instill discipline in his troops.

The experts remarked that most men would have been devastated and ruined by the failures and setbacks that Washington suffered early in his career but Washington would not let himself become humiliated. He refused to beat himself up! According to his journal, he was very disappointed in himself but he kept in firm control and made sure to learn from the experience. 

He came up with a plan of improvement and then put it into action. Because he took time to reflect on what was and was not working—and keep notes in a journal—he was able to make tweaks and corrections that helped him become the person who would flourish when he was thrust into the right place at the right time: when he served as General Howe’s aid in the French and Indian War and took command of the whole regiment when Howe was killed during an ambush while the other officers and men were confused, frightened, and panicking.

Washington probably would not have become the man he was if, early on, he had not developed the habit of reflection, ruthlessly honest self-assessment, and keeping notes.

Your homework today is to take time to reflect and be ruthlessly honest with yourself regarding your dreams. What little change can you make in this upcoming week that will help you make a small increase in the progress you’re making toward your dreams?

Remember it just has to be a tiny change that will result in a tiny increase in your progress.

Follow through with that change!

You can do it!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


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