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The Examen for Self-Leadership:How am I called to be?

The Vision - All is Gift

We are always leading, ourselves and others in some form or another, either well or poorly.

Experience alone does not teach us much; it is when we reflect on our experience that we begin to learn about ourselves.

The Examen is a tool for self-awareness, as the foundation for self-leadership "to order one's life"… its a life-long development tool. Self-awareness is an unfinished product.

Servant Leaders flourish by cultivating a habit of continuous self-reflection - learning about themselves, who they are, what they value, their strengths, and their weaknesses, and growing edges.

It's in this reflection time we take a journey into the recent past, to savor the present, and to look with hope towards the future.

Examen comes from the Latin word that means both an examination and an active weighing or judging something. It's as old as Socrates' instruction to "know thyself. " It's a practice of regular self-scrutiny promoted by Ignatius of Loyola who took this ancient tradition of prayer of reflection and made a way to experience God, as well as to assess our behavior.

Research today has finally caught up with St. Ignatius's intuitions on the importance of self-assessment and appreciation.

5 Steps of the Examen for Self-Leadership

1 Review (Awareness):

o Recall your recent encounters.

§ Who and what touched you?

2 Reflect (Insight):

o Select what stands out most.

§ How did you respond?

§ What choices did you make?

§ What were your emotions, feelings, thoughts, and intentions?

3 Respond (Reappraise):

· When were you more of your true self?

· When not?

· What insights did you discover about yourself?

· What needs an adjustment to become more of your best self?

4 Gratitude (Disposition):

· What are you most thankful for from your recent encounters?

5 Commitment (Hope):

· What do you desire more for tomorrow?

· What help do you need to have that happen?

Notes: Look at the day not as you wished it was, but as it was.

As Prayer, it is to discern God’s presence and action in our life.


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