Every year I like to take at least one full month off from investigating for a variety of reasons. For one thing, I don’t like being cold and neither does most of my equipment. Second, I have a pile of evidence that still needs to be reviewed and I like to be caught up by the start of the year. Third, I need to think about everything that has transpired in the last year. I actually think the third reason is the most important and one that I don’t think enough people take seriously.
So, I want you to take some time and ask yourself some questions.
- What have you learned?
- What worked?
- What didn’t work?
- Did you learn anything about the phenomena you are chasing?
- Is there anything you think you should try in the future?
- Are there techniques that are not producing results and need to be abandoned?
- Why do you think investigations did or did not go as you expected?
- What is your current hypothesis regarding the elements that are impacted by paranormal phenomena?
If you can, have this discussion with your teammates so you can bounce ideas off of one another. You can work together to set goals for the year and plan new processes. Maybe you want the team to become more efficient at setting up the investigation, better at collecting baseline data, focus on a specific type of phenomena, or even just get better at debunking. Whatever it is, use this time to reflect and grow.
If we don’t take time to think about what we are doing and continue to run into investigations without a plan, we won’t make progress. I know that a certain percentage of people are in the field to “have fun” but for those of us that want to have a better understanding of paranormal phenomena; we need to step back and examine our process from time to time. Be tough on yourself and your team. Question why you do things the way you do and re-evaluate your goals. Everyone on the team doesn’t have to have the same goal but you have to be working in harmony to achieve the goals you set.
Take this time to reaffirm your commitment to what you’re doing and why you are doing it. Refresh your mind and body during your break so you can be ready for the year to come. These conversations and processes make us better investigators who are not just willing to learn but willing to commit ourselves to the work ahead.
Until next time, Happy Hunting!