It’s no secret that the nation’s selfie obsession has become all-consuming, and a new consumer poll commissioned by The Open University (OU) unveils that over two thirds (67%) of Brummies indulge in taking selfies every week. On the other hand, almost half (45%) of them haven’t looked at their inner selves and thought about their life goals in over six months, which is why the OU is encouraging the people of Birmingham to self-reflect with the launch of a huge, mirrored, infinity Reflection Cube at the Bullring this Saturday 17th June.

The findings indicate that people may be consumed by surface level beauty and are neglecting to focus on their inner selves and personal ambitions. Nearly a fifth (19%) of people surveyed in Birmingham, confess to never setting aside any time to self-reflect, yet over two thirds (76%) agreed some time out to consider their lives would be beneficial.

One of the key perceived barriers preventing Birmingham residents from taking time out for themselves is guilt, with over half (54%) feeling riddled with remorse whenever they do. This is followed closely by work (53%) and house chores (45%).

In response to the findings, the OU is giving members of the public the chance to enjoy some much needed self-reflection time in the cube. The 3x3 metre squaredCube is mirrored inside and out and will be open at the Birmingham Bullring for the day. It will also be visiting a number of other locations this summer*, following its launch in London last month.

The experience inside the cube includes a 360° infinity mirror, a striking light installation and zen-like soundscape**, as well as questions to help people begin to self-reflect. The OU’s expert student services team will be on-hand to talk to visitors who may conclude that studying could help them achieve their ambitions or enable them to follow their dreams.

Of those surveyed in the OU poll, nearly three fifths of people from Birmingham (51%) professed that they were unsure of how to self-reflect and over half (55%) agreed that some tips on how to do so effectively would be useful.

Martha Lane Fox, Chancellor of the OU and founder of Doteveryone, comments: “Taking time out to reflect on what you’ve achieved so far and where you’d like to get to is vital for progression, both in your personal and work life. It can be tough at first, particularly when life is so hectic, but if you don’t take time to look at the bigger picture you could end up getting stuck in a routine that may not be working for you.

"Self-reflection is all about questioning what you do and why you do it, determining your passions and ambitions and creating a plan for the future. Don't be afraid to think big. Once you've defined your goals, it's key to think practically and logically about how you are going to get there. You will find that it becomes easier with practice and the end result is likely to be a happier and more competent you.”

Clare Riding, Heads of Careers and Employability Services at The Open University, concludes: “We’re already half way through 2017. June provides the perfect time to review what you’ve achieved so far in terms of your life goals and career progression and really think about whether you are going in the right direction.

“Ask yourself questions to help you work out whether what you are doing and how you are progressing in your career is really what you want. Is it truly fulfilling? Are you making the most of your own skills and the opportunities that are out there? Are you pursuing your passions?”