Art of Introspection

Art of Introspection

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Can you quickly recall the last time you tried correcting someone? It may be for an action that the person was doing that you felt was wrong or it might be about an opinion expressed by him or her that didn’t align with yours.
The point is – We all have inculcated a habit of finding faults in the opinions and actions of our peers and outsiders. Today, this habit is so ingrained in our personalities that we tend to look for opportunities in a conversation where we will be able to get a chance to rectify someone.

In the midst of all these attempts to align people’s thoughts, actions and words with ours, we have lost the idea of keeping our own’s in check. We have reinforced our life theories so blatantly that today, even if you wanted to challenge your thoughts just as a challenge, you wouldn’t be able to.

Consequently, the need for ‘looking within’ has reached an ultimate high. The very idea of challenging our own thoughts & opinions seems bizarre and frightening. But to have a rational outlook in this extremely irrational seeming world, you will need to do what you are not used to, and that is – ‘Introspection’.

If you are wondering as to what is Introspection, here’s a textbook definition for you – ‘Introspection is the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotional processes.’

While the above definition doesn’t elaborate much, it makes it very clear that introspection involves examining one’s own thoughts.

To start off, the first thing you need to do is to isolate yourself. You don’t need to wander off into the woods or any place remotely similar. A vacant room or a hall would suffice.

Once you find a suitable place, you should try to stop or at least slow down your train of thoughts. Doing this will enable you to cut out the noise.

Next, try to recall some of the recent instances where someone criticized you for being or behaving wrong. It is highly likely that you didn’t listen to that person and even if you did, you had a feeling of resentment and your mind was trying hard to justify your doing.

After you successfully get one such instance, think about it.

Who critisized you ? Was it a person who is always pointing out mistakes in others. Or was it someone whom you think is a rational person and has a reason whenever he/she utters a word. If it is the former, move on to searching for another instance. But if it is the latter, proceed to the next stage.

Examine the statement of criticism you received and try to recall other similar criticisms you might have received in the past.

If you can find more than 2-3 instances where people have accused you of the same thing, the odds are that you might be going wrong and they are not just some random people who abhor you for no reason.

After finding these drawbacks in your personality, you can slowly figure out ways to improve.

-Suryam Nimbawat

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