date: 2008-09-22

archive_section: emotional-intelligence

tags: essay

Introspection is a form of self-reflection, a way to come to know one’s self. It takes time and effort to come to know yourself but the benefits and rewards are great. Introspection will teach you many things and the techniques used in the process have many beneficial side-effects. You will learn why you do things and because of that you will have a great deal of control over what you do. You will be able to make many changes in yourself if you wish as well as find out and become your true self. Introspection is extremely useful, you’ll gain insight and knowledge about yourself and eventually gain dominion over yourself. Introspection is truly a powerful thing because you can actually figure out why you are doing something and be able to do something about it.

Introspection requires the ability to look at all situations objectively. Emotions will cloud your thoughts, preventing you from seeing things as they are. Depression will cause one to see things in a negative way and mania will cause one to see in an excessively positive fashion. When you think objectively, without emotion, you will see things, not as they feel, but as they are. Remember this, however, you must feel. Objectivity is a tool, not a way of life. It will give you great insight into your inner world, you will know who you are and why you do things but this should never come at the price of losing ones humanity.

Objectivity is the cornerstone of introspection, you cannot see into your innermost parts until you can see with an unclouded vision. In order to understand yourself you have to look at your experiences, opinions, thoughts, actions, feelings, beliefs, and opinions objectively. You must ask why. You must look at these things and understand them. Simply remembering them or thinking about them is not enough. You can’t look at a math book and learn math, you must understand the contents of the math book to learn math.

Meditation is a powerful tool that will help strengthen your mind and improve the performance of your memory and the logic of your thinking processes. Meditation isn’t a direct tool for introspection because mediation requires that you empty your mind or focus on a certain object in exclusion of anything else. What it does to is increase the capability of your mind to be introspective. It allows you to clear your mind so you can retain your objectivity when analyzing some part of yourself. That is, perhaps, the most important benefit of meditation, the ability to clear your mind with relative ease. This is a must when exploring your innermost self. It allows you to remove distractions or stirred up emotions that may cloud your thinking.

Meditation is simple but time consuming. Sit is a way that is comfortable but not particularly suited for sleep. Meditation will cause you to become relaxed as if sleeping, but your consciousness must be fully and intensely awake, else you do not meditate, you sleep. If you meditate with your eyes closed, the room must remain brightly lit to limit the possibility of drifting into sleep.

Find a place that is comfortable, as causing ones self discomfort is rarely useful, and make certain you will not fall asleep. Next empty your mind, take each thought or stressor and set it aside; do not push, simply let go. Think of nothing and do so for a long period of time, gently setting aside random thoughts that enter your consciousness. If time is a concern remember that you perception of time is altered during meditation and plan accordingly.

Introspection, then, requires three basic skills: Objective Thinking, Mediation, and Self-Analysis. These will allow you to discover yourself as well as improve the function of your mind. Your memories will be clearer and you will be more alert and in control. Your mind will no longer be a mysterious place whose functions you are affected by but do not understand, it will become a familiar place that gives you joy and peace. You live in your head, it should be a familiar place that you are in control of, not some incomprehensible mysterious place that does whatever it wants.