08 Jun The Power of Contemplation: 10 Ways to Harness Greater Peace and Joy
via Thrive Global by Whitney Gordon-Mead
There’s a time for work, a time for play, and a time for contemplation. Contemplation is defined as deep reflective thought or the action of looking thoughtfully at something for a long time.
Unlike the practices of mindfulness or meditation, you don’t lose yourself in the experience. When you engage in contemplation, you are thinking about an experience in words or thoughts. Contemplation is an exercise of reflection on, rather than presence with, or absorption in, an experience.
The primary advantage humans have over animals is our ability to contemplate. In doing so, we learn about ourselves, our lives, and our situation.
According to Psychology Today, “From the Greek philosopher Plato to the Buddha to modern psychology forefathers William James and Wilhelm Wundt, the value of contemplation as a means of fostering well-being and wisdom has been known for a long time.”
I only wish somebody had told me. As a Type-A overachiever, there was a time when I had no awareness that there were benefits to pausing and contemplating — on myself, my life, or my business. I believed that if I wasn’t moving forward, I was “wasting” time. I now know better, and I’d like to share what I have learned with you.
The 3 main benefits that are realized from contemplation
1.You learn about yourself
Most people are shockingly low in self-awareness – like I was. Some believe they are too busy, while others prefer to distract themselves rather than invest time in contemplation.
There’s much to be learned by taking a few minutes daily to reflect on your day and the choices you made. It can help you to face your fears or redefine your life. When you know yourself, you can make better plans that utilize your strengths, avoid your weaknesses, and enhance your life.
2. You learn from your past
If you look at the biggest mistakes you’ve made in your life, you’ll find they’re surprisingly similar. Contemplation allows you to notice the negative patterns in your life. You may have spent money you couldn’t afford, become involved with someone you shouldn’t, or made poor decisions to get away from stressful situations.
If you’ve never taken the time to review these mistakes, you’ve probably repeated them. Reflecting on the past helps you identify what works and use it to your advantage.
3. You take intelligent and thoughtful action
When you’re action-oriented, you may believe – like I did – that contemplation is a “waste” of time. Yet before jumping in with both feet, it can be incredibly helpful to spend some time thinking and strategizing. Reflect on what you actually want to accomplish for yourself.
And even if you have an idea where you want to go, you may want to consider regular reflection to ensure that you remain on the path toward success. When you’re on the right path, you’ll find greater peace and joy in your life.
An essential tool for change
Contemplation can be incredibly rewarding, because you can use your experiences and knowledge to discover a more effective path through life. You can learn about yourself, solve challenges, and become a more powerful version of yourself.
Contemplation can be a potent tool for change. You can choose to get different results in your life. All it takes is a little directed thinking each day to clear your mind, relax, and find that peace and joy you crave.
10 Strategies for applying the power of contemplation in your life
1.Make contemplation a priority
If you’re anything like me, you’re a busy person. You won’t spend time contemplating on a regular basis unless you make it a priority. So, decide that you’re going to spend some time each day reflecting. You can learn a lot if you take the time to examine your life on a regular basis...
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