6 May, 2019
What is the most popular activity in today’s times? Let us answer for you. It is Scrolling. People in our college, workspaces, metro, cafes, are found scrolling through their emails, through their social media feed, through interesting podcasts, Youtube videos, or something or the other. We consume so much data on such varied topics, that it’s quite improbable for us to give any attention to one topic, issue or value in our ‘busy’ life more than a few minutes. The outcome is that we have a decreased quantity and quality of useful thoughts and thus consecutively useful actions.
This restricts us from deep thinking. Thinking deeply means to think above the superficiality, false convictions, preconceived opinions, and prevailing systems. It is an act of focusing or meditating deeply. And mind you, this work is hard. It is hard work to shift your attention from the insignificant noise cloud constantly surrounding us to the important matters that concern us. It is hard work to continuously focus on one significant matter than to overstimulate our senses in trivial entertainment. It is hard work to think deeply about why we are doing what we are doing than to keep hopping from expected choices and prejudices. Yes, it is hard work.
But what’s fascinating is the outcome of this hard work. You’ll be amazed at how magnificently it will change every dimension of your life. You’ll enhance your creative and critical thinking skills greatly. For you then, any problem or any belief will not simply exist. You would know how to go deep step by step, and encounter challenges, causes, and solutions along the way.
Here are two simple, yet powerful exercises, which will improve your thinking skills vastly, if exercised consistently.
The first thing is, deep thinking requires practice. It requires you to continually bring your focus to a single topic. You can begin practising by sitting in a peaceful area, with no distractions and phone switched off, and focus on a topic for 10 minutes. Maybe keep a notebook and jot down your thoughts. It would be interesting to observe how your mind will lose focus every 10-20 seconds interval. That’s where you have to make a conscious decision and continually make your brain to refocus. You might be surprised at the ideas you come up with and just how difficult it is to focus constantly.
The second is to practice the art of observing yourself without judgements. The ability to step back and observe yourself in action will bring your attention to your daily conscious and unconscious habits, beliefs, and value systems. The knowledge of how we process information gives us the opportunity to change how we process it.
So shift your lens! With the same eyes, you can view the world in multiple ways. With the same mind, you can explore many more possibilities.