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Self-contemplation - an effective tool for personality development

Updated on March 29, 2015
Dr Pran Rangan profile image

I am a physician by profession. I like to write on topics related to health, psychology, psychiatry, and spirituality.

Self-contemplation includes the contemplation of our own thoughts, desires and behavior. We can regulate our own thoughts, desires and behavior through the process of self-contemplation, which undoubtedly is very effective in doing so. Thinking from a spiritual perspective, it is through self-contemplation that an individual can spiritually evolve oneself. And thinking from a different perspective, self-contemplation is an effective tool for the development of one’s personality.

Self-contemplation can make our thoughts and beliefs subservient to us so that it widens our perspective and we start to accept the perspectives of others with tolerance. It is able to change our perspective and, therefore, change our view with which we judge different situations. As a matter of fact, it can indirectly change situations. With the regular practice of sell-contemplation, we start becoming less judgmental and more tolerant of others.

Unlike rumination, self-contemplation is a positive activity because a person reflects on things, situations or emotions with a positive outlook. And, therefore, it reduces negativity in us, ameliorating general anxiety and stress. With lessened negativity, we contemplate more deeply considering all pros and cons in a situation.

There are many examples in our day-to-day life how the practice of self-contemplation can effectively alter a difficult situation to a better end. For instance, a person loses one’s temper and shouts at you; you are probably not sure how you have offended the person. If you ruminate negatively about the whole issue by rehashing it differently, you will definitely not understand why the other felt so bad, although you had not meant to do so in any way. It may be possible that the person was under some kind of stress, and your insignificant slight acted as a trigger to create an emotional imbalance in him. Because the self-contemplation begins with a positive state of mind, you will reflect on what has caused the other person to get offended and soon you will find it out. You will realize your mistake which may probably be a minor one of little significance. But realizing that even a minor slip can offend someone, you will bring some change to your perspective. You will develop empathy for the person and apologize for the wrong that offended the person. You will probably be careful to desist from such an offending behavior in future.

Self-contemplation can be done either at the time a difficult situation has occurred or afterwards. It involves the flowing steps -

  • Initially, one will self-contemplate about a situation after it has occurred because it is easy to do so when emotions have died down after some time. But when one has acquired good practice, one can self-contemplate at the time of occurrence of the situation because one had developed some emotional control.
  • One will have to review the situation with a positive energy as it the basic pre-requisite of self-contemplation.
  • One should ask oneself questions that are positively structured with reference to a particular situation. Such questions will encourage one to see the situation from a wider perspective, including the perspective of the other person.
  • Once we do this, we will prevent the situation from drifting away and will reach a solution mutually acceptable to all.
  • With a good practice of self-contemplation, an individual will achieve good amount of emotional regulation. One will not be easily agitated by difficult situations and, therefore, will be able to handle them successfully.

All of us come across difficult situations quite often in our daily life. It is known that if we practice self-contemplation often, we can change our belief system that is more accepting and tolerant of others. We develop compassion and empathy for others. Such positive changes can, in fact, transform our personality. Self-contemplation can transform us in the following ways -

  • Self-contemplation changes our old mindsets and beliefs.
  • It makes us understand other’s perspectives and we become less judgmental.
  • It makes us more empathetic and compassionate towards others.
  • We develop tolerance towards others and, therefore, learn to prevent situations from going out of control.
  • It improves our relationships with family members, friends and colleagues as we learn to understand their perspectives and act with more tolerance towards them.
  • Self-contemplation regulates our reactivity to the situations. Instead of reacting impulsively to the situations, we respond proactively to the benefit of all concerned.
  • It regulates our emotions and feelings and, therefore, we become more capable of understanding other’s emotions and feelings.
  • Self-contemplation involves total mindfulness of the situation at hand and, therefore, keeps an individual grounded in the present moment.
  • The practice of self-contemplation teaches us to go into a state of flow when ever we are being fully mindful of the situation. Gradually, we become adept at creating a state of flow in whatever activity we undertake.
  • In particular, it reduces stress and tension in an individual. The presence of such an individual will have a calming effect on the atmosphere around him or her.
  • It raises the level of general tolerance in an individual.
  • It produces happiness in us, which we spontaneously spread around to others.

It is an interesting fact that many of us do self-contemplation unknowingly many a time but on some occasions we can handle the problem effectively, whereas on other occasions we fail to do so. The reason is that we don’t approach the problem with positivity, which is one of the basic requirements for successful self-contemplation. Another important requirement for its success is total mindfulness of the problem at hand. With mindfulness, one will consider the problem from all angles, resulting in a better outcome. It is an undeniable fact that we can add to the development of our personality by inculcating positive behavior.

“It is necessary for the perfection of human society that there should be men who devote their lives to contemplation.”

— Thomas Aquinas


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    • Dr Pran Rangan profile image

      Dr Pran Rangan 2 years ago from Kanpur (UP), India

      I fully agree with you. Thanks for your nice comments.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Self contemplation is not only good practice but also very important in learning how to get along with others. I used to fly off the handle over everything without giving it much thought; but I learned to stop and consider and it has helped me a lot. Thanks for sharing this nugget of wisdom.