Activities to Develop Observation Skills Different Observation Methods

Activities to Develop Observation Skills — Different Observation Methods

Observation skills and abilities play a rather crucial role in our daily lives.  By being observant, you become more aware of your surroundings, make better decisions, and enjoy a more fulfilling life.  This article will explore different observation methods and practical activities to develop observation skills and abilities.

When you expand your ability to observe, you also enhance your ability to think and apply rational thinking, common sense, and logic to everyday matters.  It results in a significant change in perception.    It seems like an impossible task, and there are challenges to personal growth, but you can do this.  All you need to do is practice some of the different observation methods.

This article is a progression of different activities for personal growth and awareness.  It is written with practical steps and tools you can use to become more observant of the world.

Activities to Develop Observation Skills

Before we get to the skills which can enhance observation, let’s talk about the things that get in the way of using these methods.  Identifying and removing the roadblocks is important before adding these new skills.  Otherwise, we are wasting our time.

When you increase the power of the mind, it will change the way to view and value life.  Although perception involves the senses, it is primarily an inside job.  That’s right, and we perceive everything within the mind.  Our senses are less than half of the picture of perception, which should make you wonder what you are missing.

Challenges to Personal Growth

All beliefs are boundaries that limit perception.  Our beliefs are the blinders, the filter that determines what we see and how we value what we see.  These blinders reject anything that does not fit within the boundaries.  Anything which threatens the boundaries is an enemy.

Our beliefs become the roadblock when they contain negative bias and prejudice.   Religious sectarianism creates boundaries of fear, which make us afraid to use any technique or process endorsed by the religion.  Consequently, we miss the opportunity to grow.

challenges to personal growth and awareness

Sectarian Beliefs Are the Root of the Problem

Without a doubt, organized religion presents the biggest challenges to personal growth and awareness.

Observation starts within, by observing the mechanisms of thinking and repairing harmful and unhealthy values and beliefs.

Deleting these boundaries isn’t easy, but it is necessary.  It requires courage to “get past” your current beliefs.  The beliefs of our paradigm are not like a set of Legos, which you can’t take apart piece by piece.  Your paradigm is like a piñata.  You’ll need to smash to bits to see what is inside.  Seeing inside gives you clarity, but it can be scary because once you break the boundaries, you’ll see negative biases and prejudices within.  And this allows you to remove the harmful programming or to keep it intact and try to ignore the new insight.

Moving beyond our boundaries is only one of the benefits of observation skills.  Not only can we perceive more, we understand more.

Deprogramming Harmful Beliefs

In the 1970s, some people used a process called deprogramming; this was a way to force people to confront their beliefs.  Parents would hire people to kidnap their children from religious cults.  They would be held against their will and forced to face the fallacies of their beliefs.  Although it does work, forced deprogramming is not widely used today.

Removing harmful beliefs is essential for personal growth and awareness development.  The deprogramming technique works, but most people don’t want to be tied to a chair or confined to a room to undergo this intensive inner work.

Doing this process on your own takes more time, but it’s worth it.  It’s like taking off a band-aide a little at a time.  Our hats go off to those brave enough to confront their religious beliefs voluntarily.  That’s like breaking the piñata.

The fact is, many spiritual warriors have walked this same path.  They have freed themselves from religion.  Defining your reality is a goal worth the effort.

The List of Different Observation Methods

1) Learning to Be Present

The first step to improving your observation skills and abilities is to pay attention to your environment and your self-talk.  Being present requires you to be aware of everything happening around you.  By doing so, you become more conscious of your surroundings, people, and things.

Learning to observe your self-talk also makes you present.  It makes you aware of the power of your internal monologue or dialogue.  Athletic performance coaches use this method to improve physical performance.  The athlete mentally rehearses the proper way to achieve the ultimate performance goal.  This mental practice translates directly into improved performance.

One of the most powerful activities to develop observation skills and abilities is learning to observe our internal dialogue.  Write down what you think.  What you believe about things are boundaries.  Find out if what you believe is based on fact or fiction.  Find out if it promotes bias and prejudice or holistic, inclusive values.

“People are doing the best that they can from their own level of consciousness.” — Deepak Chopra

The more boundaries you have, the less you see.  So, those entrenched in religious dogma have selective blindness and choose to be blind to the truth of reality.

Some people are comfortable being blind to reality.  Awakening from the sleep of religious myth is frightening, even though it is the best thing to happen.  The path of personal growth and awareness is the enemy of organized religion.

2) Practice Active Listening

Active listening is the art of fully engaging with the person speaking to you and understanding not just what they’re saying but how they’re feeling.  It’s the key to building strong relationships, being an effective communicator, and making better decisions.

This technique requires you to be patient and non-judgmental in understanding others’ opinions and points of view.  Active listening helps improve your ability to observe subtle changes in tone, body language, and non-verbal cues.

Of all the different observation methods, this one provides immediate benefits.  You receive more information than you would otherwise gain from interacting with people.  It increases your credibility with others.

Here are some tips for mastering the art of active listening:

First, put away distractions: To actively listen, you must show the other person you care about what they’re saying.  This means putting away your electronic devices, turning off the TV or radio, and giving them full attention.

Second, be aware of your body language: Show that you’re engaged in the conversation with your nonverbal cues.  Make eye contact, nod your head, and lean in slightly to show that you’re interested.

Third, don’t interrupt: Resist the urge to interrupt the person speaking to you.  Wait until they’ve finished before offering your opinion or response.

Four, ask questions to clarify what you’ve heard by asking questions.  This shows that you’re interested in what they’re saying and helps you understand their perspective.

Five, paraphrase what you’ve heard: To ensure you’ve fully grasped what’s been said, paraphrase it back in your own words.  This helps you double-check that you’ve understood and shows the person speaking that you’re truly listening.

In a world where distractions are constant, it’s easy to slip into passive listening mode.  However, mastering the art of active listening is a skill worth taking the time to perfect.  By truly engaging with what’s being said, you’ll build strong relationships, be a better communicator, and make better, more informed decisions.

3) Cultivate a Freethinker MIndset

Curiosity is a powerful tool that can enhance your ability to notice things others might overlook.  By taking an interest in different subjects, you train your mind to observe and identify patterns and develop critical thinking skills.

A skeptical mind is a healthy mind.  It teaches you to question things which helps you develop observational skills.  Do you find yourself questioning things that others take for granted?  If so, congratulations!  If you are a freethinker, you possess one of the most valuable traits in the modern world: a healthy skeptical mindset.

A healthy skeptical mindset can help you avoid being taken advantage of, make informed decisions, and see the world more objectively.  In short, cultivating a healthy skeptical mindset is about developing a curiosity about the world, questioning assumptions, and evaluating evidence.

You can learn to think more critically and make more informed decisions with practice.  So be a freethinker, and see where it takes you!  A Freethinker overcomes the challenges to personal growth through persistence, patience, and a curious mind.

It also helps you to keep an open mind.  While it’s important to be skeptical, it’s also important to keep an open mind.  Be willing to consider new ideas and perspectives, even if they challenge your existing beliefs.  This leads us to the next tool.

4) Enhance Critical Thinking Skills

You need skills that help you to spot logical fallacies, recognize bias, and evaluate evidence.  Critical thinking skills help you to practice analyzing arguments and making reasoned judgments based on available information.  The foundation of thinking is logic.  There are five basic tools or activities to develop observation skills and expand your thinking ability.

First, the study of Logical and Rational Thinking.  Logical thinking refers to using a systematic way of reaching conclusions based on evidence.   Rational thinking is a qualitative way to evaluate arguments.  If you can correctly analyze an argument, you can reach more accurate decisions about life.

Second, 10 Common logical fallacies.  If you can learn how to spot these ten common fallacies of misdirection, you will avoid most ways people are taken advantage of and abused.

The third tool is what we refer to as Spiritual Axioms, which are theorems or formulas specifically tailored to the arena of spirituality and religion to determine the validity and reliability of an argument.  In short, they are tools to find the truth in spirituality.

The fourth tool we call Comparative Analysis a structured form of religious comparative study that helps us dissect and understand many of the fundamental elements of religion and spiritual belief.

The fifth basic tool for enhancing critical thinking is the Enneagram Personality Profile.  This tool provides insight into ego, personality, and instinct mechanisms.

“Religion has the capacity to silence critical thinking and create blindness in entire groups of people. It can infect the minds of followers so completely as to allow the most egregious sexual acts against children and others to go unchallenged for centuries.” — Darrel Ray

Critical thinking skills are the most overlooked tools for expanding awareness and increasing the power of observation.  But, when you spend a few moments reading the articles about these tools, you discover there is much to be gained from refreshing these basic thinking skills.

5) Practice Seated and Moving Meditation

Seated Meditation

Seated meditation is the heart of most spiritual practices.  This group includes a wide range of meditation techniques.  It starts with Beginning Meditation and Mindfulness Meditation.  It progresses to more advanced forms like Japa Meditation, the Siddhis of Patanjali.

We don’t often think of meditation as a form of observation, but it is.  Meditation is one of the different observation methods that work from the inside out.  It produces immediate results.

“Meditation is the action of silence.” — Jiddu Krishnamurti

Moving Meditation

Moving meditation is a foundational element in strengthening the mind-body connection.  Moving meditation is another tool key to our health and wellness.  This progression includes several methods of energy collection.  Here we recommend:

“The spirit is something to be enjoyed. It is not a harsh discipline. And I think people should take some time every day for some kind of moving meditation, like Qigong or Tai Chi.” — Shirley MacLaine

6) Practice Awareness Expansion Techniques

The methods for expanding awareness give us some of the most practical and direct ways to increase our powers of observation.   This group contains several tools:

“The more you expand your awareness, the more naturally you will be present without effort.” — Deepak Chopra

7) Learn Practical Healing Practices

Healing practices are the last group.  This branch includes Pe Jeut, Reiki, and Shiatsu.  Self-care is an essential element of this group.  Normalizing our inner work and maintaining our health and wellness is vital.

“I’ve found that techniques and practices of energy medicine offer healings that are often quicker, safer, and more effective than many better known healing practices.” — Jed Diamon

8) Practice Patience

Rushing through things can hinder your ability to be observant.  Instead, practice patience and take your time to notice everything in detail.  This allows you to improve your observation skills and identify changes in your environment, which can help you make better decisions.

Make an effort to slow down and pace yourself.  You will begin to enjoy life more and experience more of what life has to offer.

9) Seek out Other Perspectives

Expose yourself to different viewpoints by reading articles and books from different authors, attending lectures, and engaging in respectful discussions with people with different opinions.

10) Learn How to Embrace Uncertainty

Realize that there are few absolute truths in life.  Accept uncertainty and avoid the temptation to jump to conclusions or make sweeping generalizations.

Uncertainty can be a scary thing, but it’s an inevitable part of life.  Whether it’s a new job, relationship, or opportunity, there’s always a level of uncertainty that comes with it.  The good news is that with a few tips and tricks, you can learn to embrace uncertainty and let go of your fears.

Tip #1: Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is all about being present and aware of your surroundings.  By focusing on the present moment, you can let go of worries about the future and be more open to new experiences.  Try to take a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness, whether through meditation, deep breathing, or simply taking a walk outside and paying attention to your senses.

Tip #2: Focus on What You Can Control

While there’s a lot in life that’s uncertain, there are also many things we can control.  Instead of worrying about the things you can’t control, focus on the things you can.  This might mean setting specific goals for yourself, taking steps to improve your skills or knowledge, or simply making small changes to your daily routine that can help you feel more in control.

Tip #3: Embrace the Unknown

Uncertainty can be scary, but it can also be exciting.  Remember that every new experience is an opportunity to learn and grow.  Instead of fearing the unknown, embrace it and welcome new challenges and experiences with an open mind.

Tip #4: Practice Gratitude

It’s easy to get caught up in worry and fear when faced with uncertainty.  However, by practicing gratitude, you can shift your focus to the positive things in your life and feel more optimistic about the future.  Try to take a few minutes each day to reflect on what you’re grateful for, whether that’s a supportive friend or family member, a new opportunity, or simply a beautiful sunset.

Tip #5: Seek Support

Remember, you don’t have to go through uncertain times alone.  Whether it’s reaching out to a trusted friend or family member, talking to a therapist or counselor, or joining a support group, it’s important to seek out support when you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious about the future.

By practicing these tips and learning to embrace uncertainty, you can live a more fulfilling and satisfying life.  Remember, life is full of surprises, and it’s up to you to make the most of them.

In Conclusion

We can overcome the challenges to personal growth and awareness if we use practical tools to expand our thinking and perception.   We hope this list of activities to develop observation skills and abilities will provide a template for your own practice.

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