Key to Wholesome Living : Power of Observation

Ram Bansal By Ram Bansal, 4th Jul 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Daily Life

Experience and expertise are the keys to onward march of humanity on the path of development, and these are the results of power of minute observations by the persons pioneering the humanity on this path. This faculty is although inbuilt in most of us since childhood, gets blunted if not rightly nurtured. Even then, this may be sharpened at any time with some dedicated practices.


Observation means grasping content and meaning of something. Thus, it is different from seeing, We keep on seeing many things all around us all the time, but observe very few of them. The sure sign of an observation is its impression and retention in memory firmly and for a considerably longer period than those simply seen. All are not born with the faculty of keen observation, but surely a majority may develop this art.

Keen observation is a matter of habit of habit which gets developed through practice of minutely observing things of interest coming in one's way. Therefore, It requires time and patience in the person wishing to develop the faculty of observation. Instead of seeing a thousands of things in a given time frame, it proves to be more fruitful to observe a few things minutely in the same time.

Observations by Children

Brains of the children are like blank slates on which they remain eager to write. This takes them to observing things instead of just seeing. Therefore, children's power of observation is at a much higher level than the average adults. These observations lead to stimulating curiosity in them, and they often raise questions inconvenient to adults and often get snubbed by the adults. This oppresses their power of observation and the curiosity in them. Such children develop into adults with blunt observing faculty. Therefore, children should never be discouraged to ask questions about what they observe, but encouraged to do so for sharpening their faculty of observation.

Sensory Observations

As aforesaid, observation is grasping and retaining content and meaning of something, therefore observation is not limited to visual perceptions but extends to all the other four sensory organic functions - hearing, smelling, tasting and touching. Osho Rajneesh's doctrine of enjoying food through observing, then smelling, then touching, then tasting and finally eating that for getting the full nourishment out of the food, is a good lesson in observation.

Apart from involving the five sensory organs in the observation, the central nervous system also plays an important role in the observation exercise through assimilating all the five sensory observations in to a composite observation. This makes a permanent impression of the observation on memory for retention for the life time. .

Benefits of Keen Observation

A successful observation on a thing, event or topic means that the observer gets full knowledge of the subject matter, retains it in his/her memory, and may retrace it in case of need at some time in future. All these things in combination is what we often call as an experience or an expertise on the subject matter. Thus, observation is the mother of all the experiences and expertise.

Development, whether it is of a civilization, a culture or a technology, is always a serial process - the present, being built on the past, becomes the foundation of the future. For this serial development, experience and expertise are the key ingredients. Else, every one shall begin the development always from a scratch. This signifies the importance of observation at social level.

At individual level, everyone of us remains concerned with being successful in matters of health, education, career, profession, economy, etc. Here too, experience and expertise of the person carry weight and these come from nowhere but the power of observation of the person, as discussed above.

Cultivating the Faculty of Observation

As discussed above, most of us are born with the natural gift of keen observing faculty. But this faculty gets blunted off under circumstantial compulsions as the age advances. Therefore, only a few retain keenness in observing things rather than just seeing them.

A famous proverb 'Morning is when the eyes open', carries weight here and tells us it is never late to get up and gear up for the future with brighter prospects. By this, I mean that for a person of any age, realization of his/her blunted power of observation is enough to make efforts to sharpen it. Surely, the power of observation may be enhanced through practice.

News reporter apprentices are trained in their job by sending them to different streets randomly, and make notes whatever they find there - significant or insignificant. This is nothing but an exercise in cultivating power of observation in the apprentices. The practice of making notes on minute details of anything could be taken up by anybody willing to develop his/her power of observation.

Writing an article on a topic, like this piece here, without much of preparations is another way of developing the faculty of observation by an individual. To begin with, the topic is covered in general and then its depth is probed gradually in a telescopic fashion. Of course, for writing an article on a serious topic to cultivate faculty of observation, language should not be an obstacle, therefore need be mastered first. Secondly, it is notable that for writing a single piece successfully, the author must read about a dozen pieces on the related topics, grasp their contents, and mentally synthesize an outcome on the desired topic. This involves a lot of time and thinking.


Development, Experience, Expertise, Faculty, Observation, Seeing, Sensory Organs, Success

Meet the author

author avatar Ram Bansal
An Engineer in the wonderland of Authorship, principally for authoring eBooks. My writings principally focus on psychology, Indian politics, philosophy, health and happiness in routine ways.

Share this page

moderator johnnydod moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Retired
4th Jul 2011 (#)

Interesting topic...

Reply to this comment

author avatar Steve Kinsman
4th Jul 2011 (#)

Very good article. Thank you, Ram.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
6th Jul 2011 (#)

A really interesting share, Ram Bansal. A lot of thought has gone into this... Great work..

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?