Look at the above picture.
What do you see?
You could see “a sad girl”, “a girl in a deep thought” or you could come to any other conclusion.
As humans, we want to close the gap of information.
Religious people conclude that there is a god. Atheists believe there is no god.
In reality, no one knows anything.
You can’t know what is unknown. It’s all a matter of belief.
It’s okay to not know. The above picture shows a girl in a car. That’s all.
Whatever else you conclude out of it is your opinion or belief. You could be 100% correct. But there’s a slight edge when you learn to develop your observational mind.
When you observe before you judge, you open yourself to possibilities. You acknowledge that your opinion is not a fact. It’s how you choose to see the world.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” — Carl Jung
When you judge someone, it affects you more than the other person. It says more about you than the other person. You convey how you perceive the world. It shows the pre-conceptions your mind has.
Instead of judgment, observe and be curious. Seek more information. Expand the gap between observation and conclusion.
We make snap decisions about people based on their looks, race, nationality, wealth, job, fame, and even small choices like choosing what to wear.
When you judge, ask yourself why you’re judging.
Once you know the reason, let the judgment resolve. And if it helps, do the opposite. Turn your judgment around and make it positive.
It’s not about whether you’re right or wrong. It’s about how YOU see the world. Your perception becomes your reality.
Embrace the differences between you and other people. Maybe they don’t see what you see. Maybe they don’t want the same things as you. Maybe they have a different life philosophy and values in life.
If you want others to stop judging you, stop judging others first.
When you stop judging, you also stop caring about what other people think about you.
“The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.” — Jiddu Krishnamurti
The cure for judgment is observation.
So how do you cultivate the observing mind?
I think you already know the answer.
Meditation and mindfulness.
One of the most common thing in a guided meditation is the act of observation. They tell you to stop judging and instead observe the thoughts and let them go.
When you take the time to practice your observation skill, you take it to your life and use it when you need it the most.
Even after you practice your observation skill, you can’t avoid judgment. It’s part of your thinking system.
A deeper level of observation is observing your judgments without judgment.
Let’s say you judge a man based on his action. Now, notice your judgment. Don’t turn your opinion into facts.
Think to yourself…
“I’m judging this person due to a past experience or because I have a preconception. I may be right or wrong. There is no need of a conclusion. I can let it be.”
Detach yourself from your judgments. You don’t need to have an opinion about everything happening around you.
Better yet, you can take a step beyond and give someone the benefit of doubt for your own peace of mind.
“Love is the absence of judgment.” — Dalai Lama
You can go beyond observation and use your judgment to turn every situation or event into a positive experience.
When you practice kindness towards life, others and yourself, you see the world differently. You think differently.
Observe your judgments and practice kindness.
Stop judging people and let them be who they are.
Stop judging yourself and let yourself shine.
Stop judging life and let it flow.
Originally published at DesignEpicLife.com.