We are busy. We have a million things to do. We are always running short on time. In fact, we claim we have no time. We live hectic lives doing all kinds of important things. We are busy. We are very busy.

What is contemplation?

Contemplation is the act of thoughtfully observing, considering and reflecting upon things. We might contemplate the universe and its nature. We might contemplate our career path. We might contemplate any number of things. Do we, however, set aside some time each day for contemplation?

We live in a frenetic world, driven by rapidly evolving technologies. But, as I have said on other occasions, “Technological innovation without applied philosophical enlightenment is not progress. We need to evolve philosophically if we are to evolve at all.”

How can we become philosophically enlightened if we do not spend time contemplating things?

Excuses abound. Ask a person if they put some time aside each day to think and they will probably look at you like you have two heads and purple hair. I can hear the voices now, “Set aside time each day to think? Hey, that’s a nice thought, but I have to earn a living, clean my home, go to the grocery store and stuff like that. Sit around thinking? That’s funny. What world do you live in?”

These, of course, are the same excuses made for not exercising a little bit each day. “Do 30 minutes of walking each day? That sounds nice, but who has the time?”

We tell ourselves we have no time, not even 15 minutes a day, to set aside for quiet contemplation. In our hearts we know better. We know, deep down, that we have the time. What we really question is our discipline and dedication to thinking. It is just too easy to behave robotically.

We may be dedicated to our work. We may be dedicated to maintaining our home. With the passage of time, however, many of us lose the belief that we can dedicate ourselves to much more, even something as basic as walking 30 minutes a day or spending 15 minutes in contemplation.

The reality is that we can fool ourselves for a while. Then, in an unexpected moment, we find ourselves immersed in thought wondering why our life has taken the trajectory it has. Perhaps, systematic contemplation is the key to avoiding spontaneous regret.

Image: Evgeni Dinev /

*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.

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