The concept of my blog today really caught me off guard. Over the past 36 hours or so much of my joy has been derived from sharing time with others. Outside of drive time I’ve been with others seemingly nonstop. My interactions have brought me joy, challenged me, warmed me, and helped me grow. Why I’m the world would I talk about solitude?
In focusing on a handful of books which have had the biggest impacts on me in the past year I’ve circled back to Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. Much of the book is focused on how I’ve seemingly lost control of my thoughts to my smartphone and social media. His book outlines the reasons to curb screen time and increase interactions with others … as well as increasing our time alone in thought. On an interesting aside, this is the second book in a week in which one of my all time favorite quotes by Blaise Pascal was shared!
Cal shares a definition of solitude from the Authors of <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Lead-Yourself-First-Inspiring-Leadership-ebook/dp/B06Y1K2G5N" class="cy by he hf hg hh" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow" style="box-sizing: inherit; color: inherit; text-decoration: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: transparent; background-image: url("data:image/svg+xml; utf8, “); background-size: 1px 1px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px); background-repeat: repeat no-repeat”>Lead Yourself First, Kethledge & Erwin, as:
“subjective state in which your mind is completely free from the input of other minds”.
For clarity, they aren’t talking about running off to a shelter in the woods to live as a hermit for years on end. Rather, they talk about making space to have quiet and to be left with our own thoughts. In that quiet space we can often work through our most challenging issues.
This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t get input from others. We are always better off gathering feedback and other perspectives. When we find solitude we’re able to sort through all the data and find the right decision.
I’m practicing this today I was happily surprised to twice find the solution to challenges I’d been struggling with after taking time to be still with my thoughts. Now I must work to increase the time in solitude to find the right balance of connectedness and solitude (80%/20% ?).