I love silence.
“Silence is golden”, said the old Tremeloes’ song (by the way, I recommend you to take a look at this YouTube video if you want to see how people’s look has changed ever since). I think it is much more than simple “golden”. It’s everything.
As an only child, my life has always been filled with (great) moments of silence. My parents used to be out working, and I learned to enjoy (a lot) those moments of solitude.
People usually associate loneliness with sadness, and I disagree entirely.
When you are on your own is:
- When you can think.
- When you own your time.
- When you are free to do or not to do things.
Silence and loneliness are the best expressions of freedom.
I’m not saying you have to live like a hermit. I’m saying your life can be great if you combine both worlds: solitude and social relationships.
As Aristotle said, “man is, by nature, a political animal”, but today we have taken this concept to the extreme.
We live in a society full of noise, interruptions, notifications, chaos, mess, clutter.
People even feel uncomfortable when they’re in an elevator. They just can’t be quiet for a few seconds, starting small talk or talking about obvious things (as you know, the weather is a classic in these situations).
All that noise, interruptions, notifications, chaos, mess, clutter are not suitable or recommended for the human being.
That’s the cause of anxiety, stress, depression, heart diseases, and severe mental illness.
We have taken the human being out of its deepest nature.
We should live a calm life, enjoying peaceful moments on our own, or sharing them with others.
That’s how life should be. The good news? It depends on ourselves.
Talking about this topic, I hardly recommend these two books:
- “Deep work: rules for focused success in a distracted world”, by Cal Newport.
- “Quiet”, by Susan Cain.
These two books show up the tremendous power of silence and the inner world.
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.” — Abraham Lincoln.
Here I’m sharing 9 crucial points from which you can take advantage to improve your life and better achieve your goals.
I like to define concentration as “feeling the present deeply”.
Paying attention to your body, your mind, your surroundings. Forgetting about the past and the future. Mindfulness in its purest form.
It’s a great sensation because all your worries disappear. It’s impossible to be worried about the present, except if you’re about to fall off a cliff.
Human beings are only worried about things they’ve done in the past, and they regret, or something that could happen someday, even if it never takes place, which is what usually occurs.
Concentration takes you to that place in which both body and mind feel secure and comfortable.
We need to analyze to have a life based on common sense.
Craziness, improvisation, anarchy… All these attitudes take human being to a world full of stress and anxiety.
You just have to look at nature. Have you ever seen an animal focused on stress and anxiety? No, they prefer to stay calm, relaxed, doing nothing. That’s the natural way of living.
It doesn’t mean we have to do nothing (I never stop doing things). It means we have to do things based on coherence, logical thinking, and processes that will take us to where we have decided we want to go.
Analyzing our lives, goals, and ways to achieve them will allow us to give a sense to our daily actions, why we get up every morning and start doing the things we will do.
We will also go to bed with a sensation of fulfillment because we are moving towards our goals, being closer to them day by day.
Focus is key in life to achieve great goals. Silence means focus.
Can you imagine Albert Einstein thinking about the theory of relativity with Facebook notifications jumping out his phone? Or Fleming discovering penicillin and answering emails at the same time?
If that’s nonsense, why is it part of our daily lives?
We (well, most of us) are not taking part every day of these significant breakthroughs, but we have an even more important project in our hands: our life.
Isn’t that enough to focus on our goals and how we should accomplish them?
Silence gives us control.
Control means taking the ship’s wheel of your life instead of rafting Colorado’s rapids.
We should try to avoid a roller coaster life.
That brings us to a calm status in which we can better control our life and enjoy it, instead of being handled by external issues (people, situations, scenarios).
Silence equals peace. Absence of noise.
A starting point to think, a quality that differentiates us from irrational animals.
Peace is a splendid status for human beings. We are always “fighting” for peace in our lives.
Peace gives us sensations of good feelings, good vibrations, optimism.
Peace is the raw material of high performance.
The more coherent we act, the better we feel about ourselves.
Coherence gives a sense to our lives.
Coherence cannot be achieved inside a chaotic atmosphere.
Coherence is an outcome of silence, a consequence of having the right time and the right ambiance to deduce.
High performance comes out of silence.
When silence comes to your life is when you are not interrupted when you are focused on something.
When all of your energy focuses on your action is when outstanding outcomes appear.
High performers work in silence. They don’t want to be disturbed. That’s why they forget about lunchtime. That’s why they get annoyed if you try to tell them something while they are taking advantage of their silence.
8. Decision making
Decision-making processes must be done in silence.
Silence calms emotions, anger, and objectivity appears.
Silence allows you to think about the pros and cons deeply. To look for balances. To study as many scenarios as possible.
That’s when you increase your probabilities of success, and you can “bet” for the best decision.
9. Knowing yourself
Silence will make it possible to know yourself better.
To study your feelings and emotions.
To pay attention to your mindset.
To improve your reactions to external stimuli that we suffer every day.
Silence will give you the possibility of being a better self, one you are most proud of. You will feel your evolution, your progress.
Here I summarize some takeaways I think they can be useful for you:
- Better quiet than yelling.
- Moving from top goals to daily action items is not an easy job, and can’t be done without silence, without introspecting deep inside, analyzing, organizing, planning, and, lastly, executing.
- Pay attention in meetings to the quiet ones. Those use to be the smartest guys. The ones who are paying attention to your message, processing it, and drawing conclusions.
- Before saying something, always think if it’s worth it.
- Bring silence into your life.
This story in just one sentence
“Saying nothing sometimes says the most.” — Emily Dickinson.