I’m lucky. I love being alone. I go to the movies alone, and between you and me, I often prefer it that way. I could literally spend an entire week without talking to another soul and be in complete heaven—however, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be able to converse because I’m a master solo conversationalist.
The point is I understand and appreciate the significance of “me time.” Unfortunately, many people don’t share my sentiment and therefore, spend an entire lifetime being inundated with the thoughts, ideas, conversations, creativity, and insight of others, and very little time immersed in their own thoughts.
About 10 years ago, I went to go hear John Maxwell speak. He talked about having a particular chair in his office that was dedicated for the sole purpose of thinking. He said, he wasn’t allowed to do anything in that chair but think. So every day, he would sit there for a designated amount of time and process ideas, go over his successes, re-evaluate mistakes and give himself permission to dream. He spoke about the importance of thinking time.
Or, what I like to call, white space. Most of us have very little white space. I want you toimagine your brain as a board that is overrun with junk: to-do lists, ideas, shows, songs, strategies for landing that new client, scheduling the next doctor’s appointment for the kids, dinner ideas, etc. The board is full. No more room. How can you possibly excel in that space? Everything is reactionary when you have no white space.
A few months ago, I learned about some Asian Business’ CEOs who are REQUIRED to sit in silence for two-hours before they turn on the computer, take a meeting or do any work. Silence. Why is that? They recognize the importance of having time to strategize. To become proactive and not reactive and see things that others are missing.
If you want to elevate your level of play, I want you to pay attention to the following:
1. How much time do you dedicate on a daily basis to silence?
2. Do you find yourself being more reactionary or proactive?
3. Do you have a place or space that you can go to for meditation, silence or journaling?
4. When “all hell breaks loose in your life,” what is he first thing you do? Go within or run to try to manage it?
5. Does the idea of sitting in solitude for 30 minute or an hour bring you peace or anxiety?
Remember, there is no right or wrong answer. Everyone is different. However, life leaves clues and you can start paying attention to what your’s is telling you.