True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.
William Penn (1644 – 1718)
In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948)
In our society of do, do, and do some more, silence is a rarity and usually not sought after. Our minds have been trained to avoid having “nothing to do”. How many times have you made up something to fiddle with or clean, just because you don’t want to have idle hands? More common, how many times have you turned on the television to “kill time”? Or maybe you truly are so busy that you don’t find a moment to yourself? Although in most cases, I find there are less priority tasks that could be dropped if you had need to.
What is the need I’m talking about? Silence.
If you don’t seek silence in your daily life, I hope by the end of this post, you are convinced otherwise and make it a high priority in the future.
The Three Powerful Stances
Silence gives you power, a power that is visible to all those that interact with you. Specifically, I have identified three key aspects of character that silence helps you build.
A Source of Gratitude
The most talked about and largest impact seeking silence has on your life, is developing daily gratitude. By being in a quiet location, on your own, you give yourself time to observe. This observations are not only of your immediate surroundings, but of your internal mood, reactions to recent situations, and thoughts. Generally, although you may begin with negative thoughts, ultimately, you end with positivity and forward thinking. A sense of appreciation evolves for the world and more microscopically, your workings within the world and the relationships in your life.
From the outside, seeing someone who has this sense of gratitude has a profound effect. In a world where people are constantly on the look out for what’s wrong, a person who points out what is right has the ultimate power to move things forward. A true quality of a leader is to build on strengths – those who only see the negative, can only keep repairing and repairing until the situation is back to neutral. Those that can see what is strong can leverage those until the situation gets better and better. Having gratitude is charismatic – you’d be surprised how many people will start looking to you for advice when you’ve built this attitude.
A Quick Problem Resolver
For many problems, it is easy to get caught up in side issues and interactions/opinions of others in the moment. Many times, instead of seeking space, people keep arguing or keep researching different issues without planning an approach. Rather a “Throw everything you have at it, and see what sticks” approach. While this works in some cases, it can also be very inefficient. By seeking silence to review current issues, you allow yourself time away to plan an appropriate approach and prioritize the actions you will take. By doing that which is most priority, first instead of a random order, you increase your chances of stumbling upon the solution faster.
From the outside, you will appear to be a person who is calm and decisive in the face of an issue. You will be seen as someone who thinks through an issue before rushing in and jumping to conclusions.
A Self Assured Personality
Silence grows your self awareness and your ability to be independent. By seeking silence, you are in a physical location where there is no one to judge you but yourself. When you are able to be comfortable in this silence for a period of time, you will also find you are more comfortable with being alone and that you enjoy it. For many who take this time, they can’t imagine how they were able to led their lives and find peace previously. By being comfortable with yourself , including your decisions, you build self confidence. You will be seen as someone who adds value to relationships without appearing needy. You will be seen as a confident, true to self individual.
These three outcomes of seeking silence have a far reaching impact on your life and how others view you. If you can master the art of silence, you will build an inner power that will amaze you.
*An addendum – after I wrote this post, I had a discussion about meditation and whether I am proposing something different. I’d like to add that meditation is one avenue of finding silence – however, the key goal of meditation is usually to clear your mind and reach a point where you are unaware of the world around you and your worldly attachments. What I am proposing is to find time and space away from the sheer busy-ness of life, in which you can sort out your problems and think through them without the influence of the many items we get bombarded with every day. Either way, I pose the question back to you – what do you find has helped you find peace?
Your Coach Challenge: Instead of watching TV or cleaning something that doesn’t really need to be cleaned or other filler activities, find a place outside or inside, and sit awhile. Notice your surroundings and how you feel. Think about your day/week and what you want to accomplish next. Make an effort to keep it forward focused.