Over the past few months I have had lots of time to get quiet. Long walks, meditation, long car rides, plane rides, trains and much more. Over that time I have found great strength in not trying to do too much and let my mind get quiet. It’s in these times of quiet that my best and most creative thoughts come about. I have spoken with numerous people recently that blog right after meditating, claiming that they feel the most creative at that point. I must agree, some of my best blogs have come right after a time of quieting my brain.
I grew up with a lot of time alone, but not by choice. I hated my time alone as a kid, I was always looking to find connection anywhere that I could. I used to push relationships and cling to anyone who seemed like they might want to be my friend. Over the past 5 decades I have learned to find peace in my time alone, and recently finding real enjoyment during this time, even as much as my time deeply connected with others. I’m an extreme extrovert, some would say an extrovert’s extrovert, but I still need my time alone, that time to allow my mind to process and be still.
Over the past few years I have noticed more and more how people don’t have any alone time, or for that matter any free time at all. We have become over scheduled, over programmed and running every moment of every day without any time for reflection. It is in these times of reflection that I find my greatest insights, the ones that have shifted my thinking and in turn shifted my life. We had dinner last night with a couple who currently live in Paris, but were both born and raised in the NY area. The husband, Jeremy, and I have known each other since we were kids. His mom worked for my father many years ago and we lived in the same area in NJ. His mother has since passed away from MS and it turns out that Jeremy has it as well. I will be spending some more time with Jeremy tomorrow morning, but our interactions so far have reinforced some of my findings from this global journey.
As I continue to talk with family, friends, business associates, prospects and others, it is becoming more clear that we need this time for reflection, as well as time to connect deeply with others. Pareto’s Law (more commonly known as the 80/20 rule) says that the majority of our results (80%) come from only 20% of our actions. I have always been fascinated by this concept and always tried to figure out the 20% of my efforts that produced all my results. But in the end, we are then taught to take that extra time and do more. What if we learned to take some of that time for quiet, allowing us to process all the wonderful things that are happening in our lives and move ourselves forward in powerful ways.
Each day I continue to pursue my passion and try my best to be present. In order to be present I need to clear my mind and that comes from being quiet. I look forward to creating more space in my life for quiet when we return to San Diego. I need that time and will make it an integral part of my life. We leave to go back to NYC on Sunday and then a bit more than a week later I’ll be back in San Diego. Yesterday I posted on FaceBook that after most trips I would think “back to life as usual” when I get home. After this trip that just won’t be possible. There are so many lessons I am taking with me, including the need to be quiet, and I am excited for the continuation of this journey.
To a life well lived!