When was the last time you unplugged – completely – for at least 72 hours? No electronics, no Kindles, no watches for three straight days. Sounds like an alien concept, doesn’t it? If the thought of this makes you nervous or causes you to think that is an impossible request with everything you have going on, then you aren’t listening to your silence, where great wisdom exists.
Unfortunately, fast decisions are being valued over well-considered decisions in our thirst for immediate action. Social media is the best demonstration why we need to take a moment and listen to our own wisdom. How many careers have been damaged by a swift emotional response on Twitter or a galactically stupid Facebook post that is immediately regretted?
Do one thing at a time
Why do we feel our brains need to be constantly entertained? Cutting grass? Turn on the tunes in your headset. Have a free moment? Quick, check out Facebook. Riding the train? Earbuds in and Kindle on. It seems many of us have developed a habit of constantly feeding our brains instead of listening to our thoughts and experiencing a depth of thinking.
Have you ever tried talking and listening to someone at the same time? This is listening with the intent to respond, not to understand. The same goes with our thinking. If we are constantly driving information into our minds, we are talking over the thoughts that we should be listening to.
Find your silence
This is why wisdom comes within silence. It is well documented that inventors and philosophers found their best ideas and inspirations through silence. Silence can be found in many places if we let it. Go for a hike, a run, a long walk and leave the music at home. Sit on your back deck during the breaking morning on a Sunday with your favorite breakfast beverage and listen to your mind. Then book that 72 retreat silent challenge from the world to let your mind think.
To be a more effective leader, take the silence challenge and spend three days as a human being instead of a human doing. Listen to your silence and feel the wisdom come forth.