In a post from a couple of weeks ago, I discussed my reasoning behind quitting two of my conventional jobs. I discussed why I did it, which was mainly because I need discomfort. The things that have transpired since writing that post have allowed me to make myself acquainted with solitude.
What exactly is solitude?
Solitude is the state, or situation of being alone. While it may not be the wisest idea to be in a state of solitude for prolonged periods of time, shorter bursts of it are extremely beneficial in regard to understanding and taking control of yourself.
Why did I place myself in a state of solitude?
These months of solitude have allow
ed me to do an extensive review on myself and my processes. Being in a state of solitude implies that you are essentially, alone. Coincidentally, while in this state of solitude, I’d decided to also cut out several things that I felt were hindering my ability to think. This means that I also have the ability to think clearly, since things like music, television, etc. aren’t there to distract me. The lack of environmental distractions, combined with an extreme level of focus allows the mind to develop thoughts and ideas at a level above that of the variety achieved by a mind that is consistently distracted.
How to use solitude wisely
For the past few months, I have been so busy working on myself that I haven’t really had time to socialize as much as I want to. These past few months have been eye-opening. I’ve realized a plethora of things about myself, productivity, and the outside world that (hopefully) may help a few people out.
Use it to Reflect
As mentioned above, getting rid of outside influences gave me ample time to think and reflect. When you slow down, you’re able to understand your past decisions. When I began to cut things out of my life, I understood why I made some of the regrettable decisions that I made. For instance, as a teen, I was really into doing things that could’ve done a substantial amount of damage to my overall well-being. While doing these things, I summed it all up as a way of coping with things that I couldn’t control/couldn’t deal with mentally. With silent reflection, I have learned that these things only acted as a way to subdue my thoughts and weren’t really helping me with anything (They actually hurt me more than anything) Solitude gave me the freedom of thought necessary to truly gain from experiences.
Action: Take the time to reflect on your day. What can be improved?
Use it to Focus
Solitude gave me a vast amount of time to do with as I please. When you leave outside influences alone for periods of time, you notice (not immediately) how easy it is for work to get done. This was something that I stumbled upon by accident. Initially, I didn’t understand what it was that kept me from getting anything done when I was around other individuals. Through trial and error (and a bit of honesty) I realized that it wasn’t only music, social media, and things of the sort that kept me from getting anything done. Being surrounded by individuals who (seemingly) enjoyed conversation more than they enjoyed getting things done, really took a chunk out of my time.
Action: Use the time to get work done. Don’t search for distractions.
Use it to Recognize
Recognizing the things that influenced my thought process wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t stayed to myself for a bit. Isolation, for myself included exclusion from social media, most people (aside from work), and other activities that include those two things. Something that I quickly noticed was that the opinions that I held on certain luxury items, clothing, movies, etc. slowly seemed to disappear. It was almost as if they weren’t there in the first place. It was when I noticed this that I realized the effect that outside influenced had on us and our opinions.
Long-term Action: Meditate and focus on yourself and what brings you joy. The goal is to be able to explicitly understand this.
Use it to take Control
Realizing that opinions stem from our surroundings and the ease with which they’re implanted, gives one the upper hand in certain matters. You gain control over your tastes/desires due to the lack of input from outside influences. Also, when you understand what it takes to get someone to “like” something, you also inadvertently learn what it takes to grow a business and your brand. You learn what herd mentality and hive mind really are, and how to take control of it rather than succumb to it. That isn’t to say that you should go out and try and control people, it’s to say that you should make yourself aware because of the opportunities that understanding these things gives to you.
Long-term action: You understand the things that influenced you. How can you profit?
Warning! Extended use may
make you “weird”
“Weird” is such a, for lack of a better word, stupid word. What is weird when referring to people? When you are away from people for extended lengths of time, you stop doing things that are generally done. You get a bit awkward, but that word is even subjective (The person who is awkward, is the person who feels awkward). Solitude rids you of a few of the things that were “placed” in your mind by outside influences. You no longer like the things that are generally well-liked by other individuals; this may make you “weird”. When you get past this, you realize that being “awkward” isn’t something you should care about.
Understand who you are and how you can use
Solitude gives you time to be yourself and to develop your processes. Developing an understanding of myself, without the social pressures, allows me to take control of my life and do things that I actually like to do. For instance, consider this blog. Years ago, I wouldn’t have thought that this was a viable and truly enjoyable source of income. Solitude gives you the space necessary to understand your limits and to hopefully, take your mind back.