Quiet Time: The Importance of Silence.
On the average, adults are awake for about 15hours 40minutes each day and speak at around 7000 words per day.
So, every minute of your wake time, you speak about 7 words on the average. So how much of your time do you commit to thinking, observing, planning and rationalizing.
Now don’t get me wrong, humans think every moment of their waking lives. About 50,000 different thoughts go through our minds every day. But most of those thoughts are random and inconsequential thoughts.
The truth is, most adults never make out times to carry out constructive thinking. A great many of us overlook the importance of deliberate, critical, constructive and analytical thinking.
Most people spend their lives just winging it or going with the flow. Henry Ford once said “Thinking is the hardest job there is, that’s why so few people do it”.
It’s nothing new that most people live underwhelming and unfulfilled lives, full off regrets and unfinished business. Do people really set out in life to under achieve? The obvious answer is NO. The challenge is, most people don’t really know what they set out in life to do.
They just set out, no map, no plan, no destination. Unfortunately, if you don’t know where you are going, then you won’t know how to get there. No one plans to fail; people simply fail to plan.
A plan is simply a written down sequence of premeditated (thought out ahead of time) actions with a desired end result.
A study showed that only 8% of adults have clearly written down plans for their lives, and this 8% are more successful than the other 92% combined. Planning takes a great amount of thinking and thinking takes a great deal of mental effort.
So, what is ‘Thinking’ in the context of this discussion?
Thinking is simply the process of asking and answering questions. It is the process of scrutinizing things and providing answers to unknowns.
Thinking involves drawing inferences from known parameters and unravelling unknown parameters where necessary. Everyday, life presents us with new challenges, new questions and our ability to provide answers to life’s questions determines our success or failure.
This is why we must consciously dedicate a portion of our time daily to carry out critical thinking. Our brain works like a muscle. The more you use a muscle, the stronger it gets, the bigger it grows and the more endurance it possesses.
It’s the same with our brain cells. The more you engage them, the more active they become and the faster you become at solving problems.
The world today favourably rewards people who can use their minds to solve everyday problems. Mentally inclined jobs pay substantially more than physically inclined jobs.
How does one go about the process of thinking?
The most important factor for constructive thinking is silence. In as much as it is possible to think in a rather noisy environment, it is several times more productive to think in silence. Silence allows one to focus and organize one’s thoughts without distraction.
Noise causes the release of stress hormones which can greatly impair mental processes. Noise in form of sound waves are received by the ears and sent to our brains as electric signals. Our brains react to noise even in sleep.
There is a reason why libraries, monasteries, convents, cathedrals, board rooms, and executive offices are kept as quiet as possible. It is because a lot of thinking, planning, meditation and reflection go on in these places.
To think effectively, one must do away with every distraction. One must find a comfortable posture or position. Then one has to apply focus to quieten the noise within and select the series of thoughts he or she wants to dwell on.
Benefits of Silence.
It is very easy to overlook the importance of quiet and tranquility. But the power of silence cannot be overestimated. A 2013 study in which mice were exposed to 2 hours of silence daily for a period of time showed that the mice developed new brain cells in the hippocampus.
The hippocampus is the part of our brain responsible for memory, emotions and learning. A 2001 study also showed that when the brain is exposed to silence it actively internalizes and evaluates information. In other words, silence helps your brain process and file information more efficiently.
Silence help you to become more self-aware and discover depths of yourself that you were previously oblivious to.
The greatest people in all fields, writers, leaders, executives, entrepreneurs, visionaries all have set out quiet times in their schedules.
A research showed that 1 hour of meticulous planning can save as much as 3 hours of execution. Literally, one could buy time just by embracing silence. This is no way an endorsement of being anti-social.
This is in no way asking your no to socialize or to be socially withdrawn.
Silence is simply one of several disciplines that one must learn in other to live a purposeful and productive life.
One of the hallmarks of great people is foresight. The capacity to envision ahead. The one who sits on top the mountain sees far more than the one who stands on the plain and it is often quieter at the mountain top.
Hit the comments, let’s talk Quiet time guys