In Summary
  • Create some time to just listen to yourself.
  • Moments of solitude allow you to reach deep within yourself and your imagination.

We live in a people-driven society. From the day we were born, there have been been people around us who shaped how we think, our values and what we believe in, among others.

At school we were surrounded by classmates. At home, we had our families. Every day when we read or watch news, we learn about what other people are doing. Social media also gives us an opportunity to share and consume information.

Many extra-curricular activities revolve around people. Nowadays, training programmes centre around group activities.

Our social interactions are important but given that other people play a role in shaping our lives, it is no wonder that we tend to worry about what they think of us.

That’s what we learnt anyway; to want the validation. However, this sometimes comes at a dangerous price.

We forget ourselves, we don’t learn to hear ourselves and many times we don’t really know what we want.

We know what we have been taught to want but have no idea what we authentically want.

Over time, we have also been compared to other people in conventional ways such as grades, family status, career paths, financial status, among others, so we keep making the biggest mistake of our life – thinking that these are the only things that will give us a happy and fulfilling life.

But in the midst of all this, you need to listen to yourself when making life decisions.

NOISY WORLD

The question thus begs: How do you get to hear yourself in a noisy world? I believe one of the greatest gifts one can give themselves is solitude.

I do not mean you have to go live in the mountains for three months (although if that’s what you really need, go for it!) What I mean is the ability to regularly and in your own way spend time alone and get comfortable in that space.

We tell our entrepreneurship students to spend 30 minutes a day alone thinking about their businesses.

Many find this very uncomfortable in the beginning, but as time goes on, they report being able to generate ideas or think about solutions they never would have.

My personality has made this relatively easy for me. I naturally recharge by being alone.

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