In today’s fast-paced electronic world, the need for quiet time has never been more crucial. The number of interruptions and resulting stress coming from texts, calls, emails, and social sites has increased. And, of course, as if we don’t all have enough already going on, we have an endless supply of addictive options at our fingertips to fill our heads with chatter.
If you want to advance your life forward, it’s absolutely critical that you block out time when you turn off the noise so you can think and process information in silence.
The Value of Quiet Time
You’ve heard it before, but it’s a quote worth memorizing. Jim Rohn said, “Success comes from a series of good decisions made over time, while failure comes from a series of poor decisions made over time.” After more than 15 years of thinking about this statement and watching it play out in the lives of people I know, I am convinced that our lives are a mirror image of our decisions.
If you want to make sensible life-planning decisions, the kind of decisions that allow you to move ahead in life, you need quiet time to think and process the things going on in your life.
I assume that you want to build a stronger relationship with your spouse or significant other, that you want to be an understanding parent, that you want to enjoy a successful career, and that you want to make enough money to stay out of debt and enjoy the good things life has to offer. Am I right?
If these things really are important, then ask yourself: How much time have I spent in the last month quietly thinking about these issues?
- How can I manage my money more efficiently?
- How can I increase my market value?
- What would I like to accomplish over the next year?
- How can I fulfill the needs and desires of my spouse or significant other?
- How can I improve my connection with my children or friends?
Was the time you spent thinking about each of these congruent with their level of importance in your life? Yes or no? If your answer is no, then think about how much time you have spent in the last month with each of these activities:
- Listening to music or the radio
- Watching TV
- Checking out the social sites
- Reading books unrelated to your goals
- Surfing the web
How can you say something is important, yet not allocate time to think about it and make thoughtful decisions as to how you can improve that area of your life?
If achieving your goals is really important, then you must make it a priority to block out time to sit in silence and process what’s going on in your life and make good course-correcting decisions.
Let me offer you a few suggestions:
1. Start your mornings by sitting in silence. Rather than watching the news, reading the morning paper, or opening your computer, find a quiet place to just sit and think.
2. While driving alone, turn off the music and talk shows. Turn your car into a think tank where you process life and make good decisions.
3. Go for a daily walk and leave the music at home. Pick a topic to concentrate on. Almost all of my major decisions are made on my walks. Here are my three favorite questions I ask myself when choosing to think about a specific subject:
- What’s going on? Think about the subject you have selected.
- What are my options? Consider all available options.
- What’s my plan? Make a decision on what you will do.
4. If you have a major decision to make, block out a day, get out of your home, and go somewhere where you can think in peace and quiet. As you do, consider all aspects of your decisions: options, pros, cons, risks, rewards, and possible outcomes.
When you make it a priority to block out time in your busy schedule to just sit in silence and think about your life and where you are going, you will immediately begin to see the benefits of quiet time.
Will you agree to test this lesson by finding 15 minutes TODAY to sit in silence and think about an important decision you need to make?
If you agree with the importance of taking quiet time, please share what you do during your quiet time and how it helps you make better decisions.
If you want to make life-guiding decisions that will help you achieve the things that are truly important to you, you must turn off the noise, surround yourself with silence, and think.
Goals, Priorities, Self-Talk