Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Importance of Solitude

Alone time. By myself. Me and my thoughts. Social isolation.

Solitude is critical for anybody to do anything of quality. It is an essential state of being where the mind is primed to talk, discuss, intake, output, argue and do just about everything else with itself, allowing it to develop its best thoughts.

These best thoughts can then be recorded and presented to other minds, who have gone through a similar process of social isolation, resulting in a glorious engaging of minds attuned to think and perform at their best.

Or the fruits of your solitude can just result in making your life a whole lot better as you plan out your immediate future, evaluate its pros and cons, seek alternatives, and do the whole gamut.

But, for this to be even remotely possible, solitude is of the absolute essence. Its importance cannot be over-emphasised.

Think of a problem that requires mulling over right now. Pen it down if you must. Now imagine that you're at your desk with your table lamp on and a pencil in hand, ready to bust this problem. Go there and set it up, if you must.

There's a knock on the door. Your mother brings in a cup of steaming coffee. She wants your mind to be alert and awake. It's really sweet of her... and the coffee. Now, you want some water. And you don't like seeing or smelling the empty coffee cup on your desk. You might as well get up to return the cup and get some water.

Now, back to your desk. Damn! The phone. I'll have to put that on silent, right after I finish this conversation. It's worse if it's a text; you're never quite sure if you'll receive a reply - is the conversation over or not? Can I get back to my work? No, there's another text.

Ok, with the phone buried under the pillow, let's begin. Silence. Boy, I've never noticed before how noisy my room is. There's a lot of street noise filtering in - cars honking, vendors shouting, people talking, TV from the next house. I'll have to shut the window; but I like the fresh air. What do I do? I know! I'll plug in earphones and listen to music while I work.

2 songs in and I realise I've been paying lip-syncing and playing air guitar/drums for both the songs. The pencil is alternating between being a fret-board and a drum stick. Music's off, earphones are replaced with cotton. Truly inspired!

Boy, this cotton in my ears makes everything sound funny. If I move my jaw in a really slow and pronounced way, I can hear booming clicks inside my head. I tap the unsharpened end of the pencil on the desk. I make slow, deep sounds as I swoosh my light saber pencil through the air. Focus! I can almost hear the thoughts in my head, but with the cotton in my ears, it feels like my thoughts are trapped in there with no way out.

Aaaarrrggghhh!!! This is not procrastination; this is simply the absence of true solitude.

Can you think of a single place you can go to where you are truly alone? The mountains? The beach? I don't think the sounds of nature, in moderation, are impinging on your solitude.

I think I'd like the mountains and the sea.

1 comment:

Product Junkie said...

Try shutting that little voice in your head. If you do succeed, you have it all under control. Its near impossible, not of you try i guess.

Was nice reading your post.:)
After long..