Quieting your mind allows those great, innovative ideas to come to the surface.
“The busier you are, the more you need quiet time.” The title of one Harvard Business Review’s latest articles, says it all.
We live in an increasingly loud and hectic world, where we are subjected to endless noise pollution, both from inside and outside sources: we fill our ears with music, news, podcasts and more in an effort to stay on top of trends and whatever narrative is currently controlling the airwaves, always looking for that next marketing or business opportunity. We entertain inner monologs with endless to-do lists, mentally prepare meetings and spend a lot of time thinking about what to say next - barely giving our thinking mind a break.
But, what if that opportunity - that next big thing or ‘ah-ha’ moment - laid not in the noise but in nurturing silence?
That’s what journalist and author Ta-Nehisi Coates argues, as he says “serious thinkers and writers” should get off social media and fill spare time with that increasingly rare commodity: quiet.
He’s not alone in his thinking, either. Structured silence has factored into the success of great minds, including authors like J.K. Rowling and even California Governor, Jerry Brown. Furthermore, the HBR article cites studies that reveal “needless sound” leads to sleep deprivation, distress, and alarm, while silence relieves stress, improves memory and fights insomnia. It’s even associated with the development of new cells. Much like sleep is necessary to restore our bodies and brains, quiet time is needed to give our creative muscles the “rest day” they need to flex out impressive new ideas.
As we usher in an era of mindfulness and meditation to balance our overworked minds, cultivating the practice of silence is the next logical step for a more well-rounded lifestyle. The added benefit of boosted creativity is just the cherry on top.
Learn more in the HBR original think piece.
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