It’s human nature to want to be around other people.
That much is a fact.
We crave the feeling of companionship, of having a person beside us or around us even if there is no dialogue. The subconscious understanding that this other human being is in the same space as you and is present does something to ease our minds and bring us a sense of comfort. Like we’re not alone.
Especially in this modern day and age of social media and advanced technology, we very rarely get time alone, just to ourselves. In fact, really the only times we are truly alone are when we’re in the bathroom, but even then…
Being able to find comfort in yourself when you’re all alone is a lot of power to handle.
Therefore so many people always try and stay connected to at least one other human being, because they can’t handle that immense power.
Now, to define being alone I’m going to take a step back for a moment. Looking at a person who lives on their own, in an apartment by themselves would undoubtedly be alone, but they still would have some kind of connection to the outside world. Whether that’s through their cell phone, TV, laptop or whatever, they still have a way of reaching out to the world beyond the confines of their apartment.
What I’m talking about when I say being alone is removing those external distractions (only for a period don’t worry) and allowing yourself to truly focus.
What do I mean? I’ll use myself as an example.
Most of the time when I write, it’s early in the morning. No one else is awake and social media is silent. I turn the Wi-Fi off on my laptop, keep my phone on Airplane Mode or Do Not Disturb and make sure that nothing can distract me.
This comes back to being focused vs being busy, but the principle of being alone, away from everyone else allows you to tap into a flow of creative energy you never knew you had before.
Learning to enjoy being alone without the temptation to reach out to someone, even if its only for an hour or two, is hard in the beginning but crucial to my definition of success. Being alone allows me to focus consistently on my projects, harnessing the creative energy I need.
I’m not saying to become a hermit. Doing that wouldn’t help you or anyone else really, unless you’re so much of an introvert that being a hermit is a wildly appealing concept. Go ahead, I won’t stop you.
It’s a steep learning curve, being able to enjoy your alone time. I can recall that when I was in my first year of college, still stumbling down a confused path with no clear direction, I used to HATE being alone. I’d do anything to prevent it, regardless of the time of day. If I was going to sleep, I’d do or take anything I could to fall asleep faster because I just didn’t want to be alone with my thoughts.
Now, it’s one of my favourite times and I’ve made it into a daily practice. Nearly every morning, seven days a week I have an hour or two of time just to myself to focus on what I want to do.
I’ve noticed to, that being able to enjoy your alone time can also help you in situations with other people, more public and social settings. Whether that’s going to dinner with friends or on a coffee date or a conversation with a stranger at the mall, I’ve found myself to be more attentive, sincere and engaged when I’m talking with someone. I’m able to detach from the noise and distractions around me and devote my attention to whomever I’m talking to or with, which makes the conversation even more meaningful.
So, give it a try. It doesn’t have to be every day. It could even be as little as once a week. Just take an hour to turn off all your distractions, whether its right in the morning or right before bed or even in the middle of the day. The time of day is not what’s important, it’s how you treat the focus and intent of being alone, dedicating that time to yourself and yourself only.
Try it. You never know what could happen.
I certainly didn’t think I’d enjoy it.
I’d do everything I could to avoid it.
Now, I can’t get enough.