Swiss philosopher Max Picard once said, "There's nothing that changed the nature of man so much as the loss of silence." And he wrote those words in 1948. Think of how much more noise there is now. What I think T.S. Eliot got it right. He said, "We are distracted from distractions by distractions." There is so much noise in our world. If only we had a little bit of silence and solitude. You know, creativity, it needs some of that space in order to grow. Well, why does, why does silence and solitude matter? Why is is important? Well, let me share with you a few quotes from a couple of illuminated minds about this topic. Here's what Picasso had to say. He said, "Without great solitude, no serious work is possible." Then we can go down to William Penn. He said, true silence, here's what it is. "It's a rest of the mind. It is the spirit, it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment." Then there's Edward Gibbon. He reflects, you know, "Conversation. It enriches...
the understanding. But solitude, it's the school of genius." And last, but not least, Mother Teresa. "Silence of the heart is necessary, so you can hear God everywhere." Emerson said a similar thing. He said, "Let us be silent that we may hear the whispers of the gods." You know, when we are quiet, and listen, it's almost like there's more space. And sometimes I think the creative spark gets stuffed, gets snuffed out because of all of that extra noise. And you've probably been wondering, well why am I blending silence and solitude together? Because I think in a lot of ways, they're one and the same. When we experience solitude, we're alone, we're away from all of the clutter of life, from all of that extra noise. Well, how then do we cultivate this in our lives? Well, this is where the action steps come into play. In order to get creative, sometimes it's helpful to be surrounded by all of the energy of other people around. Other times, we need to step away. So, what I want you to do is to plan some time where you're going to turn that noise off. Maybe the next time you hop in your car, rather than turning on the radio or listening to a podcast, just drive in silence. Perhaps the next time you go for a run, leave your Iphone or your Ipod behind. Run in quiet, listen to the birds, to the wind in the trees. Now, here's what happens to a lot of us when we first experience this, or try to experience this, is it will seem a little bit dull. It will seem like we are sensory-deprived because we are so used to hearing so much. But then, if you can sit with the silence, often it will almost seem like there is so much more sound. You'll feel like you can actually make sense of those voices in your heads. You can tap into those deep passions in your soul. So today, or this week, carve out some time to be silent. Carve out some space to experience solitude.