Welcome to Insights and Implications!
Ever want to get away from it all? Read this month’s newsletter and learn how to do just that without even leaving home.
All the best,
All of us at Insight Principles
Silent Retreat, Anyone?
I recently read an interesting article written by Sally Blount, the Dean at Kellogg School of Management. Her advice was:
The next time you feel stuck at work with a hard problem to solve, a complicated team dynamic, or are just feeling burnt out — instead of hiring a consultant, going to a seminar, or tweeting about it — consider going away for 2-3 days of silence.
For the past decade, Sally has been going on silent retreats once a year, usually for 2-3 days but sometimes for up to 14 days. The results? A profound sense of freedom and a renewed respect for reflection and what she calls “leadership muscle-building.”
I get it. As this newsletter goes to distribution, I will be returning from a 10 day kayak trip to the northern Canadian wilderness. We kayak in an area so remote that we probably won’t see other human beings. There is no cell phone reception. While it won’t be a totally silent retreat, my husband and I go long stretches without talking. I love disconnecting from the hustle and noise of my usual routine, and I come back from these trips rested, refreshed, and full of new ideas.
If a silent retreat and/or a kayak trip to the wilderness doesn’t exactly sound like your cup of tea, don’t worry. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home to find what Sally Blount and I are describing.
Sometimes it seems that daily life fills your head with thoughts and makes your mind busy. Logistics, deadlines, business challenges, finances, and family needs all compete for your attention. They can appear to have the power to create stress or knock you off balance. When this is happening frequently or with great intensity, you might get burned out. Getting away from it all can sound like a solution.
Cell phones have off buttons, offices have doors. Homes have recliners and couches, decks and backyards. You have plenty of opportunities to unplug. Why don’t you?
I think it’s because we forget where the power is.
We forget that our own thinking makes our rules, compels us, pressures us, and fills our minds. In other words, the noise and disruption we want to escape is not coming from the outside. The noise and disruption is generated within our own minds via the power of thought. This invisible force creates our experience and then says, “I didn’t do it!”
Remembering how your mind works does not give you total control over this invisible force, but it does wake you up to what’s actually going on.
You don’t need a retreat or a kayak trip. Buoyed by your knowledge of how the mind works, you can find silence anywhere.
©Insight Principles, Inc.