What do Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, J K Rowling, Oprah Winfrey Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln have in common?
They and many, many others have taken the time out meditate and embrace the gift of solitude. This Solitude and Meditation is a practice that encourages the mind to slow down and also benefits the body and soul.
Isolation versus Solitude
You see, isolation and solitude both imply being alone but that is where the similarities end. They are opposite states in every other important way. Solitude is usually a personal choice that comes from an inner yearning.
Although isolation as a leader can be actively avoided, it can be forced from the role or the position leaders find themselves. Choosing Solitude enables leaders an expansion and freedom of thought, providing them the chance to soar above the ordinary in order to come back to the world refreshed and reinvigorated. Isolation contracts the walls and makes a prison, draining the will and leaving leaders stressed, drained and exhausted.
Do You Need to Be Alone?
We all need times in our lives to be truly alone in order to gain a new perspective and discover who we really are, but most people fear the state precisely because solitude and isolation get confused. Little is scarier than the thought of being emotionally, spiritually, and physically cut off from the vision and purpose of the business or organisation.
The feeling of isolation can arise when not connecting with the people that surround you and depend on your leadership for guidance, abundance and joy!
In the case of â€˜solitudeâ€™ leaders can ascend to the mountaintop with assurances in the back of their mind that those people who are connected are waiting for you in the valley below. Isolation offers no such promise, creating devastating psychological consequences.
Connecting with Others and Preparing for â€˜Stormsâ€™ Ahead
A lot of mal adaptive leadership behaviour can be viewed through a psychological lens as a desperate attempt to create some form of connection, bridging the gap of isolation by making others recognize their existence and significance. This recognition often comes at a terrible cost for everyone involved.
Solitude and meditation prepares leaders for the storms ahead. Often leaders can become battle weary, shipwrecked and depleted because they fail to take stock, exercise patience and seek expert advice from trusted peers, friends and family. It is often easy to be guided by the circumstances they find themselves in, this too can be a mistake and end up costing a lot in effort and money. So What Is The Answer?
By stepping into character, focusing on growth and increasing positive human connection if you feel isolated. Conversely giving yourself time for solitude, if you feel connected.
There is a huge difference between being alone and being lonely, raising leaders conscious awareness about where they actually are, helps guide their behaviour and set the conditions for their further growth and happiness.
The benefits are certainly there if leaders approach such a quiet place, not with a sense of duty, but as a time for returning to self. It becomes a gentle place of reassurance, reassessment, replenishment and peace.
Here are 6 Key Benefits That can Change Your Life
Time spent in silence and solitude on a regular basis can affect us all in the following ways:
1 Sharpens our sense of clarity about the life we are living and the choices we are making;
2 Enhances our attitude of simplicity;
3 Increase our humility and help us avoid unnecessary arrogance by allowing time to examine the defences and games we play (these often surface for us to see during quiet times);
4 Lets us enjoy our relationship with ourselves more;
5 Decreases our dependence on the reinforcement of others;
6 Enables us to recognize our own areas of anger, entitlement, greed, cowardice (given the opportunity to quietly review the days activities and our reaction to them);
Are you heading towards a financial, business or a personal storm? If so how do you stop getting shipwrecked?
Explore where your energies truly lie and how you can develop them in isolation or in solitude? BOOK NOW
Sanusi Lamina Sanusi was the governor of the Central bank of Nigeria. He was asked to resign his position when he brought attention to the mismanaged and unaccountable government funds. This action required courage and a strong moral conviction. I can only imagine that he was ostracised and possibly labelled a troublemaker it must of been apparent that his circle of influence was rapidly reduced.
In such a situation, would isolation feel safe?
Unfortunately, not especially when the consequences can take the form of , disillusionment, humiliation, formation of an â€œanti-leaderâ€ group, loss of position, questioning of the leaders mental health, the use of vindictive tactics to make the leaderâ€™s work more difficult and/or insignificant and assassination of character .
This can result in the leader feeling heavily burdened, stressed and on a path of extreme burn out and self destruction.
How do leaders survive these moments?
Connect with family, friends, community and an outside voice like a coach. The capacity to understand and the ability to modify behaviour will always be helpful and an asset to the business/organisation but this cannot be done alone.
If you are a Leader and ready to Make Change Happen, connect with us request a Discovery Session . We will explore where your skills, spirit and energy lies, we will discover what boundaries you hold on negative thinking. We prepare you for handling such moments..because they WILL come up.