Modern IT/Computer Science jobs and software businesses so full of daily demands and urgencies, and the barrage of noise and activity from technology and social media, that many of us never get the chance to sit down and ask ourselves a deep and meaningful question. That question is sobering, albeit rhetorical: are we the first to do all the things we do; all that we are consumed with every day; and will we be the last to do them?
When all is said and done, every generation faces the same choices, challenges, demands and distractions; we all strive for advancement, success and freedom. But in every age, most people seek such from their desk. Yet, as the saying goes, no one on their death bed ever wishes they had spent more time at the office. A great wise king named Solomon put it this way: “The thing that has been—it is what will be again, and that which has been done is that which will be done again; and there is nothing new under the sun.”
Today I’d like to present to you the habit of solitude. Admittedly, solitude today may seem as hard to get as an iPad would’ve been for my grandparents. But our need for solitude, and its benefits for our souls, have not and will never change. We need to get back to basics.
Solitude is the act of isolating yourself from the numerous demands on your attention, in order to focus on you and God. It means taking time to examine your life, values, convictions, motives, and priorities. It involves reflecting on what you represent and identify with in this world; whether the fleeting fashions of social values or the unchanging principles of the Creator.
This is a highly introspective process, that makes you pause and listen to your heart, mind and conscience. It is absolutely impossible to become deeply absorbed in this kind of self-knowledge, and not emerge a different person. Solitude will allow you to see life with understanding and discernment, to view and value your relationships differently, and to see yourself in a whole new light.
How to experience the benefits of solitude
- Make solitude a regular part of your day and your week by scheduling short periods of time for yourself. The best time is first thing in the morning, and lastly before you sleep
- Go to a quiet place where you are free from noise and distraction
- Have a note pad and pen
- Ponder over your life, yourself and your relationships
- Visualise the changes you want to see
- Think of solutions and innovate
- Make bold, positive statements about yourself and your progress
- Listen to an inspiring and enriching audio or video
- Rest or sleep
- Increase God’s peace and rest in your life through fellowship
- Improve your physical and mental health by reducing stress and tension
- Enhance your creativity and problem-solving abilities
- Benefit your personal relationships by making you more self-aware
- Learn how to make the required changes and adjustments
- Improve your ability to make decisions and focus
- Envision the future and generate ideas
Do not use solitude to avoid quality time with friends, family and positive associations. There is a time and season for everything, including solitude. Nonetheless, we advise that you practice being alone daily. Put the first things first!