25 Sep 2021, 13:13 — 6 min read
Most of us become very uncomfortable if we don’t do anything. Being engaged in some activity makes us feel like we are in control of our life. From the time we wake up in the morning to when we hit the bed in the night, we need some activity to fill the time. The activity could start with doing morning stretches, reading the news, working on a proposal, attending meetings, mentoring someone, speaking with a friend, sitting in meditation, reading a book, or watching a movie.
If there is a blank space in the day where we don’t have anything to do - it spooks us. So we fill that free space with distractions- Chatting on WhatsApp, scrolling Facebook or Instagram, etc.
As we go through our life living like this, at some point, our mind starts creating these uncomfortable and existential questions - what is happening with my life, what am I doing, why am I not happy, what’s the purpose of my life, where am I going with my life?
Initially, these questions start as whispers in our minds, and they intensify as we grow older, forcing us to pay attention. But, what do we do when these questions hit us? None of us are trained to deal with these sorts of questions. Some of us seek out mentors, some of us seek out gurus, and some of us hit the spiritual path- All towards trying to figure out the answers to the existential questions that inevitably crop up in our heads.
We struggle with answering existential questions because we have not taken the time to know ourselves better. Just like you would have conversations with someone else, have conversations with yourself.
With the benefit of having gone through the existential dilemma I describe above, I have discovered one way to deal with this issue. I call it ” Spending time with yourself.”
We struggle with answering existential questions because we have not taken the time to know ourselves better. If I want to know someone very well, what do I need to do?
I need to spend as much time as I can with that person. If I spend an hour, I will know some basic facts about the person. But if I want to really understand the person, I need to spend as much time as possible with him. By being around the other person for an extended period, I will know how she thinks, what his beliefs are, what excites the person, what fears she has, what his dreams are, what makes her happy or sad, etc.
Like the time we spend getting to know someone else, do we spend in knowing ourselves?
You might say, ” I spend time with myself quite a lot. I work out on my own in the morning, that is me time,” or you might say, ” I go for a run, I sit for meditation, that is me spending time with myself.”
NO, this is not you spending time with yourself. It is you working out, going for a run, and sitting in meditation. It is you doing something alone.
Spend time with yourself the way you would with someone else to know that person well. Just like you would have conversations with someone else, have conversations with yourself.
“What do I like, what excites me and what bothers me?”
“What are my values, and what are my beliefs?”
“Is there something that is truly important for me? What am I willing to do to have the life I desire?”
“What kind of success do I want, and what will give me fulfillment?”
Unfortunately, we all seek the answers to our existential questions externally. When we go somewhere else for the answers, we may get some guidance, clues, and inspiration. But, it is unlikely that we will get the answers to our questions. The answers and enlightenment will come only when we have conversations with ourselves.
Your best friend became your best friend because of the hundreds of conversations that allowed you to know him intimately. So, likewise, you need to treat yourself as your best friend and be willing to have similar conversations to know yourself.
Spending time and having conversations with yourself will bring you profound benefits:
Getting to know yourself is a practice. You don’t need to commit hours to this activity. It could be ten minutes every other day. When you have a blank space, please don’t rush to fill it up with some activity. Appreciate the space. Keep your phone away and have a conversation with yourself.
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Article source: https://ownmygrowth.com/2021/06/29/spend-time-with-yourself/
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy, or position of GlobalLinker.
Posted byPramod Veturi
Global leader with experience managing core banking functions with proven track record of delivering business transformation and growth.