5 POWERFUL LESSONS FROM STILLNESS IS THE KEY BY RYAN HOLIDAY
1. Take A Step Back To Seek Clarity
When Soviet Union sent ballistic missiles to Cuba, a few miles from the United States, everyone thought the US would respond with aggression. Instead, President John F Kennedy took some time away to reflect. His delay caused a change in attitude between the Soviet Government and his government. The Cuban Missile crisis was avoided because rather than rush into a decision, Kennedy took off time to reflect.
When you are confronted with a difficult decision, dont rush it. Reflect over it.
2. The CNN Effect
As a general, Napoleon Bonaparte never replied to his mails immediately. He instructed his secretary to wait three weeks before opening any mail. Napoleon was avoiding a situation called the CNN Effect. The CNN effect is a theory in political science and media studies which states that global television networks play a significant role in determining the actions policymakers take and the outcomes of events. It is a breathless living where everyone is reactive more than taking initiative. To live a full live, you must avoid the CNN effect. Intentionally disconnect and let things lie for a while.
3. Practice Journaling
Although the whole world around her was falling apart, Anne Frank was able to find moderation through writing a journal. Anne Frank was a 13 year old girl who lived through the Second World War in Germany. As her city was bombed every day, her and family hide in a closet. Anne would write her thoughts everyday and when the war was over, her work was published becoming a bestselling book. In depths of war, writing provided clarity for Anne Frank. Writing can provide clarity for you too.
4. Cultivate Silence
In downtown Helsinki, there is a small building called the Kamppi Chapel. Its not a place of worship, strictly speaking, but its as quiet as any cathedral. Quieter, in fact, because there are no echoes. No organs. No enormous creaking doors. It is, in fact, a Church of Silence. Its open to anyone and everyone who is interested in a moment of quiet spirituality in a busy city.
You walk in and there is just silence.
Glorious, sacred silence. The kind of silence that lets you really start hearing.
5. Seek Wisdom
Socrates was a very wise man. Why? Because he kept looking for wisdom and knowledge. He kept trying to find answers. He never stopped learning. Find people you admire and ask how they got where they are. Seek book recommendations. Isnt that what Socrates would do? Add experience and experimentation on top of this. Put yourself in tough situations. Accept challenges. Familiarize yourself with the unfamiliar. Thats how you widen your perspective and your understanding. The wise are still because they have seen it all. They know what to expect because theyve been through so much. Theyve made mistakes and learned from them. And so must you.
Wrestle with big questions. Wrestle with big ideas. Treat your brain like the muscle that it is. Get stronger through resistance and exposure and training.
Do not mistake the pursuit of wisdom for an endless parade of sunshine and kittens. Wisdom does not immediately produce stillness or clarity. Quite the contrary. It might even make things less clearmake them darker before the dawn.
Thank you for reading.