The Power Of Stillness: How To Find Inner Peace In A Noisy World
Do you ever feel like life is moving too quickly? We live in a fast-paced world, full of distractions and to-do lists.
But integrating stillness into your day can be the key to unlocking new levels of creativity, focus, and inner peace.
Stillness has been used by some of the most influential leaders in history.
They have each had different names for it – upekkha for the Buddhists, aslama for Muslims, and apatheia for the Stoics – but they were all talking about one thing: finding an inner peace through reflection.
The potential benefits of embracing stillness are incredibly powerful.
Moments of profound clarity may come from out of nowhere; you could develop a greater resilience in dealing with difficult temperaments or people; and it also gives us greater pleasure when experiencing the smaller joys that life has to offer.
You don’t need any special apparatus or techniques to start tapping into stillness.
Everyone can take part in this amazing practice and discover its positive effects on their lives!
Finding Stillness In A Noisy World: The Power Of Emotional Equanimity
Finding stillness can be a challenge in today’s world, with its constant noise and distractions.
But it is possible to find peace amidst the chaos.
One of the earliest examples of this approach comes from Lucius Annaeus Seneca who, in first century Rome, was grappling with both external chaos in his environment (barking dogs, ruckus from a nearby gymnasium) and internal worries (his finances under threat, his diminishing favor with Emperor Nero.)
Instead of succumbing to these troubles and letting them overwhelm him, Seneca embraced stillness.
He found peace within himself by focusing on one activity at a time and allowing himself to concentrate deeply without being distracted.
By doing so, he was able to engage in activities of intellectual value like deep thought and creativity, as well as writing some of the most influential philosophical essays ever written.
This idea of finding stillness applies to modern times as well; Buddhists call it upekka and Muslims call it aslama while Christians use equanimity and Stoics refer to it as apatheia.
No matter what you call it, if we are able to “mute” our inner and outer environments long enough, we too can reap the benefits that come with achieving a state of mental stillness – insight into complex problems, powerful performances informed by practice or simply appreciating life’s simple wonders as they slowly pass us by.
John F. Kennedy Proved That Finding Stillness In High-Stakes Situations Is The Surest Path To Wisdom
The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 was a frightening time for the world, with the possibility of a nuclear attack on the United States looming just 100 miles away.
In the face of this immense pressure, President John F.
Kennedy chose to pause, seek stillness and reflective action instead of instantaneous aggression in response to the provocation from the Soviet Union.
By taking his time, Kennedy not only helped pull the world back from armageddon, but also set a powerful example – stillness is key in times of crisis!
By saying no to his gut instinct to fire missiles immediately, he created space for himself and his Soviet equivalent First Secretary Nikita Krushchev to think through their options and find a peaceful resolution.
He did this by slowing down and engaging in activities such as swimming and gardening which allowed him to reflect and find stillness even while dealing with an urgent situation.
Using JFK’s example as inspiration you too can respond calmly in times of crisis!
When faced with high-stakes situations remember—resist your gut feeling; don’t rush into decisions; maintain equanimity through stillness; shift from stress to reflection.
Doing so could prevent catastrophic consequences by helping you make clear choices that put an end conflict.
The Power Of Being Present: Why You Should Learn To Cherish The Moment
The power of presence is undeniable, and this is something that performance artist Marina Abramović knows quite well.
When she held her “Artist is Present” performance at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2010, people quickly realized the significance of her stillness.
Marina was conscious throughout the moment and truly let herself be present with those who sat opposite to her.
Even with visitors being overcome by emotion, she remained focused on the here and now of each passing moment.
Marina’s feat of endurance beckons us to look beyond our usual habit of distracting ourselves from living life as it actually happens.
We often take photos instead of fully engaging in a beautiful sunset, or fill our minds with things to do when we have a night at home for us to enjoy -sometimes even when standing in line to see Marina Abramović!
However, missing out on the present moment has sometimes dire costs that can only be ever truly experienced first hand.
The pool of awareness around this concept extends far beyond art however: athletes are coached to remain 100% alert during games where distraction simply means sub-standard results.
But perhaps what we all need most is an appreciation that being present is also a key factor for success in life in general.
Don’t consider what naysayers might say–just focus on that which is immediately happening around you, still your mind and embrace it completely.
Doing so allows us fully engage in our daily lives which taken together make up life itself!
Journaling Can Help Us Reflect On Life And Find Stillness
Writing in your journal can help you reflect deeply on the events of your day.
History is full of people who journalled – like Anne Frank, Seneca, Oscar Wilde and Queen Victoria – and it’s clear that they got a lot out of the experience.
Doing this helps you to get a new perspective on your actions, as if watching yourself as if you were a stranger.
When we look back and review our behaviour at the end of the day, we are more likely to try and do better tomorrow.
Recent studies have backed up this wisdom: for example one from the University of Arizona showed that people going through a divorce were able to move on more quickly if they recorded their experiences in a journal.
If you want to get the most out of journaling – stillness is key!
Create a quiet moment for yourself and honestly face up to any tough questions that arise such as: why did I get so upset about this today? What does my behaviour reveal about my character? Take your time reflecting on these questions in order to truly reflect deeply in your journaling practice.
The Hidden Benefits Of Silence: Discovering Greater Clarity And Awareness Through Quiet
Cultivating silence is key to harnessing the riches it offers.
John Cage, an experimental composer, was deeply intrigued by the meaning of silence.
He pushed the boundaries with his most well-known composition: 4’33— four minutes and 33 seconds of uninterrupted quiet.
Incredibly, even during a performance of this piece, there were sounds for audiences to hear—Illustrating that true silence does not exist.
This realization spurred Cage to talk about how beneficial it can be for us to periodically step away from sound and noise — both literal and symbolic —and enjoy moments of stillness.
His sentiment is echoed in findings from leadership coach Randall Stutman who found that leaders often use their downtime in ways that minimize or muffle noise: cycling, swimming or scuba diving.
These environments can recharge not just bodies, but minds which generates clarity and sometimes unexpected revelations.
So tune out all the excess noise that’s been clouding your life and make room for silence – You may be surprised at what you discover!
The Cost Of Cold-Bloodedness: The True Price Of Making A Champion And How To Achieve Stillness Of The Soul
When Tiger Woods won his 14th major golf tournament in 2008, he seemed to have the perfect life: fame, success and adoration from fans.
However, it was clear that beneath this tranquil surface was something deeply troubling.
Tiger Woods had been raised with a certain expectation to perform on the golf course.
His father drilled him mercilessly, taunting and abusing him while he tried to tee off, or using racial slurs at moments of focus.
His mother threatened him if he effected her image as a good parent.
As a result of this rigorous upbringing, Tiger Woods became an incredibly successful golfer; but this lifestyle came with the cost of his personal soul’s stillness and contentment.
Soon after his major championship win in 2008 came out numerous details of Tiger’s unfaithfulness which caused shockwaves not just within his family but around the entire world.
After some reflection, Tiger came to realize that living a life filled with lies and deceit isn’t going to make you happy anymore, and it only leads further away from true stillness.
This story serves as an illustration of Thich Nhat Hanh’s saying (“while the surface of the ocean may seem still, underneath there are currents.”) that we should understand our souls need for stillness just as much as we understand what it takes to be successful in business or sports.
If we put too much emphasis on external validation and neglect our inner peace then all those accomplishments will ultimately come up short when it comes to satisfying us on a deeper level.
Cutting Through Desires To Achieve Contentment And Stillness
One of the keys to achieving stillness as outlined in John F.
Kennedy’s book, Stillness Is the Key, is learning when enough is enough.
Human desires are all around us, always pulling us away from contentedness – whether these desires stem from power, material possessions or relationships.
But if we can find a way to make peace with having “enough” and recognize it within ourselves, then truly finding stillness may become easier to achieve.
Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller once found themselves discussing this very idea at a billionaire’s luxurious home.
When Vonnegut asked how his companion felt knowing that their host had likely out-earned Heller’s timeless novel Catch-22 in just a day, he replied that he had something the billionaire would never have: the knowledge that he already had enough.
This profound acceptance of enough freed Heller from want and comparison to others – but it also allowed him to create six more great works without regard for external validation or expectation.
His reply when faced with one critical comment perfectly encompasses this idea of contentment: “Who has?”.
In short, if you find yourself struggling with the desire for more, remember Joseph Heller’s deeply wise words – they could just be the key to helping you find your own sense of stillness and true contentment
Appreciate The Beauty Of The Ordinary And Find Stillness In Your Everyday Life
If you want to experience the benefits of stillness in your life, it helps to bask in the beauty around you.
We can look to shinrin yoku, or “forest bathing” as a reminder that we don’t have to retreat to nature in order to appreciate its beauty.
Rather, we should attune ourselves to less obvious manifestations of beauty and learn how to appreciate them just as much.
This was something that Roman philosopher and emperor Marcus Aurelius was very aware of – he even found beauty in death!
It’s our responsibility then, as we go about our lives, taking time out each day to take a moment and simply notice the beauty before us.
Whether this is bread splitting as it bakes or an olive gracefully falling from a tree, there is plenty of beautiful moments in life that could use more attention.
Let’s start paying attention today!
Churchill’s Example Of Self-Care: How Physical Activity Can Bring Us Stillness And Productivity
The key to finding stillness in even the busiest life is to take care of your body with physical activity.
Winston Churchill was a prime example of this – known for his work in government and writing, he managed to make time for bricklaying, an unusual hobby that soon became much more.
Churchill’s bricklaying gave him a mental and physical escape of sorts and it even served as an antidote to his depression.
This is why many prominent figures found their stillness in a side hobby – whether it was William Gladstone chopping down trees or John Cage mushroom hunting.
By taking up a physical activity that allows you to focus on something other than your workload or life pressures can provide an opportunity to find the stillness that you need.
It doesn’t need to be as grand as bricklaying or tree-chopping, just something that helps you clear your head – but not too much!
The Power Of Stillness: Embracing Moderation And Self-Care For A Healthier Life
For anyone seeking to achieve greatness, understanding the importance of rest is key.
Throughout history, some of the greatest minds have realized that taking care of yourself and setting limits on your activities is just as important as being active in order to reach your fullest potential.
Winston Churchill discovered this first when he learned the power of siestas during his time in Cuba.
Psychologist Anders Ericsson studied master violinists and uncovered a fascinating statistic-they all slept for an average of 8 1/2 hours every night and made sure to take daily naps!
Even Prince Albert, Victoria’s husband, found out the hard way that taking on too much can be detrimental by literally working himself to death from overwork.
The moral here is that it’s good to strive for excellence but don’t forget to make room for rest in the process!
Without it, we may find ourselves doing far more harm than good due ot our own aspirations.
Take time out today to slow down, calm down, and create stillness within yourself and environment.
You will be surprised at how it positively affects both your body and mind!
By taking the time to be still, we can experience a greater sense of clarity and peace in our lives.
This is the key message behind Ryan Holiday’s book Stillness Is the Key.
To foster stillness in our lives, he encourages us to be present in the moment, find silence, reflect deeply (through journaling), appreciate beauty around us, recognize when enough is enough and dedicate time to hobbies and physical activity.
Holiday also suggests that one way to achieve stillness is by getting rid of unimportant belongings often cluttering up our lives.
Eliminating things like knickknacks or expensive clothes creates both mental and physical space for us to live more freely and cultivate stillness.