We have words for those kinds of people: loner, outsider, oddball.
I always remember being strange, in the eyes of my co-workers, for not having, or wanting, roommates.
How does one live alone? Doesn’t it get…well…lonely?
But is being alone as terrible as we’re conditioned to believe?
Being Together, Being Alone
Everything in life has its opposite. Night and day. Up and down. Yin and yang.
Can you appreciate one without the other? I think not. The contrast gives it meaning.
So what about being together and being alone? Can you truly appreciate friends and family without the contrast of being alone?
The last three months—that’s what I’ve done. I’ve withdrawn into the netherworld to see what it’s really all about.
The conclusion I’ve come to? Solitude is instrumental for more deeply appreciating your relationships.
Why? Because we live in a hyperactive, always connected, world. How many of us actually take time out?
I know for the longest time I felt I had to be socially active:
- texting people
- hanging out with friends
- working so I could interact with co-workers
- spending time with family
- online gaming so I could play with other gamers
We’re always doing something, all to avoid ever finding ourselves, by ourselves.
I’ve discovered, though, that just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely.
And in fact, being alone—when you’ve repaired the relationship with yourself—is downright blissful.
7 Reasons Why Solitude is Paramount
More than just being able to enhance your relationships, solitude is vital for the evolution of who you are.
Without it, I don’t believe you can ever reach your full potential.
1. Rewire Your Mindset
The average person’s mental diet is a steady consumption of garbage. They have no control of what goes inside, and thus, their brains get crammed with junk.
But here’s the thing. Muddy thoughts produce muddy actions.
So can you honestly expect to evolve and grow stronger when you’re not giving your mind the building blocks it needs?
Solitude, in this case, is the antidote. By cutting out the noise and hubbub, you regain operational capacity of the control panel—your brain.
You get to create the environment of your choosing. And with that choice comes a special opportunity. The chance to fill your mind with virtue.
- Seneca: Letters to a Stoic (Amazon)
- Essays on Embracing Masculinity (Amazon)
- Mastery (Amazon)
- The Essence of Success (Amazon)
- Freedom: The Courage to Be Yourself (Amazon)
Nothing but an influx of positivity and inspiration over the last three months.
How has my life changed?
Life-altering is the word that comes to mind. My way of being, and way of thinking, has changed radically.
2. Mend the Relationship with Yourself
All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.
In the crowd and the every day noise, it’s easy to get lost, to blend in.
But when you’re alone? Nowhere left to hide. For some, that’s daunting. Especially if you’re not on the friendliest terms with yourself.
And that’s why solitude is great. It gives you the chance to mend the relationship with yourself.
For me growing up, I had nothing but negativity looping in my head. My mind was my own worst critic.
But as I’ve spent this time alone, it has allowed me to embrace who I am. I’ve developed a belief in, and a respect for, myself.
And let me say this: having your mind on your side makes you unstoppable. Because, as our friend Napoleon Hill once said, what the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
Without past hangups jamming your way you can go anywhere in life.
3. Improve Your Relationships
Funnily enough I’ve spent three months alone, yet, my relationships have improved tenfold.
Socializing is immensely more gratifying now.
Why? Because I’ve become my own best friend. The negative chatter has dissipated. My mind is calm. And I no longer judge myself.
My cup is overflowing with love and respect for myself, so it’s only natural that I’m now able to love and respect others.
4. Negativity Exposed
Negativity is death by a thousand cuts. In life we get barraged by negativity, mostly in the form of the people in our lives.
And that’s why solitude is key: you discover who is adding value to your life, and who is taking it away.
Often I find it’s not ourselves who hold us back; it’s those around us.
- Fear of judgement for trying something new and failing.
- Fear of ruffling feathers for setting boundaries for what you will and won’t tolerate in your life.
- Fear of being found unlovable for adopting new behavior and bettering yourself.
5. Acquire Self-Reliance
Social conditioning is a wily beast. From birth we get taught to conform and to rely on others.
Stay inside your cozy bubble where everything is known and predictable. Don’t think for yourself. Follow the conventional path.
Most people never escape the trap. They never develop self-reliance.
But with solitude? You’re smack-dab in the jungle and there’s no better way to sharpen your wit. You have no option but to rely on yourself.
And instead of waiting for permission—what’s everyone else doing?—you must spring into action and carve your own path.
6. Hone Your Intuition
We’re constantly blasted with noise.
Everyone has an opinion on how your life should be lived.
But what do you want for your life? Why are you here on this earth?
And until you figure that out, I don’t believe you can ever truly be content.
That’s why solitude is crucial. It cuts out the static and tunes your mind to your heart’s frequency. It makes hearing the voice inside you—your intuition—possible.
7. Take Action
What’s great about having no one around? Freedom to experiment like never before.
No social obligations. No distractions from the daily minutiae. Nothing and no one to get in your way.
That, for me, has been incredible. I’ve been able to dial into a routine that has soared my productivity.
Every day, I take my axe and chop another section of the forest.
Day by day, tree by tree, clearing the ground upon which I’ll stake my claim.
Striking a Balance
Of course, you can take anything too far to the extreme. Maybe my three months alone was insane. Who knows if I’ll ever do something like this again.
But I still believe it’s important to strike a balance, every day, and spend time alone. Time to work on your projects. Time to ponder the bigger picture. Time to grow and develop yourself.
Your ability to affect other people’s lives is limited by the capacity of your own personal growth. If you’re constantly immersed in the crowd, you simply can’t be as effective.
Going into solitude allows you to recalibrate your internal compass.
It allows you to be all you’re capable of being.