Mental space exists when we have time to be away from any problems that need to be solved. It exists when we’re away from the things constantly pulling at our attention. Now, if you’re anything like me, it is something you probably weren’t giving yourself a lot of. It’s hard! There are so many things to read or watch or listen to all the time. Personally, when I would forgo an opportunity to listen to a podcast on my commute or just sit instead of read, I felt guilty. I felt like I was wasting precious time I could spend learning or fully enjoying my leisure time.
However, now driving with the radio off or waking up and doing the first things of my day in silence has become a ritual. I found that for me, I was missing out on an essential part of human experience. Some of the best ideas, personal insights, or experience of gratitude I’ve had came in moments of silence. Blaise Pascal said “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Far be it from be to speak for all of humanity, but it certainly helped me.
So if you don’t already, maybe once a day, make a trip in the car without the radio on. You could also wake up and listen to the undirected sounds of the world before you turn the news on. If you already do this on a regular basis, I salute you. If you’re so compelled, I would love to hear insights you gained from this habit.