Have the Patience to Learn How to Harness It

Ink on Gel Printed Paper – Words: Sir Francis Bacon

Our brain and bodies need sleep to rest, rejuvenate and navigate all the growth we made during the day. When we do not sleep we do more harm than we know. The best thing we can do for ourselves is get a good night’s sleep and yet sleep is usually the first thing we sacrifice to get things done. These words reminded me about sleep:

Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.

-Sir Francis Bacon, 1626

So like sleep is to our bodies, silence serves that same importance to wisdom. Knowing what to say and when to say it may seem important, even vital to get where we want to go. More important is knowing when to be silent, listen, and absorb. The most important person in the room is not the person who is always talking. If you spend any time in rooms where decisions are made, the most important person is usually the one doing all the listening.

When I became comfortable with silence my life changed drastically. When I no longer felt the need to fill those quiet moments with more words, I changed. And when I learned how to use the power of silence – a pause, a long pause, or even allowed an awkward silence to persist – my relationships changed. There is great power in silence, learning to harness that power is an incredible skill. Which first means governing ourselves well enough to let silence do it’s job.

I had to endure a lot of uncomfortable silent moments until I learned how this moments could actually be comfortable. Once I understood that more could be gained by listening than by talking, everything was different. Which meant I had to practice, endure silence, and contain my own need to communicate verbally. When I was able to do that I was a different leader and a different person. It was no longer all about me, it was about the people in the room and truly listening to what they were or were not saying to fully understand their need. Once I “heard” that everything else got easier.

So today I encourage you to be silent. Let the quiet do the work for you. Listen, focus, concentrate and watch what happens. There is power in silence, as long as you have the patience to learn how to harness it.

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