While listening to Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism yesterday (which is the February selection of Beth’s Book Club 2021, so I hope you’re reading it, too!), I was really taken by his thoughts on isolation and how important it is. When we talk about isolation, especially during a pandemic, we reference all of the detrimental effects, and this is absolutley true. But isolation actually has an upside as well.
In 2021, we are rarely truly ever alone. As soon as we get alone, we grab our smart phone or our laptop and fill the “alone time” with work, emails, texts, or senseless social media. Most of us hate to be alone. Newport talks about how important it is to take advantage of those times that we are left with our own thoughts; it’s when and where our most creative thoughts flourish. And if those times don’t simply happen, then we should create them.
Abraham Lincoln intentionally created those moments at his cottage outside DC during his presidency. Henry David Thoreau deliberately created the same at Walden Pond. Technology does not always help us create our best work. What is it that we are looking to do, be, or have in 2021? What is work calling us to create in the new year? What if all the answers we are looking for could actually be found in cultivating and nourishing some alone time to truly and deeply think—without distraction? What then? Ahh, that may actually be the superpower we were searching for all along! Give it a shot, you have nothing to lose!
P.S. We will discuss Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism at the end of the month on Zoom. Let me know if your interested in joining in! We had a great call last month on Marie Kondo’s The Magic Art of Tidying. And March will be all about finding your purpose! Stay tuned for the book selection!