Monday, April 23, 2018

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Become Your Greatest Fan

The worst loneliness is not 
to be comfortable with yourself.
--- Mark Twain

Boredom simply means time alone that is uncomfortable.

How do you become comfortable talking with someone you haven’t seen in a long time and no longer know very well other than becoming reacquainted with them and conversing until a feeling of comfort reemerges?

How do you become comfortable playing basketball other than … by playing basketball?

Similarly, you build your comfort level with spending time alone by …  spending time alone.

Most of us are so afraid of boredom that we run from it, which prevents it from maturing into an opportunity for self-understanding and psychological clarity.

Others can’t stand boredom because they associate it with inefficiency—a four-letter word in a culture hyper-focused on productivity.

Yet love, truth, happiness, inner peace, meaningful relationships—all the things we care about are never efficient: they involve trying, retrying, and retrying different approaches again until we find one that works, and then reworking it again once it stops working.

How can we develop this tolerance for the necessary inefficiency of developing meaningful relationships—including with ourselves?

The answer lies within you: in your case, it may be walking for forty-five minutes after work and watching the sunset. It may be going to a concert and allowing the music to connect you with your soul. It may be through meditation or yoga.

This week, make a pact with yourself to loosen your attachment to short-term results and open yourself to doing what it will take to form a deeper connection with yourself and others.

Anthony Silard is the president of The Center for Social Leadership, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week, enter your email here (1-step only). To support The Center for Social Leadership's Young Leaders Program for disadvantaged youth either directly or through purchases, click here.

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