How To Discover Peace And Creation Time In Chaos
Under-stimulate yourself in order to create and think
You’re late once again. In the rush to get out the door, you forgot your coffee. You missed your window to get by the local school before the buses arrive. If you don’t drive fast, they’ll make you ‘piss your boss off’ late.
As you get into the car, you instinctively turn on the radio. The noise from the speaker blends in with the noise from road construction and traffic. A car almost pulls out of a cross street and hits you. Your mind has to be razor-sharp as you drive nowadays. They give anybody a driver’s license.
To add to all this rush of stimulation, your phone keeps beeping. It must be an email. It could be important. It keeps nagging at you just adding on to the wave of stimulation that’s battering you. But, this is commonplace.
Your entire day is like this — flying from one thing to another. There is no break or peace. It feels like your brain is part of a never-ending marathon. However, in this marathon, the bystanders throw rocks at you that must be avoided continuously.
This is the environment in which a robot or drone thrives. Creativity and deep thought can’t be birthed here. How do you do it? How do you step out of this world of endless beeps, noises, and mindless busyness? How can you fit thinking into this chaos?
The lack of coffee and an endless wave of noise around you make you feel a bit desperate, but matters aren’t as terrible as you think.
The World Of Stimulation
Technology does wonderful things. It’s hard to argue with that. However, one negative effect of this power of innovation is the endless world of stimulation it creates. Human ingenuity has created a war against boredom.
You never have to be bored if you don’t want to. Your cellphone, computer, Netflix, and television make certain of this by continuously giving you a passive sort of stimulation. If you so choose, there can be constant noises, flashes, music, or video surrounding you all day long.
The amazing technology can seduce the user into never having a quiet moment in their day.
The benefits of meditation are well known, not just in an anecdotal sense. Countless scientific articles have been backed by studies showing positive benefits of mental practice.
According to Matthew Thorpe, MD, Ph.D. in an article he wrote for Healthline, it’s scientifically proven that meditation can reduce anxiety, lower stress, lengthen attention span, improve emotional health, boost memory, and combat addictions. What is needed in order for the brain to go into this meditative state?
Silence, stillness, and lack of stimulation.
In order for your brain to achieve a state where this can happen, you must under-stimulate it. The chaos I described at the beginning of this article isn’t conducive to the mental growth that accompanies meditation.
At least for me, the same applies to creativity. My brain can’t get to the plane of thought where I can write, think, and create when I’m buffeted by overstimulation.
This leads to a simple question. How do you achieve this silence and stillness when your world is overloaded with stimulation? It’s everywhere you go — not to mention the responsibilities that keep you busy. How can you possibly avoid it?
You may not be able to avoid overstimulation or busywork, but you can create a temporary world of under-stimulation. You can build your silence.
Creating Your Tower Of Under-Stimulation
I’m going to totally steal an idea from Superman right here. When the caped one’s world got a little too crazy or his tights got a bit too bunched up, he checked out. He had his fortress of solitude — a little beachfront property by an iceberg. He got away from the world and focused on what he needed to.
You may not look good in blue tights or be able to fly, but you can check out as well. An iceberg isn’t necessary, just time. Take a look at your busy day and find spots that aren’t so busy. If you can’t find them, create them.
I’m currently getting out of bed an hour earlier than usual. It’s totally quiet and the house is still. Nobody is awake yet and there are no overstimulation monsters to get me.
During this time, I sit with a notebook and pen and come up with ideas to write about. It isn’t completely technology deficient, at points I do type up things on my computer, or do focused research.
It doesn’t even have to be completely ‘silent’. I don’t sit in the dark and chant like a monk — at least not yet. I have chosen the music I’ll play that doesn’t distract me.
This is my fortress of solitude. It’s not necessarily a place. I could do this anywhere. It’s more of a time and practice for creation. It’s my version of meditation for creativity. The author Ryan Holiday might call this ‘stillness’.
It’s a time for reflection, creativity, and thinking. You can have your own version of this if you so choose. The stimulation may surround you like Starbucks locations, but you can drown it out with your own kind of silence or stillness.
As Holiday mentions in his book Stillness Is The Key, the idea of ‘stillness’ doesn’t even need to involve you sitting still.
Hijacking The Technology Of Stimulation
Stimulation can hit you like a wave and drag you into a current where you’ll drown. However, if you can direct the wave, it can create mobile fortresses of solitude where you can think and expand your mind.
Technology also offers gifts if you know where to look. The traffic jam you find yourself stuck in can be an opportunity to learn. Turn your car into a classroom. Podcasts enable you to be in the front row of great lectures by the thinkers of our day.
The ancient Greeks would have had to go to a philosophy school to hear Epictetus or Aristotle speak. You can click a button and listen to the philosophers of modern times.
While you jog, your mind can be free to learn and explore. As your feet hit the ground rhythmically and mechanically let ideas build your mobile fortress of solitude.
My car works as a mobile platform of learning. As I’ve sat in traffic, I’ve listened to 20 books in the past 8 months and countless lectures. Despite the chaos around me, there’s peace and stillness in my car.
Create Your Peace And Stillness
You’re endlessly busy. Things move quickly and never stop. Stimulation threatens your creativity and ability to think endlessly. But, you can create an antidote to this mess by scheduling and using technology the correct way.
You can create your own fortress of solitude with a bit of planning. Use this time of reflection to quiet your mind. It can be sitting in a physical room while you think, review, and create. Or it can be when you’re on the move, listening to mind-expanding conversations and lectures.
You may live in a world of computers and robots, but you’re not one and never will be. Despite the chaos, you can build times of creativity, peace, and stillness. Technology can be hijacked to stimulate you in the correct way.
There’s a symphony in the cacophony of noise in your every day if you just know where to listen.
Thank you for reading my ramblings. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read, please share.