Enjoy the Silence

cartoon-dec13-2011 “You are Intelligence. Capable of knowing the right idea at the right time to make the right decision.” Raymond Charles Barker from The Power of Decision

The power went out at our house tonight. And I had just sat down to start that “second shift.” You know, the one that starts with every entrepreneur after the kids have gone to bed and the chores are done and then – all of the sudden – no power.

Now, the power usually doesn’t go out for more than a few minutes these days with the new technologies and what-not that keep us continuously, mercilessly connected in everything we do. But with the wind and new snow approaching that night, the power stayed off for over an hour or two.

At first, I had the immediate response that most of you would have: the “Oh, crap!” moment; the “I really, really, REALLY needed to get caught up!” moment. I paced around the house lighting candles, grabbing every connected device with a battery and then paused…

The only conceivable sound in the house was the beep of the UPS in our home office every few minutes – beeping desperately with a broken heart for my attention. Other than that… silence. And, I may add, quite serene from the myriad of candles burning in order to light the way for another late night of work on an iPad, phone or anything else that didn’t need electricity.

What did I do? I poured a glass of wine, grabbed a throw and sat down. I mean, really sat still. And it was awesome.

I have recently had the luxury of a very valuable coach and dear friend in my life, Mary Morrissey. Among other things, Mary has taught me the power of time dedicated to thought. Thought and nothing more than thought. With the onslaught of demands on a business owner, the crescendo of chaos can rise to a fever pitch to the point that you become desensitized, numb to it. This desensitization is detrimental to your success!

Let’s face it. We can all be masochists at heart: committing to everything, pursuing new ideas, working the bugs out of our product or handling the little details of our companies until the wee hours of the morning. But, never underestimate the power of reflection or just sitting still and taking the time to think.

There was a man named Dr. Elmer Gates that lived in the post-depression era. Dr. Gates held over 200 patents with the US Patent Office. He would sit in a room he called his “personal communication room” with basically a table, a pad of paper and a switch for the lights. He would sit in this room, turn off the lights and ideas would “flash” in his mind through his Creative Imagination. His method was so proven that Dr. Gates earned a substantial living “sitting for ideas” for fees from some of the largest corporations in America.

So, go and sit still. Turn off the power if you have to. Draw on the knowledge and intuition you have to manage your own success. Channel the ideas that are just below the surface if you just gave yourself a chance to think about them. You will be amazed at the answers you already have.