Words of Wisdom 005: On investing in reflection

On investing in reflection

Shallow living is the curse of our modern age. We are overrun with distraction, outflanked by noise, overwhelmed with living on the surface. We are experts at making and using technology that helps us become ever more proficient in skimming the surface and avoiding deep reflection.

Part of the problem is that you might not want silence. It can be terrifying. When you do spend time in quiet reflection, it can bring to the surface any unresolved anxiety, fears, or resentments. Our monkey minds get overwhelmed with all the unfinished work we have. People will go to incredible lengths to avoid being alone, spending unstructured time reflecting. But when you learn the skills of silence and solitude, it becomes one of the most precious gifts of life.

An old saying for investing in the stock market is: "Time in the market beats timing the market." Instead of trying to outsmart when to invest, it's more valuable to invest early and often in something that can experience compound growth over time.

The same is true of your life. The simple, small steps you repeatedly take each day eventually have a compounding impact on your life given enough time.

More quiet leads to more calmness. Less careless words. More creativity and insight. Appreciating beauty. More quiet enables greater satisfaction with less.

So start today, and start small. Take 5 to 10 minutes of quiet to sit and reflect. Open your mind to an interesting question. Journal if you'd like. Pray. Then repeat it tomorrow. Focusing on one specific strategy, like 'timing the market,' is far less critical than simply practicing sitting in silence daily.

One of the most valuable investments you can make is prioritizing time in quiet reflection. It will be one of the greatest separators between a life of stress and hurry and one of simplicity and ongoing, compounding growth.

Prioritize uninterrupted time to be bored. Step back and reflect on your life, deeply breathe in simple gratitudes, and think about prioritizing what will bring the most significant change.

If you want to deepen community, you will learn to listen. First to yourself, then to others. Without silence, there is little self-reflection. Without self-reflection, the light of awareness is dim. Without awareness, there is no hope.

If you never sit in quiet and solitude, you will never know peace. Sitting in silence is the doorway to peace. What is more valuable than contentment?


Thought will not work except in silence.

Thomas Carlyle, The Works of Thomas Carlyle

Souls without prayer are like people whose bodies or limbs are paralysed: they possess feet and hands but they cannot control them. In the same way, there are souls so infirm and so accustomed to busying themselves with outside affairs that nothing can be done for them, and it seems as though they are incapable of entering within themselves at all.

Teresa of Avila, Interior Castle


What is the first thing I do in the morning?

What constraints can I add to minimize distractions?

When will I take 10 minutes today in quiet reflection?


Did you read this in a rush? Did you skim it or hurry through? If so, take a few deep breaths, and return to the beginning. It's worth it to invest in quiet reflection and prayer.

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