Five Perks of Being a Loner
Be a loner. That gives you time to wonder, to search for the truth. Have holy curiosity. Make your life worth living. -Albert Einstein Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone; that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is where ideas are born. – Nikola Tesla They may come off a little harsh, but those two people are among the greatest out-of-the-box thinkers in history. They know what they are talking about. Life is chaotic. For us, specifically starting at the university only makes it worse. Between the school work, the exams, the group assignments, the dorm room drama, watching movies and hanging out with friends, we rarely get a few hours to spend on our own. And don’t forget our smart phones. Who amongst us doesn’t check their social media pages as soon as they wake up, as if it was the morning paper? What I am saying is, we don’t have the time- don’t make the time, rather- to be alone with nothing but our thoughts. There is always something to do, something to say or something to listen to. We are missing out on a lot because of that; the following five are just the few.
It has been said a lot, this one- know thy self. Though I still think it’s still under-rated. Most of us are where we are because “it’s the right thing to do”. We never took the time to evaluate what we are doing with regards to what we want from our lives. We did not decide for ourselves what “success” means. We are just going through our days on auto-pilot, taking a path that was set for us by others. Start asking a few questions and see what happens: little ones like
- What am I doing right now, and why?
- Based on my current day-to-day activity, what will I have achieved in five or ten years?
- How is the company I keep affecting my life?
Who knows, you may discover a lot of things that you didn’t know about you.
Learning about yourself- why you do things, how your mind works, how you deal with failure or betrayal, how you carry yourself in public- everything leads to a deeper understanding of humanity in general. You start to see that we are not so different after all; everyone is fighting their own battle. We understand why other people do what they do. We can empathize with one another and we won’t get offended so easily. That means, someday, we’ll create a better society with less violence and more compassion.
- Thinking on your own two feet
People demand freedom of speech as compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use. – Soren Kierkegaard You are always being told by your parents, by the media and the people you spend time with about what is right or wrong. You are too busy to ask questions or to decide on your own what you should do next. You act the same way, do or say things as everyone else does. Human beings are naturally inquisitive. Once you allow yourself to explore in the silence, your curiosity takes hold. You start questioning everything that’s thrown your way. You read a lot, find alternative sources of information and on your way find some pretty interesting subjects that you didn’t know even existed. You will have refined taste in books, music and everything you spend time on. Now this is like opening a can of worms. It is not always an easy process, discovering that things are not always what they seem. You gaze beyond the horizon, and see how unfair the whole thing is. You might even change your political view to something other than IDGAF.
- Better relationships
Ironic as it sounds, spending time alone makes your relationships (friendship or otherwise) a lot more interesting and supportive. The things you learned and the ideas you formulate on your own make for a better conversation than the same old, worn-out topics. Granted, you may come off to some as ‘the weirdo who can’t shut up about aliens’ but the right crowd will find you infinitely more interesting. You automatically identify with groups that discuss ideas, nourish your character and admire you for who you are. Without even realizing it, you’ll find yourself among like-minded people who are self-aware, compassionate, independent and fun.
- Personal development
All the points mentioned above are smaller parts of one huge transformation (not to sound like the TV). With every step, you are morphing into your best self. Your old ways don’t apply to you anymore, change becomes inevitable and you embrace it with open arms. You break your worn-out routines to make new ones. You test your limits and realize your potential. You recognize your passion, dream bigger, and yet still make time for all of it. Religion and spirituality become elements of your growth rather than weapons of prejudice. The caterpillar locks itself in, and comes out a butterfly (too cheesy?) Being alone doesn’t sound so appealing at first, and I am not saying you should go around ditching your friends. But the next time you find yourself hacking away hours from your life arguing about which football team is the best or scrolling miles on Facebook, take a step back and spend some time with yourself instead. You’ll be surprised by what you may find. And trust me, you will never go back.
By Betty Mesfin