Scott’s Thoughts: Cultivating Solitude

“Language has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.”

-Paul Tillich, German-American Christian existentialist philosopher and theologian

Being social is natural for many real estate pros. And it’s easy to justify a busy social schedule, because every social event is a subtle opportunity to network. But in this relentless pursuit to expand the so-called “circle of influence,” many an agent may neglect a very important skill: The capacity for solitude.

Often when we are alone, we turn to our devices for distraction. This modern allergy to being alone has damaged our capacity to realize the full benefits of solitude. Being alone is so often characterized as being lonely, but we must discern between loneliness and solitude. Have you ever noticed that browsing social media feeds alone can actually leave you feeling lonely? (There are studies which suggest that heavy social media usage is linked to depression.)

Solitude provides us with the opportunity for vital self-reflection. In solitude we can examine our values and create the space for creative ideas. An excessive social schedule smothers these opportunities, shorting us of our full potential.

As with most things, moderation is key. But if you’ve felt “automatically busy” lately, or that your creativity has stagnated, you might consider scheduling a little solitude.

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