If you followed up the last post, you know what it takes to go social. Subsequently, make sure you set aside enough time for yourself. You don’t necessarily need to recharge, but you do need this time in order to get a new perspective. Stop for a while and look around. Where are you? Where do you want to be?
You are in a continuous journey and, like in any other journey, you need some time to analyze your current position, to see if you derailed and to set course back towards your desired destination.
The best way to do this is to be alone. Because you’re the only one who knows what’s good for you. Nobody else. The others can give you some advice and support when you’re down or lost, but all the important decisions must be taken in solitude.
Being alone with yourself is the best place to start a new trip.
The Subtle Happiness Of Being Alone
If you can keep up with yourself, if you truly, openly and totally accept yourself as you are, then finding another person with whom you can share this life should be trivial. But be brutally honest: can you stand your own company for an entire hour? Or for an entire day? Or for two days in a row?
Many people are finding the answer to this question rather difficult. If you’re not very aware of yourself, if you didn’t take time to know yourself, at any given second the hidden monsters will jump up, like a rubber ball squeezed far too much, longing to explode, usually in your face.
It takes a lot of understanding to understand yourself. It takes a lot of patience to cope with your own faults. It takes a lot of time to accept who you are.
And solitude is the only way to make this happen. You can’t do this in a relationship. Because when you’re in a relationship, your entire dynamic will change. You will be part of a bigger structure and you will have other responsibilities. When you enter a new relationship, you have to be already prepared.
Many people are searching for “the perfect relationship”, many people are looking for somebody to make their loneliness vanish. But there isn’t any loneliness at all, if you’re in the company of the right person. There is no loneliness if you are alone in the room but don’t feel lonely. A relationship shouldn’t be a panacea for your problems, it should be a space of sharing.
For the last few years I’ve been very, very social. More than 2 years ago I started a weekly networking event, called Open Connect, and the community behind this event grew from zero to more than 5000 people. I literally interacted with thousands of people. And believe me, in time this tends to be really, really tiring. Just being there for those people, just managing the event, being the MC and making sure everything goes according to the plan, it drains you up. There were Thursdays (the event takes place every Thursday morning and gathers between 50 and 100 people each time) when I really wanted to just go home and sleep, after the event. I was literally emptied.
So, at some point, I decided I have to find a way to somehow balance this. Hence, I transformed Fridays in my “interaction free” days. It’s not that I take the day off, because I still do some work. But I take the day off from interacting with other people. I leave some space to the “engine” to cool down. And it works great.
I write this very article on a Thursday evening, after a big Open Connect. It’s been a good one, filled with good energy and great feedback. But I have to be honest with you: I already look forward to tomorrow.
Because tomorrow will be my interaction free day. I will be sitting alone, feeling great with myself, letting my system to slowly recharge, getting ready for the next event. It’s gonna be awesome. 🙂
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.