If you want others to follow, learn to be alone with your thoughts. ~William Deresiewicz on Solitude and Leadership
Karina Sengupta stashed this in Life
One of my all time favs
"If you want others to follow, learn to be alone with your thoughts"
Karina, that line is so good I made it the title.
I teach this article every year.
Love it so much that I go back and read it once every 6 months, and never fails to resonate so deeply with me
Any other lines from this that you love?
If you like this check out his other essays here - http://www.billderesiewicz.com/essays/. He has a great book on Jane Austen Btw
Thank you Karina!
Exceptional insight. Grasping at the long tail of original learning requires elimination of noise to perceive unique signals. Solitude and concentration bring that silence. And any daily practice requires that state too. So we must give ourselves fully unto preserving that hour of uninterrupted time. It makes all the difference.
A glance at Gaussian graphs easily reveal that all outlier experience, i.e. originality, exists at much lower amplitude than any mode or median experiences, regardless of how many standard deviations from the mean. Originality is a quite voice... whether heard from within or without. The art of choosing to concentrate and/or ensure solitude is the only preparation that works to access originality with monotonous regularity across all cultures, genders and ages. Somehow it always works.
I'd like to unpack a common conflation between authentic and original here, precisely because modern pop culture seems to hunger for authentic experience and presume it's something elusive. Blah, it's not--all experiences are authentic, they just might be full of crap ones, or fairly poor, pale and faded copies of what we really want: a mockingbird uses its own voice to sing its song catalog, but the songs are not original--they are other birds' calls--and that's authentic mockingbird using copied songs.
Originality is something else entirely. It exists well beyond, completely outside of and overlapping all authenticity. Our American Transcendentalists, perhaps the last contemplative thinkers in western civilization, wrote about originality often and the transformative, transcendent universal power that ushered from it. It remains enduringly underwhelming that so many since that time and even now still aspire to be mere copies, or should we say today "retweets", of others. Sigh.
Thanks for posting Deresiewicz. Had not read him before.
Creating is genuinely hard. Curating is something more people are able to do.
Isn't everything genuinely hard...until you learn how to do it? So I prefer to suggest that everything is easy, once you learn how to do it.