Even the most skilful of carpenters is helpless without his toolkit. This is true for most professions. The more sophisticated the toolkit, better a professional can perform.
I think this is true even for the journey called life. To make the best of it, a well equipped toolkit is very handy.
For example, I consider the Koenig Ethos principles a vital part of my toolkit. It helps me overcome many a difficult situation.
Even the best equipped toolkit might miss the right tools for specific problems. Therefore I am constantly in search of new tools.
One very potent tool I recently rediscovered was “Silence”.
It is not that I was oblivious to the power of silence. Just that I never paid sufficient attention to it.
A few weeks back I decided to evaluate silence as a new member of my toolkit.
I realized that it would be impossible to practice “maun vrat (vow of silence)” for a full day so I decided to try the next best thing – “maun hour”, “maun 4-hours”, “almost maun-day”. I decided that I will not talk during the prescribed duration unless it was a life threatening situation.
It was not as difficult as I thought it could be. On a day when I had to fly, it only meant that I did not get the desired window seat, had to go without a snack in the flight and that I had to duck many a good morning. In fact, people seemed to be quite happy for the reciprocal relief to their vocal chords.
The benefits far outweighed the inconveniences. For one, my observation power seemed to increase manifold, as if a “third-eye” had opened. Many things I did not know existed at Delhi Terminal 3, I will now never forget (including two majestic elephants in the departure foyer).
In general, I started appreciating silent entities. For example, plants and trees suddenly looked so pretty and worthy of admiration (the fact that you can stare at them without any adverse reaction is a big plus). I established a new relationship with non-communicative entities.
Secondly, I felt as an energy drain had been sealed and the conserved energy was now driving my intellect through previously unexplored alleys and getaways.
Thirdly, I saved precious time. As an act of gratitude, I used this time to reflect on the power of silence. I soon started equating Silence with a Swiss Knife.
I realized that situations which previously seemed to deserve a loud rejoinder, can at times be better tackled by silence.
Silence can actually do the talking better than words.
Silence can earn respect. It can be life saving. It can improve relationships. It is polite. It is a courtesy.
Used indiscriminately, silence can be exactly the opposite. Isn’t silence magical?
Silence can be an act of compassion.
Silence can camouflage ignorance (I am a pro at this already).
Silence can convey the sharpest reprimand.
Loud troublesome people can be effectively silenced by silence.
I also found it to be a useful tool in my workplace – Silence is an effective cure against my tendency to micro-manage.
Apart from practical applications, I found time to examine other aspects of silence.
As per neuroscience, the brain allocates a certain set of neurons for every sensory organ. By not using our vocal chords more than required, we are actually freeing up our mind for more important mental asks.
Silence is a yoga asana. Silence is spiritual. To get ahead in life we need to awaken our latent spiritual power. Earthly power is not sufficient. Silence can provide that spiritual energy.
Over the past few days I have become conscious of this secret weapon in my armor. I have started using it more often and am very happy about it.
I will love to hear your experiences with Silence. Your silence will be killing…