Why Understanding Silence Is So Critical To Success

Why Understanding Silence Is So Critical To Success

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Understanding Silence
Image Credit: OscarW

We live in a noisy world with lots of distractions. One of the ways to unlock our success is to discover the power of silence. Away from all the everyday tasks of our lives, there are spaces of silence that we need to learn to embrace.

Silence is something that has plagued my mind for a long time. I have thought a lot about silence and tried to find the answer to it’s meaning. Then, recently, the meaning was finally made clear to me.

Below are the 5 reasons why silence is critical:

 

1. It’s the space between the notes

I learned the lesson of silence many years ago when I was a music producer. I tried so hard to make music that created high levels of energy and made people feel emotional.

Bringing people to tears while making them dance was my dream (it’s funny how this dream hasn’t really changed except the music has been replaced by blogging).

Image Credit: Bryony Cook
Image Credit: Bryony Cook

My music producer mentor taught me that the key to creating emotion and being successful at anything you do is to create the silence between the notes. He explained to me that the emotion was not the notes of music themselves; it’s the way the notes bring about moments of silence

This lesson has been fundamental to my entire life, and I have applied it to many other areas. It’s strange how even though we learn lessons like this they can be quickly forgotten. While on holidays, I was watching a video of a musician who was performing an audition.

During the song, I realised that the most emotional moments were when the musician kept the audience hanging on, and waiting for the next note.

In those few seconds between notes, the audience had a chance to reflect on the meaning of the words he was singing and let the melody touch their souls. I’m not sure why exactly, but the silence became so powerful, and I was deeply moved.

“Your success is not the events of your life; your success is the silence you create for others that lets them feel the emotion you are radiating out to them”

 

2. It’s what you don’t say

The best parts of any good movie are the parts when you are left to decide for yourself what happened; in other words, it’s the parts where you are left in silence with your own thoughts. The best thing a blogger has to say is the sentence that they choose not to write.

Monk MeditatingIt’s not what we say; it’s what we don’t say that creates our success. It’s that moment when everyone else is reacting to an event and judging someone, and you choose not to follow the crowd. You decide not to put people down; you choose to stay silent.

There are so many things you can complain about, yet it’s when you choose to stay silent that people will be drawn to what you’re doing. There are so many things wrong with the world, yet there is so much beauty at the same time.

It’s what you don’t say about you; that says so much about you. It’s the secrets you give away when you’re not talking and just being at one with your environment. It’s your body language that reveals what you’re really thinking.

The temptation is never to shut up and always be talking. It’s alluring to become obsessed with yourself and to add to the noise of the world. What if you chose to stay silent once in a while and just be happy with where you’re at right now? Too much achieving and not enough fulfillment will destroy the silence that you need.

 

3. There is constant noise, and the escape is where your bliss is found

The majority of people around you are full of noise. Have a listen and you will see what I mean. Our society has become obsessed with talking on the phone regularly and always needing to express ourselves on social media.

Silence is the escape for all of us and it’s where your bliss is found. If you do what everyone else does and continuously make the world noisier, you will achieve the same level of success that these noisy people achieve.

If you’re like me and struggle to clear the noise from your day, try meditating for five minutes multiple times throughout the day. It will help to reconnect you with the beauty of silence and nothingness.

 

4. Silence is golden – listen

People who know how to be quiet tend to learn so much more. In an important audition, the best thing you can do after you have performed is be quiet. In the moments of silence, your audience’s reaction will tell you far more than words.

Listening is a skill that so many never master. We are always talking over the top of each other out of fear that we won’t be heard or won’t get to share our amazing knowledge. Silence is how you be heard.

TED Public SpeakingI watched a phenomenal business presentation the other week. It was at a showcase of the latest business ideas and each team had seven minutes to present their concept, and to convince the audience why they should invest their money.

Every presentation felt rushed, and there were far too many people talking. After an hour, my mind was exhausted from the lack of silence. When I thought that all hope of an excellent presentation was lost, a young woman stood up to explain a new software platform that would assist charities.

This young woman understood why silence is so critical to success, and she demonstrated that fact by taking out lots of words from her speech. She painted images of what the world could look like and then she left silence between sentences.

Instead of being up against the seven-minute clock, she paced herself and let the silence do the talking for her. It’s no wonder that she impressed the audience, and it’s why I have gone out of my way to help her career in the last two years.

 

5. It’s not just the silence it’s the balance of dynamics

Silence is one thing. The key to your success is to have a good mix between the noisy, loud moments of your life and the silent ones. When you have a good mix of dynamics, it creates the right level of motivation to sustain you through the ups and downs.

The dynamics in your life create the emotion, and emotion is where it’s at. You will never be successful unless you get good at bottling up emotion and giving it out to people in the form of your purpose.

Do you practice silence regularly in your life? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net and my Facebook.
Tim Denning is a former entrepreneur turned intrapreneur, working daily with fast-moving tech companies. He is passionate about what makes startups successful and is a thought leader/ game changer via the use of social media. Tim uses personal development and success as a platform for greatness. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook and Twitter.

10 COMMENTS

  1. This was fantastic! I loved it all, even the part this comment’s about. #2 second paragraph. No doubt that’s a great way to deal with the situation if you have nothing positive to say; however, I find this situation a great opportunity to plant a positive seed.

    Keep in mind silence can often times indicate agreement, so if you just sit there in silence those around you may think you agree and develop a false impression of who you are. In that silence learn when to show your character, be bold and assertive when the times arise. Develop a way to control the silence because when we are silent and when we voice play equal parts in who we are. You don’t want to find yourself later in the day when you meditate thinking “I really should have stood up for Tim in that meeting!”

    • Jason thanks for the kind words. I agree that you don’t always want to be silent because that can show weakness. Given that society talks way too much I don’t think any of us are in danger of being too silent…lol. Silence can often show deep think and understanding. It’s all about the body language as to whether your silence is making you look weak or incredibly intelligent.

  2. Great article and very useful practice. I have been doing for over 10 years. I even have a meditation practice for when I fly. Working from home a lot I do a walk in the garden every 60-90 minutes to clear out my thought.
    Thanks

  3. I decided to left this article for home reading, thus returning from my job early on today, first thing after the cold shower to allow myself contemplate on the subject of silence. It’s kinda funny because once I saw the title I remembered that girl I have been dating awhile ago, the one I met thanks to our messages through email. I told you about her. So, there are people you find something to talk about, but that girl, she was the one you can share silence with. We could sit for hours together, embracing the moment of calmness and be just happy about it. It was beautiful. Rare people nowadays can do this, and if you can find the one – keep them closer to you.

    I was contemplating in silence for about 15 minutes after reading your first chapter. And I think I realized something. Something deep inside that I cannot explain. It felt like my inner-self talked to me in silence and I could understand it. So weird.

    I really loved that quote ‘The best thing a blogger has to say is the sentence that they choose not to write.’ And as being the one who loves to talk I think I will stay quiet for longer now. I really have to think about it and re-read your point on ‘It’s what you don’t say’.

    Meditation is very helpful here, and as today I’ve reached my 111-day streak I feel more need to sit quietly, in peace and concentrate on the very now. Calm is bliss.

    I think, in term of precious knowledge this might be by far your best writing, Tim. And it’s not a simple compliment. Well done for touching my mind and soul once again, my friend. Much love and appreciation! Stay well and healthy, speak soon~

    • Toño thanks for sharing your personal story. I’m glad you have started to read my ebook and its had an effect on you already. Congrats on the 111 day streak! I am on a 44 day streak and have been meditating twice a day. Thank you so much for the compliment about the post. Silence is something I am getting much better at understanding.

  4. Getting comfortable with silence is something that so many people find difficult in conflicts which is the space I work from. Its power flies under the radar a lot. Listening beneath the words to the deeper feelings, meaning, values is what moves us closer to resolution. Your article gives me much to sit in silence with for a long time. Beautifully done. Well needed.

  5. Fantastic post, Tim. With so much noise and distractions in our lives today silence is a rare commodity. I practice silence at least 5 days a week by getting up early to meditate and write. I find this is when my head is the clearest. I like the suggestion of meditating for 5 min several times a day. I’ll have to try that and let you know how it goes. Cheers!

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