Silence for 17 years. No talking, sounds, comments, complete silence. Could you go silent for 17 years? Let’s be honest, I probably couldn’t be silent for more than 5 minutes.
A couple of months ago, I was fortunate enough to be able to bring my daughter to a doctor appointment that was some distance away. Before I left, I was able to download some podcasts to listen to using an app called Stitcher. If you haven’t checked this app out yet, you should, it’s definitely worth it! One podcast I listened to was a TED talk titled “Quiet.” This was a podcast about a person, John Francis, who remained silent for 17 years. He claims that this helped him get in touch with his inner voice, being able to really hear himself. That’s right no talking for a very long time. That’s half of my entire life...incredible.
It was all about finding stillness in our busy lives. Do you really know what you truly believe if you don’t have time to listen to your inner self? There is a power of being introverted and preferring to hang out with just yourself. I know what you might be thinking how can you be successful being introverted when extroverted people are celebrated in our society?
Biologically speaking, introverted people have different "wiring" in situations than extroverts have. Extroverted people may easily work with more noise in the background, due to this "wiring," but introverts need more quiet to succeed. With this said, introverts can adapt very easily in any situation.
During this TED talk, Susan Cain, author of Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids, discusses that our schools are set up for extroverts. For example, many rooms have pods of desks. Teachers have students working together on many assignments. Although these aren’t necessarily a bad thing, I wondered could I reach more students if I gave more opportunity to the second half of our population, the introverts? Could I change the style that I teach, or the physical structure of my classroom to reach a greater number of students?
I am going to continually remind myself that the more freedom that I give to introverted people to be themselves, the more freedom they have to successfully solve problems and become leaders. After all, it’s all about the kids!