contemplation gratitude leader's cycle meditation professional life professional wellness recovery reflection solitude Feb 02, 2024

May Sarton, the American poet wrote beautifully about solitude. She helped me understand the difference between being alone, being lonely and enjoying fruitful solitude. For a creative, certain tasks are impossible without solitude. And since leading is a creative process, solitude is essential for any professional responsible for running things. 

Solitude is not empty. It is full of good work. Solitude is the space for preparing yourself for effort. It is a chance to design the environment in which you will have the greatest affect. It is the crucible in which you will brew your way of leading.

Fruitful solitude entails deep tasks, not idleness:

  • Non-avoidance, in other words facing yourself.
  • Recovery from effort.
  • Reflection that reveals the patterns in complexity.
  • Nurturing compassion for self that feeds compassion for others.
  • Building emotional and mental strength for a big task.
  • Drinking in gratitude.
  • Enabling creativity and a deeper understanding of your unique talents.
  • Contemplation that uncovers universal truths.

If you can achieve even a few of these tasks when alone and quiet, the right people will follow you.

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