Thursday, September 3, 2015
The #GrowNOW Misconception Series: Being Alone
In this world, we are a product of our education. We believe what we are taught. If your parents teach you good morals, you will know good morals. Hate and racism are not an innate quality, they are learned and taught. We learn so much at a young age, when our brains are like sponges. We are small and new, and all the people around us, talking to us, are so much bigger, wiser, and more experienced. What they say, we take as fact. We watch so much television, nearly four hours a day on average, so what we see on TV, we take as true.
Many of us will learn that most information is biased. For example, in American schools we learn about history and wars from the American perspective. We call the Vietnam War, the "Vietnam War", while school children in Vietnam learn it as the "American War."
One thing that is truth is that we are all UNIQUE INDIVIDUALS. Part of what makes us unique is that we all interpret information differently. Much of the information that we take in and process in life is from the result of an experience. And we all know that we all have very different experiences. Each person will learn different information, at a different speed, at a different age, in a different experience. As we get older, this information gets passed down to our younger ones who simply have not yet had enough experience to think for themselves...
With the #GrowNOW Misconception Series, it is time to straighten a few things out.
One of the most important things for a young child to learn is appropriate social skills. Each child needs to learn how to properly share, turn-take, and engage with others in an appropriate manner. They also need to learn how to use appropriate language, make eye-contact at the right times, deal with bullying, insults, being left-out, include others in play, and how to build on their own individual skills. Parents go out of their way to set up "play-dates" and make sure their children have enough friends and interactions. Most schools today still have recess periods of free play so the children can run around outside together, and learn from one another.
There is no doubt that social interaction is key for a healthy adolescent brain and it is one of the major foundations of a future loving and respectful character.
What happens after an individual grows out of this adolescent-learning period? From an early age we are pressured to believe that we cannot be "worthy" or socially acceptable unless we have a ton of friends, go to every party, and know as many people as possible. This is our next Misconception.
Today, a majority of people would tell you that they do not like being alone. And just why is that? Because they have become conditioned to believe that being alone is a negative reflection on themselves.
Where are all my friends? I must not have enough friends? Is everyone hanging out without me? There must be something wrong with me? Is there something wrong with me? What could it be?
When we are alone, we let out minds run wild. We immediately jump off the board into the negativity pool deep-end and think the worst of ourselves. Many of us have lost the ability to appreciate being alone.
In today's world of 40+ hour work weeks, crowded gyms, crowded streets, crowded malls, crowded dorms and apartment buildings, we have forgotten what it is like to sit and reflect within ourselves.
Being alone is no negative, being alone is when some of your greatest life work can be done. When we are alone, we have the opportunity, the serenity, to reflect on ourselves, our days, our emotions, our accomplishments, our setbacks, our mistakes. This is an opportunity to do what you so rarely have a chance to do, sit and think in the total absence of distraction.
Sit in a different room than your phone and your television. Sit alone with a journal, a pen, and a book. Remember what those things are? A pen and a book? Yes they still exist. When you are alone you have an opportunity to learn more about your passion, you have an opportunity to learn what your passion is! Get a journal where you write down your goals, accomplishments, and emotions you have been feeling throughout the day. Write down emotions you want to start having and goals you want to accomplish within the next 30 days. The power of writing things down and then looking at the words written in your own handwriting cannot be underestimated anymore. It is powerful stuff. And you will never know until you try.
There is no better time to get these things done than when you are alone. So why is being alone looked at so negatively? Because we were told to think that way.
Some of the most successful, happy, and popular people spend hours alone each day. They need time to time to reflect, prepare, and hustle to create the life that they want. They have friends, they have money, they have a social life. However, they have mastered the art of self-care and GROWTH.
Next time you are alone, catch yourself before you start thinking that you must not be good enough for other people who are out on the town having fun. Take the time to yourself...to find yourself! Self-analyze, take the time to learn about the person you have been lately, and who you want to become soon. This YOUR time. Don't let it slip.
For if we truly love ourselves, we are never alone.