When you are silent, you are able to listen so much better. You are able to absorb all the relevant information that is usually right in front of you. When you are silent, you are also able to see so much better. You have more time to notice things, to read feedback that is coming to you from others or from your environment.
It is not easy to be silent. The normal tendency is always to give an opinion, to make a clever comment or to take on an expert position and talk and talk and talk…. Many of us feel uncomfortable with silence, so we talk to fill the space.
In June 2009, I wrote an in-depth article on choking and the self-fulfilling prophecy of the South African cricket team. After their loss against New Zealand, I went back to re-read this article. I called up all the links and re-read all the talk that had come from the team in June 2009. The sad story about the South African cricket team is that the same mistakes, the same talk and the same emotional reactions occur from tournament to tournament. Two years down the line and very little, or no learning has occurred. The system is stuck. The same recurring self-fulfilling pattern is so embedded that no one in the system can ‘see’ or ‘hear’ anymore. Those involved have no more answers to the questions being posed.
Many years ago I stumbled onto a quote that still sticks with me because of its relevance to what we tend to do when confronting problems. Unfortunately, I do not have a reference for the quote, but use it respectfully to share it with you. It goes something like this….’First they raise the dust, then complain that they cannot see’.
I do not want to re-look and re-write about the choking issue again. Instead, I want to dedicate this article to silence and stillness as a response to the choking tag. As you keep silent you become sensitive to the energy flow that is around you; your stillness and silence allow you to open up your senses to the information that may be calling out for you to see. Many of the Eastern masters practice tai chi, yoga and/or meditation as a way to enter the internal world of self, to achieve emotional and mental balance and to open up all of the senses. When you function from an emotionally balanced place very little unsettles you. Dealing with your wins, and reacting to your losses is not accompanied with excessive emotionality. You are able to ride the ups and downs in much the same way.
Achieving emotional balance should be one of our fundamental goals as we go about our life’s business.