This is going to be a segment where I take you on my quest to expand new horizons of personal development by trying new things. For my first challenge I really wanted to try to quit a bad habit of mine for 5 days to see the significant changes it would have on my mindset and my daily routine. I chose to quit listening to music and podcasts and watching YouTube videos and TV shows.
Especially in my busy college lifestyle, I feel like I am constantly surrounded by noise and distractions. For the past few years, I would begin my morning by waking up to an annoying alarm, jam out to loud music to get ready, and continue the rest of the day with my earphones in so I wouldn’t have to go about my day silence. Wherever I went and whatever I did, I was always listening to something. I wanted to gain a greater appreciation for silence and solitude, and I was eager to discover what other unexpected insights I would gain from this challenge.
The first few days without music I felt really uncomfortable. It was unusual to go about the day without being energized by music, or listen to an episode of Parks and Recreation in the background while I worked on my homework. Of course, it was still difficult to go about my life without hearing music in the background of the gym or watch a video from a class lecture, but the difference was that I did not actively choose to listen to things on my own.
At the end of the 5 days, I realized one reason why I always felt like I had to be surrounded by music or dialogue. It was because I do not like the feeling of being alone. A large number of people love music is because it serves so many purposes. It can amplify your mood, boost your confidence, comfort you when your feeling down, and the list goes on. I relied on music and podcasts to make myself feel like someone was always there to validate my feelings and understand me. Podcasts were also nice to listen to because it feels like you are a part of a greater conversation.
I’m definitely not trying to say music and podcasts are terrible forms, because they are not. They are wonderful art forms that make life beautiful. You can learn a lot about your emotions, social problems, news, and anything in between from music, podcasts, and random TV shows. I am never going to cut them out from my life but after doing this experiment, but I believe I am going to be more mindful of what I listen to and think about why I would choose to listen to something.
I expected to gain a greater appreciation for silence but I also didn’t realize that I also need to develop a greater sense of appreciation for myself. In silence is when you are truly with just yourself and your own thoughts. In this fast paced world, it is easy to be distracted by all the noise around you. I hope that you are able to find power in stillness and in silence.
Until next time, have a sooo fine day!