The Value of Time Spent Alone

You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with. Wayne W. Dyer

I don’t totally agree with Mr. Dyer’s quote. I think we all feel lonely from time to time no matter what our relationship is with ourselves. I used the quote because I think there is genuine value in time spent alone. Growing up as an only child with one parent meant I had plenty of alone-time. Throughout my life, I’ve welcomed time spent with just me. I like the quiet, the time for reflection, creativity, and acceptance. Alone-time helps me understand myself and others. I’m happy being in my own company.

Frequently when people are afraid of being alone they pursue relationships to escape themselves. When you’re comfortable in your own company, you can be with others without using them as a means of escape. Your relationships will be stronger when you learn how to enjoy your own company. 

Affirmation: I enjoy my own company. 

Coaching questions: How do you feel when you’re alone? If you’re answer is, “I hate being alone,” what steps will you take to learn how to enjoy your own company? 


Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

Ask Yourself These Three Questions

We know so many things but we don’t know ourselves. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.  Meister Eckhart, German theologian

Naikan is a Japanese word meaning “inside looking” or “introspection.” Naikan, used as a method of self-reflection, was developed by Japanese Buddhist, Yoshioto Ishin. The Naikan approach broadens our view of reality and helps us heal the past. Naikan reflection is based on three questions:

What have I received from __________?

What have I given to ____________?

What troubles and difficulties have I caused __________?

These questions will help you reflect on your relationships and see them from all sides. They can be helpful in the process of forgiveness, understanding, and a reality check on your own behavior.

Affirmation: I’m willing to look inside.

Coaching question/request: Take 20 minutes and reflect on these questions. Consider using them as prompts in a daily meditation. What difference might the answers make in your life?

Building Your Resiliency Muscle

The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived. Robert Jordan, American author

Whether you’re recovering from the loss of your mother or another loved one, it’s times like these you must draw on your ability to be resilient. Resiliency is the capacity to adapt well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, or extreme stress. I found daughters who demonstrated resilience generally had these six traits in common. In addition, many resilient daughters called on their faith in God to sustain them.

1. The ability to sustain supportive relationships with family and friends.

2. A strong self-image and confidence in their strengths.

3. The ability to accept change as a part of living and didn’t see crisis as     insurmountable. 

4. Good communication and problem solving skills.

5. Practiced healthy self care.

6. Built on their past experiences and trusted that what they had survived made them stronger.

Another way to build resiliency is to anticipate difficult times like holidays, birthdays, THE anniversary, weddings. Acknowledging your feelings of sadness during these special times will help you move forward. 

Affirmation: I am resilient.

Coaching questions: If you’re just learning to flex your resiliency muscle, what traits do you need to work on? What will you do today to build resiliency for the future?

Showing Respect

Show respect to all people, but grovel to none. Tecumseh, Native American Shawnee warrior and chief.

Tecumseh was among the most celebrated Indian leaders in history and was known as a strong and eloquent orator who promoted tribal unity. Tecumseh knew a thing or two about respect and, unfortunately, he learned about disrespect at the hands of the U.S. government.

Respect is the cornerstone of relationships, friend to friend, colleague to colleague, or country to country. As we respect the life experiences of others, including their differences, we are enriched in our own journey. At all cost, we must hold on to our mutual respect otherwise, as Confucius said, “We are no better than the beasts.”

Affirmation: I respect myself and others.

Coaching questions: In an age when disrespect has become the norm, what can you do to hold on to the power of respect in your life? Where is the line between respect and groveling?

Advice For The Ages

In your actions, don’t procrastinate. In your conversations, don’t confuse. In your thoughts, don’t wander. In your soul, don’t be passive or aggressive. In your life, don’t be all about business. Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor from 121 to 180 AD

For an ancient guy, Marcus gives us some good advice. Procrastination, confusion, unfocused thoughts and passive/aggressive behavior all keep us from being our best selves. I’m wondering what his experience was to cause him to say, “don’t be all about business.”

In our current 24/7 working environment where we walk around with a computer on our wrist or in our purse, it is tempting to be all about business. And yet, the conventional wisdom talks about how no one ever talks about business on their death bed. Dying people talk about relationships…those they love, those they want to forgive, and those they will miss most. 

Affirmation: I lead a balanced life.

Coaching questions: How’s your life balance? If there is room for improvement, what’s one thing you will change?