During the pandemic, our lives suffered many changes. Since it became hard to make a clear division between working and taking time off, our health may have also been affected.
The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano
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However, adults were not the only ones who had to adapt to a new lifestyle. They had to leave their classrooms and get used to home-schooling. New graduates also entered a world of economic difficulties and the situation is still permeated by uncertainty. In this panorama, Vijay Eswaran who is a Malaysian businessman who is the Executive Chairman of the QI Group, headquartered in Hong Kong offers interesting advice motivated by his love for the next generation of leaders.
Eswaran paid for his tertiary education in the UK by working as a cab driver. When he graduated with a degree from the London School of Economics, he spent a year traveling. During this year, he spent one month in a Franciscan monastery, where he experienced a 33-day vow of silence. It was this experience that motivated his first book, called "In the Sphere of Silence." During the pandemic, many of Vijay’s colleagues and mentees asked him for advice regarding the frustration they were feeling.
What first came to Eswaran’s mind as he was asked for help was to tell them to focus on something over which they did had control, bearing in mind the uncertainty of the times we are living through. He then shared a 60-minute routine that he has been practicing for more than 30 hours to help him stay focused. He calls this routine, the Sphere of Silence. When Vijay was a child, his grandfather lived with him and his family. Every morning they would sit down in complete silence for an hour. They believed that remaining silent for a fixed time every day, would bring them inner peace and ameliorate their listening skills.
Later on, as he grew up, he found out that the ritual practice of silence was not exclusive of religion or culture. It is present in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, in different forms. After finishing his education in London, he spent time in a Franciscan Monastery, where he truly learned to appreciate the benefit of silence. He learned that silence was not just for prayer, but it helped improve the thought process and learn alternative ways to communicate. Vijay argues that silence also helps us to canalize our energies and to give us clarity. He strongly believes that an hour of silence a day can be a great time for training our minds, organizing our thoughts, and deciding how to spend our days.
The routine of the Sphere of Silence consists of three segments of 30 minutes, 20 minutes, and 10 minutes each. Eswaran mentions that completing a 21-day cycle without breaks should be your objective. During the first 30 minutes, you should take out your journal and write your short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals. Then the next ten minutes should be dedicated to evaluating your progress on the goals you set the day before.
The next 20 minutes should be destined to reading a book you had abandoned before and that can teach you new things. The final segment of 10 minutes should be used for self-reflection and for communicating with God, the Universe, or your spirituality. The result of practicing the Sphere of Silence every day will be very rewarding, you will find a greater sense of balance and you will begin to notice changes in the way you see the world that surrounds you. Only 60 minutes of quiet a day, can help you learn to trust yourself in a world full of uncertainties.