This article was published on Friday 10th July 2020 on my co-writers site. Today is Tuesday which is also a guest writer’s day in the Ugandan Blog arena.
Greatness festers in isolation and frustration
By Rogers M. Wanambwa & Musanjufu Benjamin
Throughout the ages, the greatest of men have had to go through a period of isolation and it is in these periods that they received their epiphanies. From men like the Buddha, Sun Tzu, Jesus Christ, Bill Gates, to Jeff Bezos; all these have a commonality and it is the fact that they all underwent a period where they were all alone.
You see, it rather difficult for us as human beings to hear our own thoughts, or should I call it our instinctual self, that inner being in everyone of us while in the company of others. There’s simply too much distraction.
And so this article is to capitalize on the concept of taking some time to yourself, and going into your own desert like Jesus did in
“Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.”
Notice that it is the Holy Spirit Himself that led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted(alone) and so it is important to not under estimate(or is it overlook) the power of isolation.
It is those that are alone or in isolation that come up with life-changing innovations and theories. Like Isaac Newton when he discovered the law of gravity, or like the prophet Muhammad(PBUH) when he received the Quran. Even John the Revelator wrote the book of Revelation on the Greek island of Patmos in seclusion.
The Wright brothers perfected their plane and became the first men to fly a plane because of this same principle. You should know that in this same period, another group of people had been given resources and had government backing to build one. Suffice to say, no one remembers that large group.
Writers often require to be in isolation to create their masterpieces and so do many other professionals.
It is therefore not surprising that schools too require their students to maintain silence during their learning hours. You require silence and isolation to think, to innovate and to come up with new solutions.
Let Benjamin talk about the other part:
Rollo May once said that “In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.” And we all know this is true and realistic as it gets. For content creators, even authors of personal blogs, podcasters, and that painter friend who comes up with portraits that you take forever to figure out, the new cool photographers and poets all over have that moment of loneliness that either starts or finishes the idea that they present to us finally.
If you don’t believe in ancient texts and how they happen to be, then you can look at the science. Actually, there are published theories that support even the craziest of old legends. There is factual confirmation that verifies why solitude if curbed mindfully, can enhance our creativity in normal life. And it all starts with brain waves. For purposes of this blog, we shall only look at brain waves desired for the principle upon us. And Alpha waves they are, which are stimulated when the brain is in a relaxed, unfocused state usually equated with being awake but inactive; those moments when we are not contemplating anything really. Alpha waves are correlated with creativity because the craft requires expansive thinking instead of reductive. According to scientists that study brain activity with electrical triggers, Alpha waves can be generated with a human and it was first done in 2015 but it’s widely accepted that meditation and mindfulness work in getting the brain in an Alpha state.
For certainty, I know bloggers among other content creators can actively try to influence brains to produce alpha waves for creative thinking and problem solving because I try to associate with those that open up. For a moment just think of the places where you usually get your best ideas. For most people, the answer is while taking a shower desolate and lying in bed introverted just before going to bed. For me, it’s when am swimming or on a lone date. It does the trick. Am I the only one of the view that content creators have enjoyed this pandemic and all the frustrations that come with it. Talking about frustration brings me to the other principle of this collaborative blog.
It’s out of frustration that humans throughout time have managed to come up with the best of ideas both for the good and bad of human civilization. For Mikhail Kalashnikov it was seeing Russian soldiers dying on the battlefield that pushed him to develop the Avtomat Kalashnikov widely know as the AK-47. Mikhail could be the world’s deadliest inventor but his work was because of frustrations caused by deaths. We all know Nelson Mandela, some consider him to be a deity even, but it’s was frustrations that directed most of his decisions and again it was in isolation of his prison cell that he had a change of heart from being a militant to modern Gandhi or he was better at peace.
Movements like feminism that are causing a sense of balance in society when it comes to gender are result of frustration even with it’s various forms it takes on. Communism is as a result of frustration from capital being powerful than political power. As humans we have learned from it’s existence and it has shaped times. When Karl Marx was putting forward it’s early foundations it was because of his frustrations.
We must agree the best painters, scriptwriters, music composers from Mozart to Sam Smith today have produced some of their best works out of frustrations. Sam Smith was thankful for the heart break that led to the making of “stay”, I personally wrote my best blog out of a frustrating bond. We are not the first to walk under the sun and we will not be the last like it has happened in the past and its happening now, great things will always come out of isolation and frustration.
Let Wanambwa expound more:
It is said that necessity is the mother of all inventions and if you come to really think about it, this practically means a frustration for someone, a group of people or for an entire population.
Evidently, most of our innovations and inventions have come out of a place to solve a given problem. Be it different modes of transportation like the steam engine automobiles, and the coal guzzling trains, or the invention of a mobile phone, all were made to solve a problem.
In Entrepreneurship classes, they’ll tell you theat in order to become a successful entrepreneur, you’ll have to discover what is frustrating people(a problem that needs to be solved), and when you come up with an idea to solve said problem, you’re in business.
And so, both isolation and frustration shouldn’t ever be looked at as bad things, but as catalysts for change, inadvertently, as catalysts for greatness.
Thanks for reading through.