Solitude Can Be Your Most Powerful Thinking Tool Life can be hectic at times and get the best of us. Find time to be alone with your thoughts and find solutions.

By Matt Mayberry

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Have you ever had one of those days from the time you get up in the morning until your day comes to an end where everything just looks and feels like a blur? One of those moments where life is happening to us instead of us happening to life? If you have, you are most certainly not alone.

Let's face it: Life can be hectic at times and most definitely get the best of us. This is where your most powerful thinking tool can shed wonderful light: Solitude.

The powerful thinking tool of the greats

Solitude can not only help breathe new life into our hectic schedules, but help keep us focused and on the right track to achieving our goals. Solitude has been used as an extremely powerful thinking tool by some of the most remarkable men and women to have ever stepped foot on this earth.

Related: How Knowing Yourself Leads to More Productivity and Efficiency

As the great Thomas Edison once said, "The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst thinking has been done in turmoil."

When I see that quote, it speaks to me in a number of different ways. For starters, turmoil doesn't necessarily have to be some ginormous tragedy or failure, it can simply relate to our hectic and busy lives. When decision-making takes place and our lives seem to be going in a hundred different directions, nothing good can come out of that. However, when we spend time alone in a nice and quiet setting, our decision-making becomes golden.

No distractions, just you and your thoughts. Solitude is food for the soul.

We all need to slow down a bit

Three years ago, I found the wonderful benefits that solitude can play in our everyday lives. When I suffered an ankle injury while playing for the Chicago Bears against the San Diego Chargers, my football career was in limbo. I was ruled out for well over six months (even though it took longer to heal) and as a rookie, that is probably one of the more devastating things you can hear.

You need every snap, play and opportunity in the world to get out on the field and prove your worth as a football player to the coaching staff and front office. During this tough time, I found only one sense of joy: solitude. I was able to turn life off for a second and for once, just think things through. I never felt more comfortable and at peace, and from that moment on, solitude and thinking in silence is something I implemented into my routine, twice a day.

Related: How Successful People Deal With Stress

Here are three ways that spending time to think in solitude can drastically benefit your life.

1. More creativity

Our most creative thinking takes place when we are by ourselves. Maybe you are planning a new project, pondering a way to get yourself out of a current situation or thinking about something as simple as getting a loved one a birthday gift -- the creative ideas will begin to flow when in solitude. Some of the most prolific authors and inventors have credited solitude as the result for their creative ideas and masterpieces.

2. Find peace

It can be hard at times to find peace in such a hectic world. Financial obligations, meeting a deadline or keeping up with a fast-paced life often robs us of our peace. Solitude gives us the chance to close the door on reality and focus on us. We live in a world that tells us every day to look outside of ourselves, when the real focus needs to be inward.

3. Problem solving

We all have problems and things that go wrong from time to time. It's never about the actual problem that arises, however, it is about how we view that particular problem. We often let our imagination run wild and make the situation much worse than it really is. Looking within and spending time in solitude quickly helps us put an end to that. More times than not, you will come to find out that you overreacted and the problem wasn't all it was made out to be.

Those are just three of the many ways that spending time to think in solitude can greatly benefit your life. Even if you spend just 20 minutes a day spending time alone, that is a great start. This wonderful and powerful thinking tool has been a huge influence in my life and many others, and I know it can do the same for you!

Related: How to Solve a Problem In 3 Steps -- Define It, Redefine It, Repeat

Matt Mayberry

Speaker and Maximum Performance Strategist. CEO of Matt Mayberry Enterprises

A former NFL linebacker for the Chicago Bears, Matt Mayberry is currently a keynote speaker, peak-performance strategist and writer. As the CEO of Matt Mayberry Enterprises, a training and consulting company, he specializes in maximizing the performance of individuals and organizations all over the world. He published his first book, Winning Plays, in 2016. You can contact him and learn more at

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