I like this slightly edited (by me) definition from one of the online dictionaries.  Hope you do, too.

“Absence of noise or disturbance, release, relaxation; silence, abstention from speech; absence of disturbance or molestation, tranquility, peace, security; that which appeases”.

This “S” is hard, too.  I know.  But I got to wondering as I wrote about the Five S’s that if the reason they are so powerful, especially if used in combination, is because they are indeed difficult to practice.  I think that may especially be true for people with leadership responsibilities.

But then, I also thought about the adage “anything worth having is worth working for”.  Well, putting all these S’s in practice may be work, but this one…being still… is NOT working.  In fact, it’s the absence of work for a while.

At the risk that you might like this guy’s blog better than mine, I am sharing this link with you anyway because (1) I like the picture in it and (2) he makes some excellent points, and (3) he gives us some additional resources.  Actually, Mr. Hyatt is just good at what he does! Thanks, Michael.  Maybe we can meet someday…

Now, be still.  Just for a little while…be com – plete – ly still.

David Miller Initials



“Solitude is a state of seclusion or isolation, i.e., lack of contact with people. It may stem from bad relationships, loss of loved ones, deliberate choice, infectious disease, mental disorders, neurological disorders or circumstances of employment or situation (see castaway).” 

Whoa there, Mr. Wikipedia!  That might be a little more than I needed to know.  How about this instead (also from Wiki, actually)… “Short-term solitude is often valued as a time when one may work, think or rest without being disturbed. It may be desired for the sake of privacy.”

Yeah!  That’s more like it.  Once you are in your sanctuary, you really need to be alone.  Not lonely, I hope, but in a private place.  While we were built for being with others (together has power), we none-the-less need time by ourselves, as well.

JAM walking in Denali Park Alaska - Sep2, 2010

Sure, thing David.  I’ll just lock my 3 kids in the closet with some bread and water; or I’ll just excuse myself from the classroom and let the students learn themselves; or I’ll simply walk away from the 10 appointments I have scheduled for today…all so I can be alone.  Get real.

Well, please forgive me.  But YOU get real.  Sooner or later you are going to have to find a place (your place of refuge) and get alone and breathe.  Find ten minutes or an hour and sneak away.  Better yet, schedule a weekend or a week and get some help with those kids and appointments, etc.  You’ll be glad you did.  It’s a lot easier to listen when the door is closed…and locked.

One of my favorite photos…Jayne Ann walking in solitude in Denali Park, Alaska – September, 2010

David Miller Initials