An always-on world has made being busy a way of life. Being busy, however, doesn’t necessarily mean being productive. Checking our smartphones, sending emails, conducting meetings, worrying about the future, and thinking about the past, looking to connect but never deeply engage—so many things to do but such little time. “I can’t hear myself think”, you often hear people say. That is the result of being exposed to noise, internal and external, day in and day out.
It’s no wonder that with so much clutter in the average mind, practices like mindfulness meditation and Vipassana retreats, designed to help you manage internal chatter, are some of the fastest-growing wellness trends. The key, however, is not to quieten your mind, but achieve silence despite the distraction, and to rise above the weather. With the Sphere of Silence, you can.
What is the Sphere of Silence?
It is a daily practice developed by QI Group Executive Chairman, and prominent Asian business leader, Vijay Eswaran and discussed at length in his book In the Sphere of Silence. The routine is based on the art of silence that Mr. Eswaran learned from his grandfather who refrained from speaking for a certain period of time every day and strongly believed this practice helped him attain inner peace and grow as a listener. This was his first introduction to the practice of silence and its power. He witnessed it again as a lay monk at a Franciscan monastery in Italy where he saw monks practicing a vow of silence. Over the years, he recognised the true power of silence and realised that by incorporating it in our daily life we can achieve growth and success at a sustained rate.
The Sphere of Silence is a dedicated hour of structured silence that allows you to examine your inner mechanisms and develop a deep insight into your behaviors. The technique improves your focus and allows you to marry dreams with actions. Most importantly, it gives you a sense of control over your time and, consequently, yourself. The author mentions in the book, “Dedicate one hour out of 24 and you get 23 back in your control.”
In a field like direct selling that is heavily reliant on individual drive, the Sphere of Silence is a great productivity hack to help you stay inspired, organised, and energised on a day-to-day basis, allowing you to move towards your goals faster and more effectively. The routine needs to be practiced in complete silence with no interference.
The exercise comprises three segments:
The Path of Duty (30 minutes)
Focus on your worldly responsibilities i.e. your duties towards your career, family, society, and country. Use the first 10 minutes to set goals for the day, the next 10 minutes to assess progress made on the goals set the previous day and the final 10 minutes to chalk out new goals for the future. It is important to acknowledge and note down why certain goals were not met, during the assessment. The events of tomorrow develop from what you intend today. One cannot structure today without knowing why or how yesterday happened. Hence, understanding yesterday is the key to tomorrow.
Goal-setting is one of the most critical tasks of a successful direct seller. Your long-term goals should include milestones for the week, the year, and the next five years. Write these goals down every day. Once reinforced, they will condition your mind to align your action with your aims.
The Path of Knowledge (20 minutes)
The second step develops your intelligence through reading. Since direct selling involves a wide set of diverse skills from selling and financial planning to time management and networking, it is crucial to build a mindset of continuous learning. Pick a book that can help you develop a vocational or academic skill and read it for 15 minutes. Once you’re done, write down the points that stand out, and summaries them for five minutes at the end of your session. Begin your next day by reading these notes before repeating the exercise daily until you finish the book. Over time, you will have a journal devoted to the most critical aspects of your chosen skill.
The Path of Devotion (10 minutes)
The final 10 minutes are key to the grounding process. Use this time to commune with a higher power (if you believe in God), or the Universe – whichever you prefer philosophically. This is purely personal, and the practice does not try to define or dictate how the process works. Never underestimate the power of belief. Being a one-person business can be stressful, but not if you know that you’re never alone. Use this to time to write down whatever queries you have, seek advice, and pray.
The first two phases will prime your mind to think clearly and find answers that lead to even better questions. The more specific the question, the more effective the answer.
“Wherever you are right now, you are placed in the best possible position to improve yourself. This, is the way of the universe.”
Your focus is crucial to the Sphere of Silence but don’t be concerned if you find yourself distracted when you start. Concentration is like a muscle, and it will get stronger with regular exercise. More importantly, as an act of self-care, the practice will improve your sense of well being. By being kind to your mind and body, you will not only like yourself more but find that people enjoy being around you. The resulting social confidence will help you build stronger relationships and consequently a better direct selling business.
Consistency is key, so make sure you set aside a specific slot, ideally the first hour of your day so that you can develop the habit. Over time, you will find that feeling of peace, a centredness that sees your circumstances reflect your dreams. After all, balance brings achievement and not the other way around.
*All excerpts are from the book.