c. 570 – c. 495 BC | Pythagoras of Samos was an ancient Greek philosopher. His political and religious teachings influenced the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle. 

Silence is uncomfortable for many people. We’ve become attuned to living in a noisy world. Practicing intentional silence and solitude is an antidote to the chaos.

Your brain’s creative process depends upon periods of silence to synthesize information and spawn new ideas. Much like meditation, intentional silence and solitude can help you develop more self-awareness—the ability to sit and “observe” all the thoughts that pass through your mind—and to cast aside the negative thoughts which are untrue, and to affirm the positive thoughts which are true.

“A fool is known by his speech; and a wise person by silence”

Followers Disciples of Pythagoras would take a vow of silence lasting up to five years; routinely entering into deep caves to practice, like a sensory deprivation chamber. The aim was to discipline one’s speech—to become more thoughtful and respond well. While many philosophers were known for oratory skills; disciples of Pythagoras were admired for the wisdom and self-control that comes from the practice of silence.

When was the last time you scheduled time for “nothing”? Just to simply sit in silence. Give your brain the space it needs to do its creative work, and give yourself the benefit of hitting the refresh button.