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“I Vant To be alone” Finding Peace and Serenity

by Bob Garner


Marlena Dietrich uttered that famous line in the 1932 classic, “Grand Hotel.”  It’s a great line that, I’m sure, she said to herself many times in her real life, when she was being hounded by photographers and fans. You have probably said this line – or something like it - to yourself many times, as well. “Getting alone” can be quite a challenge with work, family, friends, etc. However, it is something that you must do for a two reasons.


1) You need to recharge not only your physical “battery”, but also your “mental” and “spiritual” battery. Many of us run frantically from one thing to another and then when we finally make it home, plop in front of the TV for some down time, only to be hit with negativity, war, and crime. Perhaps the reason that reality shows are so popular is because we are grateful that it is not “our” reality, and we want to see others struggle to handle problems and challenges.


2) Stress is the #1 killer. It’s a major contributing factor either, directly or indirectly, to coronary artery disease, cancer, respiratory disorders, accidental injuries, and more.


Medical costs due to stress are over 1 billion dollars per year and cost businesses approximately 200 billion dollars per year in increased health insurance, absenteeism, reduced productivity, poor morale, and high employee turnover. If you want to avoid stress and the conditions that it can produce in your mind, your body and on the job, you need to “get alone.”


Find some part of the day where you can be totally be by yourself. You may have to get up 15 minutes earlier or stay up later. You may have to pull your car off to the side of the road or go to a park. Take a walk outside your office and find a tree and sit underneath it. Wherever and whenever, turn off your cell phone, the radio, your ipod, your TV.


Close your eyes, and take a few deep breathes. Picture in your mind the color of light blue. This sounds easy, but just try it. Your brain will send other intervening thoughts and pictures to your mind at an alarming rate.


You may feel nervous that others are watching. (They aren’t and couldn’t care less.) You may feel guilty. (Why? You aren’t breaking any laws. Nothing is really that important for you to do. Return the call or email later.) 


Tell your mind (out loud) that you demand quiet and pleasing thoughts. It will listen. It may put up a fight at first, but eventually it will understand that you’re sincere and will do as you ask.


If you tire of thinking of a color, you can also picture in your mind the ocean or a park full of trees. Whatever is peaceful to you, you can think it. Don’t put other people in your pictures. No matter who it is, it will bring up outside thoughts. Keep this moment to yourself.


You don’t have to spend 15 minutes doing this, but I suggest you try it for as long as you can, up to that time. I guarantee that after you have done this exercise for a week or two, it will become something that you look forward to doing. Additionally, after you have done this exercise for a while, you will find that you can do it almost anywhere, under almost any conditions, and in a matter of seconds. You could be at a busy airport, a traffic jam or waiting for an appointment - and there you are “calm as a cucumber.”


This isn’t self-hypnosis or even suggestion. It’s similar to meditation without all the “OMs” and body postures.


What this exercise is all about is learning to take control of your mind and your thoughts. It’s about telling your mind to relax and enjoy this moment. It’s about taking control of your body, without signing up for an expensive gym membership, downing 18 vitamins, or going on a diet. In essence, you become a “human being” as opposed to a “human doing.” is just as important to you. So, try this exercise… and go be alone.”

Bob Garner is the author of "Masters of Motivation" which has been called a “must read” by business leaders. The creator of a number of CDs that have empowered thousands, Bob writes for numerous business magazines and speaks extensively worldwide on motivation, sales, and success. Sign up now for his free monthly newsletter called "Personal Success" at