Increase the Quiet


Increase the Quiet is the name of Diana Krall’s newest album. Diana is one of my favorite jazz musicians. She is a world class jazz pianist and singer and has numerous Grammy and Juno awards to her credit. And she is Canadian!

I was intrigued by the title of Diana’s latest album and so decided to reflect on what it would mean if more of us could “increase the quiet” in our lives.

I started by thinking about where I currently go when I want some quiet time. Usually I’m alone and more often than not I am outdoors.

I live in British Columbia on the wet, west coast. Those of us who live in this part of the world love to complain about the weather, especially about the rain, but we do not want to live anywhere else.

One of the things that I love most about the rain is that it amplifies the quiet. The world seems to slow down and become more thoughtful. In comparison when the sun shines the world is energized, noisy, and outwardly focused. Don’t get me wrong. I love the sunshine as much as I love the rain.

The other thing about living in B.C. is that there is an abundance of breathtaking places that are peaceful and quiet. Not only do we have some of the most beautiful wilderness in the world but it is easily accessible from anywhere in the province. So, even though I live in Metro Vancouver I can be hiking on the North Shore mountains within 30 minutes of where I live or paddle boarding in English Bay within the same time period of time.

What about those of you who live in a big city but don’t have ready access to nature in the same way that I do? You may be surprised at the number of quiet places available to you if you only know where to look.

Recently, I came across a unique website created by Charlotte, a freelance blogger and copywriter who is “on a mission to find unusual corners of London away from the crowds.”

Charlotte’s website is wonderful and she shares many peaceful places in London where people can go to “switch off”. These can be quiet coffee shops, museums, and gardens. Pretty much any place where one can go to “increase the quiet”.

If you live in a big city and are looking for inspiration you’ll find lots more ideas on Charlotte’s website—examples of peaceful places that can be found in big cities around the world.


But what about you? How can you “increase the quiet” in your life?



The Dynamic Introvert



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Leading with Meaning and Purpose

What does it mean to lead with meaning and purpose? How will knowing your purpose make you a better leader? How can you tap into your purpose? What exactly is purpose?

Purpose, is the reason we exist! As humans we want to know what our lives are about and that our existence matters.

If you are curious about how meaningful your life is you can check out the Meaning of Life Questionnaire (MLQ) and other resources at the University of Minnesota’s Lab for the Study of Meaning and Quality of Life.

What is the link between meaning and purpose? For starters, if you are engaged in work that taps into your purpose, you are more likely to find your work meaningful.

When I’m engaged in work that I find meaningful I notice that I feel:

  • Happier
  • Less stressed
  • Confident
  • Powerful
  • Motivated
  • Creative
  • Generous
  • Energized

And I attract people who want to work with me.

But what has this got to do with leadership? Everything!

As an introvert, a writer and a leader I have been most interested in the link between how I live my life and the amount of energy that I have. Being a leader in today’s chaotic workplace is exhausting for many of us.

In order to survive we need to have an edge and being able to tap into our personal energy source (the one that comes from living a life that has meaning) is priceless.

Working on something that you find meaningful will energize you and,

  • Help you did deep in order to complete a long and challenging change management project.
  • Help you present a talk or facilitate a meeting (especially important for introverts who may find this aspect of work stressful).
  • Help you ace an important job interview.

In a recent webinar psychologist Michael Arloski, noted that purpose is something that we discover. Some people find their purpose early in life. Others take longer. Some unfortunate people may never find out what they are truly meant to do with their lives. Of course meaning and purpose can change over time and we can have more than one purpose.

If you lead with meaning and purpose you are more likely to experience a higher sense of mental health and wellbeing and likely be a more effective leader.


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