Go Placidly Amid The Noise And Haste…

"Gordon Bryan", "Self improvement",
Written by gordino

Here’s another article looking a bit closer at one of my quote images, but you might have to be quiet to get the value…

I took that photo early in the morning, Jun 19th 2015 looking at Coldrum stones in Kent, UK. When I say early, I mean *very* early – sunrise was about 4am if I remember correctly.

I had gone there a day before the summer solstice, and that was deliberate – the access road is a little narrow, and the summer solstice sees every Tom, Dick and Harry turn up at places like this, rather taking away the point of the silence.

That was a good decision, because the silence was all around. I wouldn’t go so far as to say the silence was ‘deafening,’ because the animal life was stirring, but even they seemed to be gentle with their noise, as if they were saying ‘ssh, it’s early!’

There’s a stillness in the air at that time of day, a softness in the atmosphere, and it’s a refreshing feeling to soak it up. When you can enjoy a beautiful sunrise at the same time, that’s even better!

The quote I put on top of the image?

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.”

It’s one of my favourites, and seemed to go perfectly with the image. It comes from a piece called “Desiderata”, which I’ve enjoyed since I first came across it many years ago. Originally thought to be ancient from an unknown source, it was traced down to 1929 from an author called Max Ehrmann.

There’s a lot of noise and haste in the world, and it only ever seems to increase rather than decrease. It’s easy to get caught up in it all, finding yourself swept along with the hustle and bustle.

Now, don’t get me wrong, hustle and bustle, noise and haste, they can be good things, they can get things done, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, the noise and haste can be distracting, it can be *damaging*.

It can lead you to do things you don’t want to, to say things you shouldn’t in the heat of the moment, to lose the sense of the real you. Maybe you get drawn into other people’s problems, steered towards other people’s agendas.

It doesn’t have to be that way…

The solution is not to hope for some ‘silent’ time – no, the solution is to allow the silent time, to *make* it.

This means being pro-active in the process.

You have to decide that you will reclaim this time for yourself. It may sound simple to schedule in some silent time for yourself, and sometimes it *can* be surprisingly easy, it’s just that people don’t make the deliberate decision to schedule the time slot.

Of course, it’s not easy *all* the time, in fact it can seem incredibly hard – the whole reason we don’t have the silent time in the first place is that we have committed the time to other things!


I’ve written for many years that rest and recuperation are not luxuries, they are essentials, and making time for them is not something that should be apologised for.

It could be that other people don’t like it. That’s ok, that can be dealt with, starting from the position that it’s not *their* time you are concerning the process around, it’s *your* time.

Now, apart from getting some *actual* silent time, let’s look at the first part of the quote, going placidly amid the noise and haste.

For me, that means removing yourself from those ‘other people’ problems I mentioned earlier. Instead of getting involved and being ever more wound up by them or their problems, you can simply choose not to engage with the situation.

That may cause problems at first, because people get confused, maybe angry, if you don’t engage with *their* agendas, but as time goes on, you and they will both realise that you are just not going to take the bait, that you are letting it all slide by, letting it all wash over you.

It could be that as you develop this practice, people around you start to notice, and start to look at what you’re doing. They may do so from a distance, or they may ask you about. If so, great! Tell them what you’re doing, why, and how – it may well be the noisiest people who can benefit the most!

Of course, it’s also possible that other people will notice what you’re doing and *not* be impresses. Not impressed at all. If they realise that your placid approach, your recognising the value of silence, is leaving them on the outside, they won’t like it, and may try to ramp the noise and the haste up even more to get you drawn back in.

That’s ok. Other people have their own ways, but if you focus on you and the benefits to you, then as time goes on, you may well find that some noisy people feature less and less in your life, either by their choice, or yours. Some people will get left behind completely.

That may sound ominous or discouraging, but it’s neither – if it does come to pass that they no longer feature in your life, then quite simply, you didn’t need their noise, and you’re better off without. If they come back into your new, more placid circle, then so be it, but if not, then so be it also.

This all takes some practice at first. It’s not easy to suddenly ratchet the noise and the haste down a few levels when you‘ve been so used to it, but if you make the decision to do so, you’ll finding yourself letting the silence in.

You’ll start to soak it up, and when that happens, you’ll look at all the other noise in a different light. You’ll be able to engage with that same as before *when you choose to*, but you’ll be in control.

Try it. Give it some time, it’s worth it. It can be life changing – it can transform it!
"Gordon Bryan", "Self improvement",

Ok, do let me know what you think, I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. If you’d like to know more about how the peace and quiet can help achieve your goals, then why not get my free 8 Step Goal Achievement Formula!
P.P.S. Don’t forget to connect with my via social media. The boxes are at the top right of any page on the blog as you look around, Facebook is my personal favourite – see you there! 😉

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  • Thanks for this article in praise of quiet time, Gordon.
    There’s too much hustle and bustle in the world for my taste, and there just seems to be more and more of it with our electronic gadgetry.
    I first saw the “Desiderata” piece in a magazine when I was just a lad. I clipped it out and kept it under a piece of glass on my desk.
    So I’m grateful that your piece reminded me of a less hectic time in my life.
    Some of us can still remember not being on-call or looking at a screen throughout the day — and night!

    • Hi Phil,
      Yes, the gadgetry can be a real time sucker *and* silence sucker! I’ve been guilty of it myself, and found myself nodding to myself as I wrote the article, which may or may not be a bit weird!
      The less hectic times are not to be consigned to nostalgie – they must be scheduled and soaked up! 😉
      Thanks for stopping by!