Even though, I was extremely excited to get this book last August, I read a few pages of the first chapter then basically put the book on the back burner for quite a few months.
Why did I do that?
This book was a little challenging for me to read in the beginning, where she provided background and context to the American culture as well as provided the scientific explanations about the behavioural differences of introverts and extroverts. Needless to say, it took me a while to find my rhythm.
Given that one of my goals this year is to read at least 12 books, I became intentional about completing Quiet, so I carved out time each week to read and I’m glad I did because Ms. Cain’s book has helped me gain a better appreciation of my innate traits and tendencies and I have just been wanting to tell everyone I know to read this book.
Here are a few highlights:
- [Solitude can be a catalyst for innovation] I know for sure that this is true because I recall my group experiences and while I was able to brainstorm and contribute to the discussions, I did my best work alone.
- [The simple act of being interrupted is one of the biggest barriers to productivity] I always wonder how the “chatty” people in an office get work done but other things, like a ringing phone, an unexpected client, an unexpected or emergency situation can be considered as an interruption and so the challenge, how does one deal with that?
- [If personal space is vital to creativity so is freedom from peer pressure; peer pressure is not only unpleasant but can change your view of a problem] I think sometimes that instead of discussing your plans and intentions with others, it is better to make your own decision or take the necessary action. If it turns out to be a mistake, you will learn from it but at least it will be your mistake to make. Peer pressure implies change, so it means that you are forced to adjust your thinking, your plans, etc. for the sake of others, which could induce feelings of anxiety, sadness and distress.
- [It’s vital to realize that many people, especially introverts, need extra quiet and privacy in order to do their best work] I know for sure that not many people realize or understand this. Otherwise, an introvert would not be described as anti-social or whatever “clever” phrase people tend to use to describe us.
- [We can stretch our personalities but only up to a point; our inborn temperaments influence us regardless of the lives we lead] I can be as chatty, chirpy and friendly as I want to be but after a certain point, I get so exhausted and just need to be alone.
- [We need to find a balance between action and reflection] If this ain’t the truth! I think way too much and don’t seem to do much of what I think. I told my sister the other day that I need to start attending overthinkers anonymous because man, so much goes in my head.
- [If you like doing things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have a race] So many things go wrong when I rush the process but then again, slow and steady is different from procrastinating, which is what I tend to do.
- [All infants and children feel inferior, living as they do, in a world of adults and older siblings. In the normal process of growing up, they learn to direct these feelings into pursuing their goals, but if things go awry as they mature, they might be saddled with the dreaded inferiority complex] Things went awry, oh yes. For the longest time I felt inferior to people with “superior” knowledge. Over time, I gained confidence in my own abilities and now I know that I can achieve my goals by dedicating time, effort, focus, and application.
Quiet truly is a most worthy read, especially if you’re the quiet, observant and reflective type.
Do share your thoughts on this book, I would love to hear them.