1. Understand you’re good enough all by yourself.
It’s very easy to find someone to spend time with, but when you have high standards for the people you allow into your life, you’re telling yourself that you’re better off by yourself than with someone who isn’t a great fit for you.
2. Value others’ opinions, but value your own more.
The more time you spend asking yourself for advice, the less you start to need input from others. When you trust yourself to solve problems, you become a much stronger and more confident person, and you take on challenges that you wouldn’t have felt capable of before.
3. Learn to be an observer.
To truly enjoy being alone, learn to look at ordinary situations in new and unfamiliar ways. Everywhere you go, make an effort to understand the other people around you. Learning how people operate when they think no one is watching will make you feel more connected to them.
4. Close your eyes in a dark room and appreciate the silence.
Take a moment and sit quietly in a dark room. Listen to everything that is not happening around you. You can learn a lot about yourself in the moments when you’re least occupied – the times when there is nothing to distract you from the thoughts and feelings you deny yourself during your busy days.
5. Learn how to talk to yourself.
Every single person has an inner voice that talks to them at all hours of all days, and getting to know that person and how to talk to them is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. The way that you talk to yourself when no one else is around will shape who you are in this world more than anything else.
6. Cherish every interaction.
Time alone is important. But so is time spent with others. There is no such thing as a boring person or a boring situation. If you’re ever bored, it’s because you’re not paying attention. Take an interest in every person that comes into your life, even if for only a second. Listen closely to what they say. Watch carefully what they do. Try to understand them as a person. You’ll be better for it.
7. Rearrange your furniture.
Things rarely do change unless you make a conscious effort to change them. The problem is that meaningful change is hard, and what’s hard rarely gets started. To keep things moving, you have to keep things fresh. Rearranging your furniture is meaningless by itself, but it brings new life to a dull routine, which is easy to fall prey to when you’re spending a lot of time alone.
8. Avoid mindless consumption.
When you’re alone, you have an incredible opportunity to think clearly about your life and the direction you want to take it. In a world that’s often filled with noise, you’ve been given quiet. This is a time to reaffirm the path that your life is on. But if you fill your time with entertainment that you mindlessly consume – TV, movies, surfing internet, you can never devote enough attention to coming to a clear answer for yourself.
9. Create, create, create.
When you’re alone, the only one stopping you from creating the work that you’re capable of is yourself. All excuses are gone. When you’re alone, you can lose yourself in your work. When you lose yourself in your work, you can be sure that you’re creating something truly meaningful. Make use of your loneliness.
10. Make plans for the future, and pursue them immediately.
The purpose for your life doesn’t need to be complex or earth shattering. It only needs to be present. Once it’s there, it gets much easier to make plans you can take action on. Pursue these plans immediately. Don’t put them off. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity. Perfect never comes. Being alone can be beautiful, but if you want to add people to your life, finding a purpose for your existence is the fastest way to do it.
11. Go to a movie alone.
Get used to doing things alone that society says is made for two. Go to a movie by yourself and enjoy the picture. Have a great dinner out all by yourself. Take yourself on dates, and learn to treat yourself well. Who decided that you aren’t supposed to do these things alone? Besides, to truly enjoy these things with others, you have to learn to enjoy them alone first.
12. Pursue an impractical project.
When you’re alone, you’re free to pursue any kind of project you want in your life. You have the freedom to be completely selfish and make no compromises about what you do or how you do it. Take advantage of this freedom. An important part of life is doing things that look unwise or impractical to others. Do something that’s completely over your head. Start something that you don’t know how to finish. This is something you do alone, for the benefit of no one but yourself.
13. Volunteer your time.
Being alone and happy doesn’t mean sequestering yourself from the world. It means being confident enough to know that you can surround yourself with people, but not depend on them for your own happiness. And one good way to get started is to surround yourself with good people – the kind you’ll find when you give your time to a cause that’s important to you.