Finding Solitude: Cultivating Routine Amidst Distractions

Jonathan Doyle - Global Motivational Speaker

In this episode, Jonathan Doyle explores the importance of finding solitude amidst daily distractions. Drawing from Joseph Campbell’s wisdom, he emphasizes the need for a sacred space and time each day for introspection and creative incubation. Jonathan shares his own morning routine as an example, highlighting the transformative power of honoring oneself with moments of stillness and silence. Join him in this insightful exploration of reconnecting with oneself amidst the noise of modern living.

Listen on:
Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Welcome Aboard

    Global Catholic Speaker Jonathan Doyle addresses Catholic students
    Global Catholic speaker Jonathan Doyle addresses Catholic students

    Hey there, my friend, Jonathan Doyle, with you once again. Guess what time it is? It is Daily Podcast time. Thank you for joining me on this little venture we’re going to have today.

    Please make sure you’ve subscribed. Hit that subscribe button for me right now. It makes a big difference. Our world is sadly, increasingly run by algorithms and your single subscription. We’ll just make that algorithm sit up, take notice, and propel this content to lofty heights of digital downloads. The good thing about that is that more people get to hear it, which I hope will be good because it’s completely free.

    I’m just putting it out there because I hope it’s a blessing to people.  And there are links here to everything else. My Instagram, @jdoylespeaks one word. Website: You can book me to speak live, consultancy, coaching and a whole bunch of other stuff there. You can find out about everything that I do and offer on the website.

    Friends. If you’ve been listening this week, this is, in fact, “Joseph Campbell week”. Joseph Campbell is a mythologist, a fascinating thinker and writer. We’ve been talking about him this week, this afternoon, putting these episodes together, I’ve had a ball. I always say, It’s just me and my mom listening. That’s fine because I enjoy doing this because I like the gray and the amazing ideas of so many interesting men and women.

    This podcast is a broad, personal, moral, emotional, physical, and spiritual development podcast where we simply look at ideas and concepts that are going to help us grow. 

    Ignite Your Evolution: The Power of Personal Growth

    We're meant to grow, develop, and manifest the amazing potential within us
    We're meant to grow, develop, and manifest the amazing potential within us

    What’s the purpose of growing? There are two reasons; as we grow, we become more fully who we are created to be. That’s a good thing because as classical Greek philosophy tells us, the teleology of being human is perfection and excellence. We’re designed to become more of what we already are, to grow, to develop, and to manifest all of the amazing stuff that’s been put inside us to transcend those things that hold us back. 

    The second thing is that as we grow, we’re able to contribute more, we’re able to love; we’re able to love, and that allows us to participate in the fundamental modality of being itself. The basis of all reality is generous gifting and love. As we grow and as we heal from things, we’re in a better position to love and care for other people. That’s a good way to be.

    So those are the two things we’re trying to do, to grow for our own purposes and reasons and then we can also bless others.

    Craft Your Sacred Space: Joseph Campbell's Key to Creativity

    Finding Solitude and Sacred Space
    A daily dedicated space fosters creativity and self-discovery over time

    All right. I want to give you another quote here today from Joseph Campbell; we’ll do one more tomorrow. And that will probably do us for the “Joseph Campbell week” here on the daily podcast, but listen to what he says here. I’m going to tell you it; I’m going to tell you what it is, and then we’re going to riff on it. He says,

    “You must have a room for a certain hour or so a day. You don't know what was in the newspapers that morning. You don't know who your friends are. You don't know what you owe anyone. You don't know what anyone owes you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth who you are and what might you be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first, you might find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.”

    All right, why is this important for you? Because for the last at least 30 years, almost without fail I have a place or a time each day for prayer, for stillness, and for silence. Because we have kids, for me most days are 4:00 AM. I’m going to tell you about my routine.

    Personal Experience: The Power of Routine and Purposeful Habits

    We must create moments to honor our own being and inner lives.
    We must create moments to honor our own being and inner lives

    I have a beautiful downstairs office and an amazing coffee machine that has a timer. God bless the technologist who came up with that. Because there is nothing worse than waking up and having to wait. I think this does fall into the category of first world problems. There’s nothing worse than having to wait for the coffee boiler to heat up to 91 degrees. I think hell will be like that; you will keep waking up. And there’ll be a coffee machine, and it will just take a million years each time to get to the correct temperature, and just as it gets there, it’ll reset, and you’ll fall asleep and wake up anyway. That’s my take on hell.

    But back to reality, I get up the coffee machine, ready to go. I have coffee, and I have this beautiful space. For me personally, my routine at present is to spend time reading my Bible. I don’t do a great deal of journaling. I’ve got a beautiful journal, and I bought really nice pens, which I’ve had for a long time. Beautiful pens. And I try to be self-effacing on the podcast, but there is something that I’m really good at. And this one thing that I’m really good at is my beautiful handwriting, like really beautiful. And I’m a bit fixated because if you see my journal one day, if we ever have a chance, if I’m at an event and I have it with me. It’s flawless. Every single line is filled to an exact space. It’s just perfect. It’s just this sea of beautiful text.

    My point is that for me, the mornings are this beautiful time of complete stillness. It’s late summer here. I have the doors and windows open, my downstairs space, and it’s just so sacred. It is so still and quiet. And I don’t feel like I’m stealing from my family, because they’re still asleep for a few hours. But what I want to suggest to you is that this time frequently, as I give myself to it, it’s just this rich time of silence in being, sitting, thinking, writing, and reading.

    I think that Campbell is right out of that place when it comes to creative incubation. Now, I’m no one’s judge, but I’m pretty sure that most people do not have rituals like this. So most of us are doing, who knows. We let the urgent get in the way of the essential, or some variation of that. We live a contingency-based life, we have a plan, but it just gets knocked sideways. So that’s why I get up at four.

    Now, for you, you might not be a morning person, you might be a night person. You might be able to fight for space somewhere in the day. But I think what Campbell’s getting at here is we must create a place at a time to honor our own being. Our own inner lives.

    Overcoming Distraction: The Modern Challenge Unveiled

    The true strength of tech companies lies not in distraction but in fostering addiction
    The true strength of tech companies lies not in distraction but in fostering addiction

    I’ve been talking a lot recently about an article that I read on distraction, and the vector of distraction in our culture is addiction. Media companies have figured out that the first big change in the game was a distraction. So when social media emerged, it was able to break the nexus that we all had to particular radio stations or particular television stations. That next nexus got broken through constant interruptions. The purpose of social media was, in many ways, to create that distraction. And so we had a huge number of behavioral psychologists working on it. Then the distraction leads to addiction.

    Because the real power of the tech companies is not in distraction, it’s in addiction. That’s where the power is. Because their advertising models are predicated by time on screen, right? So you have to be able to prove to potential advertisers that this is the average user and it’s all broken down by demographics: by sex, by age, by location. They’re able to sell data showing whose eyes are on what screen for what period of time. So the game isn’t just distracting us. It’s getting us addicted. Instagram’s incredible example of that.

    So one of the things Campbell’s talking about here is creating an environment where we are very careful to make a time where distraction and addiction are not present. So I’ve had to work on this more and more. Now I’m at a place where I increasingly don’t even turn the phone on until later in the morning. Because I said to one of my kids yesterday that I’m a pretty disciplined guy. But I have no illusions that I’m going to beat the best behavioral psychologists in the world. Instagram is just interesting.

    Nurturing Inner Life: Encouragement for Finding Solitude

    Seeking solitude isn't selfish; it's an essential need for your own well-being and for those you cherish
    Seeking solitude isn't selfish; it's an essential need for your well-being and for those you love

    But let’s come back to this basic premise that he’s offering us: if you want to live a full, rich, interesting, connected, passionate life. Then you need to honor yourself with this kind of time. I’m a Christian so for me it involves prayer, my Bible, and reading scripture every single day, and sitting with that. I tend to also read books by the writings of the church fathers, the patristic fathers, or the early third and fourth centuries of the church. Go figure.

    What I’m trying to put in your heart today is this peace that comes in darkness and solitude, knowing that no one’s going to interrupt you. Have you lost that? I reckon there’s a good chance you may have lost. I’m not saying that critically; it’s just very likely.

    So find that time and space. I teach this to people in seminars; part of doing this is as a way to honor and care for people. Do not see it as selfish. See it as an existential necessity for your own life and for the lives of the people you care about. If it seems daunting, start with 20 minutes. Find a place. Even if you’re not a Christian, you might find that there’s a church near your office where you can go and just sit in the back row for 20 minutes a day and just experience that stillness.

    Embracing Stillness for Creativity

    Through introspection and entering a creative state, we have the capacity to examine ourselves
    Through introspection and entering a creative state, we have the capacity to examine ourselves

    Because out of that stillness comes ideas. And Tony Robbins always talks about state, the three things that control our lives are our state, story and strategy. So in the state that we’re in physiologically, the story we tell ourselves about reality in our lives. Then there is the strategy we use to execute.

    But state is really crucial. If you were ever in a bad state, if you ever were depressed or miserable you don’t tend to come up with a lot of great ideas, right? It’s true isn’t it? But for me, I used to get off the bike sometimes at 7 or 8 o’clock in the morning after some crazy two-hour training ride, have a double espresso, and I swear I could solve every problem on the planet for about 20 minutes. I was just totally jacked. Your state is in a really good  place.

    What Campbell is talking about here is getting ourselves into this creative state where it’s peaceful, we’re calm. We are able to honor ourselves through introspection. Aristotle famously said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” We should examine our lives sometimes. Where are we at? Where’s our heart at? How are we tracking it?

    Conclusion and Call to Action

    All right. That’s it. If you want to let me know what you think, you can email me at You can hit me with a DM on Instagram at @jdoylespeaks. You can find everything else on the website; you can send me an email through the website: You can book me to speak at live conferences and events. I do a lot of high-level business consulting for major corporations. So it’s all on the website.

    God bless you. My friends, this has been the Daily Podcast, special “Joseph Campbell Week” edition. You and I are going to talk again tomorrow. 

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Jonathan Doyle


    I’m on a mission to liberate the potential of the incredible people that make up your organisation, school, or business.

    Recent Posts