Learning to be Lonesome

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Before COVID-19 rocked the world, Bryan Crosson (MBA’20) was in the process of writing his book, “The Lonesome Thread: Reflections of Solitude, Boredom, & Creativity.”

“I didn’t want this current time that we’re living in to be the focus,” said Crosson. “Even before COVID-19, and even after we go back to whatever normal life is going to look like, it’s so important to reflect on the habits we’ve learned in isolation.”

Crosson’s book pulls themes from Manoush Zomorodi, who praises boredom as the gateway to creativity, and Headspace founder, Andy Puddicombe, who spent 10 years as a monk. This work seeks to help readers develop a more positive and creative relationship with solitude and boredom. 

“When people reach points of extreme boredom, the brain goes into what psychologists call the ‘default mode,’ which is where we do all of the creative thinking that enables us to have these breakthrough ideas,” said Crosson. 

The hardest work is often looking internally to address our emotions and inner selves. Crosson hopes that people will focus more in their “inner-life,” as opposed to reaching for distractions to avoid feelings of loneliness. His research has equipped him with an ample amount of resources that he is excited to share with his readers in the book.

Crosson’s first book highlights the benefits of solitude, and he found that it helped him to build a healthy inner-life that has ultimately made him a better classmate, teammate, and friend to his peers at Georgetown.

“One thing I knew was important, but didn’t fully grasp, was the quality of the people who were in the program with me,” said Crosson. “They have tremendously impacted me in terms of the way that I think of business and how to interact with people.”

Crosson built a vast network of peers, mentors, and professors because of the strong web of connections at Georgetown McDonough’s MBA program. Going into graduate school, he knew the importance of creating and maintaining a diverse network, but he could have never predicted how it would affect his future. The people he met and skills he learned shaped the way he seeks out business contacts, opportunities, and the way he approaches the business industry as a whole.

This most recent work was influenced by Eric Koester, adjunct lecturer at Georgetown McDonough and founder of the Creative Institute. Crosson watched fellow alumni go through this process and felt inspired to do the same. He saw this as a way to give back to his peers, mentors, and friends that he had met through Georgetown who had given him so much.

“I wanted to go to a top program,” Crosson said. “Georgetown was high on my list and it felt like I was coming home.”

Crosson’s book will be available in December 2020. For more information, please visit https://www.lonesomethread.com.