You’ve heard of it before, right?
And it’s “not for me”?
Give me 5 minutes, please.
But, before I explain the remarkable benefits of meditation, I want to extinguish a few misconceptions.
- it’s not religious. “Nothing foo-foo” as Tim Ferriss puts it
- isn’t something reserved people in a cult or other [insert strange lifestyle here]
- most importantly – it’s not for the weak
In fact, some of the most savage hustlers out there have a meditation practice, including:
- Rick Rubin – the co-founder of Def Jam Records. He also established American Recordings, producing and popularizing artists like Jay-Z, Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy and Run–D.M.C..
- Tim Ferriss – creator of today’s most popular business podcast. He’s also an angel investor or an advisor to Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Evernote, Wealthfront and Uber, among others.
- Rupert Murdoch – Chairman and CEO of Global Media Holding Company News Corporation, now the world’s second-largest media conglomerate, and its successors, News Corp and 21st Century Fox.
- Oprah Winfrey – Chairwoman & CEO, Harpo Productions, Inc., and recently named the most powerful celebrity of 2013 by Forbes.
And so many more. Tim Ferriss’ podcast, which interviews the most successful people in the world, whether that’s Arnold Schwarzenegger or Marc Andreesen, said the one thing that over 80% of his guests have in common is…
You guessed it, meditation.
So why do all these people meditate?
The three ways meditation maximizes your mind
Meditation has positive effects throughout your whole day, even though you only does it for 15-20 minutes in the morning or evening. A regular practice helps you approach every social situation with a positive disposition and remarkable candor.
A recent study conducted by Harvard University on how meditation improves emotional intelligence points to the fact that meditation is proven to increase grey matter within 8 weeks. The study states, “[Meditation] stimulates a major increase in gray matter density in the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection.”
Meditation allows the body, mind and spirit to fall into an extremely calm, relaxed state. It helps one understand that whatever forces happen around you will continue to happen, but they don’t directly affect or harm your inner state of being. When you let go of stresses caused by things out of your control, stress and anxiety dwindle. With that, you naturally become light-hearted and optimistic.
The same Harvard study continues, “Participant-reported reductions in stress also were correlated with decreased gray-matter density in the amygdala, which is known to play an important role in anxiety and stress. None of these changes were seen in the control group, indicating that they had not resulted merely from the passage of time.”
Outside factors, such as things out of your control, negative scenario building, and passing impulsive thoughts can harm your focus. If you think of it in percentages, it makes a lot of sense. Start with 100%.
- dedicate 10% of your mind to recurring monthly bills,
- 10% to a petty grudge with a friend,
- 20% to relationship stresses,
- you’re left with 60% of your mind for whatever you actually want to be doing at that time.
- Add in 20% for social media distractions, and only 40% of your mental capacity is left.
With meditation comes increased self-control (sidebar: it’s also how many quit smoking). By resisting unproductive impulses like social drama, bills that are going to come whether or not you stress over them, social media and other distractions, you’re empowered with a natural focus.
Meditation for Entrepreneurs
There are numerous other benefits of meditation, like better relationships, improved posture, fearlessness and more.
However, I feel the above are the most salient notions we as businesspeople can all relate to. Being an entrepreneur is stressful, hectic, prone to distraction, and physically exhausting.
So it’s important that as an entrepreneur or someone in management, you have a sure-fire way to approach situations with a calm confidence.
Some apps for meditation that make it really easy to get started:
What’s the reason you haven’t started meditating?
Let us know in the comments.
Thanks for reading,
JMOpinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.