There’s a reason why wildly successful CEOs like LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner swear by meditation. Studies show it can change your brain matter, reduce stress, and help leaders make better decisions. And yep, there’s an app (or rather meditation apps) for that!
So, the studies show that…
Meditation makes us sharper and saner and we pay less attention to dumb stuff when we get on the mat.
We make fewer mistakes because meditation improves executive functions like attention and self-regulation. That’s why it’s a great weight loss tool, a good study aid, and a great creativity facilitator. It makes us better leaders, better parents and partners, and on and on and on.
How can meditation do all that?
Simple. Meditation makes you more AWARE so you start seeing everything clearly. You become smarter and saner.
Some people still confuse meditation with religion. This description of meditation that Deepak Chopra offered up SuperSoul Sunday might help clear up some of the confusion:
“[Meditation] has nothing to do with belief or ideology or doctrine. It’s a simple mental technique to go to the source of thought.”
Meditation is a practice of focused thinking… or not thinking. What you connect with during your practice can be spiritual, but for entrepreneurs and many non-spiritual practitioners, meditation is more about becoming aware. Aware of what’s going on inside you.
Sometimes what’s going on within the entrepreneur’s mind is pure genius. Meditation can help you access it. I incorporate meditation into many of my coaching programs because it helps when we’re making transitions and doing anything that requires stick-to-itiveness.
Meditation helps you focus
The early stage of the change process is like learning to drive a car. You have to pay attention to what you’re doing. Months and years after you’ve been driving for a while, you can drive and apply lipstick, drink your coffee, and so on but while you’re learning, focusing is essential. Meditation helps you to slow down and pay attention when learning new habits.
The late Steve Jobs described his practice to his biographer Walter Isaacson like this:
“If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things–that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before.”
The apps Wired magazine recommends in this video are a great place to start your meditation education.
The coach says:
- Start paying attention to how you operate in one single area of your life — family and relationships, work, school, finances, nutrition, and health?
- Ask yourself, what is one executive skill that would greatly benefit me in this area? Put simply, “What could I improve to make this area of my life better?
- Let’s say your area is school and the thing that would most help you do better in school is improved focus and concentration, Google “meditation for concentration” to find a meditation that both targets concentration and that you vibe with.
Good luck with this!!
Christine is a lifestyle coach living in Los Angeles. Using systems, routines, and some psychological trickery, she can help almost anyone hack their mind and life for greater productivity. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if she's available for one-on-one work.