A recent article in GQ focused on a secret of many successful people who would be considered ‘evolutionary’. Do you want to know the secret of success for mega successful people such as George Lucas, Jerry Seinfeld, Oprah, Moby and others?
Their secret is mindfulness practice- that’s right the ability to sit and meditate, to clear the mind, to relax and to enter the ‘flow’. Ray Dalio who is known as one of the world’s wealthiest and who is renowned in the hedge fun world says that transcendental meditation makes him feel “like a ninja” so that problems come at him in slow motion.
As the speed and pace of our lives continues to increase and the constant barrage of information comes at us we need to as leaders and business owners master the skill of ‘slowing things down’ and one of the methods to doing that is having a mindfulness or meditation practice. To those who are driven, fast moving types the mere suggestion of going within for twenty minutes twice a day is sheer torture.
I myself am a recovered Type A who found meditation three years ago through Deepak Chopra meditation retreats. I tried for over twenty years to meditate and I just couldn’t get myself to sit still and to quiet my mind. Attending a meditation retreat helped me to learn the tools and skills and how to focus on mantras and breath to get to a place of inner peace.
When Dalio says that meditation helps him to solve problems he is right, it’s similar to the Matrix movies where Neo goes into slow motion to ‘fight the evil’. The brain builds new synapses and works more effectively to see stress and challenges in a new and different way because of time spent in ‘quiet’.
The benefits of mindfulness are supported by science- and in more than 340 peer-reviewed studies. Consider the following:
Mindfulness or meditation helps you to think more lucidly as it increases the brains ability to sync signals in a more cohesive way.
Mindfulness or mediation helps to extend your life and to reduce stress through the reduction of the stress hormone cortisol.
Mindfulness or meditation helps you to be the best version of yourself as you begin to see problems and people in a different less judgmental way.
Mindfulness or meditation helps you to sort your priorities more easily as you lessen the stress on your pre frontal cortex home of the brains organizing function.
Mindfulness or meditation helps you to change your harmful behaviors such as smoking or other addictive habits.
Mindfulness or meditation helps you to stay healthier and to get more done in less time as you benefit from being calmer and more focused.
With the benefits outlined above it is easy to see why Ellen DeGeneres, Rupert Murdoch and Martin Scorsese credit mindfulness as their secret to success.
What can you do to harness this secret? Try the following:
1. If your brain is too stressed or unable to focus try using guided meditation as your entry into the practice there are many resources on line.
2. Attend a meditation retreat to force yourself into the habit of practicing.
3. At the very least sit still for 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night focusing on your breathing and try to quiet your mind.
The world is going to continue to speed up, technology is going to continue to inundate our lives and challenges are going to come at us faster than ever before, why wouldn’t you harness a secret to leverage your ability to be ‘evolutionary’?