I spent part of my Holiday break reading a great book called Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris.
In the book, Ferris interviews top performers in business, sports, and life, and asks them a series of questions. Among the questions is one that any achiever would be interested in: “What have you started doing in the last few years that has had the most dramatic impact on your life/results?”
I was struck by the huge percentage who talked about how the practice of meditation was changing their lives for the better. I’m guessing it was well over 50% of the people Ferris talked to for the book.
It’s been the same for me. In fact, if you asked me what has made the most significant contribution to increasing my personal performance in the last few years, I would have to say it’s been my meditation practice. It’s been huge. Perhaps the most significant thing I have ever done for myself.
The impact hasn’t just been on business, either. It’s made an incredible impact in all areas of my life, including my marriage and the way I interact with others.
Meditation has gone mainstream! So many people are trying to find some sanity in a world where we are over-communicated, over-stressed, over-scheduled, and frequently, over-wrought. It’s been the cover story on many business magazines. There was even a feature on meditation in the Harvard Business Review a few years ago. More and more people are realizing the benefits. The biggest, at least for me, is that it actually helps me become way more productive. It may be the most effective productivity tool ever because it has helped me to increase focus. That’s a big deal for someone who probably has a mild case of Attention Deficit Disorder. As one of my mentors always tells me, “Slow down to go fast.”
I’ve been meditating off and on for probably 18 years. But for much of that time, it’s been a lot more OFF than ON. About 4 years ago that changed, and I developed the HABIT of doing it almost every day. I try during my meditation time to get as quiet as I can. But I’m horrible at that, at least so far. It’s a rare morning when my brain isn’t back in gear pretty quickly and very frequently. No deep meditative states for me. I have what some people call a monkey brain—I’m easily distracted. But I can tell you that imperfect meditation works perfectly!!! Some of those distractions have even given me a few great business ideas! So, that’s not bad either.
I started with just 5-10 minutes a day, primarily using guided meditations. Guided meditations have helped me learn the techniques to meditate. (I love the Insight Timer app. Through that, I discovered a teacher, Tara Brach, whom I enjoy. She’s also got a ton of guided meditations at www.tarabrach.com)
Today, I take more time… in the same chair every morning… at just about the same time. Even when I travel, I make sure that this is part of my morning ritual. Because like all the people Ferris interviewed in his book, I can feel the benefits every single day. And, as my practice deepens, I’m more and more convinced of the positive benefits I get. Truly life-changing.
I try to share reflections about our changing business and revenue growth ideas in this space all year. But if you asked me what has done the most for our business and for my personal well being, I would tell you that, without question, meditation has been the difference-maker.
We’re all stressed. We’re all crazy busy. But there’s a tool that can make a huge difference, at least it has for me. Slow down to go fast!
P.S. A great book that TV folks might like is 10% Happier by Dan Harris. Dan’s the ABC Nightline anchor. He has a wonderful story about his journey into meditation. I loved it.
Do you have a sales manager you want to help become much better? That is the ONLY goal of our Sales Manager’s High Performance Boot Camp. We still have a (very) few seats available for this event starting January 28th in Tampa. Details at Boot Camp or call 941-926-SELL (7355)