Bill Gates. Paul McCartney. Jeff Weiner. Will Smith. This is just a minimal fraction of successful people who consider meditation as the staple of a successful life.
You can do it before sleep. In the shower. During work breaks. It’s one of those things you can just seamlessly fit into your routine and make great use of it every time.
Meditation is an ancient technique that touches on pretty much every pain point of dedicated entrepreneurs: chronic stress. Anxiety. A racing mind. The dreaded creativity block. Self-doubt. All of which bottleneck your path to success.
Its most sought-after objective, though, is to help us achieve our goals. Is it possible? Absolutely.
But I’ve tried meditating, and it just didn’t work for me.
It’s true that some people will find it harder than others. Meditation is a practice-based method, which many give up (or avoid starting) due to a need of making peace with one’s own mind and controlling automatic thoughts for a while.
We’ve grown so used to allowing thoughts ping-pong in our heads that it feels weird to just think about not thinking, much as it feels weird to walk with proper posture when you’ve hunched your back for so many years now.
Fact is, meditation is NOT about stopping your thoughts. It’s about letting them flow without scrutiny, to a point where you become oblivious.
2020 is thankfully reaching an end. If you’re already writing up your 2021 resolution and want next year to be genuinely better, it’s time to add meditation to the list. Here’s why it will be pivotal in helping you achieve your goals:
Meditation May Ease Stress and Anxiety
Stop for a while and pay attention to your mind. Do it right now. What’s going on in there?
Automatic, darting thoughts. Song lyrics. Passing worries. Mental lists. Self-judgement. We’ve learned to live with these, and whether we’re aware of it or not, they’re constantly stressing us out. Notice how most of these thoughts take place in the future or past, but never in the present.
Meditation is all about steering your attention towards now. It’s where you are. It’s the only moment you can experience. Seize it.
By paying attention to your breathing and gradually detaching from your thoughts, you’ll learn what it’s like to have a quiet mind. It’s peaceful enough to put you into a state of rest. A wave of calmness takes over. Interestingly, that’s why some people tend to fall asleep when meditating (especially if they’re sleep-deprived), and some even burst into tears.
It Helps You Manifest Your Goals
There’s one form of meditation that consists in visualizing yourself in desirable scenarios. Powerful visualization is one of the pillars of manifesting.
Manifesting is about visualizing your dream life while allowing yourself to sense what already having it feels like. It’s about creating a vivid picture of it in your mind and gratefully welcoming it, knowing and believing it’s on its way.
When you manifest, you raise your vibration. Vibrating in a higher frequency means you’ll be energetically matching the positive things you wish to achieve: financial freedom, a better relationship, a happy and fulfilled life…your goals could be anything. But in order to achieve them, you must be ready to receive them first.
Meditation can help you visualize and manifest your goals without distractions. After all, when you meditate, all of your attention turns inward. You’re aware of every sensation and every thought.
For a few minutes a day, meditation makes sure your goal is the only thing on your mind.
It Lets Creativity Flow--And Also Gives You a Break From It
Entrepreneurs are such creative individuals. Their brains run amok and they can’t seem to keep up with their own thoughts.
Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily!
That means your mind, dear entrepreneur, is a machine of ideas that works around the clock. You’re constantly being bombarded by these concepts–some of them average, some of them gold. And that’s how you roll.
They’re always there. Trouble is, even when you’re trying to doze off at midnight to wake up at 5:30 am, they’re still there. A possible solution? Meditation.
As you’ve read above, meditation will teach you to silence your mind when you need it most.
As another benefit, it also addresses focus and creativity successfully. With daily practice, you can train your brain to sweep nagging thoughts and focus on the task at hand: coming up with ground-breaking ideas.
(When meditating for focus, it’s best to sit down and keep your eyes open. Otherwise, you’ll risk falling asleep!)
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“What if I Can’t Calm My Mind?”
There’s an automatic thought–a negative one at that. Although these types of thoughts will walk to and fro inside your brain especially during a meditation session, the goal is to let them be.
Still, some people give up because they’ve declared themselves unable to stop their thoughts for more than a few seconds. Plus, they “don’t have the patience or time to practice meditation”, although 5 minutes is a drop in the bucket compared to a 24-hour day.
Remember: meditation isn’t about stopping thoughts. It’s about letting them pass by like clouds. When a cloud passes, do you start questioning it? Do you ask all possible questions about it? No, you simply acknowledge it and let it go. You should do the same to your thoughts.
But of course, there are different kinds of meditation for different needs. Next, we’ll talk about two of them, and how to do them properly. You can do one of them, or you can do both. You can’t go wrong with any.
How to Meditate (The Traditional Way)
- In a quiet and distraction-free place, sit cross-legged on a chair or on a mat. If you’re doing it to relax and fall asleep, feel free to lie down and close your eyes.
- Start by breathing in deeply through your nose, allowing the air to fill up your lungs, then slowly exhaling. Turn your attention to your breathing, and how your belly moves up and down when you do it.
- You’ll notice thoughts will start running. Remember the clouds: acknowledge them, then let them go. Don’t “interact” with them, or label them. Whenever that happens, simply turn your attention back to your breathing.
- If you’d like, you can play relaxing music in the background, or follow guided meditations until you feel like you can practice by yourself.
Do it for as long as you feel comfortable. Don’t judge yourself. You can always try again tomorrow.
How to Meditate (With Visualization)
For this meditation, you’ll follow the steps above. Only now, your breathing will accompany positive thoughts about your goals.
- As you inhale and exhale, actively use your imagination to envision yourself where you want to be. But don’t just envision it–try to feel it.
- What would the sensation of finally having it be like?
- What would be your facial expressions?
- What would you be thinking?
Try to revel in the sensation of an achievement to come. That’s successful visualization.
The more you do it, the sooner meditation will become second-nature to you. It won’t be easy at first–but once you start seeing results like the folks mentioned in the beginning did, you’ll understand why you had to begin.
You’ll be able to meditate for 30 minutes, 40 even. The key here is resilience. Start practicing now, a few minutes a day, and you’ll have a clearer and peaceful mindset to handle anything 2021 throws your way.