5 Things that Happened Immediately After I Started Meditating
Sometimes when you’re running one small business, it feels like you’re actually in charge of five. Revenues, budgets, expenses, websites, social media, accounting, legal stuff… And this is before you even consider talking to customers and employees. Not to mention spouses, kids, friends (what’s a social life?)… It’s really easy to feel overwhelmed, which makes you wonder if you should be doing less. One look at your packed schedule and you’ll see there isn’t much you could responsibly do less of. Now you’re overwhelmed again…
Being overwhelmed happens when we feel out of control. Doing less can help you gain more of that feeling of being in command. So, what if doing less is not an option? Maybe it’s about just having more control over what you do. The most effective people get so much done because of the systems they have in place to do so much, not because they’re superhuman. Clearly, there’s a better way, you just have to find it.
Speeding Up By Slowing Down
A lot has been said, especially in the past few years, about the value of regular meditation in the workplace. The value of mindfulness can’t be understated. Simply put, you must be present to win, especially in sales. The problem occurs when you mistake the concept of being present for trying to be in all places at all times. Ubiquity is not the answer.
With the rapid pace of business these days, we find ourselves trying to move ever faster. I think there’s a lot to be said about intentionally slowing down just for a few minutes a day. I’ve taken that thought a step further recently and actually stopped for ten minutes a day using the app from Headspace. I’m amazed by the results I’ve experienced, and how quickly I noticed them. Everything I mention here happened within the first two weeks, and I’m sure there’s more to come.
I Physically Feel Better
I’m routinely fighting a low back issue that started back when I was a kid. It comes and goes, and while it’s never really serious, this latest flare-up has stuck with me longer than normal. I was really locked up and my movement was restricted. I’m an avid golfer, so you can see how this would be a major issue in the spring. I think a routine mental scan of my body, a presence of mind on what was ailing me, allowed me to focus on what was stuck and freed it up. This is probably the most unexpected result that I noticed, but if we think about it, our bodies are essentially controlled by a network of chemicals (hormones) and electricity (nerves). If we can do something to alter that balance of chemicals via the way we think there’s no reason to believe that there isn’t a connection here.
I Lost Five Pounds
Another physical benefit I wasn’t quite expecting, but this one’s a little easier to trace. I tend to be a bit of an anxious eater. By feeling a little calmer, a little more present, and more relaxed, I don’t find myself rushing to snack as much. My daughter has a little bit of a gluten sensitivity and being the precocious seven-year-old she is, she feels a little bit left out when it comes to mealtime. I decided to be her food buddy and almost eliminate the amount of gluten that I consume on a regular basis. Most people will tell you that this is very difficult to do, and I would agree! But being more mindful of why I wanted to do this has allowed this transition to be a lot more manageable for me. It’s amazing what happens when you replace bread in your diet with vegetables.
My Focus And Capacity To Do Work Increased By 20%
This was what I had really hoped would happen. I just didn’t expect results so quickly. My ability to execute on projects, particularly at the end of a long day, has greatly increased. There is a lot of unrecognized mental fatigue involved in feeling as if you’re being pulled in several different directions at the same time. Think about how much more you can get done if all of that energy was pointed in a similar direction. 20% is my initial estimation, and I think I’ll see that number increase as my practice continues.
I Gained A Lot Of Clarity Concerning The Future Of My Business
This is probably the most nebulous result that I can come up with, but I cannot deny that it is likely more than coincidental. Personally, I’m at a precarious point with the growth of my business. I’ve had a feeling for some time that I needed to tweak some things with my strategy, particularly as it relates to marketing and content creation. What I was doing, I was doing really well. I just wasn’t garnering the results that I needed at that time. I had lots of different ideas swimming around in my head about what to do next, and what I thought was some conflicting advice in the pool with them.
Once I started this mindfulness practice, the path became immediately clear. I think with less noise, it was easier for me to really hear the things that I needed to hear, and the conversations I was having became that much more impactful. With the ability to really pay attention, I recognized that almost everybody I had talked to about this over the course of that week was essentially saying the same thing.
I Committed To Write A Book
This is an idea I have been suppressing for almost two years. “You should write a book about that…” is a thought that routinely pops into my mind. My reply to myself has always been, “Yeah, but then I’d have to write a book about that.” It’s really a lot of work, and if you been to Amazon lately, you’ll notice that there is no shortage of books on sales. But that’s not the point.
What it took for me to do was slow down, calm the noise around me, and sit with my thoughts long enough to realize what my potential is. I have a unique voice, a broad perspective, and I know that a lot of people have already benefited from both. Now I have to write that book. It feels less like a daunting project, and more like a logical next step. When I consider all of the things that will be made possible as a result, it’s no longer a question, and definitely the answer.
More To Come…
After practicing for two weeks, there’s no doubt that my business will see more benefits. You know what else will benefit? My relationships with my wife and kids. I can already tell that I am able to listen better. Getting more done in less time allows me to set boundaries and spend more time watching magic shows, playing in the backyard, reading books, and taking walks. I know I play my best golf when I stay in the moment, so this could be a key to me shaving another stroke or two off my scores this year. There are so many benefits to practicing mindfulness, that ten minutes a day really becomes insignificant.
Mindfulness Is Something You Can Practice, And You Should
When is the last time you sat still long enough to realize what you’re capable of?
Does my mind still race from time to time? Sure it does. I’ll be the first to tell you I’m really not even that good at meditating. I’m also the first to tell you that you don’t need to be very good at it in order for it to work for you. This is significant because I think it’s a major reason that people don’t do it. When you think about it, isn’t that the biggest reason why most people don’t do most things?
Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly, at least to start. What you’ll find is that the benefits of doing them start arriving far before mastery does.
Take a deep breath (or ten). Get some calm. Find some focus. Gain some clarity. Then go out and be great.