Meditation For Executives: Step Up The Leadership Zen
Is Meditating Limited To Monks?
The long and short of it is no. This is a common stereotype amongst a lot of people that meditation is only for monks. Moreover, people are also of the belief that you have to leave your comforts and luxuries when you venture into the world of meditation and spirituality.
However, that is not true. Meditation isn’t just for hippies and monks anymore. Today, many of the world’s billionaires are into meditation. From celebrities, CEOs, entrepreneurs, executives, and investors are all experiencing the numerous benefits that come from meditation. Not only this, Many are even crediting meditation for their success.
Some Recognizable Names Tapping Into Their Subconscious
From Paul McCartney to Arianna Huffington, Jerry Seinfeld to Ray Dalio (investor), Russell Simmons to Joe Rogan, Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn CEO) to Jack Dorsey (Twitter CEO), Katy Perry to Jennifer Lopez, Phil Jackson to Michael Jordan, and Arnold Schwarzenegger to George Lucas, rich and famous people from all over the world and all walks of life are discovering this age-old technique for giving them more joy, more peace, more emotional control, and less stress out of life.
What Is Stress Doing To You And How Are You Handling It?
While there are many ways to deal with stress, there are only a few ways to relieve and release stress. Sure, a night out at the bars will temporarily distract us from the stresses of work, but all that physical stress that alcohol puts on the body will only create more problems down the road. Plus, alcohol doesn’t really deal with stress, it just covers up the stress temporarily.
Truly relieving and releasing stress requires transforming stressful thoughts and emotions into peace, calm, and serenity. Working out is very effective at temporarily doing this as it helps the body produce endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin which all help the body be less stressed. Talk therapy is beneficial for changing the way we view stressful circumstances.
Moreover, yoga is also beneficial at calming the body through controlled movement. However, not only does meditation have all of these benefits, meditation is the only practice that actually trains our brain to experience stress differently in the future so that as stressful events happen, we remain calm, peaceful, and with a greater sense of clarity and focus.
How Meditation Will Help The Executive World And Beyond?
When we meditate, we are literally training our mind to see the world more clearly, without the clouded fog of thoughts and judgments laid over our perception of the world. By being present, we make better decisions based on reality, not on fear or stress, or doubt. When we panic we make mistakes, but when we stay calm and present, we see what we need to do and we do it with our full attention.
The more we meditate, the more we control our thoughts, and the less our thoughts control us. We learn to focus our minds on what needs to be done.
Meditation is not about the time we spend in meditation, it is about how it affects the rest of our day that matters.
The more we practice, the more calm and peaceful we become and the more focus and clarity we have. Just as we train our muscles at the gym, meditation is training for the mind—the most important tool we have that affects everything else.
In meditation, no matter what’s on your mind, no matter what’s bothering you or what’s distracting you, you learn to simply return your focus to the present moment. When we’re lost in thought, we’re not aware of what is happening right in front of us. We don’t see clearly.
Most people spend nearly all of their lives lost in thought, asleep at the wheel, living in a dream world. As we make meditation a daily part of our lives, being present becomes second nature and we live more fully, with more joy, more fulfillment, more peace, more aware of the beauty all around us, and our lives become richer than ever before.
How Are Successful People Becoming More Inclined Towards Meditation And Spirituality?
Every day, successful people are finding out that all their money is worthless if they don’t have their mental peace and physical health. What good is money if you’re unhappy and unhealthy? They say money can’t buy love, but it also can’t buy your health and happiness.
Sure, it can buy you a jetski and jetskis bring temporary happiness. But as with what happens when chasing any fleeting pleasure, you build it up in your mind as the thing to bring you happiness, you finally buy it and you get that rush of dopamine, then soon after you get bored of it and you’re more miserable than before and already searching for that next hit of dopamine. It’s the eternal pleasure/pain rollercoaster.
Whether it’s buying some material item to fill your spiritual hole, using drugs or alcohol for that quick boost, or even just flipping through social media to get that quick hit of dopamine, it’s always followed by a crash and more searching and chasing for that next hit.
Before you know it, our happiness chemicals (dopamine, serotonin, endorphins) become depleted and our body’s ability to produce them becomes diminished.
Antidepressants can help for a little while. However, they stop working once your body has built up a tolerance to them. The truth is though, we’re not searching for that next temporary hit of dopamine.
We’re really searching for lasting, permanent happiness. We just can’t find it because our mind is too clouded by short-sighted, habitual thoughts. Meditation helps us break those habits and free us from the delusion.
Are You Jumping Off The Plane Or Are You Learning To Fly?
While most things we do when we feel stressed cause a dopamine spike followed by a crash and resulting in damage to our dopamine receptors, meditation does the exact opposite. Meditation actually increases our body’s ability to produce those happiness chemicals. It’s the difference between jumping out of a plane and learning to fly.
Jumping from a plane is easy. It will give you the feeling of flying for a moment, but eventually, you’ll come crashing down to the ground and it is going to hurt, bad.
However, if you practice learning to fly every single day, eventually you’ll be flying around like Superman and for the rest of your life.
(Disclaimer: Meditation will not make you fly like Superman, this is just a metaphor. Please be wary of any meditation center which claims you will actually be able to fly.)
Stress Is A Demon, One That You Won’t See
Stress is the great silent killer in our society. Nearly all preventable deaths in the world can be tied back to stress. Heart disease and lung cancer are the obvious ones, but chronic stress leads to so much more than that.
Chronic stress prevents the body from being able to heal. It creates inflammation in the body. This can lead to various diseases.
Moreover, it’s also a cause of all types of cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, obesity, asthma, and Alzheimer’s disease, headaches, muscle pain and tension, sleep problems, exhaustion, chest pain, sexual problems, and digestive issues.
It makes us more anxious, restless, sad and depressed, irritable, angry, unmotivated, and overwhelmed. Stress commonly leads to various other issues.
For instance, over or undereating, being less active, withdrawing from social activities, outbursts of anger; and more drug, alcohol, and tobacco use.
So, With all of these harmful effects of stress, it’s easy to see how important it is for anyone in high-stress jobs, executives or entrepreneurs, to not just temporarily distract from their stress, but to release it.
What Happens When We Meditate?
When we meditate properly, almost immediately our brain starts emitting different brainwave frequencies than when they’re stressed or constantly thinking. The brain waves when we meditate, as measured by EEG machines (ElectroEncephaloGram), go through three phases.
First, our brainwaves enter the state where we become mentally and physically relaxed. As we go deeper, our brain waves become identical to when we are dreaming. In this mental state, the creative centers of our brain responsible for insights are activated.
As we go deeper into meditation, our brain waves resemble that of deep sleep even though we’re fully awake. At this stage, healing in the body and mind occurs. This means, the damage is repaired, detoxification takes place, and we become deeply restful as our body becomes re-energized.
It’s like a power nap on steroids. Also at this level, we’re able to rewire our brain as we become able to subdue the thinking mind, bring awareness to our subconscious mind in this awakened sleep state, and thus more fully align our thoughts, intentions, and actions.
Mastering The Art Of Balancing Money And Meditation
Let’s face it, we live in a high-stress world. The better a person can handle stress, the more successful they can become, both in their professional and personal life.
There are many different ways to deal with stress. However, meditation is the best and only way to relieve it and release it. Not only that, it will help you learn to view stressful events in a more positive way.
So, there can be many things going on in your life all at once. Whether things are going great or going south, meditation can give you an inner calm and peace, a lasting joy, and true health and happiness.
Are you willing to experience that joy along with your executive life? Do you want to have it all? Because you can. You just have to ask.