Meditation – Your Professional Secret Weapon

The deeper I go in this industry the more I realize success is determined by the quality of my mental fitness.  It was with that realization I started the practice of meditation a few years ago. This new direction might come to some as a surprise, as it does with me. I’m not a very “spiritual” person and have up until recently thought of mediation and other methods of silence with a “not my kind of tea” nonchalance.

What we view as different we tend to be afraid of and to be very honest I was afraid of meditating. It was just foreign to me. Yet that might be why I found myself in a situation where I was desperately needing it!

I realized in my first month of meditation it’s not as weird, shamanic, spiritual, or cult-like as I thought.  In fact, I realize now that it quite possibly could be the secret to a happy and successful life no matter what country you live in or what religion you claim to believe.

Why?

With so much stimulation, media distraction and impulsive opportunities today, clarity of thought is our most scarce resource. By not taking the time to center oneself in their purpose before they start their day, one may find each day harder and harder to complete. I felt this overcoming me during the last year or two – the subtle feeling of losing my compass and lacking the fulfilling energy of pursuing a direction that aligns with a purposeful life.

Dr. Sarah Miller joined us recently for a FL Influencer Series talk on Mindfulness and Meditation. In the discussion, She covers the practice of meditation, why it’s important, how to do it effectively, and how frequent one should incorporate it into their busy lives. The talk begins with a short vide segment featuring Sarah – and includes a short meditation exercise – and was immediately followed by a group Q&A discussion on all things meditation and mindfulness. Read more here.

For me, here are the three major areas which I found meditation positively affects my life each day.

1. Calmness.  I found I was becoming more tense as the years went on, and given my laid back nature this was starting to really bug me.  It probably has to do with the nature of our industry and the difficulties of being a founder or working for an early stage company.  As I started the practice of meditation I began to feel the tension ease off a bit.  It’s still there to some extent, but I am now learning how to deal with it and shift the excess energy to a more positive area of my life.

The main reason I feel better is with the consistent nature of meditation you are able to think, ponder, and review; this leading to an adequate evaluation of the difficult things happening over the course of your daily life.  Stress overcomes us not because of something that happens to us, but because we haven’t adequately perceived the reality of the situation and are uncertain of what we are going to do about it.  We lack clarity. My calmness has resulted from taking time each day to let my mind wrap itself around the challenging things developing in my life, and allowing my mind time to determine the next step.

2. Centeredness.  I never really knew what this term meant before starting to meditate, but now I understand the power of allowing your mind to focus on certain aspects of your life, steering away from harmful and negative things while steering towards ones more beneficial. It actually takes effort to think about what you are doing here on earth, what you want to accomplish, how you want to live each day, how you want to treat people each day and the trajectory you want your life to take.  All this becomes clearer when one consistently starts their day in deep thought.  

3.  Slowness.  It seems like things are going faster and faster each day.  Computing power speeds up each year, and computers just keep getting smaller and more ingrained into our existence.  Emailing went to text messaging.  Taking pictures with a digital camera and uploading to a website went to snapping a pic and sending a quick Snapchat to a friend. We expect to grab our phone and instantly find a restaurant whenever we are hungry. We also expect a response from someone we communicated with – immediately.  Each day seems to be speeding up and taking our whole society with it. It’s no wonder people are so stressed out.

Meditation has shown me the power of slowness and what it can do in a world where people and ideas are flying by at the speed of light.  Slowness allows for thoughtful consideration of the world around you. It allows for a deeper comprehension of all the things happening to you and around you.  There are many things in our world that are simply too complex to fully grasp only after a few seconds or immediately after a meeting.  Not taking the time to allow your mind and body to fully comprehend the world around you is a grave mistake.  Through slowing down and practicing mental clarity each morning I set the tone for a stronger, more agile, more flexible mind which now has a better understanding of when to make quick hasty decisions or to slow down and contemplate all angles of a situation.

Take it from someone who used to shrug off the concept of meditation, you are making a huge mistake by not starting your day with your eyes closed in deep thought about the day you are about to experience.

Nick Hughes

Nick is a successful entrepreneur with business achievements in e-commerce, social media, digital payments, and technology startups. He excels at interpersonal leadership, communication, business and product development.

In addition to creating the entrepreneurial network Founders LIVE, Nick stays busy as an advisor to numerous startups and occasionally takes positions in sales or biz dev roles if needed. He is also cofounder of Callin’it, a cool new fan engagement and predictions app for sports fans. Previously he founded the mobile payment startup Seconds as well as helping start Coinme, a company built around expanding bitcoin and digital transactions into the physical realm via Bitcoin ATM’s. As a sought-after adviser, entrepreneurial speaker and writer with guest appearances on popular technology and media outlets, Nick enjoys helping others discover their unique entrepreneurial path.