Something that I have found to be helpful as a businessperson is meditation. I have been using meditation for about 20 years, and I wanted to share with you what I have learned from that experience. There are a lot of videos about meditation on YouTube that drive me nuts. They talk in riddles with all this flowery language, and no one gets to the point and just tells you how to meditate. So, this is a no-nonsense explanation of meditation and how it is going to help you in business. WATCH NOW
I was first introduced to meditation for stress relief. I have always worked in high intensity business environments, and so I am always looking for ways to manage stress. Meditation was always a topic that comes up on how to deal with stress, and I have found it to be effective.
Let me explain to you why. Your brain is trying to kill you. And this is something that few people realize. I am not joking. Your brain is trying to kill you. And I can prove it to you.
When you get up tomorrow morning, one thing you will do is go brush your teeth. While you are brushing your teeth, I want you to notice what you are thinking about. I am betting you are thinking about work. Or family problems. Or some past mistake you made. You are thinking about some problem that is going on in your life and you are trying to fix it in your mind, while you are brushing your teeth.
Now just stop and realize how crazy that is. Why are you thinking about work while you are brushing your teeth? You do not need to be doing that. It does not accomplish anything other than make you stressed out by worrying about your problems. And this is the issue. You are doing this all day long. All throughout the day, you mind is reviewing all the problems in your life, and these negative stressful thoughts are constantly running through your head. That is stress and it is completely unnecessary. If you stopped thinking about work while you were brushing your teeth, it would have no impact to your work whatsoever, but it would make you a happier person. So, if you get nothing else from this video, understand this concept: You do not need to think about your problems all day long.
This is what I mean when I say your brain is trying to kill you. This constant stream of thoughts is keeping your body in a constant state of panic. All this stress is causing your health problems, psychological problems, and causing you to make bad choices in life, like drinking heavily to give yourself a break. When in fact it is your own brain that is causing all this stress, and what is more shocking is that it is completely within your control.
This is where meditation comes in. With meditation, you are just giving your mind a break. You are going to take a short amount of time during your day where you just turn your mind off. Your body is screaming for a break, and this is a time for you to let your worries float away and just be calm. This is not easy. It is hard because we are so used to our minds running in circles automatically. When you meditate regularly, you are training your mind and developing self-discipline so that throughout your life you will develop the ability to shut off your mind when you do not need it. The goal is to not think about work while you are brushing your teeth, so you are not needlessly stressing yourself out.
Let me give you another example. Have you ever spent time with a loved one, either a spouse or a family member, and while you were spending time together, you were thinking about work. Has that ever happened to you? You become so wrapped up with thinking about your problems in your mind, that you completely miss enjoying the company of other people. You are not present; you are off somewhere else. Just think of how much of life you have missed, because you are just not aware of what is going on around you.
Let me give you a quick step-by-step on how to meditate. It does not cost you any money. Just time and dedication.
- Find a quiet spot where you will not be disturbed
- Set a timer for 20 minutes
- Sit in a comfortable position
- Turn off your mind, focus on your breath
- If thoughts come up, let them go and return to focus on your breath
- Keep returning your focus to your breath for 20 minutes
Most people cannot go one breath without their mind racing away on some thought. That is okay. The point is that you keep returning to focus on your breath. You are practicing turning off your mind repeatedly.
People’s biggest complaint is “This is boring.” If you feel bored, you are not doing it right. Being bored is a label created by your mind. If you are bored, that means you have not shut your mind off. If you shut your mind off, you will never be bored. You will be able to sit still, experiencing the present moment for lengthy periods of time without boredom or any other judgement. You are just enjoying your own company, enjoying the sensations in your body, and enjoying being alive.
If any of this resonates with you, keep watching. I started doing meditation because it helped with stress. But over the years, I have found that it is so much more.
You start to realize that everyone has three brains:
The animal brain is your raw emotions. It is your passions, your fight or flight response, your fears, and joys. Then we have your intellect. We use this to form coherent thoughts, and problem solve as we interact with the world around us. We have learned to use our intellect to control our animal brain. We cannot just walk around and act out on our passions. If we see someone that we have romantic feelings for, we realize that in polite society we need to go through a courtship process to form a relationship. Another example is when we get angry. We do not just lash out at people. Instead, we use our intellect to work through problems because we have learned it creates a better result. We restrain our animal brain with our intellect and that leads to happier more fulfilled lives.
There is a third brain called awareness. This is the part of your brain that watches your thoughts and watches your emotions. We refer to something that is self-aware as a sign of intelligent life. You are aware that you exist, because you are separate from and experiencing your intellect and animal brain at work.
You already know about the interaction between your intellect and animal brain. That is something most people understand. The more that you can control your animal brain with your intellect, your life gets better, more manageable, and more focused on getting what you want out of life. The same is true with awareness. The more you can control your intellect with awareness, the better your life becomes.
Something else interesting happens when you start to turn your intellect off. You experience some deep-rooted emotions and insecurities rise that you have been ignoring. The reason you think about your problems so much is because it takes your mind off the things that really bother you. If you are thinking about work problems, you do not have to think about the things that make you insecure, or scared, or painful memories. You just cover them up with your intellect running all the time. Well, if you turn off your intellect you have no way to hide from your emotions anymore. You are going to have to confront your demons from your past, and guess what? You can let that go as well. Those emotions are from your animal brain that you have suppressed all these years. Your fears are created and held on to by you. Just let them go. Shut off your intellect. Shut off your animal brain. And once you have done all that, you will notice one more fear come up… the fear of death. You are afraid that one day you are going to die. Guess what? You can let that go as well. Let go of everything. Surrender all your problems and worries and what you are left with is simply your awareness of the present moment.
Just imagine what it would mean if you had the self-control to turn off your intellect at will. All the stress, anxiety, and fear that is constantly running through your mind would stop, and you would be free to experience life in the moment without any stress or frustration from your problems in life. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Your intellect is like a computer. When you need it to solve a problem, you just turn it on, and when you are done, you just turn it off again, and you can go through life, brushing your teeth and hanging out with loved ones without the distraction of your out-of-control thoughts.
Living in awareness does not mean you no longer have thoughts or emotions anymore from your animal brain and intellect. All three brains are you. You are still there. They are still working. You will still experience thoughts and emotions, you will just be able to control them, just like you are able to control your passions now.
Now you may have heard of people talk about achieving enlightenment. Just to be clear, I am not claiming to be enlightened. I am nowhere near to being enlightened. The idea of enlightenment is that after years of meditation, you will have self-disciplined your mind enough to be able to completely control your thoughts and emotions at the will of your awareness. There are stories that this gives people mental superpowers. I do not know if that is true. But I would say that living completely stress free because you can stop thinking about your problems at will is a cool superpower.
So let us bring this back to business. If you can have more self-control over your animal brain and intellect, isn’t that the same skill that will help you navigate the business world? You will be better able to control your emotions, remain calm in stressful situations, have better awareness of the people and opportunities around you, be able to ignore problems that do not matter, and be able to work more productively without any stress. It will give you the awareness you will need to make the tough business decisions rather than simply react to the world around you. It will give you the focus to follow your dreams and make them a reality.
I am no expert at this stuff. I still struggle with staying focused during meditation. But after meditating on a regular basis for 20 years, I am just now starting to realize the potential of what is possible. So, what I would recommend for other people, is do not worry if you cannot meditate every single day. Now that you know how to do it, just keep it in mind as something to try out when you have a chance. Whenever you have time, try meditating for 20 minutes. And if you keep working at it for 20 years, you are going to start seeing benefits.
Leave a comment down below letting me know what you think!
If you find these videos helpful, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Neither Zach De Gregorio or Wolves and Finance shall be liable for any damages related to information in this video. It is recommended you contact a CPA in your area for business advice.