Meditation: The Key to Professional Success

You’d probably associate meditation with health and wellness guru Deepak Chopra, but what about Oprah Winfrey? Hip-hop tycoon Russell Simmons? U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio)? Huffington Post Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington?

Surprised? Well, all of these hard-charging and high-achieving people credit meditation with their professional success. (Simmons and Ryan have each written books about meditation – that’s how big an impact it has had on their lives.)

You might wonder how sitting quietly and focusing on your breath can help you be more successful, but the evidence is overwhelming. Meditation leads to numerous, far-reaching benefits:

  • You’ll be more mindful, focused, and aware
  • Your stress and anxiety levels will go down
  • You’ll be calmer and more compassionate
  • Your learning and memory will improve

Imagine how meditation will affect your leadership skills! You’ll be a better listener and communicator. You’ll handle challenges better. You’ll remember discussions and decisions made during previous meetings. Your emotional intelligence will increase.

How to meditate

Set aside 5-10 minutes in the morning and/or evening for meditation. Find a quiet spot to sit and just focus on your breathing. When thoughts pop into your head, gently let them go and continue to focus on your breath.

Ready to give it a try? Here are some tips that can get you in the habit of meditating on a regular basis – yoga mat optional.

Practice in a group

A group will hold you accountable so you actually practice! Whether you meet and practice together or just check in via email or text every day, you’ll be more likely to not only meditate, but stick with it.

Be patient with yourself

Thoughts will pop into your head when you meditate, and that’s OK. In fact, it’s normal. Don’t get impatient with yourself or deem your efforts a failure. Just gently push the thoughts aside and go back to your breath.

Try an app

Guided mediation via an app is a great tool for beginners. Before you do research on iTunes, ask your friends if they can recommend one.

Meditate when waiting

When you find yourself waiting – for your airplane to begin boarding, a friend who’s running late for drinks, or your doctor who’s running late again – leave your smartphone alone. Instead of checking email, meditate.

Combine meditation with walking

One my favorite ways to practice meditating is when the weather is nice. Go outside for a walk and focus on your breath. Then focus on the sound of your footsteps for a while, and then switch your attention to the birds chirping in the trees.

If you would like additional ideas and resources to start this practice contact us. If you already meditate, how has it helped you in the workplace and as a leader?

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