Meditation has the power to transform your life for the better and ignite your success. But how do you fit it into your busy life?
Fact: The actions we take in the morning set the tone for the entire day.
Most of us know this intuitively — that a strong start is critical to having a good day — yet how do we begin our days?
Too often, we start by reaching for our phones to read the latest influx of work emails, disaster-filled news headlines and an endless flow of celebrity gossip.
Then, we round out the morning by filling our bodies with sugary pastries and caffeine-laden drinks as we high-tail it to work, already overwhelmed by the problems the day will surely bring.
It’s no coincidence that we’re a nation of anxious, dissatisfied people who are constantly in search of something more substantial in our lives.
For me, that something turned out to be meditation for success.
My Experience with Meditation
Nearly 40 years ago, I discovered the life-changing power of meditation despite a lot of initial reluctance and a strong sense that I was wasting my time.
I attended an intense, silent retreat that focused on simply sitting for nearly 16 hours a day with only short breaks for meals.
All the while, my mind was going in every direction, worrying about the productivity I was missing out on and wondering how in the world “just sitting” was going to solve my problems.
After three full days of this mental tug of war, I finally gave myself over to the process and something clicked on the fourth day.
My mind suddenly was quieter and I found myself calmly witnessing everything occurring inside and around me without judgment or attachment.
Three Benefits of Meditation for Success
Here’s how my life improved for good that day:
- Mental clarity: Before I meditated, I couldn’t see the answers to my problems clearly. It was a case of not being able to see the forest for the trees. Once I was able to sit with all the activity in my mind, I was able to identify what was ephemeral and what was truly essential in my life.
- A sense of calm: There’s also a physical benefit to meditation: those who sit regularly enjoy deeper, calmer breaths and a general sense of peace around them. If you’ve ever wondered why yoga masters look so serene, the answer is in the sitting.
- Self-awareness: When you take a more mindful approach to sitting, the benefits extend into other parts of your life, as well. Mindfulness brings us back to the moment, allowing us to be aware of ourselves without making judgments.
It turns out my experience wasn’t a fluke.
Practiced for thousands of years, meditation (the Latin meditatum means “to ponder”) has been a powerful tool that has helped people better understand their fears, motivations and desires on a deep level.
For me, it was the perfect way to begin to solve problems I had been facing my entire life.
The Science Behind Meditation & Success
In recent years, scientific study after scientific study has borne out this ancient wisdom. Harvard Medical School proved that meditation reduces the activity of genes associated with inflammation.
Separately, UCLA scientists showed that 12 minutes of daily practice can boost your life-expanding telomerase activity by 43 percent.
But don’t just take the scientific community’s word for it. To paraphrase the Buddha — who knew a thing or two about meditation — “try it out for yourself” to see if it’s a good fit for your life.
I think you’ll discover some incredible benefits such as increased focus, a calmer demeanor and reduced anxiety in your daily life. Your family will take notice, too.
In my work as a counselor, I have been able to show others how to put these practices into work, making real and lasting changes in their lives.
Once they “commit to sit,” they begin to experience lowered stress, reduced anxiety and increased awareness.
The solutions to problems that once seemed impossible begin to materialize in their lives.
Let’s Dive Deeper
In “The Success Principles” and its new companion text, “The Success Principles Workbook: An Action Plan for Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be,” I’ve devoted an entire chapter to the practice of meditation and how to make it work in your busy life.
The chapter also includes links to videos where I show you how to perform a simple meditation routine along with tips on how to turn it into a successful practice that transforms your life.
As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and Jack speaks around the world on this subject. Check out his newest book The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home. Follow Jack at www.jackcanfield.com and sign up for his free resources today!
Image courtesy of Omid Armin.