Meditation for Entrepreneurs - Another Way to Increase Your Productivity

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This article provides you with information 1) how meditation can help entrepreneurs in becoming more successful and 2) some famous entrepreneurs who meditate.

A BRIEF ABOUT MEDITATION

Meditation is a method or technique to quieten the mind and train it to induce a state of consciousness. Meditation can either be done to avail some or the other benefit like reducing stress, depress anxiety, etc. or can be done without any purpose. There are many ways of doing meditation, but one thing that is common to all these techniques is that they promote better breathing, relaxation and calmness. Meditation helps us be more aware of ourselves and our surroundings and is now being practiced all around the world by business owners, yoga enthusiasts, singers, corporate executives and people from all walks of life.

Meditation is also often termed as mindfulness meditation which means that it can be described as an awareness of activity and experience in the current moment. When one concentrates on his/her breathing or focusses on a single point entity, he/she tends to gain more control over thoughts and can apply them to what he/she wants without distraction. This is the reason why it helps improve focus and concentration and is thus advised to students, working mothers, and even entrepreneurs. In this article, we shall discuss how and why meditation is suitable and fantastic for entrepreneurs.

MEDITATION FOR ENTREPRENEURS

Most entrepreneurs would agree that their field of work demands them to be highly focused, active and constantly motivated to achieve self-development. This is a field of work where one has to juggle several duties and tasks at once, and for this, a high level of concentration and hard work is needed. There is no place for negative thoughts, stress, and impatience. Meditation thus works tremendously well since it makes way for better sleep, patience and also helps the brain to be highly productive. Many well-known entrepreneurs around the world have incorporated meditation into their lives and give it a lot of credit for their success.

If you are an entrepreneur who can keep aside a few minutes every day for a quiet session of meditation, then you will not only begin to observe changes in your professional life but also your personal life with mindfulness meditation. How? Let’s find that out:

Ways meditation can make you a better entrepreneur

1.   Eliminates distraction. One of the ways in which meditation can help you become a better entrepreneur is by helping you reduce and even eliminate distractions. By meditating regularly, you will begin to experience a better control over your thoughts and this in turn will make you feel more focused. Your brain will be able to process emotions and pain in a much better way when focusing on your breathing over a period of time can enable you to control the cortical alpha rhythms. This improved focus helps to reduce all kinds of distractions at work.

2.   Promotes healthy sleep. For every busy and overworked entrepreneur, it is very important to get healthy and peaceful sleep every night. But due to innumerable matters at work and stress, good sleep may be hard to come by. Meditation improves the sleep quality since it allows the mind to relax and be calm. It promotes better control over emotions, and this has a link to lower activation at bedtime. Thus by meditating regularly, you can sleep well at night and thus be active throughout the day.

3.   Reduces stress. Another major way in which meditation can turn you into a much better entrepreneur is by reducing stress and anxiety. What meditation does is that it tends to reduce the stress hormone called cortisol from our body, thus making you feel less anxious, stressed and nervous. Stress is a major cause for several life-threatening diseases but by eliminating it meditation keeps you away from these health conditions. It helps you be a calm and composed figure at work. When your employees or workers see you calm and stress-free, they become less anxious and begin to be more positive.

4.   Improves association with colleagues/competitors. Meditation has the capability to make a person more empathetic, positive and patient. These qualities can bring about a superb change in you, as far as your association with competitors and colleagues is concerned. Meditation enables you to improve communication with people around you, and this betters the relationship or association. With an improved association with colleagues, workers and competitors, any entrepreneur can gain more respect and positivity in return. In order to be a successful entrepreneur, every person needs to have a good image not just for those outside the company but also those who work with him/her.

5.   Makes you patient. Patience is the most undervalued quality or skill for business owners and entrepreneurs. No matter how passionate, skilled and knowledgeable you are, if you don’t have the patience to deal with people around you, you will never be able to make your product or service a successful reality. What meditation does is that it helps entrepreneurs become much more patient. It instills in them a sense of calm and positivity which enables them achieve goals or deal with failures more patiently. It is thus important to meditate for a few minutes regularly and see this positive change in just a few days.

6.   Makes the brain a more productive machine. Another reason why meditation can help you become a better entrepreneur is because it makes your brain a much more productive machine and thus gives you the edge of multitasking, improving memory and thinking clearly. Meditation also makes way for certain brain changes that may protect it from mental illnesses. It has been proved that this practice is linked to an increase and improvement in the signaling of connections in the brain. Thus by meditating every day, you can use your knowledge and skills in a much better way and perform better at work.

7.   Makes you more creative. Believe it or not but meditating regularly can make you much more imaginative and creative! This practice gives you more control over the mind and enables you to reach parts of the mind and imagination that you could never reach without it. It makes your soul more relaxed, and that makes way for better thinking, visualization, and imagination. Every entrepreneur can gain a lot more by being creative and coming up with fresh ideas.

8.   Helps maintain a balance. Balance is the key for any person to do well in life and the same holds true for entrepreneurs too. Without maintaining a balance between the work life, personal life, health, social life and other areas, an entrepreneur cannot reach success or satisfaction. This is why meditation is so crucial and important. It not only improves the professional and personal life of a person but helps establish a balance. Meditation improves health, makes one more conscious towards fitness and also boost overall productivity.

9.   Makes working more enjoyable. Any entrepreneur who doesn’t enjoy every bit of what he does can never be completely successful or satisfied. It is very important to enjoy every little thing you do – from thinking creatively to attending meetings and from taking decisions to learning something new. Without passion and love, work may begin to seem like a chore. But with regular sessions of it, a person can begin to take deep interest in everything he does and motivate himself to do it passionately. An entrepreneur who seems happy throughout the day is a motivation for others as well.

10.   Makes way for happiness. Happiness is nothing but a deep sense of satisfaction, calm, passion and absence of negativity. A good entrepreneur is one who is happy, content, motivated and always active. Meditation is one way to achieve complete happiness and eventually results in a person becoming a better entrepreneur.

11.   Keeps away illnesses. Your health can benefit greatly from meditation. Not only does it keep you away from stress related illnesses but also keeps the risk of depression down. It can help prevent many diseases and health conditions and hence also results in keeping the yearly medical bills down. This in turn means more presence at the workplace and hence more productivity.

Meditation techniques for entrepreneurs

Meditation is a practice that is not only associated with paying attention to the breath or breathing, but is something that can be done in several other ways like visualization and repeating a mantra, etc. There are several different types of meditation practices, and some of them have been given below.

Types of meditation

General types

  • Focused Attention Meditation – This is a meditation type in which one needs to focus their attention on a certain fixed object.
  • Open Monitoring Meditation – This is a kind of meditation in which one is required to inspect and monitor all experiences without any judgement.
  • Effortless Presence – In this meditation type, one doesn’t focus his/her attention on anything in particular and is thus known as a state of Pure Being or awareness.

Buddhist meditations

  • Zen meditation – Zen or seated meditation has its roots in Japan and requires a person to sit on the floor or on a chair to meditate.
  • Vipassana meditation – The term Vipassana means ‘Clear seeing’ and in this form of meditation, one pays attention to breathing and not to an external object or thought.
  • Mindfulness meditation – This is the most commonly practiced meditation type and requires a person to focus on the present moment and thoughts.
  • Metta meditation – Metta means kindness and goodwill. In this type of meditation, a person tries to generate feelings of kindness and benevolence towards the others.

Hindu meditations

  • Mantra meditation – This is a meditation type in which a person repeats a mantra over and over again with the aim of focusing the mind and feeling the vibrations of the sound made.
  • Transcendental Meditation – This meditation type involves reciting a mantra that is not unique but it is given to the person depending upon his age and gender, etc.
  • Yoga meditations – Some of the popular yoga meditation methods include chakra meditation, third eye meditation, sound meditation and Kriya meditation, etc.

Chinese meditations

  • Taoist meditation – The main feature of this type of meditation is the circulation of the internal energy and living in peace with Tao.
  • Qigong – Qigong is an exercise of the mind as well as the body to achieve good health, peace, and inner focus.

Some others types of meditation methods include guided meditation and Christian meditation.

General Steps in Meditation

Step 1.   Find a quiet and peaceful spot. The first step to meditate is to look for a peaceful and quiet spot. Such a spot will help you to keep away from the distractions and focus better on your breathing. If you aim to practice in the office, then either find a walk-in closet or the terrace/balcony where no one will walk in at least for 30 minutes. The space doesn’t necessarily have to be large, but it should have minimum noise. If you do not plan to meditate in your office, then any quiet room in your home would do.

Step 2.   Make yourself comfortable. The more comfortable you are while meditating, the better will it be. For this, you must find a comfortable chair or sofa, or just lay down a few cushions or pillows on the floor. If possible, wear comfortable clothes, take off your shoes, open your collar and remove your wristwatch and belt, etc. Choose a comfortable position but it is better to sit down with your legs crossed over one another and your back erect. Find a backrest if this position seems difficult to you.

Step 3.   Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Now that you have found a comfortable spot and are settled, it is time to start. It is better that you close your eyes as that will keep you more focused and away from distractions. Start to focus on your breathing. Pay attention to each breath entering your nostrils and each breath moving out of them. It may seem difficult to do the first few times, but you will eventually get a hang of it. After focusing on your breathing and getting good at it, you can later concentrate on something else which may seem more suitable to you, like your life goals, a point in your mind or a word like ‘AUM’.

Step 4.   Repeat a line/mantra. A lot of people around the world who practice meditation repeat a line or a mantra. Mantra meditation is a kind of meditation method in which the person repeats a sound, phrase or a word over and over again under a deep meditative state is reached or achieved. You can choose the mantra yourself, and it could be something that inspires you. Your mind may wander off a few times but don’t let it demotivate you and pick up again from where you left off.

Step 5.   Practice visualization. Another effective way to meditate well is to practice visualization. You can fill yourself up with a visual image or object, and then you may enter a deep consciousness state. This type of meditation requires you to keep your eyes open and keep the object in front of you. The object could be a candle, a flower, crystals, a book or the statue or picture of someone you believe in. The object must be kept at eye level. Look straight at it and look nowhere else until the object totally consumes your sight and visions become dim.

Tips and suggestions:

  • Be patient – It will take the time to get used to meditation and do it effectively, so remain as patient as possible and don’t give up until you experience that peaceful meditative state.
  • Do it regularly – Practice makes a man perfect. Remember to meditate for a few minutes every day. Even if you do it for 5 minutes, make sure not to miss out on the session.
  • Start slow – It is important to start slow and then pick up as you gain a little bit of momentum. Practice only for a few minutes in the initial days and then slowly extend the span.
  • Take a class or audio lessons – If you find it difficult to meditate on your own, and then you can take help of a meditation class or buy an audio course CD.

FAMOUS ENTREPRENEURS WHO MEDITATE REGULARLY

Rick Goings – Tupperware CEO

The CEO of Tupperware, Rick Goings meditates for 20 minutes every day as this practice allows him to focus better, remain away from stress and concentrate on what is important. He gives credit to meditation for improving his performance at work and letting him deal with challenges better.

Padmasree Warrior – CTO CISCO Systems

Meditation helps the CTO of CISCO Systems, Padmasree Warrior to detoxify, handle work related pressure and reboot the soul as well as the brain on an everyday basis. She practices meditation every night and on the weekends.

Marc Benioff – Salesforce.com CEO

The stress of his last job at Oracle made Marc Benioff turn to meditation. He has been practicing meditation for over a decade now as it continues to help him think and work with a clear mind.

Oprah Winfrey – CEO Harpo Productions Inc

The very popular Oprah Winfrey meditates twice daily and has motivated thousands of others to incorporate this practice into their lifestyles. According to Winfrey, meditation instills in her a sense of ‘stillness’ which enables her to cope with daily stress and give her best in life.

Arianna Huffington – President of Huffington

Besides practicing meditation herself, Arianna Huffington, the President of Huffington encourages all her employees to learn it as well. She believes that this practice leads to stress reduction, promotes happiness and better health, and makes one more energetic and active.

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