In my on-going efforts towards building my Digital Marketing Agency, as well as my personal self-development program, I often find myself studying and strategizing about how to attain ‘Maximum Productivity’. To be a successful entrepreneur requires a tenacious work ethic combined with a consistently positive and resilient attitude. The business owner who can’t focus for extended period of time, or who reacts negatively to every business mishap or slump, will make his (or her) own life very difficult as they work to build their business. Most successful entrepreneurs usually have an incredible amount of self-discipline, which enables them to work extraordinarily long hours to achieve the business goals that they are so passionate about. But if we find that our own habits and perspectives frequently seem to be working against our own best business and personal interests, how do we ‘Train our Brain’ to function more in accord with our goals?
Scientists used to believe that our brain was fully developed, and ‘fixed’ by around the age of 25 – that our basic intellectual and creative capacities were fully established and that there wasn’t anything we could do to change them; fortunately, we now know that this is not true. The science of Neuroplasticity, which refers to the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life, confirms that our brain potential isn’t fixed at any age. So… now that we know we actually do have the ability to strengthen and grow our brain’s capacities in ways previously deemed impossible, how best does the budding entrepreneur to do this?! How can we get our brains to function in our own best interests??
Nowadays, there’s a general consensus among scientists that Meditation is the very best method of changing the brain in a positive way (remember that Neuroplasticity means that the brain can change in either a positive or negative manner, so it’s critical you are ‘training your brain in a skillful manner). 1000’s of studies have found that Meditation is the best and most proven way to upgrade the human brain. Although the practice of meditation may seem quite daunting in the beginning, following a sustained period of training, our ability to manage our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions will dramatically improve.
All forms of meditation involve some form of concentration. And one of the most common objects of attention is the breath. To learn to meditate, and to begin to reap some of its benefits, we must demonstrate a willingness to commit ourselves to a meditation practice, and work our practice consistently regardless the obstacles that life may present. As with any important task, we will reap benefits in direct proportion to the efforts we make. As we continue our practice over a long duration, we find that our focus starts to come more easily and that we are able to maintain uninterrupted focus for a more extended duration.
As we proceed along the path of our meditation practice, we should start to notice specific benefits – we usually find ourselves experiencing greater levels of creativity and innovation in our work. In addition, the practice of meditation is a fantastic tool for training your brain in the realm of attention, because it creates neural pathways dedicated to deliberate control of your focus. Clearly, when you are able to focus more consistently through your day this has a huge positive impact on your business. In addition, the process of directing the mind in a disciplined manner every day through a practice of meditation helps one develop that same mental self-discipline in their business. There is literally no other practice that you can do that will have a more profound impact on your ability to manage your brain and business in the most productive manner possible. And to think that medical imaging has shown that Meditation can change our brain for the better in as little as 11 hours!!
There are many websites or gurus that you can turn to if you want to learn to meditate – some offer their advice for free, while others expect very generous payment to smooth your ‘path to enlightenment’. If you are learning to meditate on your own, with the help of a book or online video, it’s good practice to start with small chunks of time, and work your way up until you’re able to sit for longer durations. Train you mind consistently to achieve results – just like you would train a Muscle.
If you are serious about starting a meditation practice, so that you can attain the level of mind mastery that will serve as an unbreakable foundation for your business, my best suggestion is that you consider a Vipassana Meditation retreat (this is what I did). There are numerous Vipassana Meditation retreats around the world – these are 10-day silent retreat where you Meditate for 10 hours per day, and you learn the indepth process of Vipassana with the help of a series of videos and lecture discourses. When you practice at one of these retreats, you will be learning the same type of meditation as the Buddha actually practiced. And, the retreat is so genuine in its commitment to spreading the word of Vipassana Meditation throughout the world, that these 10-day courses are offered entirely FREE! (But you will usually need to book several months in advance of the course as they fill up very quickly.)
Following my first Vipassana retreat I noticed many changes. In particular, I found that I was much less reactive to external circumstances – rather than get stressed out in business, I found myself more able to simply process the information, and then determine the best strategy going forward with a calm and balanced mind. My more balanced mindset made me easier to work with, and I found myself more constructive and less critical when dealing with contractors. But one of the most profound changes I’ve noticed is that I’m now able to objectively observe whatever ‘thoughts’ occur in my mind; I can assess whether or not the thoughts are helpful or destructive to my goals and if thoughts are deemed ‘destructive’ I’m able to quickly eradicate them from my mind. This constant pruning of rogue negative thoughts is one of the most important things to be done on an ongoing basis to train your brain to function in ways that serve your business and personal interests best.
If you are like me – a person who is continuously working on their own professional and personal development, do not under-estimate the incredible value of establishing a Meditation practice in your life. There is nothing that is as effective as meditation at training the brain to function in a manner that best supports your success. But if you’re not convinced yet, consider that people who meditate are known to be happier and healthier. And WHO isn’t willing to spend as little as 11 hours to be a happier, healthier person?! It’s a no-brainer. LOL.