Want to bring your career to the next level? Meditation might be the way to do it.
At least, according to productivity guru Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek. Ferriss hosts the number one business podcast on iTunes, The Tim Ferriss Show. There, Ferriss talks with people like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Foxx, Malcolm Gladwell, Whitney Cummings, and many more about their lives and their work.
“Each episode, I deconstruct world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use,” Ferriss explains on his website. “This includes favorite books, morning routines, exercise habits, time-management tricks, and much more.”
Over the course of more than 200 interviews, one theme has begun to stand out for Ferriss. Many of those he’s spoken with have some kind of daily meditation or mindfulness practice.
Successful People Often Make Time to Meditate
Ferriss says that more than 80 percent of the folks he’s spoken with say they engage in some kind of daily mindfulness or meditation practice.
He says these practices give us better perspective, allowing us to bring a sense of calm to our challenges and an improved level of focus. Sure, these practices take a bit of our time, but they save time, too.
Ferriss can also speak about meditation from personal experience.
“Most of our waking hours, we feel as though we’re in a trench on the front lines with bullets whizzing past our heads,” he writes in Observer. “Through 20 minutes of consistent meditation, I can become the commander, looking out at the battlefield from a hilltop. I’m able to look at a map of the territory and make high-level decisions.”
Others agree that these practices are powerful.
The idea that meditation and mindfulness practices can improve your career is not new. And, Tim Ferriss isn’t the only career expert who recommends it. Conversations about the benefits of practices like these for health, wellness, and success have been popping up all over the place lately. Even small attempts to be more mindful, like taking breaks from email and technology, can have positive results.
Our culture values hard work, but wellness and contentment aren’t always best achieved through expending effort. Perhaps, if we want to be happier, we should actually stop trying so hard. Success does not always begin by checking things off of a to-do list. There is also a mindset, a mentality, that helps us meet our goals. And, mindfulness practices, like meditation, help us achieve that state.
“Done consistently, my reward for meditating is getting 30% to 50% more done in a day with 50% less stress. Why? Because I have already done a warmup in recovering from distraction: my morning sit,” Ferris writes. “If I later get distracted or interrupted during work hours, I can return to my primary task far more quickly and completely.”
How to get started:
There are so many options to choose from when it comes to learning about these kinds of practices. These days, there are even some great apps that can serve as an introduction. Tim Ferriss found that many of the folks he interviewed enjoyed TM (Transcendental Meditation) or Vipassana, also known as insight meditation.
After just a few sessions (plan on about seven, according to Ferriss) you should start to recognize some benefits both personally and professionally. Notice how your thinking changes. Is your mind a little sharper? Are you more creative? Has meditation improved your ability to solve problems, work in teams, or communicate your ideas more effectively? Also, note whether or not the practice has improved your stress levels, your sleep, your moods, or any other issues.
All of these wellness and meditation advocates might just be on to something.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you have a regular meditation or mindfulness practice? How has it helped you in your career? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.