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9 Extraordinary Ways My Life Improved By Meditating

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9 Ways My Life Improved From Meditation

Almost 10 years ago, I started my first corporate job. I was scared. I didn’t know if I could do the job, and I was afraid I would be discovered as a fraud, and be fired. Luckily, I found a mentor at the job almost immediately. My first mentor was an older woman named April.

April took me aside one day and asked me about meditation. She was a very spiritual person, and had all kinds of experience that I didn’t have — Ayurveda, yoga, meditation and various other spiritual paths. She encouraged me to start a meditation habit. (I think she could probably see that I was a ball of anxiety.)

So, I started. At first I just sat cross-legged on the floor of my apartment while a few songs played on iTunes. I found it easy to concentrate with music in the background. Sometimes I left my eyes open, sometimes I closed them.

This was not my first experience with meditation. Years earlier, I had visited a Buddhist sitting meditation group, and stared at a flickering candle flame with my eyes open for an hour. It seemed like I didn’t blink during that whole hour.

Although that early experience was transformative, it was simply easier not to pursue a meditation practice in the intervening years. It was easier until I was motivated by the fear of poor job performance, and the gentle urgings of April.

So I sat. Some weeks I sat for 2 minutes, some weeks I sat for 5 or 10. It was sporadic. It was unstructured. It was meditation. It was working. After a few years of this, I started getting more serious about it (it helped that the company had an optional morning meditation break). And I started getting results.

“Meditation more than anything in my life was the biggest ingredient of whatever success I’ve had… It opens the mind.” – Ray Dalio

Here are 9 things that changed in my life from meditating:

1. A greater sense of calmness on a daily basis.

2. Everyday life became easier, frictionless. This extended from the most mundane tasks like washing clothes or cleaning my house or making food to the most previously-challenging tasks, such as tackling complicated or ‘difficult’ problems at work.

3. Freedom from what I recognized as “secondary emotions” — getting mad at myself for feeling sad, for example. I felt emotions fully, then they passed, and there was nothing after them.

4. Greater understanding and feelings of compassion for other people, and the benefit of this is that I felt angry at them much less often.

5. Rare moments of deep clarity where my inner monologue went completely silent. I had not realized that all my life I had a high-pitched whine of “inner voice” ringing in your ears. When it went away, the silence felt so good it was almost a physical sensation of pleasure. (I don’t think it’s an accident that the first time this happened was after a yoga class.)

6. Professional life became completely different. The things that used to stress me, such as deadlines, budgets, resources, agendas, politics — all become totally easy and fell into place. Instead of these worries, I found myself  spending more and more of the work day just trying to magnify love into each moment, no matter what else was going on. I found this a much greater (and more rewarding) challenge than hitting quotas.

7. Insight. I understood problems quicker and more easily than before, and solutions to previously tough problems suggested themselves to my mind rapidly. Although I have yet to experienced it to these levels. There are stories of great lamas being able to diagnose problems with a car engine after a brief introduction to what some of the major parts are, but without ever having seen a car before.

8. Social and emotional processing at greater speeds. I would find myself in conversations with people and their motivations would become very transparent to me. I saw “through” people, saw when they were projecting, or being immature or egotistic in their words or deeds, and this made it relatively easy to maneuver around it without getting caught up in it.

9. I started getting bigger projects and more responsibility, which might have previously overwhelmed me. In my view, this was “Life” or “The Universe” amping up the size of life events, and the speed of change, simply because I now had more equanimity with which to deal with it — where I simply wouldn’t have been able to manage before.

“If we could teach all children to meditate, we could change the world in one generation. – Dalai Lama

These benefits are by no means special or unusual. I’ve spoken to other meditators who have experienced all this, and much more, from a simple 20-minute-a-day meditation habit.

How has meditating changed your life?

Andrew Ross Long helps men who want to replace drinking, Netflix and any unproductive activities with meditation, exercise & #winning. Free articles and courses at FierceGentleman.com, or connect with him at @FierceGentleman on Twitter.

Life

How to Protect Yourself From Other People’s Negativity

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When I was a kid, it seemed like I felt pain more than anyone else around me. Not just physical pain, but emotional pain. I cried easily, over many things. I had an especially hard time when people were fighting around me, and I didn’t even have to be involved. I could feel the negative energy and felt upset and overwhelmed. I didn’t have a constructive way of handling it. (more…)

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How to Write a Personal Destiny Statement in 3 Steps

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We all have a God-given destiny to fulfill that we were each born with. I personally believe it is buried deep down within us. The number one secret to success is to let it emerge out of you and release it to the world. What is my destiny you may ask? It is the thing you would regret not doing before leaving Planet Earth. (more…)

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Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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Life

Why You Never Have Enough Time and What You Need to Do About It

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Has this ever happened to you? You had an assignment, and the deadline was far away. You didn’t work on it much, but in the back of your mind, that insistent little voice was always whispering, “I gotta get this assignment done.” (more…)

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