The words meditation and success are not often spoken in the same sentence. After all, when meditation was first introduced 3,000 years ago, success was not what drew people to its practice.
The world has changed a lot since then. But so has meditation! Today, the practice is about living a better life and being aware of the enlightenment that can occur every minute of every day, if your heart and mind are open to it.
In other words, modern meditation can actually help you succeed, particularly if you define success as feeling satisfied that you are truly the best person you can be.
Here are several habits I have found helpful on my own journey. What habits work for you?
1. Meditate for a minute every day.
Meditation is the most effective way to get rid of the noise and distractions of today's world. So why not use it every day? You don't have to sit in formal meditation for 20 minutes every single day to reap the benefits.
You can meditate in short one-to-five minute blocks. Get in the habit of slowing things down (or even stopping them if you have to!) by taking a moment to breathe and center yourself. Let go of the craziness around you, and train yourself to focus on whatever it is you want to do.
2. Every morning, take a few deep breaths to let go of yesterday.
Why start your day with yesterday's baggage, when you can begin a new day with a clean slate? You can do this the moment you wake up in the morning.
Rather than jumping onto your smartphone to follow up on an email, stay in bed for a few more minutes. Breathe and let go of yesterday's tasks and drama. Take a moment to think about what it is that you want to accomplish today, then set two intentions for yourself — one personal and one professional, giving the new day ahead a fresh start.
3. Don't just show up to work, show up to accomplish something.
This might sound harsh, but people who achieve great things in life are not the ones who just go through the motions to receive a paycheck. They show up to accomplish something!
The next time you feel as if you're just punching a clock to collect a paycheck, reconsider your outlook. Be mindful of what you're doing and what you are feeling and approach your work with passion. And if you're unable to find passion in your work, then it might be wise to rethink your career.
4. When you find yourself exhausted, take a moment to stop, breathe, and regroup.
Successful people know how to keep their passion alive, no matter what the world throws at them. When you find yourself exhausted, don't just have another coffee and try to keep your head above water. Stop, breathe, and take a moment to yourself to regroup. Remind yourself why you do what you do and then get back in the game.
Recognize that sometimes exhaustion can play a large role in your mental and spiritual drive. Overcome that with a moment of meditation and a healthy meal. You'll be surprised what a comeback those simple things can provide.
5. Remember that you always have a choice in the moment.
Everybody has an excuse for why something did not get done. It's OK to worry about something. It's OK to be aware of the potential risks and downsides. But it's not OK to think those fears are the truth.
Remind yourself that your job, your career, and even your love life can go wherever you want them to go. When facing an issue, you have a choice. You can worry about "what if" or think about "what is." You can view an obstacle as something to be avoided, or you can see an obstacle as a challenge to be overcome. I will leave it to you to guess which one succeeds.