Why Meditation Shapes A Successful Career

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How does meditation for success work?

First, it's important to clarify your understanding of meditation. Most people think they have to sit with their eyes closed and force their mind clear of thoughts to meditate.

Some places claim that there are 108 ways to meditate, others increase or decrease the number. Meditation is classified under different forms with fancy names for each type.

In its simplest form, meditation is the space where one feels truly connected to oneself. It's about being present — "being," not doing.

This can happen during dancing while lost in the music, listening to a guided recording, chanting, trekking out in nature, or even just closing your eyes and sitting among others.

RELATED: 5 Simple Ways To Make Meditation A Practice Every Day

Why do you need meditation for success?

Living in this fast-paced world, most of the time our mind is filled with thoughts on what to do next. We believe that the center point of control is on us, in doing what's best or "right" in our opinion.

Meditation becomes extremely important for leaders dealing with many dynamic situations — millions of issues to be resolved, making critical decisions that impact lives and resources at scale.

Leaders need to tap into the reservoir of unlimited energy that meditation can supply to impact people and outcomes at scale.

There are so many benefits of meditation in an environment fraught with uncertainty, risk, and stress.

Meditation is a daily habit for so many successful people from diverse fields, including the arts and the business world.

Some CEOs who practice meditation regularly include Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Square fame, Mark Benioff, Oprah Winfrey, and Arianna Huffington.

Meditation reduces the resistance we give to our own intentions.

People will always tell you to listen to your heart, but not many will tell you how exactly to do that. You see, the heart murmurs. To listen to it, you have to reduce the noise in your head.

Meditation is the answer to that. Most successful leaders do this internally, and are constantly listening to their hearts. They have to clear the clutter in their mind before they can do that.

For all the things their job demands — the ability to focus, concentrate, make good decisions, inspire, and influence — meditation enables all that.

However, like anything else, it has to come from you believing in it. The belief can form only when you try it a few times.

You will slowly start seeing the benefits, especially and uniquely through your own perspective.

Meditation sharpens self-awareness.

One of the most fundamental leadership skills that meditation sharpens is self-awareness.

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There are probably a hundred benefits of meditation and scientific reasons for it, but the only thing that has convinced successful leaders is trying it out for themselves.

You will know as clarity draws in.

RELATED: 7 Life-Changing Health Benefits Of Meditation

The actions that spring from the quiet space are authentic and creative. The absence of resistance you feel during meditation brings forth inspired action.

I'm an accidental writer, and I give the credit to meditation. It helps you tune into the solution while the active thinking mind is more connected to the problems and obvious solutions.

Leaders who have been long-term meditators are not only more courageous, but they also have slower reaction times to emotional situations.

They've learned the skill to pause for that split second to respond to situations and not just react.

Meditation leads to improved cognitive functioning, creative thinking, productivity, and even better physical health.

It's hard to be adaptive in a rapidly changing world, because we have attachments to how things are supposed to be.

However, when we strive for goals, aspirations, and desires without being attached to a specific outcome, we're more open to possibilities and opportunities that are in front of us, and we act with less fear and greater presence.

Mind you, this does not mean that you lose sight of the goal.

People think that leaders become great and emotionally intelligent by suppressing emotion.

Meditation allows for emotions to arise in a non-judgemental manner and get its release so that it doesn't get in your way at the most inopportune times, like making tough critical decisions at work.

True meditation is an on-going, never-ending practice, being more and more present in every moment.

The art and science of leadership become a lot easier to understand and practice once this is internalized.

RELATED: How To Find The Right Meditation Practice For You

Bhavna Dalal is a Master Certified Executive Coach MCC ICF, Speaker, and author of "Checkmate Office Politics" who helps people develop their leadership skills, such as executive presence, strategic thinking, influencing and networking, women leadership, and so on. To read her writing which has been published in Forbes, Fortune, Economic times, and many more, and to know more about her work, visit her site and follow her on LinkedIn.

This article was originally published at Fortune India. Reprinted with permission from the author.