Over the years, we get a lot of advice from many successful entrepreneurs, especially young and powerful ones, about business success. Many would have heard, or we were told that to achieve anything at all, you need to do a lot. It is called hard work.
With more success stories in the market and the thirst for more market share and more profit, we tend to lose ourselves in our work thinking that if only you could do one more thing, meet one more client, close one more deal, even if it is going to take your weekends away from your loved ones, you will do it anyway. For the money, you would reason.
Yet, look around us, there are so many yoga centres sprouting around town and fitness centres too. There are even more people talking about meditation now. In the news, we have heard of highly reputable famous people who take time every day to meditate, such as Madonna, Katy Perry and Hugh Jackman among other celebrities and businessmen who believe that being still provides clarity.
Why are ‘keeping quiet’ and ‘doing nothing’, these seemingly unimportant ‘activities’ are also propagated alongside the quest to do more and have more? The reason is that many people are tired. The more stressed out people become, the more they could not find solutions and answers they seek in their work and life. As a result, you may even turn a minor setback into a major problem, making a mountain out of a molehill.
How can we really get to a solution when all we see are problems? If getting all frantic about solving problems are getting us into more problems, wouldn’t it be wise to stop, think and look another way?
That is why so many businesspeople are turning in rather than looking out. Here’s where meditation and keeping quiet will help.
Here’s what really happen when you ‘keep quiet’ in meditation:
Doing nothing and keep quiet for a while can calm your mind so that it in turn stimulates unconscious thought processes.
An MRI study from Harvard reported that subjects who took an eight-week meditation course literally activated the areas of the brain associated with self-awareness and compassion. With this region of the mind being alerted, we are less constrained revolving around stressful problems and more likely to generate fresh ideas when we consciously focus on positive solutions.
A study out of Yale also suggests that when we consistently are in the “default mode network” in our brain, we tend to be stressed out thinking about our experiences or worry about a future that is not here yet. Sometime we are obsessed with the current problems. The researchers found that when we meditate, we can deactivate this region. With more practice, we can even keep the “default mode network” switched off even when we are not in meditation. In other words, meditation creates a new mode in our brain that makes us think happy thoughts that work. That realization helps us to move forward.
There are many well-known examples of brilliant ideas which came from people when they “kept quiet”. Archimedes in his bath. Newton in his Lincolnshire garden. And Paul McCartney who woke up one morning having composed the tune for “Yesterday” in his sleep.
Surprising, isn’t it? Now, we are told that it is not in doing more that we achieve so much, but it is in our stillness that everything is shown to us. Next time, when you are stretched to try to find a solution for a problem, you should try prodding up your legs on your office desk, close your eyes and take a brain-break. That may be the solution that you truly need.