A few years ago, I was looking for a job when I finished school. I knew that I wanted to start my own business in the future. I didn’t realise at the time what my business would be. But I thought that an apprenticeship would give me a better idea of how a business should be ran.
My first apprenticeship only lasted a few months. It’s not that I found the work difficult. My employer soon realised that running a business where they had too much going on and training someone new at the same time was impossible.
Everyone was working as hard as they could and no one had the time to train me. My manager said that they were sorry to let me go. I was shocked. I didn’t know what to do. College was no longer an option as I had how passed the enrolment date. My only option was to get a job or wait until I could go to College next year.
My family was scraping by at the time. I had to look for another job to support myself. Rejection after rejection, it seemed that no employer wanted to take me on. The competition was high, and I couldn’t find another job.
Thoughts were spinning around my head. How could I have put myself into this kind of situation? What was I thinking? What am I going to do? I was full of anxiety. When it came to winter, I had to think about where I was going in my life. No employers were interviewing people during the wintertime, and everyone was off for the Christmas holidays.
I needed a period of stillness, where I could reflect and figure out where I was going. And that’s when I found meditation. I came across meditation almost by accident. I was looking for something to reduce my stress and clear my mind.
I was sceptical about it at first. I couldn’t see how sitting on the floor and following my breath could change anything. I was wrong. After practising meditation for a week, I became more relaxed and it cleared my mind. I started to figure out how to get myself out of this bad situation. It also helped me to realise what kind of business I wanted to create in the future.
I managed to get a new job, but without meditation, it would have been a lot harder. It helped me to set new goals and try new job searching strategies that were outside the box.
When we come across a problem, we often like to use a forceful approach. We want to double down on what we’ve already been doing and try to force success to come our way. If we don’t step back and clear our minds, it’s easy to become lost and confused.
In courses on leadership, this is called the Helicopter view. If you’re fighting with your troops, it only becomes a matter of time before you’re lost in the confusion of battle. You’ll lose your perspective, and you won’t know how to lead your men.
You need to detach yourself and look at the bigger picture, like looking down from a Helicopter. Instead of giving yourself analysis paralysis, it might be easier if we step back.
According to researchers at Harvard, Meditation also has the power to change our brain structure. People who have anxiety have a fight-or-flight response that is triggered too quickly and too frequently.
As we meditate, the Amygdala that handles the fight-or-flight response starts to shrink. As a result, it’s connection to other areas of the brain becomes weaker.
As the Amygdala shrinks, the Prefrontal Cortex becomes thicker. The Prefrontal Cortex handles our decision making abilities, awareness, and concentration. Meditation can free us from anxiety while helping us to make more rational decisions.
Many CEOs and celebrities have used meditation to boost their productivity. Entrepreneurs also use meditation as a powerful tool for when they’re feeling burned out and overwhelmed. When you have no distractions, it becomes easier to see the right solution to the right problem.
Ready to give meditation a try? All it takes is 10-15 minutes a day of calm reflection. It’s so simple, yet so powerful. Surprise yourself.