Mindfulness meditation is not about sitting cross-legged in a cave chanting “Om”.
What’s more, there’s no need to become a practicing Buddhist, or ‘Anything-ist’, to benefit from the principles of mindfulness.
There is, however, much benefit to be gained from using some age-old Buddhist philosophies in our lives. This is especially applicable when it comes to helping startup business to thrive, or in taking ideas forward to fruition inside existing businesses.
Taking the Right Path
One Buddhist concept is called the Noble Eightfold Path, which gives a very practical and useful framework to take a startup idea from its genus and genesis through to successful delivery. It’s also an easy and graceful way to move forward with in life.
The difference between entrepreneurs who succeed and those who spend time just thinking about it is taking action. Specifically, it’s about taking the right action at just the right time.
Hack #1: The Right View
It is important that you have clarity in your vision for your idea and that you think through its whole life cycle, from creation to maturity and even through to its replacement and obsolescence. We have to be open to the possibility that it is not our initial idea but its many possible spin offs that makes us that fortune. We also should bear in mind that it’s OK not to be right all the time. Many an invention, like the PostIt Note, the Slinky and chocolate chip cookie, came about from so-called mistakes.
Hack #2: The Right Resolve
We must hold our vision in our heart and see any rocky moments as opportunities for learning and improvement. Any serendipities that come our way are signs we are on the right path. It pays dividends to thank them for coming along. If we encounter adversity, it is not time to throw in the towel and to go and get a day job. From all adversity springs opportunity. If we hit a rocky patch, it gives us both the opportunity to learn and to design a solution to the adversity, so that we can help others.
Hack #3: The Right Speech
It is good karma to market your products and services by extolling their virtues and not by disparaging your competitors. This is especially true on social media. When we put the right message with good energy out there, others will re-broadcast it for us with amplification. If we put energy into our competitor’s products, it will back fire on us eventually.
Hack #4: The Right Conduct
It makes good sense to act ethically and morally at all times – it is a truism that what goes around comes around. It also pays dividends to bear the ecology of the planet in mind when using resources. Up-cycling old and unloved resources adds great value at minimal cost. Giving redundant stock, or unused equipment, away to those who need it, removes stuck energies from your business. Using minimal energy by turning off lights and computers does more than save the planet, it reduces your monthly outgoings.
Hack #5: The Right Livelihood
It is worth being mindful to avoid being greedy and over-ambitious. A great way to do this is to make some aspect of your products and services available to all, irrespective of how much they can afford. Give something away for free in exchange for a marketable email address. Share your wisdom so you leave a bread-crumb trail to your door and a legacy behind for when you are gone.
Hack #6: The Right Effort
What ever you do, work hard but don’t work yourself into the ground. It’s important to take breaks but be fully focussed when you are ‘at work’. We should cut employees a little slack too and encourage them to take all their holidays and to work from home if possible and practical. We should also be mindful to apply effort at the optimum time so we don’t push water uphill or end up repeating tasks. If your creativity is flagging, go for a walk and allow your breath to bring inspiration your way, quite literally. If you can walk near water, this has amazing effects on our creative flow too.
Hack #7: The Right Mindfulness
Be constantly aware of your thoughts and feeling, their source and their purpose. An entrepreneur can be what I call an ‘ultrapreneur’ when they expand their awareness into the Whole Brain and Whole Mind states. In the Whole Brain state, they get their left and right brains to work on the same task at the same time. In the Whole Mind state, they get their head, their heart and their gut to work in harmony.
Hack #8: The Right Concentration
This simply means, at the very minimum, to give yourself at least 10 minutes of ‘me time’ each day. If we start the day with a quiet mind, we become poised for this new level of ultrapreneurship. We become better at noticing opportunities and serendipities that might otherwise pass us by.
After just a few days of regular practice, you gain the ability to stay in the meditative state with your eyes open during the day. When we do this, two remarkable things happen.
• First, we get more done in less time and external interruptions start reduce in frequency and severity.
• Second, external events seem to happen just a the right time so we end up being lucky in both life and business.
So, the best time to start meditating is yesterday and the second best time is today. If the whole world meditated for just 10 minutes a day, we would all live in a happier, more harmonious way.
It just takes 10 minutes a day for 10 days to bring your mind under control. Once your mind is quiet, the world around you will become calmer and kinder and you will discover more vibrant sense of being where opportunity just turns up at your door.
By Tom Evans, author of The Authority Guide to Practical Mindfulness
Tom is an ex-BBC TV engineer who started to meditate in his mid-40s to help reduce the stress he was encountering from a stressful job. The engineer in him quickly discovered so many spin-off benefits that lead to him becoming a full time author, an author’s mentor and latterly a meditation guide.
Tom is now the author of 13 books. He is neither a Buddhist or an ‘Anything-ist’. He is though an active philanthropist and the creator of the world’s first time management programme based on mindfulness called Living Timefully. He also hosts the popular Zone Show podcast, which explores how to get in and stay in the zone.