When I was a monk, my days began with four hours of meditation. Today, my life looks very different and the demands on my time have increased; I have my team at The Pollination Project to think of, and I am also a husband, father, and community volunteer. Even still, I make a practice of spending at least two hours in meditation each morning.
To many in the modern world, particularly those in business, dedicating any regular time to meditation may seem impossible given the pace of life. In fact, I often sense that stillness, quiet, and self-reflection may even be viewed by some as profoundly unproductive. We live in a world that sees value in living quickly; thinking fast, moving faster, and packing as much activity as we can into a day.
Yet this worldview doesn’t align with my own experiences of leadership and growth. I continue to embrace meditative practice because I believe that pressing “pause” is actually more productive than constantly living in “fast-forward.”
What value is there in the relentless gathering of new experiences, knowledge, and ideas if we don’t also take sufficient time to analyze and reflect on them? As I consider my best decisions as a leader, they were rarely made in haste or absent of meaningful reflection. Reactivity is not productivity; in fact, there is an inverse relationship between the two.
One easy way to bring “the pause” to your workday is to begin meetings with a minute (or more) of silent receptivity. This is how we begin all of our meetings at The Pollination Project, and I think you’ll be surprised at how such a small change can help each person be more present and focused.