On my dauntingly long list of things started and stopped without reaching any sort of proficiency, you’ll also find meditating.
A few years ago, I got a chance to participate in a secluded seminar where a buddhist monk introduced a small group of people to buddhist meditation and some of the principles behind it.
If you’ve read Siddharta or anything about buddhist meditation, you’ll remember that meditation is a life-long quest for enlightenment.
However unreachable this might sound, already engaging in the art of meditation can enrich one’s life I was told.
Unfortunately, as with everything else, success doesn’t happen overnight. Give it a few years and you might be able to laser focus your mind on not thinking anything for longer than 30 minutes.
So how can startups, or people in startups benefit from meditation?
One of the principles behind meditation that stuck with me can be perfectly applied to the way startups are sprinting a seemingly never-ending marathon.
Imagine you’re in some river or lake water. You’re in constant movement and thereby stirring up the water all the time. As a result the water is muddy and you cannot see the ground. Meditation changes this and as the mud settles down, clearness in water, i.e. mind, is achieved.
In a startup you’re at all times building the bridges while walking them, trying to check off dozens of things every day from an infinite to-do list, while being uncertain whether you do the right things at all.
I love it. I wrote more about this in my post on joining Startups.
It seems obvious to me that once in a while, the stirred up mud has to settle down to give a clear view of goals, strategy, vision, or solutions to complex issues.
If this happens from time to time both on the individual and team level, I’d imagine that less time is spend pursuing wrong directions, and the important things are pushed forward faster.
Does this mean everyone should start meditating? No, but how about drawing your own analogy to this meditation technique: focus laser-sharp on not being disturbed or drifting off, settle down for a bit, and listen to yourself.