The key thing to think about in 2023 is well, nothing really!


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The new business reality has really kicked in where we are having to do more, better, faster with less. This year I have had at least half a dozen projects on the go at any one time with a multitude of must do items on my list. This can build up easily to overwhelm.

However, this year despite the challenges we and our clients have faced, the projects have all come together and worked out better than ever.

I can only put this down to my disciplined practice of doing nothing every day, in particular sitting down for at least 20minutes of meditation first thing in the morning.

How on earth can wasting time in the morning help us get through our work?

It all comes down to brain waves. When we are awake our brain waves are mostly Beta as we consciously go about our day. Low-range Beta means we are relaxed such when are enjoying a book. Mid-range Beta is when we have focused attention, high-range Beta is when we are in stressful situations (fight, flight, or freeze). In high-range Beta our ability to think clearly and make good decisions goes out the window as we have incoherent brain wave patterns and are only accessing a small part of our brain.

Meditation allows us to shift to Alpha waves which restores the brain waves to coherent patterns (in sync like a laser). Alpha also allows us to access the non-conscious which makes up 95% of our mind and qualities like creativity and intuition.

An analogy is to imagine an incoherent rowing 8, with each rower doing their own thing. A great deal of energy is expended with hardly any distance being covered and everyone getting wet. In contrast a coherent rowing 8 produces incredible balance, speed, power, and distance.

20 minutes of meditation is tough to start with as your conscious mind battles for control over the non-conscious mind. It will tell you all the things you have to do and to get up and get on with it. The challenge is to refocus on your breathing and to slow down and stop the thoughts.

After a meditation session I find I am more focused and get more done in less time with less effort. I have a priority list but also follow my intuition with thoughts and ideas. If I have an unexpected obstacle, I keep calm knowing a solution will appear.

In his book Tribe of Mentors, Tim Ferris interviews 130 people at the top of their professions in business, science, sports, entertainment, military, medicine, social services, and the arts. A good proportion of them talk about the key part that meditation plays in their success.

In summary, it might be a good idea to take some time to take a break from the thinking and doing and have a great 2023!

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Michael Shaw
Michael Shaw
Michael Shaw is managing director of Dale Carnegie BOP Waikato (www.bop-waikato.dalecarnegie.com). He can be reached on Michael.shaw@dalecarengie.com

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