Einstein famously said that “we cannot solve our problems with the same consciousness with which we created them.
Looking at the current state of affairs around the world it seems that we have chosen to ignore this simple truth and repeatedly do things that don’t provide the desired result, while at the same time we are expecting somehow miraculously that “this time,” it will work.
Global events are evidence that we are on the brink of a major choice-point:
- Do we carry on to repeatedly do things that do not seem to work or
- are we going to work together toward a better world for all of us.
I think the first thing we need to do is to realize that the current economic and social crises is the symptom and not the cause.
The underlying cause I believe is that for many decades now we suffer from a Spiritual Crises. And I am not talking about religion, but rather about Spirituality as an expression of the values and meanings by which people live.
I believe that most of us on some level long for meaning – that is the spiritual part in us.
What would it take to create a more sustainable economic and social climate that would benefit the world, our organizations, ourselves long term.
To really find and answer we need to move to a different level of consciousness to the one that has created the problems.
We need to switch from the consciousness that feeds the idea that we are separate from each other, the planet, the universe to the consciousness that everything is interconnected. The minutes we make that shift our thinking, behavior our attitudes will change.
Many leaders already know this and have made that shift. They see there role as serving the people and that positively radiates in their personal live and the organizations they serve in.
As leaders we are here to serve the people we lead, we may be guides and mentors but we are also pupils. We all learn as we go along. We are at cross roads to deciding which road to take, which path to choose
So how can we make that shift of consciousness? Is there a button we can press, a tool we can use?
I first discovered a way 21 years ago. It was 1991, the time of the Gulf war and I was working as Manager with one of the multinational Hotel companies in Athens. Business WAS declining dramatically. Greece was considered by many too close to the trouble spot.
Not unlike today The climate was one of uncertainty and fear.
Companies started to implement measures of cost cutting including letting people go and enforced holidays.
To better deal wit the situation internally I began looking for ways to keep my focus and energy up. I came across a book on mediation that heralded that the benefits of becoming still for a certain amount of time every day would help me deal with challenges more calmly, increase my confidence and focus and help me gain clarity of what was important. It sounded intriguing and felt I had nothing to loose by trying it, especially as all I had to do was sit with my eyes closed and observe my breath.
How difficult could that be?
I started with 5 minutes, then 10 and then 20 every day. Soon I noticed some interesting changes:
I felt more confident and calm.
I trusted my intuition more
I WAS able to better set my priorities.
But above all I felt happier
Becoming still and Doing nothing for a few minutes on a regular basis helped me step back and reflect on what was important.
Soon a few of colleagues joined me and they reported similar shifts.
Were we able to change what was happening around us? No, but our reaction to what happening changed. We were able to stay calm and focused and come up with more creative solutions. The people around us could feel the shift and they in turn started to be calmer and more productive.
People of course have been using meditation for thousands of years as both a spiritual practice to achieving mental, physical and emotional balance and as a way to achieve specific practical results like increasing productivity, focus and creativity, better decision making, increased ability to accept oneself and others, improved relationships and self-esteem, feeling happier, more relaxed and more connected to others.
But above all it seems that people who meditate on a regular basis are more able to go from being self-centered to other-centered
That to me indicated the shift in consciousness that could just be the answer to many of the troubles we are facing again and again over the years. shared sense of purpose and common values.”
We are not alone, we are not separate we are in together.
So how and why does meditation work?
By monitoring brain waves Neuroscientists have found that the practice of meditation shifts brain activity in the cortex (part of our forebrain) - brain waves in the stress-prone right frontal cortex move to the calmer left frontal cortex. In other words, Meditators feel calmer and happier than they were before.
And if you have ever observed in yourself how you react to the world around you when you feel calmer and happier then you may have noticed that it is much easier to be understanding, generous, open in that state.
Becoming still and doing nothing enables our brain to rest.
And when we are rested, calm and happier we can be better people, partners, leaders, mothers, husbands, wives, entrepreneurs.
A recent article in the Harvard Business Review looked at meditation as key to Business Leadership. It looked at visionaries like Steve Jobs, Ray Dalio, Bill George who have been know to lead and inspire teams to achieve significant success. They all dad one thing in common – meditation
A study led by psychologist Sara Lazar at Harvard Medical School, was the first to document meditation-produced changes over time in the brain’s gray matter, in areas associated with attention and emotional integration
Meditation has been used in Prisons and disaster areas to help people cope and move on.
Meditation has shown to eliminate stress and stress related aggression and is seen as a vital tool to creating a stress free and violence free society.
It seems that doing nothing for a short time every day has a strong transformational power that can help us develop the “different consciousness” we need to lead ourselves out of the current crises.
Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results
Lets do something different. We have nothing to loose. LETS invest in meditating every day. Lets introduce meditation to our family, friends and the people in our companies. It is easily done and costs nothing and In face of all the possible benefits it seems insane not to. Lets make that leap, that shift in consciousness and create social, economical and political systems that are sustainable and in line with our spiritual values and that serve the progress of all humanity.
Now I just want you to close your eyes again for two minutes and I want you to imagine a world where mediation would be practiced in schools, businesses, governments. And imagine that all these people would feel more productive, more creative, more positive, more happy, more relaxed, more connected with everyone else.
Why not try it for yourself and your employees, your family. Why not start tomorrow to mediate 5 minutes every day and see how that feels and slowly increasing this time to 10 and 20 minutes. Why not do this for a month each day and find out for yourself. This is a critical time. A new consciousness is needed to find new solutions to the existing problems. We have nothing to loose. Even if research is only 50% correct mediation is still one of the simplest ways to help us shift consciousness and find new answers.
with my best wishes for your success,