Zen Your Way to Success

If you’re anything like me and pretty much every single person I’ve ever met, life can sometimes feel like an insuperable, endless to-do list.

Successful career? Eight hours sleep? Exciting social life? Enough exercise? Do you have a birthday present for Debra yet? Have you called your Mum recently? What about that dentist appointment?

Hello, yes, I’d like a holiday.

Unfortunately, life can’t be one big, endless holiday. I know, I’m mad too.

But really…it shouldn’t have to be. We should be looking for ways to manage the lives we’ve built, not plotting our escape routes. 

After some research into the best way to do this, it was clear to me there was one, irrefutable answer: meditation.


Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard about the wonders of meditation. Everyone claims that it’s the best thing since sliced bread and that we should all be prioritising it in our lives. I’m a little sceptical.

Our CEO Phil swears by it. He reckons it’s changed his life.

Yeah, alright Phil. Whatever. I’ve tried it myself (several times) and it wasn’t at all calming. In fact, I would go so far as to say it was very un-calming. Frustrating, even. I’m fine for about 10 seconds, before my mind starts to go something like this:

  1. I’m hungry
  2. What’s for lunch?
  3. I wonder if I can convince my property manager to let me get a dog
  4. I wonder if I can convince my roommate to let me get a dog
  5. I’m hungry
  6. Oh wait – I’m meant to be meditating!

I don’t know about you, but being remarkably bad at something doesn’t generally relax me.

However, Phil tells me that’s the point. (I didn’t believe him, so I googled it – turns out he’s right. That is, in fact, the point).

Meditation isn’t meant to always be relaxing. Sometimes it is – and that’s great!

But the real goal of meditation isn’t actually an empty mind. Rather, it’s mindfulness. The entire purpose is to notice when you lose focus and then gently redirect yourself. It’s about becoming aware; aware of your thoughts, your behaviours. And believe it or not, like any skill, the more you practise, the better you get.

And it’s transferable to all aspects of your life!

How many times have you found yourself three hours and a whole packet of Tim Tams in a Facebook rabbit hole, when all you wanted to do was check the time? How quickly will you abandon your task to respond to an email the second it comes through, leaving a trail of unfinished projects in your wake?

Meditation trains our brain to become more mindful. When we’re more mindful, we become better at detecting our distractive tendencies, and can nip them in the bud before they escalate into a full-blown interruption. It improves our concentration and willpower, forces us to become present, and dramatically reduces stress.

Sounds pretty fantastic, huh? But where, if you please, are we all supposed to magically find a spare hour to meditate every day? Have you forgotten – none of us have any time!

Well, as it turns out, we don’t need to. Just a consistent five minutes of mindfulness can improve our state of mindfulness and have real, measurable impacts on our overall wellbeing. Think of it like an exchange; you sacrifice five minutes of your day to meditate…BUT in return, you feel calmer, more focussed and end up powering through your to-do lists better and more efficiently.

Are you sold yet?

Sounds like Phil might have been on to something this whole time. In fact, at CTC we believe in the power of meditation so much, that all staff members receive free meditation training. We’re all permitted a 10-minute meditation break without having to make up that time – and we even have a designated meditation room!

With all of this evidence in favour of our new preferred pastime, it’s seems almost like an act of self-sabotage to ignore meditation as a tool in improving your life, particularly in times where everything feels overwhelming. I may have to relent and give it another crack – and by the sounds of it, you should too!

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