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Are You Giving Employees Permission to Speak Freely?

                       

 

     Hiring and keeping the right team players is tough—often because people don’t have what Anne Katherine, therapist and author of Boundaries Where You End and I Begin, calls good “boundary intelligence.”

    During the trial employment period, Katherine recommends giving new hires some boundary dilemmas and asking them how they’d handle each situation. Common boundary issues at work include office gossip, project overload and personal issues on professional time.

   Ongoing, use your regular meeting times to help team members develop the soft skill of boundary setting. “I work with entrepreneurs a lot, and one of the things I train them to do is to actually have developmental conversations with their people,” says John Townsend, Ph.D., a business consultant, psychologist, leadership coach and co-author of 27 books, including Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life.

    Your employees are looking to you for help in developing not just in sales, marketing or operations. “We’re supposed to develop them as people as well,” Townsend says.

    Even with the best team, setting an example as a leader is vital to keeping healthy boundaries throughout an organization. So rather than blindly assign tasks, give people permission to speak freely, as they say in the military. Encourage them to be candid with you about their workload, interest level and issues regarding projects with potential teammates.

    In his organization, Townsend also encourages team members to give him candid feedback about his own performance. “If they see a problem in my workload or my attitude or my behavior, and I’m not aware of it and they don’t say anything, then my career could go off a cliff,” he says. “I think every entrepreneur needs to give their people permission to speak freely because they’re seeing things that we’re not seeing. They can be extremely helpful in solving problems and meeting challenges. We need their feedback.

“What you find is that the culture begins to change,” he adds. “People feel empowered. People feel stronger. They feel trust. They feel more confident. And work gets better.”

5 Things Never to Ask in a Job Interview

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It’s that time of the year, college graduation is just around the corner and soon after, THE REAL WORLD! Looking for a job is an exciting adventure but definitely can be quite stressful at the same time. Here are a few tips on what NOT to ask in an interview.
Your resume didn’t fall into a black hole. You’ve been called for an interview. You picked out a nice suit to wear and you’re ready to dazzle them with your smarts. And you know it’s important to have questions for the interviewer because it shows you’re engaged and genuinely interested in the position.
The wrong questions, however, can tank even the best interview. You know better than to bring up salary, benefits or vacation early on in a discussion — those are still commonly viewed as taboo in a first interview. But there are other, less-known pitfalls to avoid as well.
Here are five questions you should never ask in a job interview.
What does this company do?

You’re here to interview with Consolidated Widget Makers, and you didn’t bother to look up what they do? That’s inexcusable.

This is an unfortunate, but common, mistake now that people can easily apply to multiple positions with the help of job boards, says Kenneth Johnson, president of East Coast Executives, a Philadelphia based executive search firm. “A Google search will uncover the answer and save you the embarrassment.”
Even if you’ve applied to dozens of positions and been on many interviews, treat each new one as the potential game-changer that it is. When you’re called, in addition to the time and address of the interview, be sure to take down the name of the company and interviewer so you can do some research and show up well prepared.

What is your drug testing policy? 

Johnson says this is the worst question he’s asked in interviews. “Even if the company has a very liberal testing policy, this question definitely raises some doubts about your candidacy.” Asking is unprofessional and a huge red flag to employers.

How long until I can have your job?

I’ve heard this one often, says Karin Hurt, CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders. “Some candidates seem to think this demonstrates career focus and gumption. On the other side of the table it feels obnoxious. Demonstrate strong passion and commitment for the job you’re interviewing for.”
If you’re asked about your five- or 10-year plan, that would be the time to inquire or express your desire for advancement, but “until then, articulate your commitment and qualifications for the job at hand,” explains Hurt.

What about overtime?

Questions about overtime can get you in trouble a couple ways. First, employers who are worried about budgets and hiring hourly staff may be very sensitive to paying out for extra time. Asking if you’ll get frequent overtime may mean you’ll risk turning them off in favor of a candidate who will work efficiently within their regular hours only.

A question such as “Will I have to work overtime?” is also bad form. “Asking this question during the interview gives the interviewer the impression that you don’t want to put in any more work than is required. This does not give the interviewer a positive impression of you,” says Cheryl Palmer, owner of executive coaching firm Call to Career.

It’s probably best to ask what the normal hours for your position will be and leave it at that.

Any question about what you’ve already been told.

The person who wrote that job listing worked hard to make sure it conveyed the right information to the right group of people. It obviously worked if you’ve applied and gotten as far as the interview stage. Don’t make all their hard work seem trivial by not fully reading every communication they send.
“If someone asks me questions during the job interview that have already been covered in the job posting or emails, it makes me question their attention to detail,” explains Carol Cochran, HR director for FlexJobs, a job search service for telecommuting and flexible positions.

20 Things Twenty-Somethings Don’t Get….BUT SHOULD!

Here at Denali Executives, we specialize in leadership and entrepreneurship. Running a business and hiring “millennials” has been quite interesting and after reading this article on Forbes.com, a lot of things make since!

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Time is Not a Limitless Commodity – I so rarely find young professionals that have a heightened sense of urgency to get to the next level.  In our 20s we think we have all the time in the world to A) figure it out and B) get what we want.  Time is the only treasure we start off with in abundance, and can never get back.  Make the most of the opportunities you have today, because there will be a time when you have no more of it.

You’re Talented, But Talent is Overrated – Congratulations, you may be the most capable, creative, knowledgeable & multi-tasking generation yet.  As my father says, “I’ll Give You a Sh-t Medal.”  Unrefined raw materials (no matter how valuable) are simply wasted potential.  There’s no prize for talent, just results.  Even the most seemingly gifted folks methodically and painfully worked their way to success.  (Tip: read “Talent is Overrated”)

We’re More Productive in the Morning – During my first 2 years at Docstoc (while I was still in my 20’s) I prided myself on staying at the office until 3am on a regular basis.  I thought I got so much work done in those hours long after everyone else was gone.  But in retrospect I got more menial, task-based items done, not the more complicated strategic planning, phone calls or meetings that needed to happen during business hours.  Now I stress an office-wide early start time because I know, for the most part, we’re more productive as a team in those early hours of the day.

Social Media is Not a Career – These job titles won’t exist in 5 years. Social media is simply a function of marketing; it helps support branding, ROI or both.  Social media is a means to get more awareness, more users or more revenue.  It’s not an end in itself.  I’d strongly caution against pegging your career trajectory solely to a social media job title.

Pick Up the Phone – Stop hiding behind your computer. Business gets done on the phone and in person.  It should be your first instinct, not last, to talk to a real person and source business opportunities.  And when the Internet goes down… stop looking so befuddled and don’t ask to go home.  Don’t be a pansy, pick up the phone.

Be the First In & Last to Leave ­– I give this advice to everyone starting a new job or still in the formative stages of their professional career.  You have more ground to make up than everyone else around you, and you do have something to prove.  There’s only one sure-fire way to get ahead, and that’s to work harder than all of your peers.

Don’t Wait to Be Told What to Do – You can’t have a sense of entitlement without a sense of responsibility.  You’ll never get ahead by waiting for someone to tell you what to do.  Saying “nobody asked me to do this” is a guaranteed recipe for failure.  Err on the side of doing too much, not too little.  

Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes – You should be making lots of mistakes when you’re early on in your career.  But you shouldn’t be defensive about errors in judgment or execution.  Stop trying to justify your F-ups.  You’re only going to grow by embracing the lessons learned from your mistakes, and committing to learn from those experiences.

You Should Be Getting Your Butt Kicked – Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” would be the most valuable boss you could possibly have.  This is the most impressionable, malleable and formative stage of your professional career.  Working for someone that demands excellence and pushes your limits every day will build the most solid foundation for your ongoing professional success.

A New Job a Year Isn’t a Good Thing ­­– 1-year stints don’t tell me that you’re so talented that you keep outgrowing your company.  It tells me that you don’t have the discipline to see your own learning curve through to completion.  It takes about 2-3 years to master any new critical skill, give yourself at least that much time before you jump ship.  Otherwise your resume reads as a series of red flags on why not to be hired.

People Matter More Than Perks – It’s so trendy to pick the company that offers the most flex time, unlimited meals, company massages, game rooms and team outings.  Those should all matter, but not as much as the character of your founders and managers. Great leaders will mentor you and will be a loyal source of employment long after you’ve left.  Make a conscious bet on the folks you’re going to work for and your commitment to them will pay off much more than those fluffy perks.

Map Effort to Your Professional Gain – You’re going to be asked to do things you don’t like to do.  Keep your eye on the prize.   Connect what you’re doing today, with where you want to be tomorrow.  That should be all the incentive you need. If you can’t map your future success to your current responsibilities, then it’s time to find a new opportunity. 

Speak Up, Not Out – We’re raising a generation of sh-t talkers.  In your workplace this is a cancer.  If you have issues with management, culture or your role & responsibilities, SPEAK UP.  Don’t take those complaints and trash-talk the company or co-workers on lunch breaks and anonymous chat boards.  If you can effectively communicate what needs to be improved, you have the ability to shape your surroundings and professional destiny.

You HAVE to Build Your Technical Chops – Adding “Proficient in Microsoft Office” at the bottom of your resume under Skills, is not going to cut it anymore.  I immediately give preference to candidates who are ninjas in: Photoshop, HTML/CSS, iOS, WordPress, Adwords, MySQL, Balsamiq, advanced Excel, Final Cut Pro – regardless of their job position.  If you plan to stay gainfully employed, you better complement that humanities degree with some applicable technical chops.

Both the Size and Quality of Your Network Matter – It’s who you know more than what you know, that gets you ahead in business.  Knowing a small group of folks very well, or a huge smattering of contacts superficially, just won’t cut it.  Meet and stay connected to lots of folks, and invest your time developing as many of those relationships as possible. (TIP: Here is my Networking Advice)

You Need At Least 3 Professional Mentors – The most guaranteed path to success is to emulate those who’ve achieved what you seek.  You should always have at least 3 people you call mentors who are where you want to be.  Their free guidance and counsel will be the most priceless gift you can receive.  

Pick an Idol & Act “As If” – You may not know what to do, but your professional idol does.  I often coach my employees to pick the businessperson they most admire, and act “as if.”  If you were (fill in the blank) how would he or she carry themselves, make decisions, organize his/her day, accomplish goals?  You’ve got to fake it until you make it, so it’s better to fake it as the most accomplished person you could imagine.   (Shout out to Tony Robbins for the tip)

Read More Books, Fewer Tweets/Texts – Your generation consumes information in headlines and 140 characters:  all breadth and no depth.  Creativity, thoughtfulness and thinking skills are freed when you’re forced to read a full book cover to cover.  All the keys to your future success, lay in the past experience of others.  Make sure to read a book a month  (fiction or non-fiction) and your career will blossom.

Spend 25% Less Than You Make – When your material needs meet or exceed your income, you’re sabotaging your ability to really make it big.  Don’t shackle yourself with golden handcuffs (a fancy car or an expensive apartment).  Be willing and able to take 20% less in the short term, if it could mean 200% more earning potential.  You’re nothing more than penny wise and pound-foolish if you pass up an amazing new career opportunity to keep an extra little bit of income.  No matter how much money you make, spend 25% less to support your life.  It’s a guaranteed formula to be less stressed and to always have the flexibility to pursue your dreams.

Your Reputation is Priceless, Don’t Damage It – Over time, your reputation is the most valuable currency you have in business.  It’s the invisible key that either opens or closes doors of professional opportunity.  Especially in an age where everything is forever recorded and accessible, your reputation has to be guarded like the most sacred treasure.  It’s the one item that, once lost, you can never get back.

                                                    –Written by Jason Nazar, Owner of Docstoc

 

Let us know your thoughts!

 

How to Develop Mental Toughness in Leaders

 

Business leaders, much like athletes, need to be psychologically ready to play. Mentoring and coaching can help them cultivate this trait.

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Of all the competencies sought after by today’s budding business leaders — critical thinking, emotional intelligence, the ability to influence and inspire a team, to name a few — perhaps the most valuable is one that isn’t learned in a boardroom but on a baseball or soccer field as children.

Mental toughness is a term commonly used in sports — a term many begin to hear from coaches in youth athletics. Tuning out the noise or pressure and performing to potential in an otherwise difficult situation is what makes fans admire the most astute professional athlete.

It’s not that the quarterback was able to throw the winning touchdown, but the fact that he or she was able to do so under the tight and uncomfortable circumstances of the situation.

While sports stars grab the majority of headlines in the mental toughness arena, this trait has become essential for leaders to be successful in business as well, according to Christine M. Riordan, dean of the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver.

Global business leaders, facing the complexity of an uncertain working environment, need to have the same psychological readiness as an athlete. It’s not just a matter of leaders’ knowledge, ability or skill that sets them up for success, but also an ability to deal with the pressure and stress of competition, fatigue and failure, Riordan wrote in a 2010 Forbes article, “Six Elements of Mental Toughness.”

Riordan’s six elements of mental toughness are:

 

Flexibility. “Just like a quarterback faced with a broken play, a leader must [be able] to decide quickly on a different way to get the ball down the field.”
Responsiveness. “Game-ready leaders are able to remain engaged, alive and connected with a situation when under pressure. They are constantly identifying the opportunities, challenges and threats in the environment.”
Strength. Mentally tough leaders “find the strength to dig deep and garner the resolve to keep going, even when in a seemingly losing game.”
Courage and ethics. Leaders have to have the ability “to make hard but right decisions for the organization.”
Resiliency. Leaders need to be able to rebound from disappointments.
Sportsmanship. Have a “Bring it on!” mentality.

“Part of leadership and mental toughness is having the resiliency to bounce back from mistakes and situations that you [as a leader] really haven’t seen before,” Riordan said.

Developing mental toughness, however, is no small task. More than anything, teaching mental toughness in others demands commitment and dedication — both from the teacher and the student, said Bill Cole, CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a Silicon Valley business coaching consultancy.

Leaders seeking to acquire mental toughness can start by finding a mentor or coach who is willing to help guide them, according to Cole. While classroom and group settings are sufficient to lay the groundwork for developing the skill, one-on-one mentoring is best to provide for individuals’ situations and learning needs.

Classroom teaching is “just kind of the starting point,” he said. “You can get a discussion going [in a classroom], but then the deep learning has to happen after that initial talk is given.”

Once a coach or mentor is in place, leaders should then find a role model — someone who exhibits admirable mental toughness who they can reach out to.

Having a role model who embodies mental toughness, someone who can be personally connected to the learner, can give leaders a more engaging, visceral learning experience, Cole said.

Jason Selk, author of Executive Toughness and director of mental training for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, said he sets up players with a “mental workout,” or a series of mental exercises that are performed daily.

Included in this workout are things like controlled breathing and visualizing a personal “highlight reel” — “Imagine three successes that [are] going to happen in the next game,” Selk said.

While mental workouts for players and business leaders might differ in scope, the principles and concepts are largely the same, Selk said. He lays out his framework to develop mental toughness in five steps that play off phrases typically used by baseball coaches.

“Pay attention to your swing, and forget the home run.” Focusing too much on the target — or end goal — might diminish leaders’ chances for success. Instead, Selk said, focus on the process of what needs to get done to get there. “You cannot accomplish a goal without first having a sound process in place,” he said. “Identify those daily goals that have the greatest influence on your performance and, therefore, your success.”

“Don’t take your eye off the ball.” Control the tendency to be distracted and stay on the task at hand. “Many high-performing businesspeople believe they can multitask and still maintain focus,” Selk said. Too much multitasking, however, can hamper leaders in the end.

“Be your own ref.” Business leaders need to establish limits to be productive. Walling off time for family and work is essentially for leaders to maintain and develop mental toughness, Selk said.

“Get R&R between workouts.” Getting proper rest and relaxation is important for mentally tough leaders. Fatigue will only lead to lost productivity and engagement, and serve as a distraction, Selk said.

“Listen to your body.” “In sports, when athletes try to push through the pain, they end up on the [disabled list] with injuries,” Selk said. Business leaders who participate in “extreme working” — or working too many hours — run the risk of reduced productivity and possibly even diminished health.

“Most of these workers can’t sustain this level of performance; [they] end up burning out,” Selk said, “just like promising athletes who have to sit on the bench all season or retire early because of injuries.”

10 Actions You Can Take That Will Dramatically Change Your Life 10 Actions You Can Take That Will Dramatically Change Your Life

Someone once said “experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.” However, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what that test is. We are not going to go into the usual jargon about taking up a hobby, going for a jog, or joining a self-improvement group. Changing our lives can be complex. Nonetheless, the flow of life is onward and upward irrespective of our need for self adjustment.

Here are the actions you can take to create dramatic change in your life.

 

10 Things You Can Do Right Now To Change Your Life

 

#1 Get over It!

Yep, that’s it. Get over life. Stop making life more complicated than it is. Everything happens for a reason, and when one door shuts, another one opens. Once we stop resisting life and live it, we will see dramatic changes take place. One famous and wealthy actress who once lived in a homeless shelter stated “I learned that I could live through any situation. I grew into a person who knew that they could always make their own way.”

Learn your lesson, get over it, and move on.

 

#2 Change Your Outlook

Dramatic changes calls for employing that stint of courage that propels us to make positive changes in our lives. Prepare for positive and new things to enter your life. A shift in consciousness is all that is needed to make the changes you seek.

 

#3 Go for it!

If you are dreaming of something bigger, it won’t come to you. You will have to go out there and get it. Jenna Fischer, an actress on the hit TV show “The Office,” made a trip from her hometown to Los Angeles expecting to land a super job within a year. However, it took much longer. But patience paid off and she eventually landed movie roles and started producing.

 

#4 Don’t Give Up

Good things come to those who do not give up, not to those who wait! Change requires action but those changes won’t usually happen over night. In 1983, Dewey Bozella, then an amateur boxer, was convicted of a murder he did not commit. It took over 20 years for his name to be cleared. Free to continue pursuing his dream of becoming a boxer, he was 52, stepped into the ring against a 30 year old fighter and won! At the end of the night he said “Don’t every give up.” Lesson learned.

 

#5 Go on a Diet

Many of us have tried various diets whether to loose weight or gain it. But those are not the types of diets we are referring to here. In order to make significant changes in your life you should try a “mental diet.” Get out all the clutter that’s been stuck in your brain for eons. That means releasing yourself from the negative thoughts that keep you from being the person you wish to be.

 

#6 Be Thankful

Instead of wondering through life like an ungrateful tormentor always wanting more, more, more, maybe its time to appreciate what you already have. It may not seem like much, but making this type of change in your life will help you feel better about yourself, thereby, changing your outlook on life.

 

#7 Chill Out

Today, it seems so difficult for people to simply relax. Beating the walls and making a big hoot about everything will only make you a nuisance, and no one will want to be around you. Former US president Ronald Regan once stated “its true, hard work never killed anybody, but why take the chance.”

There’s a difference between hard work and working hard. If you have the “all or nothing” attitude, change it.

 

#8 Become Less Sensitive

Sometimes changing ourselves requires “seeing ourselves as others do.” If you are one of those people that others feel the need to “walk on eggshells” whenever they are around you maybe they are on to something. Our own thoughts about ourselves are always the most important, but delusional musing is a great obstacle to change.

 

#9 Have a Broader Sense of Humor

Nothing changes the heart and mind like a good laugh. Laughter creates an opening where tension and fear once closed the door. Even while alone, have a few funny quotes you read that generates a deeply rich honest chuckle. A humorous quote by political satirist and entertainer Mark Russell says “the scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline baggage.” It’s imaginative and funny.

 

#10 Love

The love being referenced to here is not the clinging, dark, jealous, possessive love that makes you hate yourself and causes others to run away from you. Love in general is the modus operandi referred to here. It’s easy to point the finger at others but love understands because we are not perfect ourselves. It changes you because you become more perceptive.

 

You can probably think of a few other ideas that can result in dramatic changes in your life or someone else’s. All that is required is the desire to change.’

40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes

Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you felt like you had no energy left, that the you cannot go on any further, or that you have tried every way possible and feel like giving up? Well this inspirational video here should be the answer to your problems and may be just what you need to break through!

A Very Inspirational Woman At Nearly 90 Yrs Old

Phyllis Sues is walking proof that age is nothing but a number, because at 89 yrs old she is doing practically anything she wants.

Phyllis has proven to those around her that there are no limitations, just dreams to be fulfilled.

How Bad do You Want It?

Renowned speaker, educator, author, activist and minister, Eric Thomas speech on success. Take action and choose to want success right now. Just make the decision to make a change in your life.

10 Things We Can Learn From Bees!

Bees are more smart than scary, and instead of wasting time running away from them, we should start studying them.

  1. They’re expert communicators: Bees triangulate distances and direction, and are in continuous contact with their hives as they search for food sources. They’re not off “hunting” for themselves; instead, bees never seem to break contact with the group and keep each other informed to stay alive and recruit other bees to help them collect pollen where it’s most plentiful. Can you imagine if there were no secret stashes or ulterior motives in business?
  2. Bees are associative learners: Bees never stop learning and use natural forces to direct their actions in terms of finding food and monitoring the environment. They continue to visit the types of flowers that consistently offer them rewards, noting color and odor, and then effectively ditch them if weather patterns or other elements make the reward harder to obtain in search of other flowers. If we could learn as quickly, and then let go of past processes in order to move forward, we’d be profit-making machines, no exceptions.
  3. The more, the merrier. And the more productive: Swarms of bees result in a very social insect, promoting flexibility and adaptability, robustness, and self-organization, according to AskNature.org. Scientists have found that when surrounded by a pack, bees that “fail,” don’t cause major problems because all the others pick up the slack. Innovation, optimization and streamlined processes result from self-organization, which seems to naturally occur in swarms.
  4. They have different jobs and stick to them: It’s a controversial lesson in efficiency, and one that’s often rejected in the United States, where cross-mobility is appreciated. But bee colonies have a strict hierarchy and class system, and the hive works so well because worker bees sting and forage, male drones mate, house bees build the honeycomb and tend to the queen, and so on.
  5. Their product is attractive to many industries: Bees don’t just make the honey you put on your ice cream. Their wax is used for cosmetics, religious products and lots of food products, and they also pollinate plants and even whole orchards. Furthermore, their honeycombs and hives are still inspiring architects today because of their complexity and relative durability. What’s the business lesson here? Always aim to create a product and/or service that’s attractive and even necessary for lots of industries and customers, making your company indispensable and practically invulnerable.
  6. They’re highly adaptable to even drastic changes: Bees that have been relocated thousands of miles — from Hawaii to Louisiana in this case — are still able to locate and collect pollen in just an hour. New locations, temperatures and environments don’t sway their end goal or bottom line.
  7. They continue to evolve: Scientists believe that honeybees first spawned 130 million years ago, during the landmass of Gondwana. After the breakup of the landmass, some honeybees became extinct, but most have evolved and sub-speciated according to their new environments. Even after continent break-ups and climate changes, bees are still around and working just as furiously.
  8. Age levels are directly related to work habits: Bees delegate different jobs according to age level, showing an understanding for natural ability, stamina and practice. Young bees, for instance, aren’t allowed out into the field unless there has been a serious blow to the population. Would you want your brand new intern making independent sales calls on his first day? Take a cue from the bees and associate new workers with “housekeeping” for the first few weeks.
  9. Bees depend on their queen: Every colony or company needs a strong leader. When queen bees are absent or have died, bees start squabbling and are less organized. During the interim between queens, colony morale is down, and honey production is lower. Even the mere presence of a strong leader (hint: you don’t have to micromanage) is vital to directing workers.
  10. Bees have an innate sense of responsibility and a desire to work: While you can’t force an instinct upon someone else, you can train employees to almost instinctively notice when work needs to be done, minimizing wasted time and micro-mangement. Bees start working a few hours after they’re born, noticing the dirty cells that need to be cleaned around them and eventually moving on to clean the queen, guard the hive, and forage for pollen and nectar, and contribute in any way that’s needed.

10 Ways That Meditation Can Change Your Life

Meditation Techniques

One ancient practice that has shown tremendous transformations is the practice of meditation. So what is meditation? and why is it known to change people’s lives for the better? Even to the point of improving your chances of success and changing your whole life completely.

Meditation is a practice that is done by an individual that trains the mind and induces an altered state of consciousness. You are fully awake, but your mind travels elsewhere, into your unconscious. There are many techniques for meditation like practices that specifically target certain areas like promoting relaxation, develop self awareness, reduce stress, or to foster a sense of well-being.

Meditation exercises the mind. You exercise your body to keep it healthy and fit. Meditation does just that to your mind. By practicing self-awareness, you are improving and keeping your psychological well-being fit and healthy.

 

A Brief History of Meditation

Meditation is intimately associated with spiritual and religious contexts. Many ancient civilizations used chants and rhythmic prayers to their gods. The earliest known record of meditation is from Hindu texts 5000 years ago. The Buddha, who is one of the major proponents of meditation, sat for years trying to reach enlightenment through meditation.

The practice of meditation can be seen in all religions–from Judaism to Islam to Christianity–it is an essential act of getting in touch with your spiritual being.

 

Meditation Techniques

Since the 1960′s and ’70′s, the many benefits of meditation have been scientifically researched in the Western world. Various meditation techniques have been thoroughly studied, which has led millions of people practicing different meditation techniques all over the world. There are many different types of meditation and it is best to do a bit of research to find the type that is best for you to gain the benefits you are looking for.

One of the most popular meditation techniques is Transcendental Meditation. It’s a very simple and effortless practice wherein you sit on the floor or on a chair in a lotus position for about 20 minutes twice a day. It is known to reduce stress, improve your thinking, help you sleep better, and helps you deal with tense situations more calmly.

Another meditation technique is Mindfulness or the Vipassana, which is a Buddhist tradition. All you do is sit on a chair in a proper position, close your eyes, and accept any thoughts that come to mind. It allows you to be present in your thoughts, allowing them to freely enter your mind. Mindfulness is also used in psychotherapy wherein you let repressed thoughts and emotions come out of your unconscious. It can be your way of dealing with emotions that you keep bottled up inside of you.

Creative or Visualization Meditation involves concentration on an image or vision. If you want to achieve something, say for example, a job promotion, what you do is you sit on a chair and visualize yourself actually achieving the image in your head. When you imagine these images, the emotions that are associated with getting what you want will be felt–like happiness and satisfaction–as if you already have it. It can promote confidence and optimism.

 

10 Benefits of Meditation

1 – Meditation relieves overall stress. It can lighten the load of a busy day and relieve your physical and emotional stress through relaxation.

2 – It helps you look young by getting rid of all that stress that can add wrinkles to your face and make you ill. You feel energized and rejuvenated, lightening your load and reducing feelings of sadness and despair.

3 – Meditation gives you added energy. Your concentrated breathing and relaxation improves your blood circulation, giving you more energy to be productive and do enjoyable things in life.

4 – Lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease and improves your immune system. Through relaxation and breathing techniques, meditation can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, making you healthier.

5 – Meditation can improve your concentration level and clear your mind. When you’ve faced your demons and unnecessary thoughts, your mind is free to accommodate more important and pressing matters in your life.

6 – Awaken higher levels of your creativity and potential. By weeding out the negative toxins in your mind, you have more freedom to explore things that will bring you more development and improvement.

7 – Eliminate anger and fear. We often repress these emotions because they are sometimes too much to bear. When we openly accept them into our thoughts, we let them go and allow them to disappear.

8 – When you let go of fear and anger, when you are happy and improved, it immediately improves your relationships with others.

9 –  It provides you with peace of mind and general happiness

10 – You develop tolerance. When you are less tense, less stressed, and happier, you become more calm in dealing with tense situations.

 

Meditation For Success

Many famous celebrities have their own share of benefits from meditation. Paul McCartney and the Beatles made Transcendental Meditation very popular in the 1970′s when they went to India, learned and practiced the technique with its very founder. Paul McCartney has stated that meditation was very inspirational to him, that his mind was clearer when he wrote their songs.

Tina Turner also practices meditation and she credits her strong Buddhist beliefs and meditation practices to giving her the inner strength she needed to leave her abusive husband in the 1970′s.

Albert Einstein had daily meditation naps that brought him answers before he even asked the questions.

Undoubtedly, meditation is a practice that brings about massive benefits that can change and improve our lives. There are many meditation techniques that you can perform, but the very premise of meditation has always been for self-awareness and psychological well-being to help you transform and change your life.

Don’t know where to start with meditation? Make sure you read the book below “Meditation for Medicine”. The meditation techniques are easy to understand along with detailed pictures, a must have for anyone who is looking at benefiting from meditation.