When you think of the word meditation, what come to mind? Hippies? Connecting with your spirit animal? Becoming a badass monk who knows kung-fu?
Let’s throw all those associated topics out the window right now, because meditation is not strictly limited to the realm of spiritual/zen practices. Rather, it’s a practice rooted in the idea of strengthening your mind – your ability to focus on one thing, block out distractions, and get more out of that lump of grey matter behind your eyes.
When you have a stronger mind, you become a better student. Your ability to pay attention in class improves, you can study more effectively, and you can better organize your time and pursuits.
CEO’s, top athletes, entrepreneurs, and lots of other high performers all practice meditation and derive practical benefits from it – and my friend Tony Stubblebine (the founder of the excellent Lift habit-building app) is on a mission to find out exactly why.
His research is being put together in a book called The Strongest Mind in the Room, and in this interview you’ll learn some of what’s in the book – including why meditation works, what it actually means to meditate (hint: you don’t have to sit cross-legged), and how you can do it in 5 minutes a day.
Since recording this interview, I’ve been practicing my own simple form of meditation each morning, and I’m actually seeing results (I’m also finding that it can be hard work to do it properly). If you want to be a better performer in whatever you do, definitely give this episode a listen.
Things mentioned in this episode:
- The Strongest Mind in the Room – you can get a free chapter of the book here
- Episode 16 – my first interview with Tony on building strong habits
- Calm.com – a great guided meditation app
- Headspace – an alternative to Calm
- LessWrong – I found practices associated with rationality to be similar to what I’ve learned about meditation, so I’m linking this up.
- Videos! – I’m doing a new video every week now, so check them out!
Resources of the Week:
At the beginning of each episode, I briefly feature one tool I’ve found to be useful, as well as one learning resource I’ve found enlightening.
- The Tool: This week’s featured tool is StudyBlue! It’s an awesome app that lets you make smart flash cards, and it even lets you integrate notes from Evernote.
- The Learning Resource: This week’s resource isn’t a specific book, podcast, or anything else. Rather, it’s a strategy: Study people who are great at what you want to do. More detail on this in the podcast.
Listener Tip of the Week
This week’s listener tip comes from Sheryl Kurland, who runs The Relationship Insider, a great website on building better relationships. Thanks Sheryl! Check out the episode to hear his tip.
“Hey, I have a great tip too!” – you
On every episode listener tip on each episode before I dive into the main content. Want to be featured on the podcast? I’m looking for tips in each of these categories:
- General college tips – learning, studying, productivity, etc
- Jobs and internships
- Money management
Also, remember to leave your name – and if you’d like me to give a shoutout to something of yours (your website, twitter profile, etc), mention that as well.
A couple great quotes from our conversation:
“Your mind will wander, and that’s ok. The goal of meditation is to catch it wandering, which builds awareness.” | Tweet This
“Practicing mindfulness helps you identify cognitive biases, which can help you prevent a lot of mistakes.” | Tweet This