There is a saying I’ve often heard in martial arts classes that, “If you’re putting lots of muscle into a certain escape or technique, you’re doing it wrong.” While this may at first seem counter-intuitive, since one might assume that greater forcefulness is always good in self defense, ancient wisdom teaches that minimal effort is required when using proper technique. In fact, so little effort is needed when correctly applying technique, that sometimes it can feel to the person doing the technique that nothing is being done at all. Yet with remarkably little muscle power, by applying just the right force and momentum to the right place at the right time, a very small person can defend themselves against a much larger opponent.
I recently read a WeWork blog post that reminded me of the importance of doing less with more, Save Time and Do Less, that got me thinking about applying this concept in daily life. The basic concepts presented in this article suggest you can ask seven simple questions to help optimize various aspects of your life, which can help ensure that you aren’t inadvertently wasting time. These tips include such important concepts as remembering to: say “no,” delegate tasks, and eliminate non-essentials. These questions are an excellent start to ensuring you gain more time to do what you love most by doing less of what matters least. I love all these tips, and as a writer and author, I’d add making sure you have times when you aren’t jumping to immediately reply to every phone call, email, chat, text, facebook post and tweet.
In addition to these wonderful suggestions, I’ve found there exists a level beyond these basic tips available to me if and when I get into “The Zone” of meditative awareness. From such a state of awareness, I realize that who I think I am–the “Me” who is watching and observing the world–is also the awareness watching and observing my thoughts and feelings. From such a state of elevated awareness, I am more fully present in each moment, and thus much more genuinely responsive to doing and saying exactly the best thing at the right time.
Getting into “The Zone” with Meditation
Meditation is not as hard as you might think. Any time you enjoy the space between your thoughts, such as when gazing out off into the distance at leaves rustling in the breeze, or clouds floating by in the sky, you are in a meditative state of mind. Enjoying such moments brings tremendous value from accessing a kind of expanded awareness that members of the Seattle Seahawks recently utilized in winning the Super Bowl this year. Offensive tackle Russell Okung was quoted by ESPN as saying,
“Meditation is as important as lifting weights and being out there on the field for practice. It’s about quieting your mind and getting into certain states where everything outside of you doesn’t matter in that moment. There are so many things telling you that you can’t do something, but you take those thoughts captive, take power over them, and change them.”
The Seattle Seahawks were coached to include meditation each and every day, and as a result, found that they moved together much more cohesively, much more effortlessly, with responses to unpredictable developments in the game happening with an extraordinary level of coordination and finesse.
What Makes the Difference of Success and Failure in Your Life?
When you look back at past successes and failures, would you tend to attribute results more to physical events, or mental frame of mind? If you answered, “Mental,” you’re recognizing the importance of benefiting from staying on task without interference from intrusive distracting thoughts.
When I meditate, I experience a sense of moving in synchronization with what I’m doing and who I’m working with. There’s a possible explanation for this from quantum physics, which is called coherence. You can observe coherence in Nature when you see a flock of starlings or a school of fish changing direction simultaneously. There is a sense of shared consciousness happening, which may just be due to these animals getting into “The Zone” in a state of meditative awareness of being awareness–of being aware. This is a way of finding you are now doing exactly the right thing at the right time, saying the best possible thing to the most appropriate person, and feeling inspired to pursue those tasks and activities that most benefit you and others.
And best of all, it only takes a few minutes every day to get into “The Zone” and start experiencing the joys of synchronicity!