Thursday, July 10, 2014

10 Reasons for Meditation from a Behavior Designer

10 Reasons for Meditation from a Behavior Designer
Oprah sitting in meditation. (


If you haven’t read the 7 Reasons Why You’ll Read This Post, click this (it will open in a new tab) to read before/or after.  This post will draw upon the behavior design knowledge from that piece.
Let’s begin. Here’s why you should start meditating. 

1.  Authority
Stanford, Harvard, & Yale all have scientifically validated the benefits of meditation for our brains and wellbeing.  This means for you and me — increase in focus, decrease in stress — and tons of other health benefits that you can find in research papers.  The point is that people and organizations have both proven and also practice meditation. 
2.  Social Proof
If information backed by science was enough, the world of behavior change would not need experts in behavior change.  But, human beings are predictably irrational.  Facts don’t move us. People do.  So here’s some people (who I respect greatly and look forward to meeting one day), who meditate or practice a form of meditation: 
     Arianna Huffington, CEO of Huffington Post
     John Mackey, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Whole Foods
     Casey Sheahan, Founder & CEO of Patagonia
     Ray Dalio, Founder & CEO of Bridgewater Associates
     Russell Simmons, Co-Founder of Def Jam
3.  Similarity 
If you’re in your 20s like me, then you should start. If you’re of the age of the people listed above, you should start.  If you’re in the field of business, media, food, fashion, finance, psychology, health, or anything for that matter — you should start.  We’re all human beings and we deal with the same obstacles of fear, stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, etc (to varying degrees). We’re all human beings who want the same things: love for and from our close family and friends; a happy and fulfilling life + [other things that are most important in our lives].  People, who share similarities with us, move us. 
4.  Money Ability
CEOs of top companies meditate.  Like who? Like John Mackey CEO of Whole Foods.  Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.  Arianna Huffington, CEO of Huffington News.  Oprah.  Even Wall Street is catching on like Ray Dalio, the founder of the wealthiest hedge fund — Bridgewater Associates ($150 billion in assets).  Also, here’s what Arianna Huffington says about meditation affecting the bottom line. 
5.  Time Ability
Meditation increases your focus and productivity.  You finish things faster with less mistakes.  Thus, giving you more time back, which you are free to use however you want.  It not only gives you back the quantity of time, but also refreshes the quality of time that we forget when clouded by demands and deadlines. 
6.  Mental Ability
Meditation increases your ability to perform mental tasks.  Whether it’s investing, coding, or managing billion dollar companies, it increases your mental performance — like your focus, productivity, & effective decision making. 
7. Social Norms Ability
Meditation increases your ability to be comfortable with yourself.  You’re able to be more grounded with who you are.  This means that you’re less able to be subconsciously swayed by social norms (what the majority of people are doing) — including Social Checkmate.  This means the big names that I listed above will not have that strong of an influence on you.  You recognize the social proof influence, and are able to make a decision yourself. Powerful.        
8.  Familiarity (also known as habits / routine)
It’s easier for us to do things that are familiar — when we have some base of habits and routine.  Meditation increases your ability to be familiar (establish habits and routine) faster than the normal person.  Why? Because you’ll have enough self-awareness to design your own behavior change based on seeing your internal triggers and internal environment
9.  Awareness Ability
This leads to your awareness ability — the 7th and most important ability factor.  Meditation itself is practicing awareness — the complete immersion in the present moment.  Increasing your awareness ability to evolving your brain.  For the behavior designers reading, you now know why I’m focusing on behavior design and wellbeing (meditation, gratitude, & compassion). 
10. There’s So Much
It’s a blessing and an obstacle:  the information and connectivity that we have today.  There’s so much information online.  There’s so many things to see, to learn, to give, to share….like the number of links I have in this one post.  I know at least one of the links can give you immediate value.  
Anyways — most of the western world is focused on professional achievement day in and day out; then one day they get shaken up — woken up — and ask “Why am I doing all this?” Meditation give you a vehicle to journey into the questions of “Who am I?” and “Why am I here.”
I, too, am on this journey.
11.  Take 1 Deep Breath With Me Now
Don’t close your eyes.  Inhale…..notice the pause before the exhale….exhale….notice the pause before the inhale….close your eyes….repeat. 
You just meditated.  Now that you have, you can get that image out of your head:  the one where meditating is sitting crossed-legged, back straight, closed eyes, bald head, etc.  In those two breaths, were we able to break you away from your Limiting-Image of meditation?  I hope that liberated your mental concept of “meditation.” The word “meditation” is just a symbol of meaning for communication.  Don’t get caught up in that.  
The essence of “meditation” is simply practicing the 7th Ability — Awareness — the complete immersion in the present moment.  The Power of Now.  
Bonus: Trigger to David Ngo’s Meditation Habit Program  
A trigger is a call to action.  A stop sign is a trigger for you to stop. The Facebook Like button is for you to like.  Stopping and Liking are the target behaviors.  This is a trigger for a limited number of you to enroll in my FREE Meditation Habit Program.  
This program is for building the HABIT of meditation before you even learn a technique — or if you’ve started but can’t stay consistent.  This is not for a specific meditation technique.    
Often times, it’s not that we aren’t motivated or desire to do something that we read about; it’s because we don’t have the habit structure in place for the behavior to grow.  That’s why most people read an inspiring article, or watch an inspiring TED talk, and then don’t do anything.
Creators of content have not yet taken up the responsibility of creating the habit structure for their audiences. If you resonate with this, then let’s be the change that we want to see.  


Create Community: Why should others meditate? Why do you want to? Why don’t you?

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