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Sept. 24, 2021

Zen Not Hustle

Zen Not Hustle

In Episode 15 of the podcast David said: 

If you don't have ten minutes a day to meditate, you need two hours."

I'm sure many of you have heard a variant of this quote before and some, like me, just laughed.  That's because the idea of taking two hours a day to meditate just sounds absurd at first.  "I'd love two hours a day to work on my business," you might say.

And that's where David would argue that's precisely why you need to meditate.

I'll be honest, I'm not a meditator.  I have friends, colleagues, people I respect who to one degree or another, have a practice of meditation.  When David came back from a five-day meditation retreat, I had to get a bit more out of him about it. 

We started by acknowledging that "hustle culture" gets a lot of headlines.  There are plenty of people who are calmly getting things done and building great businesses, but that doesn't necessarily play well on Instagram or Youtube.  

In a sense, meditation is anti-hustle culture.  

Hustle culture plays into the default setting many of us have: get up, think about what has to be done today, reflect on some of the challenges from yesterday, drink coffee, and poof, you're already in the middle of your day at the beginning.  Your nervous system is almost immediately in "fight or flight" mode.

David used a phrase that I love:

"Stay and play."

He says that meditation puts him in that mode the way that hustle culture's default setting puts people into fight or flight.

In a sense, this isn't entirely down to hustle culture.  Our modern society is so information-rich that our mind is buzzing with information that we don't need.

Meditation turns that noise down so that you can listen and hear other things, or as David refers to "other states of consciousness."

Some people will hear that and roll their eyes, but I feel such a state whenever I go running.  In fact, running often gives me new ideas or solutions to problems I've been thinking about.

So whether it's meditation or running, getting to other states of consciousness is not just going to help you be a better entrepreneur, but a better person, and ultimately, that's the sort of stuff that really matters, right?

Our discussion followed that "better person" path and ended on "dharma" which is a Sanskrit word multiple meanings in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.

In Hinduism, dharma is the religious and moral law governing our conduct (as individuals).  In addition to this dharma that applies to everyone, there is also a specific dharma to be followed according to one's class, status, and station in life, which David characterizes as, "What am I here on earth to do?"

One of the reflections from David's recent retreat was that he hoped to sell his current businesses in the next five year window so that he can more concretely pursue his dharma, which is to be an advocate for meditation for others by being an instructor.  Instructor training is three months with no internet, no visitors, etc. but having a remote local business (shameless plug) means he doesn't have to wait years to do that.  In fact, he's figuring out if he can put things in place to go to that training in the next few months.

Me?  I'm just going to try ten minutes the next time I wake up.  I'll work up to that two hours in the future.


Photo by Sage Friedman on Unsplash