Why mediation is good for you, for your career and for the planet

Chade-Meng Tan wants to make the world a better place and thinks that meditation is the tool to do so. I fully agree. Once you start meditating, the world starts to look very different, and you begin to understand how everything is connected. Read “Metahuman” and you will be convinced.

Search Inside Yourself

So he wrote “Search Inside Yourself: Increase Productivity, Creativity and Happiness”. A book about attention. Attention is the basis of all higher cognitive and emotional abilities. A book about self-mastery. Use your trained attention to create a high-resolution perception in your cognitive and emotive processes. And a book about emotional intelligence. The ability to monitor one’s own and other’s feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions. Self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. 

Your body

But also training the body. A healthy body, a healthy mind. There are two very good reasons to work with our bodies: vividness and resolution. Every emotional experience is not just a psychological experience; it is also a physiological experience. The fitter you are, the more aware you will be. Very often, bodily tension builds up because we are not paying attention to the body, so the mere presence of attention corrects that problem. Bring mindfulness to your body all the time. Every time you bring mindful attention to your body, you create conditions for neurological changes that allow you to become even more perceptive of your body and, consequently, of the process of emotion.

Become emotional competent

Emotional competencies make up 80 to 100% of the distinguishing competencies of outstanding leaders. Read “Buddha’s brain. Among several hundred managers from twelve organisations, accurate self-assessment was the hallmark of superior performance. Self-awareness is the key domain of emotional intelligence that enables all the others. Self-awareness leads to self-confidence and clarity. Mediation helps with self-awareness.


There is nothing mysterious about meditation. It’s just mental training. Pali, the 2,600-year-old language of the earliest Buddhist texts, the word for meditation is Bhavana, which means “to cultivate,” as in planting crops. Mindfulness trains two important faculties, attention and meta-attention. Becoming aware of your attention is the aim.


When the mind is calm and clear at the same time, happiness spontaneously arises. The mind becomes spontaneously and naturally joyful! Meditation is like sweating at the gym, minus the sweating, and the gym. Intention, breath, posture and practice. Stop trying hard. Just sit, smile, and take note of your body while you sit. That is all. Meditation is like trying to fall asleep. The more relaxed you are, the less you are fixated on the goal. That is why many meditation teachers tell their students to have no expectations about their practice because being fixated on outcomes interferes with the letting-go mind.

Inner engineering

The book (as with every book about mediation) deals with letting go, triggers (the first and most important step is to stop, whenever you feel triggered, just stop), flow, visualisation, mental habits, kindness, etc. To be honest, there are better books. Read “Inner engineering”.

A few nice quotes/lessons/concepts:

  • Between stimulus and response, there is a space. 
  • By focusing the mind on the breath, we reinforce the sacred pause.
  • The amygdala is a hair trigger which would rather be safe than sorry.
  • Emotional awareness may even have a direct impact on the bottom line.
  • The mind is a fluttering flag on a flagpole. The flag represents the mind. The flagpole represents mindfulness—it keeps the mind steady and grounded despite all that emotional movement.
  • Thoughts and emotions are like clouds—some beautiful, some dark—while our core being is like the sky.
  • Self-regulation is about making friends with our emotions.
  • Indignation is a skilful state and an excellent example of self-regulation at its best.
  • You have to expect things from yourself before you can do them.
  • Think of happiness as a deep ocean. The surface may be choppy, but the bottom is always calm.
  • If you are strong in self-awareness, you are also very likely to be strong in empathy.
  • Goodness is so powerful that even experiencing it for just ten minutes can change a man’s life.
  • Apply the SCARF model; Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness
  • For a marriage to succeed, there must be at least five times as many positive interactions in the relationship as negative ones.

Why not have fun for a living?

The book links meditation and self-awareness to pleasure, passion, purpose, and autonomy. Why not have fun for a living? Write your own obituary. What would people say about you after you died? Write two versions of your obituary. The first version reflected how things would turn out, given your current life trajectory. The second version reflected the life you aspire to live. If everything in my life, starting from today, meets or exceeds your most optimistic expectations, what will your life be in five years?

Future you

Imagine you are attending a talk as part of a large audience. Everybody in the audience, including you, is deeply touched and inspired by what the speaker is saying. That speaker is your future self twenty years from now. If you find yourself inspired by your ideal future, talk about it to other people. Make it happen.


In the end, the author brings it back to leadership. A leader as a healer. Leadership based on compassion. Starting with creating trust, sincerity, kindness, and openness. Utilising your self-awareness to better understand your role in the web of personalities and interactions (every organisation has its own invisible nervous system of connection and influence). Maintaining rich personal networks within your organisation, especially with allies, mentors, and groups who will support and challenge you. Leading with compassion. Transforming from “I” to “We.

Snow globe

Think of the mind as a snow globe that is shaken constantly. The mind is normally in a constant state of agitation. With enough meditative training, one’s attention can become unwaveringly calm and focused.

Learn how to meditate 

Anyone who wants to meditate can learn how to do it. We can train and develop the mind to create inner peace, happiness, and compassion. Inner happiness is contagious. When a person allows their inner glow of happiness to emerge, people tend to respond more positively. When inner peace, compassion, and aspiration are all strong, compassionate action comes naturally and organically; hence, it is sustainable. 

Everyone should meditate. Smile, sit, breathe, smile, breathe. 

PS Mo Gawdat’s books are “Smart scary” and “Solve for happy“.

sensemaking cover


Sense making; morality, humanity, leadership and slow flow. A book about the 14 books about the impact and implications of technology on business and humanity.

Ron Immink

I help companies by developing an inspiring and clear future perspective, which creates better business models, higher productivity, more profit and a higher valuation. Best-selling author, speaker, writer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
× How can I help you?