Some of the most successful execs on Wall Street — including billionaires Daniel Loeb, Paul Tudor Jones, and Ray Dalio — start their days sitting on a meditation cushion.
“Meditation, more than any other factor, has been the reason for what success I’ve had,” says Dalio, who’s been a practitioner for 42 years.
He says it makes him feel like a “ninja in a fight.”
Meditation trains their minds in the same way that hitting the gym trains their bodies.
It’s becoming so popular among the finance crowd that meditation classes at Goldman Sachs have waiting lists that are hundreds of names long, according to Bloomberg, since no one wants to get left behind on a possible competitive advantage.
Here’s some of the research on those advantages:
- A 2005 study from Harvard Medical School found that meditation increases the thickness of your prefrontal cortex, a center of your brain associated with attention and self-awareness.
- A 2009 study from Aarhus University of Denmark study found that long-term meditators have thicker brain stems.
- A 2010 study from the University of California, Davis, found that meditation increases your attention span.
- A 2010 study from Harvard Medical School that meditation increases the density of your grey matter in regions associated with learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking.
- A 2014 study from the International College in Thailand found that meditators have lower rates of burnout and cope better with job-related stress.
- A 2014 study from the University of Amsterdam correlated meditation practice with attention to detail and creative performance.
And that’s only a sampling of the staggering amount of research being done on the benefits of meditation.
Here are her instructions:
“Use the body and breathe. You don’t even have to close your eyes. Tune into the actual sensations of the breath so you can feel it come in and go out. Notice the thoughts and emotions that come, and try your best to have an interest in them as experiences in the moment. Mindfulness is all about relationships. It’s not about stopping the thoughts and blanking out; it’s relating to them and watching them, rather than being taken over by them. Then we have a choice: I’m going to let that thought go, or I’m going to act on it.”
Start doing that every morning, and you’ll be a ninja in no time.