When you consider the benefits of meditation, what comes to mind?
Reduced stress and anxiety…
Lowered blood pressure…
Feeling more relaxed…?
These are all proven benefits of meditation, but we don’t often think about what can happen as a result of all these benefits combined.
The superpower of meditation is that it increases our awareness of everything that is happening physically, mentally, and emotionally within us.
But what does increased awareness do?
In my experience, increased awareness leads to effortless action. That is, when we become aware of the thoughts and feelings that drive our behaviors, we naturally start responding in ways that benefit us. We don’t have to force anything, and it can seem as though things just start falling into place.
When this compounds over time in different areas of our lives, we can often see profound transformations happen in a relatively short period of time.
My 6-month journey leading up to a promotion is a very practical example of how meditation had a significant impact on my career.
How It Started
I first started meditating around the same time I was feeling worn down in my sales role at a call center. A year of having the same conversations over and over was starting to take a mental toll. Being tied to a phone for 8 hours a day was feeling constricting both physically and psychologically.
After hearing that 90%+ of the top performers interviewed on the Tim Ferriss Show podcast had a meditation practice, I decided to try the experiment.
In the beginning, my practice consisted of using simple guided meditations for 10–20 min in the morning. I won’t get into the details in this article, but I’d like to offer a reminder for anyone beginning a meditation practice:
The goal is NOT to silence your mind.
If you sit for 20 minutes and your mind is wandering 99% of the time, but you are able to bring your attention back to your breath ONE time, that’s a successful session. You are training your awareness, and as a result, some thoughts may subside over time.
Meditation to More Sales
Over weeks and months of sitting consistently, I noticed subtle ways in which my sales conversations were evolving.
Below are a few examples of physical, mental, and emotional aspects I became more aware of, and how this affected my performance.
1. My physical response to challenging situations.
In conversations where a customer was irrational or difficult, or especially if I was “stuck” on the phone with someone who I believed (← keyword!) was not going to buy, I became aware of how my body would physically tense up. I started noticing how often my shoulders would hunch, and my jaw and face would tighten.
I started acknowledging the stress I was putting myself through and allowed myself to relax. I accepted what was happening at that moment. It wasn’t the customer on the other end who was stressing me out — it was my reaction that was creating so much tension.
2. My tone of voice and the customer’s response.
I also started to notice the difference between the customer saying “No” to me versus saying “No” to themselves.
When I got short, or ever-so-slightly condescending (you can only talk to so many people with ear-shattering background noise before you say the hell with it), they were saying “No” to me. When that happened, I realized that was it — I breached their trust and the opportunity was over.
When I remained calm, collected, and neutral, I viewed it as they were saying “No” to themselves. In this case, it was possible to continue asking questions that would shift their perspective and help them overcome their own objections.
3. My overall energy level.
Meditation made me even more aware of how my physical, mental, and emotional energy was being depleted throughout the day.
As I saw myself become less attentive and more impatient, I naturally chose to get up and go for more walks during my breaks.
Keeping my energy levels up had a significant impact on my performance. Being able to take that one extra call at the end of the day, or asking just one more question to close a big sale, made a big difference in my sales over time.
The Results of Staying Centered
When I began to notice the stress I was putting myself through, I used the “centering” practice I was becoming familiar with through meditation. I could take a few deep breaths and relax my shoulders and face. I could catch myself at the point right before I expressed irritation, course correct, and try to kill them with kindness instead.
It absolutely worked to my benefit in many situations.
Overall, this made the job much more enjoyable. At a time where I really felt like decreasing my efforts (as I knew I wanted a different job), I actually relaxed and began to listen more.
The more I stayed centered, the better I could listen and the more sales I made. During the next two quarters, I ended up exceeding my goals and setting new personal records — not to mention I was feeling better while doing it!
Creating Good Luck
About six months after beginning a meditation practice and lots of deep reflection, two things occurred around the same time.
First, I decided that I wanted to move to a new city, and I was going to try to relocate while keeping my current role. Secondly, and a manager role opened up at the new location I wanted to transfer to.
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” — Seneca
With synchronicity in full force, my performance over the last six months had set me up in the perfect position to apply for the manager role. Reaching a top performer status within 18 months gave me some much-needed credibility to manage veteran agents who had much more experience than I did.
In addition to this, meditation helped me through the interview process. Despite being someone who can have a very physical response to performance situations (actual trembling), I was able to relax and calm myself before and during the interview.
Most importantly, I was able to hold a natural conversation and authentically share what I could bring to the role, which is probably the most important thing one can do in an interview.
The Biggest Lesson
The entire experience highlighted just how powerful it could be to focus on the present moment and do my best in the current situation.
(After writing this, I can clearly see all The Four Agreements at work here!)
Six months prior, when I was sick of my job and felt like coasting, I could not have predicted the opportunity that would open up.
The commitment I made to meditation helped result in moving to a new city, doubling my salary, taking a more enjoyable role, and setting me up for the next phase in my career.
This example is only one among many opportunities that have arisen since I began meditating.
My question for you is:
What if you could be guided to the people, places, and roles you need simply by doing less?
If the idea interests you, I invite you to experiment for yourself.