If I made a list of the most helpful habits for a performer to get into, meditation would probably be number one. After I incorporated some daily meditation into my routine, I saw positive results almost immediately in many areas in my life. I saw a reduction in daily stress, better focus during performance, less pre-performance anxiety, better sleep, and better time management.
I used to be a really nervous performer, and before most concerts I would experience things like increased pulse, sweating, upset stomach, dry mouth, and during the performance there were times I felt very little control over my playing. That sucked. It’s no fun to feel this way. But since starting my meditation practice of around 10-20 minutes a day, I have notice a drastic decrease in the afflictions listed above.
When I mention to people that they should try meditation, I often see a look of, “oh geeze, you’re one of THOSE people?” Try to put aside any preconceptions and at least take a closer look at something that you could really benefit from. Before we move on, check out this fun video that serves as an introduction to meditation (by Gobblynne).
I’m a big fan of Tim Ferriss, and I stumbled across this article he wrote for The Observer on meditation titled, “The One Routine—Yes, One!—Common to Billionaires, Icons and World-Class Performers.” If that title doesn’t say it all, here is a quote from the article:
“Of all the routines and habits, the most consistent among guests was some form of daily meditation or mindfulness practice. More than 80% of the world-class performers I interviewed shared this trait. Both can be thought of as cultivating a present-state awareness that helps you to be nonreactive.”
That list of 80% includes famous actor/governors, elite athletes, musicians, writers, and billionaires, all of whom practice meditation in some form. So don’t you think you should give it a chance? Yes? Awesome! So where do you go from here?
There are a TON of options for meditation, and it can feel a bit overwhelming at first. Here are a few places to start:
Your weekly charge:
Find 10 minutes a day (preferably in the morning) for one week to do some kind of meditation. Make the commitment to yourself to do this for one week, and I promise you will start to see a difference. I strongly suggest trying 10-15 minute guided meditations at first, because this will give you something to focus on and will give you a concrete end time to shoot for.
Make notes in your journal of how you feel as the week progresses. Are you seeing any positive changes in yourself? How do you respond to problems or frustrations that arise? Think about that last word from Tim’s quote above: nonreactive. I think you will find a noticeable change after seven days. Trust me (and lots of people who are way more successful) and give this a shot!
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