Success Engine: How Meditation Improves Your Life

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Today At A Glance

  • Question: Have You ever tried meditation?
  • Deep Dive: How Meditation Works
  • What I’m Thinking About: Is your charity work well-timed?

reading time: 3 minutes


Have you tried meditation?

Meditation brings numerous benefits. It reduces stress, enhances self-awareness, and improves focus. It also lowers blood pressure and promotes overall well-being.

But unfortunately, many avoid meditation because they don’t understand it. That’s because much of the available information on the topic is subjective and mysterious.

In this week’s deep dive, I aim to demystify meditation. I’ll describe in simple terms how the practice works. Then I’ll discuss two main benefits of meditation; 1) improved focus and 2) an ability to manage difficult thoughts and emotions.

Deep Dive

If you like this week’s deep dive, my full-length video and article go even deeper.

How Meditation Works

A Constant Stream Of Thoughts

You’ve probably noticed that your brain sends you a constant stream of thoughts whenever you’re awake.

Most of the time, this stream of consciousness is harmless. But, if your thoughts become overwhelming or overly negative, they can affect your life in two ways.

First, when you’re overwhelmed by your thoughts, you lose your ability to focus on the present moment. For example, you might lose track during a conversation if you have something stressful on your mind.

And second, if you let negative thoughts influence your behavior, that can be harmful. For instance, if you think, “I’ll never find love,” and as a result, stop looking, that will steer your life off course.

How Meditation Can Help

I’ll begin by describing a simple mindfulness meditation practice.

  1. Close your eyes while sitting or lying down in a comfortable position.
  2. Bring your attention to a single point of focus. Many people choose to focus on the sensation of their breath.
  3. Eventually, your mind will wander off in thought. Anytime this happens, bring your attention back to the breath.
  4. Continue this process for as long as you like.

This process is like a bicep curl for your focus muscle. Every time you refocus on the breath, you’re strengthening your ability to focus.

At the same time, you’re also teaching yourself to notice when you’ve lost focus. This recognition gives you the ability to refocus on what matters. A valuable skill.

Meditation also shows you that your mind appears to have two parts. First, a part of your mind produces thoughts. And second, another part of your mind notices or listens to thoughts.

This distinction is important. That’s because many people believe they are their thoughts. So, if they think they’re a loser, they believe it. Unfortunately, when you have this belief, your thoughts control you.

But thankfully, this is not true. In reality, you are the listener. And, as the listener, you get to choose what thoughts you believe. As a result, your thoughts no longer control you.

For example, if your thoughts say, “you’ll never find love,” you can choose to let that thought go and instead focus on something helpful. This skill puts you in control of your life.

Want More?

Check out my full-length video and article on meditation.

What I’m Thinking About

Is your charity work well-timed?

Many feel a need to donate their time and resources towards charitable causes. In most cases, following this urge is the right thing to do. That said, I think there are times when you should consider your timing.

Some individuals possess the talent to coordinate projects that can create large charitable contributions in time. For these individuals, it’s crucial to keep this in mind and think long-term.

If you are one of these people, this approach may temporarily divert your time away from direct charity work. But overall, this approach can enable you to make a more substantial impact on the causes you care about.

I’ll share a personal story to illustrate this point.

I’ve volunteered much of my time over the years. But when I was starting my bicycle wheel company, I decided to postpone any volunteer work so I could dedicate all of my free time to my business.

Short-term, that had a small effect. But long term, building a successful company allowed us to make a much larger contribution.

We created a program at FLO Cycling called ‘Bike for a Kid.’ And by the time I left the company, we had donated over 2,000 bikes and helmets to children in need. The associated cost was approximately $150,000—a much larger contribution than I could have made had I not started a business.

So if you’re interested in charitable work, ask yourself the following question.

How can you spend your time to maximize your impact on the causes you care about?

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that the information presented in this email is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The creator of this email is not a licensed financial advisor and any decisions made based on this information are at your own risk. It’s important to consult with a qualified financial professional before making any financial decisions, as this information does not consider individual investment goals, risk preferences, or financial situations. Please remember that past performance does not guarantee future results, and all investments involve risk, including the potential loss of your initial investment.


Chris Thornham 80/20 Financial Planner
Take Control Of Your Finances

Reduce financial stress, reach financial freedom, and achieve financial goals like buying a home, paying off debt, and investing for retirement.

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