Success through Stillness

Success through Stillness is the title of a book by the founder of the most successful rap music label of all time, Def Jam. The author, Russell Simmons, reportedly has a net worth of $325 million. Throughout his career, Simmons has also devoted himself to philanthropic causes and social justice.

He writes: “I’m certain if we strip away our egos, desires, fears and insecurities, all that would be left is happiness.

Most of us have heard examples of ardent meditators who are also successful according to worldly measures, who also appear to be happy.

Do those stories motivate the ambitious among us to take up meditation? For the most part I think that’s a “no”.

I have been teaching meditation for a number of years now, certified by The American Meditation Society. When I teach the classic approach – “20 minutes/2x a day” – I see that very, very few people follow that prescription. “Too busy”. “I can’t quiet my mind.” “I meant to, but.”

I have personally adopted many different practices in addition to the practice that takes 20 minutes. According to the master teacher who brought us the traditions, there are many different meditative practices that we can adopt throughout the day, some that take just a few minutes.

Now, when I start introducing meditation to people in my Executive Coaching practice, I ask my clients to notice – and interrupt – hijacking thoughts as they occur throughout the day. I teach them how to do that.

This has proven to be a much more effective way to teach meditation. It’s an approach where people gain incremental competence in managing negative self talk, opening the pathway to what Simmons refers to – more happiness.