Momentum Podcast: 61
Tactical Meditation for the Evolutionary Hunter
by Alex Charfen
If you asked me just a few years ago if I knew how to meditate, I probably would have said no and changed the subject. My relationship with meditation started when I was in my early teens. It has been a them session of mine for most of my life but I never thought that I was actually meditating.
Sure I reached the levels of clarity that lead to massive breakthroughs, through visualization I was able to create the future and make it real, and I was able to easily call myself an increased awareness on demand – but I still didn't think I was meditating.
The problem with meditation is the way it is explained makes it so obscure and difficult to understand that many evolutionary hunters turn away out of frustration. Here's my argument for why meditation is like a secret weapon for the evolutionary hunter. And for how you can begin tactical meditation right now did change her perception, increase your awareness, and create momentum like you never thought possible.
Full Audio Transcript
I'm Alex Charfen and this is The Momentum Podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trail blazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, and then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how.
While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are linked to hallucinate there could be a better future and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we enter the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent positive human evolution, and we always will be.
Welcome to this episode of The Momentum Podcast for the entrepreneurial personality type. This is tactical meditation for the evolutionary hunter. I want to introduce you to this new term, tactical meditation. I'm going to go into it, I want to explain to you what it is. I want to tell you how it could change your life, change your success, change your business, but first, I want to give you my history on meditation. I have this belief that the problem for most of us with meditation is the way that it's explained makes it so obscure, so difficult to understand that many entrepreneurial personality types like you and like me, turn away from it out of frustration. We sit there and we think, "Can I meditate?" We try and it's one of those things that it feels like you will not be successful doing. And anyone who's learned how to meditate, when they explain it, most of the time it's ambiguous, and it sounds difficult, and it sounds like so much is supposed to be going on and there's such a difference in how you're supposed to feel.
I want to share something with you. I had that same impression. If you had asked me just a few years ago, "Do you meditate," I probably would have said, "No," because here was my introduction to meditation. When I was in my teens, I went to a demonstration in a Buddhist temple. A monk got on stage and meditated to the point where he stopped his heart. Now, I don't know if he actually stopped his heart, but he got it to the point where he was hooked up to a machine that registered his heartbeat and he flatlined. That flatlining was control that he had to slow his heartbeat down enough, at the very minimum, I've had some doctors tell me that it was probably him slowing it down to the point where the machine didn't register his heart rate even though it was still there. Either way, it blew me away.
I decided that day, I was going to learn how to meditate. I was going to learn how to do this. I wanted to be able to calm myself like that because here's what I realized being in that room watching a monk stop his heart, is that the calmer he got, the calmer the room got. The calmer he got, the calmer I felt. The more he slowed down and became present and aware, the more I slowed down and became present and aware. And I realized that there was this contagious effect to what he had created by calming himself. I thought that was incredible. So I wanted to do that. Since then, I had ... my whole life I've used products like Hemi-Sync and I've done visualizations, and meditations, and hypnosis. I wanted to do anything I could to achieve that level of meditative prowess to be able to calm myself that much. But I would tell you, that I probably haven't and I probably won't.
He had dedicated his entire life to it. I might get there, but here's what's interesting. As I started speaking about 10 years ago professionally and started meeting people who were known for meditation and started talking to people ... and when I say known for meditation, let's be honest. There's some speakers out there, some experts out there, some thought leaders that meditation's part of their platform. So when I met them, I thought, "I've got to ask this guy. How does he meditate? It's going to be something amazing. He meditates and gets incredible visions or he's got some incredible tactic." And you know what I found? I would talk to someone who's known for meditation, I'd say, "Hey, I know you meditate a lot. I'd love to get some insight as to how you do it." They'd say stuff like, "Oh, I use Headspace." I'd say, "What?" "I use Headspace. There's an app. You pop the app in, you put your headphones in and you meditate for five minutes. It's great."
I would think, "Well, that's not what the monk did." I met someone else who was really well known for meditation, I said, "Hey, how do you meditate? Can I understand your tactics?" "Oh, well, I have trouble with the sitting still thing so I do a walking meditation." I'm like, "Walking meditation? Nobody ever said you could walk and meditate. What's going on here?" And the more I asked, the more I found the tactics of meditation were simple and it wasn't this magical thing that I was trying to find. In fact, I realized I had been meditating most of my life at a very deep level. Sometimes I would sit down and spend anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour just focused on my breathing, creating awareness, slowing my pulse, getting as present and clear as I could, but I still felt like I was missing. And I want you to know that you don't have to feel that way.
Here's what meditation really is. Let's drop all of the jargon, and all of the talk about it, and all of the misconceptions. Here's what it really is. Meditation is slowing down, breathing, becoming aware of your physiology, getting your head and your mind and your body connected, and feeling contrast from when you began to when you finished, feeling like you've created more awareness, feeling like you've created more presence, and feeling like you are more capable. Here's what I can tell you. I've worked now with thousands of entrepreneurs on meditation. I've even had the people in my courses that say, "I don't meditate and I just won't. I can't." I've been able to show them that every one of them that they can. Because if we drop all of the dogma around it and we just say, "Meditation is creating contrast from one moment to a moment in the future through using the tactics of breathing and calming ourselves and creating physiological awareness, everything changes."
In fact, when I say tactical meditation, here's what I want you to understand about tactical meditation. This is a tool you can apply to your day-to-day life to increase your success, to increase your awareness, to have better meetings, to have better outcomes, to create bigger joint ventures, to grow your business over a million dollars, to grow your business over 10 million dollars, to hire the first assistant that you have in the right way, to hire the tenth person that you have in your company, to hire your one thousandth team member. Whatever it is you're working on, tactical meditation can make everything easier if you allow just a tiny bit of time for it.
Here's how I describe tactical meditation. Let me go back to where I first started using this. When I was a consultant, I was often in a meeting that was the most important meeting for the person I was with, not for me, but for the person I was with. I can remember on more than one occasion going into a meeting with someone and waiting for the meeting to start and looking over and seeing someone that was panicked, or flustered, or frustrated, or just didn't look like we were in the right place. More than once, I would stop that person and say, "Hey, you know what? Before we go in, let's just do some deep breathing. Let's breathe in and out through our nose. Here, I'll count them for you. I just want you to get really present, really aware this is going to be an incredible meeting, but let's slow things down a little."
And, yes, I would get some weird looks and, yes, I would have people think like, "What is with this guy," because I was always different and awkward. Let's be honest, I'm not trying to do anything to hide that. But when I would do it, when I would get someone to breathe, when I would get someone to connect their mind and body, I can tell you that the outcome of the meeting we went into, the outcome of the engagement that we were in, always was better. So I started to see this pattern of, "If we meditate tactically. If we create presence and awareness tactically, everything changes." When I think of the leaders that I respect throughout history and when you think of the leaders you respect throughout history ... I want you to get one in your mind. What I think of, what I see is someone with incredible presence and awareness.
I think back to the day that Martin Luther King walked out on the mall on Washington where there was supposed to be a large crowd, but nobody expected a crowd of tens of thousands. This was before fax machines, before text messaging, before the internet, before, "Hey, send out a tweet," and everybody shows up. He walked out to one of the largest public crowds there had ever been in Washington and he had the presence and the awareness to deliver a speech that literally changed the world. When I think of the leaders that I respect, I think of present and aware people who can walk out in front of tens of thousands of people and stay in their bodies enough, connected body and mind enough like King did, to deliver a message that changes everything. And, as leaders, isn't that what we want to do? Don't we want to be that transformational leader that's present, that's aware, that helps the people around us create momentum, that increases transparency of the people that we talk to, that helps people understand how to move forward? In order for us to do that, we must start with ourselves.
And here's how tactical meditation works. In as little as a couple of minutes, if you're getting on a call, or if you're going into a meeting, or you're going into a high stress situation, or there's something that's important to you, it doesn't even have to be stressful, just important to you, take a couple minutes and sit down, even set a timer on your phone. Close your eyes, breathe in through your nose to a count of seven, out through your nose to a count of seven, and repeat that process over and over until you run out of time. What you'll find is if you take a gauge before you do this of where your body tension is, where your awareness is, how you're feeling, and then you do that breathing for two minutes, simple, just sit down, do the breathing, in and out through your nose, follow the tactic, trust the process, you will find that after two minutes, your body is less tense. You feel more present and aware. You feel more momentum in the moment for whatever it is you're going to do next.
I think that something happens to us as entrepreneurs. We are evolutionary hunters. We are always ready to get into fight or flight mode. For most of us, it's fight. We are always ready to put our shoulder down and keep going. We are always ready to stay on the hunt, increase our commitment, do more, push harder, put more energy into it. But my question for you is, is that always the best tactic? Sometimes, when we slow down, hyperoxygenate through breathing, create more awareness, create a higher level of presence and then we do what we're going to do next, almost every time we do that, things get better.
The outcome is clearer, we have a better result. So here's my suggestion to you. In the next week, try this. Sit down with your calendar tonight and look at the events, the meetings, what is it that you have going on this week that really matters to you? What is it going on this week that, if it went well, things in your life would go better? What is it going on this week that if you had a great outcome, it could make everything in your life that much more important, that much more secure, that much more powerful, and schedule just a couple of minutes.
See, I've helped people in just 120 seconds create presence, awareness, and a sense of calm that over time as they meditate more and more, they start realizing that if they create this awareness right before they go into something that matters to them, everything in their lives changes. I can tell you that I do this. If I've got a sales call, or an important meeting, or if I'm getting on a podcast, I will always attempt, I don't always get ... I'm not 100% there. Believe me, I wish I was. But I will always attempt to grab the couple of minutes that it takes to go and do a tactical meditation to increase my awareness, to increase my presence. And when I do, things go that much better for me.
So I have a gift for you coming out of this podcast. If you go go charfen.com/meditation, I've recorded three of my tactical meditations that I've used for years with entrepreneurs, with executives, with people who are creating massive outcomes in the world and they are only two minutes. See, I think 99% of the meditation we should do is under two minutes because we should be meditating all the time. We should be doing it right before calls, we should do it right before meetings, right before anything where we need to increase presence and awareness. Here's what I believe will happen. If you go to charfen.com/meditation and you download those meditations, and you listen to one of them before your next call, your next meeting, just follow the process, here's what I believe you'll find.
Meditation is like a secret tactical weapon. It's like this incredible tool that we can use. It is an incredible tool that we can use in any situation to make that situation easier because when we increase our presence, when we increase our awareness, when we increase the potential that we go into an engagement, an interaction, a meeting, an interview with, everything gets better. And meditation is one of those keystone habits that will literally make everything in your life easier and when you use it tactically, it will make the most important interactions in your life have an even greater outcome. Meditation has completely and totally changed my life. I'm a huge advocate of this, 100% of my private clients get the meditation speech that you just got. I talk to them constantly about it.
Whenever my team, or my friends, or my family is going through a level of stress, I talk about meditation. For me, recently I've had some stressful things happen with my kids and some challenges with now we're home schooling again and that changes our lives completely. Believe me, for me personally, when the pressure and noise gets high, I lean hard on the tactics, the process of meditation and it changes everything. So for anyone who's listening who has tried and maybe not succeeded at meditation, or who doesn't believe they can, or if you don't think that this is for you, or if you're thinking like, "Maybe he can do it, but I can't," I have a challenge for you. I've been into challenges lately, I think. I just challenged you guys to a time study this week. Here's my challenge for you.
Go to charfen.com/meditation, download the meditations. Download my meditation checklist. It's free, we've prepared it just for you guys, for this audience, and I want you to try it. Here's my challenge. Over the next week, pick the top three or four meetings, engagements, interactions you have and do this. Grab a couple minutes right before, do a tactical meditation, see how it feels, feel the contrast from before. Give yourself a ranking, the tension, the awareness, the presence you have, one to 10. See what happens after you do that meditation. I assure you, it will go up. And what you're going to do is prepare yourself, supercharge yourself, give yourself the energy, give yourself the awareness, give yourself the presence you want to go into that engagement, that interaction, that meeting and just crush it.
So many of us see meditation as this passive activity that you have to like go out into a field and contemplate your navel. The fact is, when I'm around the most successful people on the face of the planet, it is rare that you meet someone that doesn't meditate. It's much more common that a conversation around meditation breaks out and it takes over the room. I want you to have the same habits as the most successful people on the planet because I know that you are completely totally and fully capable of becoming one of them.
Thanks for being here with me on this episode of The Momentum Podcast. I just want to give you a little update as a listener, as a member, as someone that is here with us. We just crossed 50,000 downloads, we're at 50,667 as I do this podcast. I could not be more excited. I want to thank you for helping us get the word out. Thank you for sharing this with your friends. Thank you for letting people know that this could change their lives, and for listening, and for being here with me tonight.
Don't take any more time before you do this. Go to charfen.com/meditation, download the meditations, take a listen, try one of them, maybe even tonight before you go to bed. Try the awareness meditation or the lung expansion meditation and you will find that, not only can you meditate, but you might find yourself meditating more than you ever thought you would.