Have you ever felt that you’ve lost all control in your life, and you’re simply going through the motions to survive, with no end in sight? I’ve been there.
At 24 years old, bright and shiny, I moved from Canada to Tokyo, Japan, to work in one of the world’s largest automotive parts manufacturers. I was ready to take on the world! But within 18 months, my life was in shambles and I was seriously contemplating dropping everything to return to the safety of Canada.
In the end, meditation helped me climb out of that dark place. It helped me learn to direct my energy in a healthier way. Through this renewed focus, meditation has brought me personal and career success, and I believe it can do the same for you.
Falling Down And Not Knowing How To Get Back Up
When I arrived in Japan, I was immediately shipped out to the countryside. They put me to work in a factory, assembling car parts on an assembly line for nine hours a day, as part of the three month induction training.
Coupled with the culture shock of being in a new country, and insufficient Japanese language skills to form bonds with the people around me, I felt my enthusiasm quickly evaporate. The best I could do was look forward to the next phase of my employment: doing human resources work in the Tokyo head office. I was not aware of the power of meditation at this point.
When the training finally ended, I moved into the city to begin my “career” in HR. I quickly found that I was no better suited to this than the factory work. My already low level of enthusiasm for life began to sink even lower. I found myself gaining weight and drinking more frequently on weeknights. Something had to change.
Finding My Reason To Change
Living in Japan, I was, and still am, surrounded by history and natural beauty.
When I got out of the metropolis of Tokyo to explore the surrounding countryside, I saw people living a much happier, simpler life. What was it that made their lives seem so much better than mine? I had the prestige of working at a large company and the guaranteed future of stable employment, and yet I was miserable.
Compared to these people in the small rural mountain towns, I was lacking a sense of self and purpose. I was envious. I knew that I needed to change something in my life, and I decided to approach it with a plan.
I looked up various resources online about finding purpose, connection with others, and emotional stability… and the common answer I kept finding was meditation, meditation, meditation.
As a non-practitioner, I was skeptical at first. I started small. I began changing my morning routine to ensure quiet time for silent introspection. It began with five minutes, but sure enough, I found myself disappearing into my inner realm for 15-20 minutes at a time.
Experiencing The Benefits
I began having more frequent (and better) ideas during the day. I started living healthier. I felt empowered to say “no, this isn’t the life I want – I need to pursue something more meaningful and in line with who I am.” Everything in my life that had fallen apart since moving to Japan became apparent. I was able to plot out what I needed to do to make things better for myself.
Within two months, I resigned at the big megacorp and began working with a fantastic group of people doing something that was much more meaningful to me. I felt in touch with my environment again, and with the people around me. I continued meditating, and at this point it has become an integrated part of my life.
The Method Is Simple, But The Results Are Tangible
I had no teacher, no guide, nothing formal. I simply set aside twenty minutes each morning to sit and contemplate the day ahead. Almost without fail, I fall into what I have come to understand as “meditation.” I hear the sound of the river outside my window, the city traffic, and voices in the distance. I come away from each session with a vigor and enthusiasm for life that was missing two years ago. In fact, I have experienced such a positive life impact from meditation and contemplating my place in the world, that I have started a site, Live With Authority that is intended to support people who want to take charge of their own lives.
Every human being has many possible outcomes for their life. It is important to proactively consider where you want to be in life, instead of allowing others to control your path. I made the mistake of allowing circumstance to determine my happiness (or lack thereof) for far too long. Meditation was the key for me to break out of my negative lifestyle patterns.
I hope you, too, are enjoying the benefits of meditation, and discovering what it feels like to be centered, driven, and vigorous. There are many amazing resources out there, but the real key is simply to begin and be consistent. I’m sure you will find out, like I did, that you have the power within you to enact positive change in your own life.
Much love. Colten @ livewithauthority.com