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409: Meditation For Founders

In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about meditation for founders.

Meditation is an ancient practice that helps those who do it control their mind and consequently their lives. It’s a practice that is becoming increasingly common in the startup world and this isn’t surprising as meditation has many benefits.

In this episode, Steli and Hiten they got into meditating, the different things you can experience when you meditate, how meditation is much more about being than doing and much more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 About the topic of today’s episode

00:35 Why this topic was chosen.

01:25 Hiten’s point of view on meditating.

02:24 How meditation is becoming common in the startup industry.

03:25 How meditation isn’t something you get good at.

04:30 How there’s a lot of different things that you can experience when you meditate.

05:28 How Steli got into meditation.

06:51 How hypnosis can be very directive.

11:58 How meditation is much more about being than doing.

10:10 How meditating has affected Steli.

3 Key Points:

I didn’t start meditating until a few years ago.I don’t think meditation is something you get good at.I think there’s a lot of different things that you can experience when you meditate.


Steli Efti: Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti.


Hiten Shah: This is Hiten Shah. Today, on The Startup Chat, because Steli insisted, we're going to talk about meditation.


Steli Efti: Exactly. This is basically ... We could call this the podcast, Because Steli Insisted, that would be a cool podcasting title. Steli and Hiten Shah, because Steli insisted. Well, we've done an episode before on mindfulness, which was episode 286, 2-8-6 Mindfulness For Founders. We touched about that subject in very broad terms and we talked a little bit about meditation, but I thought it'd be cool to take meditation as a single focus for an episode, and talk a little bit about that in the context of you and I, which then puts it in context for, I think founders and CEO's and people in startups. Since meditation's become quite popular over the last couple of years, especially in the startup community, but even more broadly so. Here's my question to you and I'll answer that question as well, which is, A, do you meditate? And B, if so, tell us why.


Hiten Shah: All right. I guess I'm going to go first. I didn't start meditation until a few years ago, but I grew up in a house where my grandmother meditated pretty much 75% of the day. She was either reading scriptures ... I grew up in a Jain household, so it's a religion between Buddhism and Hinduism. We don't eat meat and things like that. I'd say I'm definitely practicing a lot of the principles of Jainism, and I go to the temple whenever I get a chance, but not on a regular schedule, so I actually hadn't really meditated beyond any of the religious activities growing up. Then more recently in the last three or four years I started meditating. One of the biggest reasons is because my co-founder, Marie, is really into meditation, and helped me see the sort of benefits of it. There's a lot of movement right now in the sort of tech culture around meditation and things like Transcendental Meditation and there's the [inaudible], which is a breathing one. Then there's meditation retreats, silent retreats and all these kinds of things as well, so there's a ton of this stuff going on and a lot of different methodologies and techniques and things like that. I've tried a number of them in different ways, and I think for me, to answer the question more succinctly after that background is I do my best to meditate at least once or twice a day. I do like finding a mantra in the moment that might pop in my head, and say it if I'm feeling really intense about something, or something like that.


Key Smash Notes In This Episode

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