The Spiritual Practices Of The World's Most Successful Entrepreneurs
Spirituality in business may be the best-kept secret to building thriving businesses and careers that make us feel inspired, peaceful and happy every day. It can be a powerful way to lead and inspire others, create positive movements, live and earn abundantly, and leave a positive impact on the world around us.
Countless celebrities and entrepreneurs such as Ray Dalio, Arianna Huffington, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs and more have openly talked about their spirituality and attributed a large part of their success to their spiritual and personal growth practices.
Oprah Winfrey: A spiritual practice is the foundation of a meaningful life
The person most known for publicly and openly talking about her beliefs is undoubtedly Oprah Winfrey.
For Oprah, knowing and nurturing yourself is crucial to create a successful life and build a fulfilling career. As you cannot give from an empty cup, taking care of the self is the most important act of all. According to Oprah, this is key to becoming a conscious individual that can then express his/her consciousness through kindness, compassion, empathy and creativity — all the traits that she claims have brought her to the place where she is today.
Moreover, Oprah believes in the great power of expressing gratitude. Keeping a gratitude journal, she claims, leads to a life filled with more meaning and bliss. Writing down what you are grateful for — and doing so consistently — puts everything into perspective and helps you become more aware and appreciative of all you have (instead of dwelling on what you don’t have).
Arianna Huffington: Onward. Upward. Inward.
Arianna Huffington is one of the most successful female entrepreneurs of our time. From the Huffington Post, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the world’s most powerful blog (The Observer, 2008), to multiple best-selling books,… everything she touches seems to turn into a success story. In 2014 she also founded Thrive Global — a tech-based company helping individuals and companies to combat burn-out and stress and to unlock their full potential.
Arianna believes that the human drive and desire for spiritual evolution are an essential part of experiencing happiness and fulfilment, because life is more than performing a job, ticking off to-do lists and chasing after materialistic achievements day in and day out.
However, distractions of the modern age make it easier than ever to run from facing ourselves on a deeper level, neglect the pursuit of meaning and purpose and lose sight of the things that truly matter to us.
Regularly connecting to our essence is therefore crucially important to get to the roots of what makes us truly happy, and to realise that our life is shaped from the inside out — much more than it is the other way around.
Arianna advocates for regularly connecting with the self. Practising meditation, even if it’s just for a few minutes every day, helps her set her mind on track, focus on the things that matter to her personally and deeply connect with herself.
Arianna has made it her mission to improve the mental health and life quality of people by providing sources of support and inspiration. One could say that she contributes directly to the creation of a better society because studies show that people who are invested in their spirituality and personal growth are much more likely to give back to others. Fair to say, her work may in the long run have a significant impact on the lives of a lot of people.
Ray Dalio: The billionaire who says meditation is ‘the single most important reason’ for his success
“Meditation, more than anything in my life, was the biggest ingredient of whatever success I’ve had” — Ray Dalio
When looking at the everyday practices of ultra-successful entrepreneurs, meditation is the one that everyone agrees on. Ray Dalio credits his entire career and wealth to the power of transcendental meditation and the practice of mindfulness every day.
After having lost everything at the age of 33, Ray learned meditation to reflect on the situations that led to him losing all his money and employees. He claims that he had been ruled by an egocentric mindset and the conviction that he was always right. One of the main principles outlined in his book “Principles” reflects exactly on this. He states that everyone is fallible and the fundamental beliefs one holds may be wrong. Holding onto the egotistical desire to constantly be right will lead to the downfall of anyone who isn’t willing to change that.
Oh boy, what a powerful lesson. It takes a lot of self-awareness and courage to admit these things to yourself! Well done, Ray!
Ray has managed to align the mental, emotional and spiritual benefits through his regular practice of TM. It helped him to come back from financial ruin and work through personal and professional challenges. After all, if Ray hadn’t discovered meditation, he may not be the most successful hedge fund manager in history today?
Steve Jobs: Spirituality is Critical for Entrepreneurial Success
Since the death of Steve Jobs in 2011, the significant effect spirituality can have on entrepreneurial success was briefly brought into the spotlight.
Not only was Jobs a strong advocate for making use of your intuition — especially in a business context — but he was unashamedly spiritual!
Driven by the desire to find his purpose in life, Jobs had travelled to India in the 1970s where he also spent some time in a spiritual retreat. His personal history of being adopted and trying to find his place in the world added to the growing interest in Eastern Spirituality.
In India, Jobs learned more about the incredibly beneficial effects of meditation and experienced it firsthand. After being forced to work through his inner turmoil and having seen how helpful the practices he encountered were, he kept practising Zen Buddhist meditation throughout his life. Jobs even encouraged many other entrepreneurs, such as Mark Zuckerberg, to follow his example and spend time in spiritual retreats.
Jobs credited meditation with significantly enhancing the function of the mind and allowing him to achieve ground-breaking levels of success. The mental development experienced due to regular spiritual practices not only makes for a better leader but also improves the performance of the business as a consequence. Makes sense, right?
Let’s normalise that you can be a spiritual person and ultra-successful at the same time
Given the great successes that Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Arianna Huffington and Ray Dalio have had, it almost seems unbelievable that the rest of the business world has not yet caught up on this secret superpower despite the amount of evidence proving the benefits of deep spiritual and personal growth practices.
If billionaires credit their success to meditation and mindfulness, one would guess fellow entrepreneurs are jumping through hoops to get onto the same track. But leaving behind obsolete business practices and old beliefs is hard. Looking within to create your outer world is still a scary prospect for many — not only because it requires you to connect with the self but also because it seems so new and unconventional.
The progress made towards opening our minds and paying attention to our own spirituality and personal development is slow, but it is inevitable and already in full swing.
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