My Resolution for 2017: Meditate More
SXSW began a ten-year cycle of expansion in 2004 — which was about the time we began to aggressively cover this intriguing new technology trend called social media. 2004 was also the year that I started to experiment with daily quiet time. The relationship between the growth of the event and my devotion to meditation is not simply a coincidence — meditating helped me achieve a lot more focus on how to leverage the power of the strong SXSW community.
Embracing daily quiet time also helps you to relax, recharge and reenergize. It helps you become more patient — with yourself, with others around you and with the many things that you have no control over. In my experience, it helps reinforce a long-term perspective on life and helps remind yourself of what aspects of this journey are most important (and what aspects only seem important when we are more focused on short-term goals).
But the rub here is that meditation isn’t easy. I have found that quieting my mind has gotten a bit easier with practice — but, inevitably, the trick works better on some days than others. I’ve also found that the busier my life has gotten, the more likely I am to trim meditation from my daily schedule as a way to buy 10 more minutes of time to attend meetings or answer email. I understand that this time trade doesn’t make sense, yet its a time trade I still make far too often.
Yes, meditation is most important when your life is in the most turmoil. From a personal perspective, I believe I am in a better place now than I was in 2004. But my work and my world have become much more complicated and more worrisome (all the more so since the November 8 election result). Experience tells me that these complications can best be mitigated by a routine of 10–15 minutes of daily quiet time. That’s my fairly ambitious goal for 2017.
Hugh Forrest tries to write four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts generally cover technology-related trends. When not attempting to wordsmith, he serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW in Austin.