Science Confirms the Secret Behind Being a Happy, Healthy Hustler

Hustlers are passionate go-getters who don’t take no for an answer. They get shit done, have big dreams, accomplish big goals, skip lunches, work 7 days a week, and are so stressed that they don’t sleep…………..

wait, what?

Yep, unfortunately, you read that correctly. Hustling the wrong way will eventually make you feel like a drug addict in need of an intervention. One day, you’ll wake up exhausted! You’ll find you can’t get through a meeting without a caffeine fix. Then you’ll start resenting your schedule and realize you haven’t had a vacation in years. Suddenly, the fact that you’re a passionate hustler is completely forgotten and now you’re just an angry workaholic…and…maybe an alcoholic!!

But, of course, there’s no way in hell you’re quitting. When work is good…it’s so good. You crave the ecstasy that you feel when you land a big account, or make a big sale, or get recognized in your favorite blog – you’ve come way too far to quit now! So…you keep pushing…and hating…and pushing…and hating some more. 

And then you hear something like… “ever thought about meditation?” At first that sounds kind of funny and a little too hippie-dippie to consider. Your initial image is you sitting peacefully on a hill, draped in orange robes, chanting ‘ohm’ for hours on end…you immediately consider the suggestion a joke. “Doing nothing for 20 minutes twice a day couldn’t possibly make me a better hustler.”

…But can it? 

The Huffington Post published an enormously insightful article about meditation that suggests it doesn’t only increase your capacity for happiness and empathy, but by exercising the brain through meditation, you have the ability to change and optimize your brain in a way we have never known possible.

NYU researcher, Zoran Josipovic, conducted a study in which the brains of long-time meditating Buddhist monks were put under fMRI machines and found that their results showed brain activation on a scale never before seen. In fact, his results showed that in some cases, these monks have managed to “rewire the brain.”

Where normal, non-mediating brains tend to switch between extrinsic networks (ie. what is used to handle external tasks) and intrinsic networks (ie. emotion and other internal processes), meditating brains show results that suggest they are able to keep both networks active at the same time. 

In other words, when a computer has too many windows open, it starts to move slowly. Meditating brains are operating as if only one window is open: intrinsically and extrinsically harmonious. The internal operations are not taking from the external, and vice versa.

Neuroscientist and meditation researcher, Richard J. Davidson, shared with the Washington Post that meditation enhances the brain in the same way practicing dance enhances your performance in dance. Davidson’s research confirms that meditation is creating neuroplasticity that allows us to be more compassionate, joyful and empathetic while eliminating obstacles that keep us from building connections.

​“…Meditation is not just blissing out under a mango tree,” says Buddhist monk, Matthieu Ricard, to the Daily News, “it completely changes your brain and therefore changes what you are.”

So, taking 20 minutes twice a day isn’t about doing nothing for 40 minutes. You’re taking your brain to the gym! You’re strengthening the organ responsible for creating brilliant, innovative ideas that can forward your career, inspire you to start a business, provide solutions to impossible obstacles, or land that account that requires extra time you didn’t think you had. Meditation opens your brain to new and bigger possibilities and creating opportunities that you’ve always wanted, but have never had the energy or confidence to actually pursue. Finally, meditation increases your ability to be happy, joyous and empathetic, so while you’re hustling and accomplishing, you’re also living a life worth living. 

Not so hippie-dippie anymore, huh?

On that note, I’d like to give a shout-out to another small business owner. Emily Fletcher, founder of Ziva Meditation, is a happy hustler who taught me to meditate in New York City and single handedly changed my life. She spreads encouraging bliss to her international, hustling followers via regular vlogging. She is also the founder of the very first online meditation course, Ziva Mind, where you can learn meditation whenever, wherever.

​Happy hustling, ​