How do you start your day? When you wake up, is coffee the first thing on your mind? The newspaper? A hot shower? How you begin your day—the things you choose to focus on in those first few minutes of consciousness—can have a huge impact on how your day will unfold. If you’ve never tried to calm your mind in meditation, why not try it to see what it has to offer? There’s nothing mysterious about it. In fact, you probably meditate from time to time without realizing it.

The best thing about meditation is that even a little bit of this ancient practice goes a long way. It can be especially helpful before an important meeting or seminar or anytime you want to be at the top of your game. And it’s simple: Sit or lie down in a comfortable spot, close your eyes and relax. Notice the in-and-out rhythm of your breathing. Then, when your mind has quieted, set your intentions for the day. If you have an important meeting ahead, visualize yourself handling your prospect or client impeccably. Picture the details of how you would like the meeting to go and imagine how your goals will look when they are accomplished. Stay with the image until you feel confident you will succeed.

During your meditation, insights may come to you about how best to approach a certain client or situation. If so, pay attention to them. These may be bits of wisdom bubbling up from your subconscious to help you attain your goals.

Meditation may sound kooky, but millions of people around the globe practice it regularly—and not just as a route to self-realization. Practical insights into how to deal with troubling situations can become available to you when you quiet your mind and listen for them. Is meditation touchy-feely? Perhaps. Can pausing for a few moments before the madness of the day sets in yield real-world results? Absolutely.

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