Initially, I focused more on meditating to get through the week with ease and confidence. But what I really needed to do was envision my success.
Julie Gramlich grew up meditating daily as a member of Soka Gakkai International. Recently her practice has helped her excel during interviews and handle a busy job search. To manage her full plate of job search, volunteering, exercising, reading, family time, and the occasional sky diving adventure, she makes sure to meditate first thing every morning. Julie shared with us how the benefits of meditation never end as long as you practice daily.
Can you tell me a story about how meditation improved your performance?
Last week, I had 13 interviews, some of which were in person, and others were on the phone. For every interview, I did anywhere between 1-10 hours of research, test and/or a writing sample. Plus, there was follow-up time that was required.
In addition, I had a number of pro-bono leadership opportunities that took up at least 8 hours of my time and responsibilities for my home. Overall, I was feeling extremely overwhelmed.
Initially, I focused more on meditating to get through the week with ease and confidence. But what I really needed to do was envision my success. During moments of intense worry, I would meditate to calm my breathing, re-focus my attention on only my next interview, and enjoy the entire process of interviewing.
That resulted in me taking deeper breaths, smiling at strangers, enjoying my favorite cup of coffee and really taking the time to enjoy life. This allowed me to appreciate how I had the opportunity to meet many fascinating and intelligent people, visit multiple offices, engage with new people in creative ways and offer my value to various companies.
Job hunting is a unique way to figure out whether you and the company are the right fit for each other. Recognizing that when you are rejected for jobs, it was the best decision for you, as you probably shouldn’t have been working there anyways. It’s also an exciting thing to look forward too. How many people in the world have the opportunity to interview at that specific company, for that specific role? Very few.
By meditating, I bring out my inner wisdom to redevelop my perspective, the courage to apply for jobs that I may not have quite enough experience for, and the confidence to share my skills and passions during the interviewing process.
Do you think meditation gives you a competitive edge?
Meditation definitely gives me a competitive edge. Friends always say that I live a really “balanced” life.
Every single day, I follow these daily exercises of:
Meditating/Chanting for 30-40 minutes per day.
Exercising for an hour per day (even if that’s just walking for an hour).
Reading some type of engaging content, whether it’s online, on my Kindle or an actual hardcover book.
Spending time with friends and family, volunteering and making new friends.
Eating healthy salads and fruits.
Due to my overall “regular” healthy routine, I feel like I am a calmer and happier person who can add more value to the lives of acquaintances, colleagues, friends, and family. People enjoy talking to happy people.
Smile at stranger. Make their days brighter, even for just a few minutes. That’s my philosophy! Meditation definitely gives me a competitive edge over my negative tendencies, and allows me to easily embrace my positive tendencies.
Do you think that anyone can benefit from meditation?
Absolutely! Yes. I always encourage people to try it out, but I also don’t want anyone to feel any pressure. I tend to give them the tools, and allow them to make the choice to begin meditating or not. If you have questions, reach out to me!
In this cute YouTube interview two young girls walk around Boston, asking complete strangers, “What is Happiness?” In this light and fun clip, the two girls share the Buddhist definition of happiness: “develop the strength inside of you to overcome your problems.”
How did you get started with meditation?
Luckily enough, I was born into the Nichiren Buddhism with the Soka Gakkai International, a 501(c)(3) in 192 countries and territories worldwide. It’s a community-driven, grassroots effort with more than 2,600 neighborhood discussion meetings every month that are critical to its ongoing success. More than 85% of the leadership are unpaid volunteers, who work out of the goodness of their hearts to help others become happy in this lifetime.
I practice the Lotus Sutra – one of the last sutras that Siddharatha (Shakyamuni) developed. Proclaiming that all people can become happy in this lifetime no matter what shape, size or form, the Lotus Sutra is a unique, all-encompassing teaching that is not based on rituals or formality; rather, it’s based on our faith and our heart.
Nichiren then took the title of the Lotus Sutra in Sanskrit and developed the meditative chant.
Every time I meditate and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, my goal differs. Overall, I am striving to become a fundamentally enlightened person, who can withstand the winds of turbulent times and help others become enlightened.
What is your meditation routine?
Since I grew up with the practice, the ideas, the meditation, I’ve grown accustomed to starting my day off with good ol’ meditation. Besides the regular stuff of getting dressed, eating breakfast and brushing my teeth, I also make sure to recite part of the Lotus Sutra every morning, and then chant for at least 5-10 minutes.
When I chant, I strive to manifest the life force, wisdom and good fortune within me. Afterwards, I always feel in rhythm with the universe, meaning that the bus comes on time, strangers smile, and my boss is in a fantastic mood. The days that I don’t chant, I notice that I am more anxious and more annoyed when things don’t go smoothly. That’s why, I always make sure to meditate and chant before I leave the house, even for just one minute. But meditation is not easy.
The more you build it into your daily habits of getting ready for work, buying groceries, etc., meditation will take on a life of its own and become second-nature, as it has for me. Like any consistent practice such as exercise or daily TV surfing, it takes the willingness and determination to make it happen.
Don’t worry. Just give it some time. If you make meditation a priority every day for even 10 minutes, you’ll realize how easy it is in no time!