The older I get, the more I learn about myself. When I was young and had a lot fewer responsibilities, I could get by with tackling each day flying by the seat of my pants. In recent years, with a house to run and kids to parent, my life has gotten much busier and, consequently, my head has gotten much fuller! I now realize that meditation is one of the best things for me to not just disconnect but to actually reconnect and recharge.
Meditation has helped me with my relationships. It has made a major difference in my car racing by helping me get in (and stay in) the zone. Meditation has also helped me in my business in terms of increased focus and clarity of mind so that I can get more work done in much shorter periods of time.
What does meditation have to do with information security? Quite a bit. Let me explain.
You see, the art and practice of meditation is all about being present. Meditation is about developing the ability to take the time to look at everything around you – very closely and different from what you’re used to. Meditation helps you see things that are right before your eyes that you might not have thought about before and do so to the exclusion of everything else.
The neat thing about meditation is that it creates an environment for the dust to settle so that you can look past the noise and gain clarity on the things that really matter. In the context of information security, the analogy is simple. In day-to-day IT work, you're pulled in multiple directions and end up paying more attention to the urgent noise rather than the seemingly trivial, yet more important, things that will have a truly lasting impact. When this balance is skewed, things can get sideways very quickly.
Looking at information security from the perspective of someone who is meditating, it's basic Pareto principle (80/20 rule) stuff that allows you to focus on the vital few security issues rather than the trivial many security distractions. This is a very difficult pattern to break. I know because I’ve experienced it. In my personal life, in my racing, and in my business. If you’re on and continue down that path, it's virtually guaranteed that you’ll be missing the important things. You'll continue to put out fires but, unfortunately, to the exclusion of the other tasks that could have prevented the fires in the first place.
You have one of two choices. You can stay on the frantic path of distraction or you can rise to a new level of awareness. It's not just the security of your network that depends on which path you take. It's also the security of your job and, ultimately, your career.
Start by taking action today. Download a meditation app or watch videos on YouTube to see how it works. Once you get the hang of it and realize the value it can add to your life, it can fundamentally transform how you work and the outcomes you can achieve. Like me being in the zone when racing my car, it’ll eventually seem effortless and that’s such a neat thing to experience.