by Sunil Bali, 21-09-14

Before I escaped from cubicle nation, one of my pet hates was to be copied in on email in order to be kept in the loop.

As psychologist to sports superstars Dr. Steve Peters says, "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." Hence I’ve always preferred to be kept out of the loop, and away from the noise; after all, you don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.

The word "noise" is derived from the Latin word "nausea".

The ability to switch off from the noise and stay in your own loop not only boosts creativity and productivity but also has significant health benefits.

Whilst researching the relaxation effect of different types of music, the cardiologist Professor Luciano Bernardi, discovered that the silence between tracks proved to be more relaxing than the music.

Last year, research by Dr. Imke Kirste of Duke University, showed that periods of daily silence prompted cell development in the hippocampus, the brain region related to the formation of memory.

Increasingly, silence is a resource which people are prepared to pay for, with sales of noise cancelling headphones, meditation retreats, and wilderness holidays at an all time high.

The practice of mindfulness and meditation (M&M), which for so long has been viewed by the mainstream as the domain of tree huggers, is now sweeping through Silicon Valley and has become the pastime of the business elite.

Notable M&M practitioners include:

  • Jeff Weiner – CEO, LinkedIn
  • Eric Schmidt – Chairman, Google, where they have Mindful Lunches
  • Ray Dalio – CEO, Bridgewater Associates (the world’s largest hedge fund)
  • And the late Steve Jobs

At his funeral in October 2011, the friends and family of Jobs received a parting gift: A wooden box containing a copy of Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda’s spiritual memoir, which is a story of awakening and self-realization through a daily practice of M&M.

Numerous research studies have shown that a regular meditation practice will reduce your cortisol level, blood pressure, and levels of anxiety as well as increasing your immune response, resilience and ability to focus.

On a personal note, I’ve found that the more mindful I am and the more I meditate, the easier it is to hear what my soul is saying.


A woman visited a psychic of some local repute.

In a dark and gloomy room, gazing at the Tarot cards laid out before her, the Tarot reader delivered the bad news.

“There is no easy way to say this so I’ll just be blunt, prepare yourself to be a widow. Your husband will die a violent and horrible death this year."

Visibly shaken, the woman stared at the psychic’s lined face, then at the single flickering candle, then down at her hands.

She took a few deep breaths to compose herself.

She simply had to know. She met the Tarot reader’s gaze, steadied her voice, and asked:

"Will I get away with it?"