Rich Pierson is the other half of Headspace, the online meditation company that brings wellbeing, meditation and mindfulness to the masses. At HuffPost UK Lifestyle we're massive fans - you can start a free 10 day trial online (or download it to your smartphone) and it just involves 10 minutes of meditation each day.
Rich is one of the nine panellists at the Third Metric conference on 30 July in London, who are discussing - along with founder Arianna Huffington - the redefining of the word success to include wellbeing as well as money and power.
We were most curious however, to find out how Rich takes time out for himself and stays balanced.
You bring mindfulness and meditation to the masses - but how do you make time for yourself?
I have a little routine that I am pretty strict about. I get up about 6am for 45 minutes of meditation and then I surf for an hour, have breakfast and then get to the office for around 9.
I find that the combination of that routine coupled with regular annual leave really make a huge difference.
What do you do for a time-out when you feel like things are getting on top of you?
I go for a walk, turn my phone off and if I can, I grab my surfboard. If time is limited I take 10, which is part of our meditation programme.
How would you describe mindfulness to someone who has no clue what it is?
It's so difficult to explain an experience in words, but I will give it my best shot as a total beginner.
In it's simplest form, I think it's a skillful way to learn how to train your mind. in learning how your mind works, you learn how to react more effectively in the moment, which in turn allows you to handle and accept life as it comes. it really is the most profound, yet brutally simple technique. Almost too simple for our minds to understand. My biggest advice is try it and learn for yourself.
What are the main challenges with running a global business and grounding yourself? How do you manage it?
It really is tricky and I definitely struggle with it. The travel and the time differences wreak havoc, sometimes with my surf schedule, which is very upsetting.
On the whole, the biggest thing is my commitment to my meditation practice, 45 minutes in the morning followed by 45 minutes as soon as I finish my work, really help to segment my day.
RICH'S TOP TIPS FOR TIME-OUT
- I have periods of the day where I duck out of technology completely
- I never have my phone or laptop in my bedroom
- I never check emails until I get to work
- I never check emails on annual leave
I genuinely feel that we will look back in 10 years time at technology and it will be viewed in the same way we view cigarettes today, and people will say: "What the hell were we doing?". It obviously has an important role to play in the modern world, but it's definitely out of balance.
What are the small ways in which we can start giving back to our families, our communities and the world on a daily basis?
I think the most profound effect of meditation is that it teaches you to listen and be patient. I think the kindest thing you can do for anyone is be completely present and listen. Listening without any intention to force yourself on a situation is so simple, but so powerful. That has a huge ripple effect beyond the person you have been patient with.
Do you have a mantra on how to keep balanced and happy?
Meditate, then surf, then meditate and then do some surfing.
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Do you feel like you get everything you need to do done?
There is always more to do, the key is accepting you're not superman. Once you get that and realise the world doesn't revolve around your ability to make stuff happen, you don't mind having a long to-do list.
How do you like to unwind?
Hang out with my amazing girlfriend, surf, meditate, cook, ski and hike.
Cook Yourself Up A Luxurious Brunch
You deserve a breakfast that doesn't come shrink-wrapped every now and again, and cooking it yourself will make it all the more scrumptious. (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/05/egg-recipes-breakfast-brunch_n_987844.html">Get some <em>egg</em>cellent inspiration, here.</a>)
Write A Note Of Gratitude To Your Best Friend
...when it <em>isn't</em> her birthday. Make a list of all the reasons she earns the title of BFF: She'll feel appreciated and grateful to have <em>you</em> in her life, and writing it will remind you how lucky you are to have her, too.
Lace up your sneaks, leash up your love and GO. No matter how you decide to move, choose to leave your cell at home -- grant yourself this time to be present with <em>your own</em> thoughts, and not the thoughts of the Twittersphere.
Take A Nap
You'll wake up refreshed and ready to tackle any problem that seemed impossible pre-snooze. (Want to take a nap at work? We're all for it! <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/26/how-to-nap-at-work_n_1232352.html">Find some tips, here.</a>)
Get Lost In Your City
Google Maps has saved your life again and again, but it's dulled the wonders of wandering. Why not take a break from knowing where you're going and instead explore the undiscovered?
Ritualize Your Morning Cup Of Joe
For a lot of us, our A.M. cup of coffee blends into the frantic "routine" of getting to work on time. Consider setting your alarm 10 minutes earlier to enjoy every aspect of your delicious morning ritual. (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ora-nadrich/meditation-practice_b_2114526.html">Some tips to turn your morning cup of coffee into a meditation -- it works for tea, too!</a>)
Sit Like This
Maybe you don't have time to unplug today. Fine. What about five minutes to sit? Good. Get yourself in this postion -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/22/stress-tips-yoga-poses_n_2736129.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS%20for%20the%20Soul">Viparita Karani, or Legs Up the Wall</a> -- for just five minutes and feel the stress of the day evaporate.
Take An Art Class
Remember when Art was your favorite subject in school? Relive that release of creativity. (Sampling the Elmer's Glue is not encouraged.)
Take A Page From Your Grandmother's Recipe Book
Try crafting a meal from your roots, whether it's from a page of your Grandma's passed-down recipe book or the extravagant birthday dinner your dad used to cook you as a kid. One rule: No looking up the steps online!
Read A Book
Preferably one with pages that you turn, not tap.
Dig Through Some Childhood Memorabilia
Dust off those boxes of fourth grade genius: No one could compete with your report on Ulysses S. Grant (or so said your No. 1 fan: Mom). Revel in that fantastic feeling of nostalgia -- you are sure to find some gems!
Take A Bath
It won't be long until waterproof phones become the norm. For now, light a candle and take a nice, long tech-free soak -- you'll emerge <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/09/bath-bomb-recipe_n_2431955.html">relaxed</a> and peaceful.
Feed The Ducks
Talk about appreciating the present moment: Those ducks won't ignore you for their Instagram feed. You'll get their full attention in exchange for a little bread.
Pick a space in your home and get organized. Doing a bit of a home-cleanse will help you feel <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sophie-keller/declutter-home-cleanse_b_1166467.html">less chaotic on the inside</a>.
Write Stream Of Consciousness
Whip out a pen and start scribbling -- you might be surprised to see all that's on your mind, without the interruptions and distractions from your external gadgets.
Pick a crowded part of town and observe: People are always up to curious things that you won't notice unless your head's up!
Spend some time doing something good for someone else -- you'll reap the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terri-cole/volunteering-health_b_2189477.html">many benefits of altruism</a>, and maybe even dig up a new hobby.
Play A Board Game
Just because they recently <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/06/monopoly-cat-piece_n_2629561.html">swapped the iconic iron piece for a cat </a>doesn't mean your favorite classics aren't worth a revisit.
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