Streaking has been on my mind lately. I recently ended a 68-day streak of meditating with a MUSE device. MUSE is an electronic device that senses brain waves and provides neural feedback. Unlike many of the other streaks that have come to an end for me: working out, eating healthy, journaling, not swearing … I ended this one intentionally.
My jump off of the meditation MUSE wagon was purposeful for two reasons:
- I didn’t want to haul my meditation device around on a recent camping trip.
- My meditation practice had become a “check the box” endeavor.
Rather than chase after the electronic birds that chirp in my earphones when I have reached a state of calm, I decided to meditate on the shores of Mustus Lake without the use of the device and listen intently for “real birds”. Letting go of the streak proved to be more difficult for me than I had anticipated. I feared that if I were to miss even one day I would not be able to return to my meditation practice.
Have you ever met someone addicted to not smoking? These people can tell you exactly how many years, months, days and hours it has been since their last cigarette. Even though no physical addiction remains they fear that even one cigarette would have them right back to full-time smoking. Their streak of not-smoking would be over.
In both of these examples, there is an underlying chronic anxiety. The same anxiety that started the smoking addiction or the anxiety driving a strict adherence to a meditation schedule hasn’t gone anywhere, it has merely taken another form.
It is also possible for anxiety to be too low. A team or business on a winning streak may be experiencing a string of good luck. Complacency can set in, costs go unchecked, practice drills are completed with a “check the box” mentality and the winning streak ends when luck or the competition changes.
Business and team leaders are better served by paying careful attention to preparation and training in addition to the current results. Both winning and losing streaks can create expectations.
“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training” Archilochos, Greek Poet
Rather than ensuring my next meditation streak surpasses 68 days, my focus will be on the quality of each session.
For anyone who feels duped by the title and picture (courtesy Frank the Tank from the motion picture “Old School”), I offer the following thoughts on the other form of streaking:
- Any effort to get out of your comfort zone can be growth producing.
- Some efforts are best carried out well after sunset.
- What happens in Nipawin stays in Nipawin.