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Remaining collected and focused amidst the chaos and pressure of the work environment: Retired Wall Street exec credits Transcendental Meditation
by Janet Hoffman
Transcendental Meditation Program for Women Professionals Translate This Article
6 July 2014
In the conclusion of a recent interview, Anita Warner, who retired as a Vice President after a successful career on Wall Street, recalls how, from the outset, her twice-daily Transcendental Meditation (TM) practice helped her to remain calm, focused, and productive amidst the chaos and pressures of the work environment. The interview was conducted by Janet Hoffman, executive director of the Transcendental Meditation Program for Women Professionals in the United States.
See previous articles in this series:
∙ Winning on Wall Street: An interview with Anita Warner
∙ Transcendental Meditation enhances leadership performance on Wall Street
JANET HOFFMAN: What was the quality of life like for your peers who had to withstand the same pressures as you did but who hadn't learned TM?
ANITA WARNER: I worked in the Bond Sales and Trading Department. The set-up of the workplace was an open trading floor with about 300 people in one large room transacting hundreds of different transactions a day. The environment was supercharged, loud and chaotic. Hundreds of millions of dollars of trades were transacted in minutes and the pressure that went along with this was intense. In order to be able to compete competently in this atmosphere, it was necessary to remain calm and yet totally alert in the midst of havoc. There were no breaks for lunch . . . .
Working in this type of environment day in and day out for 10 hours a day had its effect on the participants. Many at the time were involved in recreational drug use and high alcohol abuse was commonplace. Resorting to these kinds of unhealthy behaviors snowballed because their minds and health could deteriorate as a result. A lot of drug or alcohol use could prove deleterious to one's career because it was necessary that one stay completely engaged in what was happening in the marketplace at all times—that was essential to one's success.
JANET: It must have been uncomfortable to witness people around you turning to these kinds of support that ultimately made them less healthy. Meanwhile, you never entered into that lifestyle because you didn't feel the need. Can you explain personally and more specifically what benefits of Transcendental Meditation practice contributed to your work life being effective, successful, and cutting edge?
ANITA: I had already been doing the TM technique for a while when I entered the field so had already started to accumulate a good foundation in myself of calm and clarity. And I think this gave me the confidence to compete in a very competitive field. I believed in myself and was not shy about navigating uncharted waters for women. I also was able to remain collected and focused in the midst of the chaos and the pressure of the work environment, and operated effectively and efficiently without losing my composure, even while the intensity of the work was causing others around me to be very stressed.
Meditating before work gave me the energy to handle the job. And then meditating again at the end of the business day, before going out for the evening—which I oftentimes had to do to entertain clients—was a way to decompress from the pressure naturally, without drugs and alcohol. Being in sales, you have to come across well. I found that my positive attitude and ability to harmoniously interface between my clients and my firm contributed enormously to my success. I also cultivated very good relationships with coworkers which helped to facilitate what I was trying to accomplish on behalf of my clients and added to my ability to succeed.
JANET: If you could give advice to a woman just starting out now in a similar career, or someone already established in her career but who is concerned about stress or lack of focus or success, what would you say to her?
ANITA: Be kind to yourself and take the Transcendental Meditation course. It pays for itself over and over in every way imaginable. You'll never regret it. ———————————
Source: Transcendental Meditation Program for Women Professionals Blog
The Transcendental Meditation Program for Women Professionals in the United States is the official women's organization teaching Transcendental Meditation exclusively to women.
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