Being Zen in an MBA World

When I started this blog, it was because I was working a job I hated while applying to business school for the second time and I just needed to talk to people who were going through the same things. Now that I’ve been thrown back into classes, meetings, and an obscene amount of reading, this blog has become a source of stress. I have a reminder on my phone to blog once a month, and every time it reminds me I want to scream, “With what free time, you monster?” and chuck it across the room. Thankfully, I have so far refrained from any MBA-on-smartphone violence, though I make no promises for the future.

What happened to me? I love blogging. I love talking to other MBAs, whether current, former or aspiring. I hate that blogging now feels like a chore that I must finish as quickly as possible so I can get back to analyzing case studies. What have you done to me, business school? What happened to my sense of joy??

I have come to understand that one of the best and most important things you can do for yourself in business school (besides, of course, getting in, acing your classes, distinguishing yourself, making lifelong connections, and getting a job…you know, the easy stuff) is just to be zen.

Zen Frog

I don’t know why, but I find that frog hilarious.

Being zen in business school sounds a bit like staying dry in a hurricane, but hear me out. The path to zen can take many forms. Maybe it’s that early morning run you take with Britney Spears pounding in your headphones. Maybe it’s the weekend stress baking that keeps your sweet tooth satisfied all week long. Maybe it’s yoga or meditation. Maybe you just need to hit a punching bag with your professor’s face on it for 30 minutes. To be zen, you just need to find that one activity that really makes you unwind and relax, and commit to doing that activity at a set time every day or week. I mean REALLY commit. If you halfway commit, and then decide to skip it because you procrastinated the night before and need to finish your homework before 8:00 am class, you’re only going to feel guilty, which will increase your stress, which will make you think you need to work harder, which will lead you to put off doing your de-stress activity yet again, which will eventually lead to a dramatic scene in which you throw a giant tantrum in your own bedroom, lobbing suitcases across the room, tearing curtains in twain, overturning armoires, and clearing entire shelves of their contents in your rage.

That may have been a scene from Citizen Kane, but regardless – IT COULD HAPPEN, PEOPLE!

If, like me, you’re short on zen these days, you can join me in taking the 30 Day Meditation Challenge put on by the wellness consultants at Mindfulness Based Achievement (Also known as MBA. See? It’s a sign!). Each morning for the next month you’ll get a 5 minute guided meditation delivered conveniently to your email inbox. I know, I know, that’s 5 minutes you could have spent trolling Facebook while avoiding your Accounting homework. But just think of all the zen points you’ll score.

I’ll report back next month and let you know whether my zen levels have gone through the roof. Until then, keep your heads up and remember to breathe! It’s only business school.



6 thoughts on “Being Zen in an MBA World

  1. sarahrs81 says:

    I use deep muscle relaxation technique. There a good half hour session on the Dartmouth counselling site. Slightly longer I know but helps getting rid of the tense muscles.

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