Social Distancing – And Meditating – With Friends: Polar CEO Kunal Gupta

“Visualize where you are. It may be a city or a neighborhood … the building … the home … the floor … the room.”

In honor of Mental Health Month, we did something a little different in this episode.

The second half is a guided meditation session led by Kunal Gupta who, in addition to being CEO and founder of Polar, is also a passionate proponent and teacher of mindfulness techniques. [The meditation session starts at timestamp 15:55.]

Kunal first got interested in meditation about six years ago. Despite founding a successful company and hitting all of the professional milestones he’d set for himself, something was missing.

“It was a real turning point for me to start to look within vs. looking outside for answers,” Kunal says. He found meditation to be a useful and efficient method for becoming more aware and mindful of his surroundings.

Here’s a secret, though: “Pretty much all meditation is the same,” Kunal says. “For anybody newer to meditation, my guidance is to not get too hung up on the technique or style – either you meditate or you don’t, there’s no such thing as good or bad.”

In March when the pandemic started, Kunal left New York City for his hometown Toronto, and he’s been hosting meditation sessions every weekday at 9:30 am EST on Zoom during lockdown for colleagues, friends and family. All are welcome.

“The goal is really to cultivate a skill, and the skill is awareness,” Kunal says.

In a business context that means bringing more awareness to what’s happening with your team, what’s happening with clients and how you feel during stressful moments. “It’s completely changed the way that I run the business,” Kunal says.

Also in this episode: Practical meditation tips; why cutting down on Slack communications is good for work/life balance; and how starting meetings with a meditation session can help create a sense of trust. To date, Kunal estimates he’s meditated with thousands of people in the media and ad tech industry, and counting.

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