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3 Industries Permanently Changed by Disruptive Technology

3 Industries Permanently Changed by Disruptive Technology

Since the dawn of civilization, technological advances have transformed society in unimaginable ways. Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter was one of the first scholars to discuss the role of disruptive technology in depth. In the 1940s, he coined the term “creative disruption”, which refers to the jarring changes technology has on industries and consumer lifestyles.

During the industrial revolution, creative disruption took place on a scale never seen before in human history. New technology allowed manufacturers to boost production and create new products people could never have dreamed of a couple decades earlier. While these changes were welcomed by consumers, they were a bane to many professionals that soon found themselves out of work. Talented artisans were quickly replaced by assembly lines of people with fewer skills.

In the late 1990s, a second industrial revolution gripped our world. Computer technology created new jobs, while making others obsolete. Computers also changed the nature of existing jobs, because many tasks were replaced by computers. They have also permanently changed the way people interact with each other. Here are 3 industries that have been disrupted by digital technology.

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Financial

The financial industry has been heavily disrupted by new technology. According to a report from PwC, massive changes are expected through 2020 and beyond. PwC find that the driving forces of disruptive technology have accelerated since the end of the global financial crisis.

The post-crisis regulatory frameworks have been gradually settling into place, and financial institutions have been adjusting their business models accordingly. It is now becoming obvious that the accelerating pace of technological change is the most creative force—and also, the most destructive one—in the financial services ecosystem today.

Bank of America and Charles Schwab have been around for centuries. Digital technology has been a double edged sword for brick-and-mortar banks. They use computers to offer timelier service, reduce staffing needs, and improve actuarial processes. On the other hand, digital technology has created new competitors that have taken on the world’s largest banks. Disruptors like Paypal and Stripe earning market share of the payment processing industry.

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Startups like Betterment are rapidly gaining market share from millennials that shun traditional financial institutions in their quest to find more affordable service and streamline their approach to investing. Betterment currently manages over $5 billion, so clearly disrupting traditional wealth management powerhouses.

Healthcare

The healthcare industry is growing at unprecedented pace. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare jobs are expected to grow at an annualized rate of 26% by 2022. Growth in the healthcare industry is largely attributed to digital technology. Many disruptive companies offer more direct and automated solutions to help customers reach their healthcare goals. Consumers no longer need to rely on physical trainers or fitness coaches, because they receive similar benefits from wearable devices like Fitbit, which track everything from sleep patterns to daily movements. They also use apps like MyFitnessPal’s Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker to monitor calorie intakes.

Even pets have benefited from healthcare technology TopDogDinners and other pet food companies have developed custom dog food that is tailored a dog’s individual nutritional needs.

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Pet owners can provide relevant information such as their dog’s breed, weight, age, activity to get customized nutritional advice for their dog. Using simple, natural ingredients and complex computer science, TopDogDinners proves that the trend of technology, as a means to improve health, is only just getting started.

Travel

The travel agent is a thing of the past. Companies like Expedia aggregate data on thousands of flights and hotels from around the web to give the consumer the best deal for the next trip. Even disruptive travel companies like Expedia are being disrupted by new adapter like Airbnb. Instead of booking a stay at an expensive hotel, you can work directly with the owner to reserve an entire house or apartment.

Companies like Uber are disrupting the taxi industry. Consumers can get cheaper, higher quality service with their smartphone apps.

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Consumers have always reaped the rewards of disruptive technology, techniques, and companies who promise to bring products and services faster, cheaper, and with greater efficiency. We should forget that there’s another side to this coin and that is: the worker. As one industry become obsolete so does someone’s job; but with one job lost another is gained. The artisan who got replaced during the industrial revolution would still be needed to make the cast iron mold that shape the future.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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Last Updated on August 13, 2020

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

2. What is the purpose of meditation?

The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

Less Physical, More Psychological

Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

The First Benefit of Meditation

The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

  1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
  2. Relaxation of the body

Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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This benefit takes you to the second one.

The Second Benefit of Meditation

While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

  1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
  2. Observance
  3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
  4. Patience

Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

1. Energy

Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

2. Observance

The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

3. Peacefulness

Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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4. Patience

The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

  • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
  • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
  • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
  • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
  • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
  • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

Final Thoughts

Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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