Mindfulness Note: Regression To The Mean & Spirituality

Joe Bayen
3 min readMar 22, 2022

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In an effort to demonstrate the importance of constantly working to operate with a calm and balanced mindset, I shared with our team the following video by Shaolin Master Shi Heng Yi, filled with timeless wisdom, including the following quotes that I am paraphrasing:

In this world, if you plant a seed, it will never become a tree within a week. Anything that grows too fast will fail quickly. Focusing on building a solid foundation and being patient with the process matter most. Repetition is critical to mastery; repetition makes perfect.

Aware that leveraging a spiritual point of view to make a point might not be appealing to all, I leaned toward mathematics and probabilities to further validate the importance of focusing on returning to a balanced state of mind, as a unit, to achieve optimal results.

As a business, the repercussions of the regression to the mean also apply to us. For instance, more often than not, great business news will be followed by not-so-great news or bad news. Therefore, to avoid having our emotions land in a volatile state, embracing a muted reaction most of the time, regardless of the news, will contribute to maintaining our positive momentum.

It’s easy to say but hard to do, and I am not immune to overreacting at times; however, working to constantly focus on operating in a balanced state is a win in and of itself.

The problem with demonstrating too much joy is that it can throw off our natural balance and make us prone to mistakes, notably via overconfidence. That’s one of the reasons we avoid using superlative in company reports and stick to the facts in a very flat, and unemotional manner.

However, It is totally fine to express emotions wholeheartedly when praising anyone on the team for their efforts. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with expressing emotions to each other as it strengthens our bonds and makes us stronger as a unit.

The problem with not managing our emotional highs appropriately is that the process can be taxing to our system, mentally and physically. It can negatively impact our positive momentum since it will take us longer to recover from the inevitable deep lows, for the simple fact that what goes up must come down.

There is, however, a way around tasting emotional highs with limited consequences, and that’s through the use of rituals, such as a personal mode of operation that could include set times for journaling, walking, napping, or relaxing on a daily basis.

Having that type of structure is an effective way to neutralize being overjoyed by specific events. The structure creates an environment that quickly enables anyone to return to a neutral emotional baseline.

However, sticking to rituals for too long can have negative consequences, stifling creativity being one of them. Going on vacation, a long weekend, etc., becomes important tools to help scramble the mind to help foster more creativity.

It’s all a balancing act.

The bottom line is that positive momentum comes from the center, from a balanced state. And the hardest part is not managing the lows, though it does require some effort to get out of a mental slump, and eating healthily and walking helps a lot.

Managing the highs becomes the real challenge because why would anyone have a desire to curb their enthusiasm? However, practicing the art of curbing our enthusiasm will help us distance ourselves from anyone out there, for the simple fact that It’s incredibly hard to do.

The following quote from Rudyard Kipling’s famed poem “ If “sums it all up nicely:

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same; […] Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And — which is more — you’ll be a Man, my son!

You can read more about the regression to the mean and its applications in science, sports, and more here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regression_toward_the_mean.

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