Michael Gremley, the CEO of a Voice Prism who was interviewed for Project: Bloom told me that meditation had helped him change the focus of his business. “The story of the business is probably the biggest change that occurred because of learning to meditate,” said Michael. “As I became more aware, the decisions I made and the priorities I had changed. We have a software technology that measures stress and emotion in the voice. We tried many different applications for it: insurance risk assessment, call center monitoring, consumer research, and entertainment. We were working on a believability meter that could appear on TV for politicians, athletes, and movie stars for interviews. It was an interesting business idea, but it became unattractive to me after I was meditating. I realized it was part of America’s problem, the sensationalism of celebrities, and I just didn’t want to be part of that. I wanted to do something that would help people. Instead, I came up with the idea to screen active military personnel for post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as to include our technology in the VA’s suicide hotline. So, it was a dramatic shift in priorities of the business. Becoming more of a force for good in society rather than whatever it takes to maximize shareholder value. All of this has come at a time in the economy when things are the most volatile. Things have been tough for the business, and yet as volatile as things are right now, I’ve been absolutely calm internally through the past couple of years.
“I think it is literally the single most important thing a person can learn in their lifetime,” Michael stated. “And I don’t say that lightly. It establishes a relationship with your true self. Before, what I had was a sign-language-over-the-phone relationship with my true self. Now, I have a direct connection. It affects who you are, then affects every decision you make, and every interaction you have with people. It is that deep and profound.”