My back and forth experience with one of the cornerstones of self-improvement and how I’ve leveraged it with one strategy.
One of the largest cornerstones to self-improvement is meditation. If you want to know the inner workings of your own mind, you need to be able to go deep within your mind.
One of the keys to unlocking that is through the age-old technique of meditation. Meditation also provides a whole host of improvements as science has uncovered time and time again.
But even though I know how powerful meditation can be and how transformative it can be when practiced, I have been at odds with the practice.
I was first introduced to it 10 years ago through the Katimavik program. Some of the members of the group I was with knew of someone who practiced meditations and sold crystals and other various things.
One thing lead to another and she agreed to come to our house and we could do a meditation session as a group.
At the time, I didn’t really think much of it. After all, the session resulted in me taking a nap for what felt like several hours when it only took 20 minutes maybe.
Both I and another one of the group members entered into this deep slumber from it.
Since then I never understood meditation. Why bother doing something like this? How does this improve our own mindsets?
To this day I still can’t get my head wrapped around it. After all, many of my realization in life stem from the careful reflection of myself, what I’m doing, and who I’ve become. There doesn’t have to be a huge need to connect to a higher individual or enter into a flow state through meditation.
I can do the same sort of thing with my own writing where I focus more on telling my emotions and use it as a reflective tool.
Since my first introduction, applying this strategy on a daily basis was difficult. I wondered what the point was in all of it. How are you able to leverage such a technique.
Only after this long of a time have I learned more about what meditation can be used for.
The biggest roadblock for myself with meditation was that it was impractical in my life. Why bother to meditate — a form of reflection — when I could simply reflect on past actions?
Instead of using it as an opportunity to reflect and potentially slip into my higher self, I’ve managed to find other reasons for using this: focus.
There are numerous distractions in our lives and they all feed off of our dopamine in some way. From checking our phones for notifications to food cravings and more. People can find it challenging to focus on tasks at hand when our minds can wander off at any given moment.
For me, my focus tends to wane by the afternoon. Normally my mornings are devoted to the most difficult tasks or pressing ones. I can generally maintain my focus for those tasks.
But by the afternoon I routinely cave and do nothing to improve my focus.
It’s during these times where I pull away from my desk and meditate for a little bit.
Instead of using the opportunity to reflect or attempt to connect to my higher self, the focus is to get into a deep flow state. To calm down all of the noise going on in my head and focus on what must be done.
After the 10 minutes is up, there is a greater sense of motivation to finish the last bit of work left. Considering how my work ethic has been lately, it’s usually a task or two that doesn’t take a long time to complete.
Still, this focus through meditation is important for the future. It develops a new habit, but also allows you to reinforce those habits for later. I say this because procrastination is something that comes up for me on occasion. No matter the size of it, sometimes I find myself putting it off. The meditation is a way for me to tell myself “no matter how small it is, it’s important to do it.”
Because meditation has helped me to realize that, it’s allowed me to add a reason for why I should meditate.
While there are plenty of valid reasons for doing something in life that benefits you, there is still some level of effort involved. Again, I can obtain the same sort of benefits faster by pondering over myself and reflecting on myself than by meditating for 10 minutes.
All the same, it’s easier to get your dopamine fix by playing video games or checking your phone than it is to do a task for a certain period of time or completing said task.
It’s important that you find the reasons why you want to do something in your life. Otherwise, you’ll never find yourself being able to do it. That or you’ll run into barriers and eventually stop.