Apparently, a lot of people think that meditation is for losers.
If you type "Meditation is for" on Google the #2 option is "Meditation is for losers". And #3 is "Meditation is for everyone". Is everyone a loser then? Let's try to figure out this whole thing.
Imagine if you could turn your brain on and off at will!
Ahhhhh…. Just by thinking about it, you probably relaxed a bit, at least for a second… and then thousands of other thoughts started to appear.
How many times have you imagined a whole situation, felt the situation (maybe got angry, sad, or anxious), and then it never happened? But at the moment you felt like it was real.
This happens daily to most of us, sometimes without even noticing. We allow our brain to dictate the state that we are in. And it should be the other way around. We should be able to decide the state that we want to be in.
The problem, as Tony Robbins mentions, is that we have been surviving for so many years that our brains are wired to help us achieve that. Not to be happy.
We can train our brain to allow us to be happy. It is just a matter of “changing its code”. And meditation can allow you to do that.
I thought meditation wasn’t for me. It is almost impossible for me to sit still for 30 seconds, how was I supposed to keep my brain silent? I was that kid who lived at the principal’s office. I had too much energy, and it got me into trouble most of the time.
And before sharing my story of how I got into meditation I want to share with you something else.
Most people that know me are aware of my discipline and willpower, yet I still haven’t been able to hit that “90 days in a row” achievement on Headspace. But my friend Juan Romero has been able to build a strong habit. He has been meditating for more than 90 days in a row.
Find Support in Others
Just like Juan did, I have also realized the value of feeling that you are not alone. He motivates me to keep working a building the habit of daily meditation.
A few days ago I reached the “90 days in a row” achievement on Headspace.
To be honest, the aspect of milestones was one of the things that hooked my gamer/competitive mind into the world of meditation. I had always been skeptical about this kind of “treatments”, right now I wish I could sit with my younger self and tell him “oh boy, you are so wrong”.
But that would be like Biff from Back to the Future trying to go back and tell his younger self that there’s a way to get rich without the future's sports almanac... Impossible. And like any other thing in life, if you want something for yourself, you have to do it on your own.
After living abroad for three years a bunch of dormant feelings started to arise, feelings that I had mistakenly related to being “shy” until I finally understood and accepted that I had been carrying a mix of depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety.
I had hidden these feelings from everyone until the day I decided to talk to my mom about what I thought I had, since then I’ve opened up to my closest friends and things have gotten way better over time.
One day, after listening to a podcast that led me to another podcast, I heard about ”Headspace”, they offered a 10-day trial so I decided to give it a try. After a couple of days, I started liking it and asked my friend Ale “Forever Pasillo” Sanoja if he had ever used it, to which he replied “of course!”. As I added him as a buddy in the app, I realized how important it is to feel you’re not alone.
When people ask me about the benefit Headspace has brought into my day to day life I always say, “It’s the same, but everything’s easier”. And don’t get me wrong, I still can’t approach to a girl without thinking the Sun might explode, but I’m working on it, and I know I’ll get there soon enough.
Take the Red Pill
Let's say that you want to be one of the world’s most renowned and successful entrepreneurs.
A logical first step in that journey would be to find out how the current most renowned entrepreneurs got there. To learn from their journey and see what we could replicate.
Let’s say that you found out that 80% of them have milk and cereal for breakfast. Yes, it is true that it just may be correlation and not causality. Most probably just having milk and cereal for breakfast won’t make you successful… But it wouldn’t hurt to try right?
That’s how I got involved with meditation.
Tim Ferriss, on his podcast, interviews top performers such as Jamie Foxx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Seth Godin, Tony Robbins, and many others. And he found out that around 80% of them do some sort of mindful practice (like meditation). He recommends people to start meditating with Headspace using their trial of 10 free days.
It wouldn’t hurt to try. And then I found out that the app looks very much like a game because of all the milestones, different levels you could unlock, etc. I was hooked.
At first I said I would just do the free trial. I am very disciplined with my budget, and at the moment I didn’t need any more fixed costs.
After seeing the benefits of those 10 days I understood that It was not going to be a fixed cost, it was going to be an investment. I made the decision to pay for the whole year, and by doing so I only had to commit to $6 a month (less than we can spend in coffee any given week).
I had taken the red pill.
And I say this because to me, the simplest way to describe the changes that I’ve seen thanks to daily meditation, is that I can see the matrix. I feel like Neo.
Whenever any given thought or feeling tries to take over I can watch it and decide if I am going to embrace it or let it go. Obviously, some days I may be more connected than others. I said I feel like Neo, not that I am Neo. Not yet.
I can now see conflicts as something positive because I don’t let the negative feelings that come with it affect me.
You should try it; I promise you will find value. Juan and I are already benefiting from it. And we would like to add more buddies to our Headspace journey.
Invest in yourself. Start with 10 minutes a day. Sometimes you spend more than that on social media, watching videos that may not add value to your life. Invest in yourself, you deserve it.
Your journey could also motivate someone else. Just as Juan motivates me to keep striving for that “90 days in a row” milestone.
One of your friends may be having a battle with depression or anxiety. Learning about meditation and Headspace may help them. By liking or sharing this article you could provide value to them. Thanks for doing so.
Learning and sharing knowledge are my passions, let’s connect if those are yours too.
Alejandro I. Sanoja