Why Meditation Sucks (And Why You Should Do It)
Let me clarify before going any further — what actually sucks is the general perception and bias towards meditation. Meditation is not the one solution to all your problems. Though, meditation is a great tool to overcome certain limitation and boundaries in order to push you in the right direction, fact is, meditation is awesome.
From day one the primary approach to my writing has been to cut the bullshit and get straight to the point, mainly due to the fact that I can’t stand listening to people who just never seem to get there.
This gets kind of complicated on the topic of meditation due to the general bias towards the topic by society, which I kinda attribute to medias ridiculous coverage on the topic. There seems to be no ending in the woo-woo descriptions on meditation in ladies magazines (or self-improvement for that matter), describing it as the one solution to all your problems.
Let me present my own perspective on meditation.
Meditation is the practice of concentration and clarity. It’s the training of the mind to focus on one task solely — to filter out one’s mental fog with a clear intent on where to go next. It’s the practice of observing one’s thought without judgement.
Please note that the total absence of woo-woo and the total presence of harmony. Meditation is not going to solve all your problems. Meditation is a tool rather than a solution. This is our starting point. With that being said, let’s get going.
Meditation is hyped. Anything that is hyped kind of suck per default for people who wants to join the hype, as the difficulty in finding decent information on the subject increases just as fast.
It took me quite a while to figure out that meditation was a good approach for a mind that was all over the place. Misaligned focus, no clear intent, mental fog, unable to connect on a deeper level with other human beings, I simply was not present.
The trigger for my interest in meditation took place after finishing a set of deadlifts. I was sitting on a bench catching my breath and getting some rest before my next set as I sneakily observed the people around me, you know, the kind of creepy [lengthy] observing one could only achieve when absolutely drop dead tired (sorry ladies). This moment of observance changed my perception on mental focus and clarity.
There was not a single person actually putting in the focus required to perform well. Everyone was all over the place, not focusing on their actual goal (I would hope) being at the gym. Conversations during sets, checking phones, carefully scanning the room if anyone is looking at them (WHAT IF THEY JUDGE ME), focusing on the hottie on the other side of the room.
In my opinion, this is a waste of time. I don’t like to waste time. If you’re not focused on what you’re doing, not trying to consistently push your boundaries, you’re wasting your time. This is when I decided I don’t want to waste my time by not being mentally focused.
Don’t hit the gym if you’re not focused on your actual goal — progression. Don’t go to lectures if you’re going to spend most of the time on Instagram. Don’t do anything that requires effort if you’re not mentally prepared for it. It’s a waste of time.
Same goes with relationships. Don’t spend time with your partner if you’re not giving them 100% of your attention. Don’t talk to your friends if you’re constantly checking your phone (and if you do, be prepared to have anyone with decent self-worth to ditch you in a moment). It’s better to give some 30 minutes of your undivided attention to someone rather than 2 hours of your semi-distracted self. It’s all about letting go of distractions.
The extent to which the lack of presence has infiltrated society is fucked. You really shouldn’t need more than fifteen minutes in a public area to grasp the width of this mental disease. Escaping your distracted self should be number one priority.
I decided to dive into the world of meditation. Truth to be told, my only prior experience of meditation was the power animal scene from Fight Club (oh the prejudice). Not a good place to start off from.
All I knew was that I definitely did not intend to find my own power animal, that’s for sure. What I was looking for was a straightforward approach to increase my mental capacity to focus on one task solely.
Spending hours and hours of research I came across this great Ted Talk by Andy Puddicombe, which changed things drastically. This was the first time I found a speaker whom tackled meditation in just the approach I was looking for. Score.
I recommend you all to take your time and watch this video before we move along. Yes — right now. Do it. It’s only a few minutes.
Boom! There we go. If you are convinced about the benefits of meditation and how it could be applied on your life, congratulations. If not, let’s move on.
As mentioned, Andy’s approach to meditation was just about what I was looking for. His sharp comparisons between the juggling balls and our thoughts are spot on.
From this point, I started to search the internet for neat tools when practicing meditation. I tried several mobile applications including Meditation Timer and Calm. They didn’t quite catch my attention. I used them for a while — but drifted. I needed something that suited my needs better.
Quite some time later, working as a Software Developer at Ericsson, I got in touch with one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. We slipped into the subject of meditation and off the discussion went for hours — obviously he’s been doing it for quite a while. Long story short he introduced me to Headspace.
For my needs, Headspace was just perfect. A user-oriented and neat app providing meditation in just the right kind of practice, and I really enjoyed the voice of the guided meditation, it felt familiar somehow. This is the moment I grasped that the Ted Talk I watched quite some [long] time ago actually is the creator of this very app. I was hooked.
Ever since, meditation has been part of my daily practice and routine. It’s a great way to start the morning and an even better way to end the day. Reset your mind. Out with the old in with the new. Meditation definitely has long-lasting benefits that enables you to become the best you.
As I’m limited to my own perspective and experience, let me introduce you to another great Ted Talk on the topic of meditation.
Until next time!
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