How I Tricked Myself Into Meditating

Or, “I Used Headspace for 400 Days and All I Got Was This Lousy Sense of Clarity and Well-Being”

Jake Knapp
Jul 11, 2017 · 6 min read
The proudest moment of my life. Sure, I only meditated for 12 minutes a day, but look at the cartoon brain holding a giant golden cup!!

Meditation is just rest for your brain

There’s nothing fancy about it. The human brain constantly creates thoughts. Most of the time, you go along with those thoughts because, of course, that’s how thinking works, and thinking is super useful.

Meditation is also exercise for your brain

Staying quiet and noticing your thoughts is refreshing, but it’s also hard work. Meditation is exertion that leaves you invigorated — just like exercise.

So how the heck does one convince oneself to meditate?

To be honest, after I got to 400 days in a row, I fell off the wagon. I was so pleased with myself for getting the final badge that I figured I was probably already enlightened—there was hardly any point in continuing.

One idea: Keep a “Was it worth it?” journal

To answer this question, I’ve started keeping a “Was Headspace worth it?” journal. Every time I sit down to meditate, even after all my positive experiences, I’m still skeptical. So after a session, I record the results.

Source: I totally made this up. It’s just how I feel, man!

Another idea: Don’t call it “meditation”

There are all kinds of words for exercise: training, conditioning, walking, running, playing, etc. If you’re embarrassed to say you’re going to Pilates, you can say you’re going to workout instead.

And, of course, you should try Headspace

I’m not affiliated with Headspace in any way, and I can’t even figure out how to make any money off of recommending the app (believe me, I searched… after all, I’m unemployed).

Make Time

Helping you make time for what matters

Jake Knapp

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Writer, designer, person. Author of SPRINT and MAKE TIME. More at

Make Time

Make Time

Helping you make time for what matters