Once you have a bigger vision for yourself, how do you actually make it happen? Here’s how I’ve been working to train my brain for success (and a few of my favorite tools… in case you want to try them).
Video Transcript and Relevant Links
So we’ve been talking about intentionality for the last weeks and the idea of intentionally creating your life of designing what you want your life to look like. And then intentionally creating that. And last week we talked about planning and here we are in a new year, so it was all about planning the year.
Well, this time I want to talk about what I consider, for me, the cornerstone habit that drives an intentional life, that drives my life. And that’s meditation.
So, meditation is something that I’ve been doing for almost 20 years now. I’m not some amazing expert at it. I’m not a meditation teacher. There are times where I meditate more, and times where I meditate less. Last year, I decided, I said as an intention that I was going to meditate every day and I pretty much hit that. I missed … it was either two or three days that I missed all year long—so I got 362 days. And it made a really big difference in my life. It brought a lot more focus and a lot more calm and a lot more intentionality to my life.
It’s something that I think everyone should try. And I am not a meditation teacher. I am not an expert. But, I’ve done it a whole bunch. And what I know is, it’s not about sitting in silence and completely clearing your mind and never having a thought come to you. The real practice (I love that word practice), the real practice is that you’re in meditation and then thoughts do come to you. They come to everyone. No one can shut down their brain. Thoughts come to you, but then you come back. You come back, you notice you have that thought and then you come back.
That’s what meditation is and one of the things I love about meditation is… I think of it, I spend usually 10 minutes or 20 minutes (usually 20 minutes, but often sometimes 10)… that those 10 or 20 minutes, if I invest those each morning, they pay back an hour or two hours of productivity during the day because I can just be more focused.
So, one of the things that I love these days—different from when I first started—is there are some great apps that you can get on your phone that help you with the meditation. Because when I first started, it was always … I wasn’t sure how … I would just sit in silence, right? I wasn’t sure how long I was meditating and then there are all these sounds coming in and they would mess up … I’d hear people, I’d hear things and so when I put in some earbuds and an app, that helped out because it would time how long my meditation was and it would also, usually with most apps, it would help drown out some of the sounds. So it was fantastic.
I started off with this one app called Relax Melodies. And it just had a bunch of sounds, a bunch of white noise and it had timer and it had binaural beats. And that was really … and I used that for probably a better part of a decade.
Then I moved on to Headspace. Headspace, lots of great … lots of people using Headspace. Super cool app.
And then just for the last month or so, a month or two months, I’ve been using an app called Waking Up, which I’m a big fan of. Like I said, I’m just, I think about 40 days into it, big fan of Waking Up. So, you might want to try out one of those apps.
This, I think is a cornerstone habit because what you’re doing is you’re training your mind to be intentional. So if we’re talking about intentionality, I think having intentional thoughts is probably the key that creates that, that allows you to create every other intentional thing in your life. And that, to me, is what meditation does.
So I’m Jeff Walker. Wherever you’re watching this, scroll down, leave a comment for me, and let’s go get ‘em this week.