Meditation is hard for me.
I believe it is beneficial, also it has been recommended to me by counselors, podcasts, ted talks, and friends. That being said, the act of sitting down and focusing on breathing or mantras is incredibly…well, boring, to be honest. Though that is my perception, that does not make it a reality.
The root of my struggle with meditation surprisingly comes from my constant journey to find meaning in life.
This innate desire for meaning is not unique to me, as it lies in all of us. It takes intention and introspection though to find meaning in our day to day activities. I frequently write about this idea because I believe that understanding our purpose and having the ability to find meaning daily is a pursuit of the utmost value.
Dr. Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning uncovers the power of one’s sense of meaning in the face of suffering. It was the belief that we each had something unique to complete or offer the world that would give us the ability to persevere through trials. Sometimes, the smallest sense of meaning can be enough to save us from despair, yet this is just one step on the journey of meaning, and I sometimes get off track and tangled up in the weeds.
For me, the day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute search for meaning can take me farther from my purpose rather than closer to it. On one hand, it helps me see and experience the deeper levels of life, yet other times, I can find myself doing almost nothing because I am caught in a circle of restlessness due to the inability to find meaningful impact in the activities I pursue. Like King Soloman, I may find it all meaningless at times.
The Solution: or at least a step in the right direction
So, where does mind quality fit into all of this? Actually, it is the cornerstone of living a life of positive impact. An active, intentional, and focused mind is what launches us into the life of intentional living, and it turns out that meditation is one of the top exercises to attain this state of mind.
Exercise, reading, meditation, and nutrition are some of the key factors in feeding and training our brain to work for us and not against us. In the book Lost Connections by Johann Hari, he explains that “your brain is constantly changing to meet your needs. It does this in mainly two ways: by pruning the synapses you don’t use, and by growing the synapses you do use.” This is based on neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to continue to restructure itself based on experience.
Our brains can be trained? That is great news for someone like me who had spent years telling myself what I am not, and what I can’t do, and it is actually through the incorporation of meditation that I have been able to change my thought patterns towards what isn’t to what is. This is key to a more impactful life, because the truth is, people are way more interested in what you can do rather than what you can’t do.
By now, the benefit is probably obvious: A healthy quality of mind is better for everyone around you. This is not a one-stop-shop for the solution to the world’s healing, but it is part of it. I hope that you will join me on this journey for mind quality, whether it be through meditation, reading, exercise, or any of the other proven practices to strengthen our brain. I have included the resources for this post below.
Lost Connections by Johann Hari
Man’s Search for Meaning by Dr. Viktor Frankl
Headpsace meditation app: A great resource for anyone looking to add meditation to their life or enhance their understanding of it.