Let me ask you a question. How much time have you spent today thinking about either the past or the present? Obsessing over things you can't change or events you won't be able to control? If you're like most of us, probably too much.
Which is why right now I want to share a very simple tool with you that will allow you to both step out of the past for good and stay out of the future. A tool that will allow you live in this moment, which is the only place that you can truly find success and happiness.
And that tool is meditation.
Today my new book Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple comes out. As the title suggests, it is a very straight forward, easy to digest guide on how to get past whatever misconceptions or apprehensions you might have about meditation and learn how to use this simple yet incredibly effective tool.
As I move around talking about the book, one question I seem to get asked over and over again is, "Does mediation really work?" And my answer is always an unequivocal "YES!"
So to those who question whether meditation "works," or whether it's "for them," let me quickly break down some of the most obvious way meditation will change your life.
• It will let you do twice the work in half the time. That might seems like a snake oil salesman pitch, but it's true. When you meditate, you become less distracted and more focused. And when the distractions are gone, it will make you more productive and efficient and what you're doing.
• It's going to make you less anxious. On an emotional level, so much of our anxiety comes for that tendency I mentioned to get entangled in the past and the future. When you use meditation to help you live in the moment, so much of that anxiety just washes away.
• It will help you become more balanced. In today's world, we're encouraged to get amped up over so called "victories" and by extension get depressed over our so called "failures." But we don't have to spend our lives on this emotional roller coaster rushing between the highs of "triumph" and the lows of "defeat." When we become still through meditation, we realize that everything we do has value, that every moment we're breathing is a miracle. And if we can carry even a little bit of that truth with us out of our meditation and into our day, we'll be so much more content and happy.
• It is going to make you feel more connected. Now in a world dominated by social media and communication, you might say, "Why do I have to be even more connected?" The answer is that as much as I love tools like Twitter or texting, they don't promote true connectedness. But when you sit in silence everyday, you begin to realize just how much you have in common with not just other people, but all the living creatures on this beautiful earth. That knowledge makes you more compassionate. And compassionate people are happy people.
• Meditation is going to make you healthier. It's going to lower your blood pressure, which is a condition that makes so many people needlessly ill. It's going to make you less stressed, which we know is a killer. If you struggle with insomnia, it's going to help you sleep better. In fact, I gave a speech last night at the Rubin Museum in Manhattan last night with David Vago, a cognitive neuroscientist at Harvard. He said that medical studies are now showing that in addition to those help benefits, meditation is show to be able to prevent cancer in people who are predisposition to the disease.
These are just some of the benefits. If you pick up the book, you'll see that meditation is also a great tool to fight addiction. As well help you eat healthier and in smaller portions.
And all you need to do to access these benefits is to sit in silence for 20 minutes twice a day.
That might seem like a lot, but don't you really spend much more time each week on practices that won't bring you nearly as much contentment and happiness?
Don't you spend more time working on your physical appearance? Your finances? Your home? Even your toys?
You're already working hard at having a productive, organized and rewarding life. All I'm suggesting is you take some of that effort and direct it towards the place where you're really going to see an amazing return on your investment: your mind.