Meditation for skeptics

Do people suggest that you meditate, but are you skeptical?

Are you interested in being more resilient, more present, or less distracted—but do you want nothing to do with incense, robes, or chanting om?

Lately, people have been mentioning that they’re curious about meditation. They’ll ask me how often I meditate, for how long, and whether I can get rid of my thoughts successfully.

(No, I can’t! Successful meditation does not look like “not having thoughts”. It does look like not getting yanked around as much by your thoughts.)

But people also express reservations. They want nothing to do with anything spiritual and they worry that meditation will involve doing silly things.

If that’s you, try the 10% Happier app (App Store; Google Play) by Dan Harris and company. You don’t need an app to meditate, but if you’re intrigued yet skeptical, this app will help.

By the way, why do I beat the drum for meditation so often?

When we talk about productivity, it’s often about tools and methods, mindset, and taking care of our bodies. These things are important.

But it’s equally important to take care of our minds, and meditation is the second-best tool that I know of to give our minds some rest. (The first-best is, of course, getting enough sleep!)

See, meditation sessions are to the brain as squats are to the body: they can be ridiculously hard, and you’ll want to give up in the middle, but you’ll never regret having done them.

So if you’ve been on the fence about meditation, give the 10% Happier app a shot.


— Peter

P.S. Dan Harris also wrote a book that’s called 10% Happier too. It’s a hilarious chronicle of Dan’s journey into the “world of meditation”.

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