Something I learned very early on in my life made a very big impact…
While It's Not Intuitive, The More Self-Discipline We Have, The Freedom We Experience"
Think about it, who has more freedom, choice, influence and results in their life…
The person who sleeps until Noon, doesn't stick to a plan (ore doesn't even have one) and has no consistency – OR –
The person who gets up early, works their plan, becomes trusted and influential because they are consistent?
Who do you think has more options and attracts more greatness into their lives?
Oddly enough, learning to practice self-discipline ends up freeing you both internally (your own mind is free of making excuses and your self confidence grows) and externally (you are seen as someone to follow and trust)
One of the absolute best ways to learn self-discipline is to meditate
Think about it this way, if you can't manage to allocate 20-minutes each day to yourself in a quiet spot in your house, office, hotel, etc…and spend that time on your own personal growth then our self-discipline is at an amazingly low level.
Meditation Can Be Very Simple
What are your expectations around meditation?
- You enter some zen-like state where you block out the entire world?
- You experience some magical state that takes you to another place?
- You instantly fall into a trance, disappear and reappear several minutes later?
In reality, none of this is actually true.
Instead, meditation starts with the simple realization and belief that you will give your busy mind the freedom and space to fill your mind with thoughts while at the same time you expose yourself to a substitute repetitive stimulus (the sound of your breath, a mantra, the sounds of ocean waves, soothing music, etc…) so that eventually the busy thoughts tire themselves out and your mind is instead conditioned to the repetitive sound.
The result, you may think, is that you have managed to quiet your mind and relax for a brief period of time – and that is PART of it.
Much more important though is the fact that you have exercises your "self-discipline" muscle by:
- Committing each day to at least 20-minutes for this exercise
- To allow your mind to completely free-flow and THEN to replace those thoughts with a directed stimulus
- To calming your mind and making yourself mentally stronger each day, better prepared to deal with the day
The WIN in terms of self-discipline is just as important as the win you achieve in calming your mind and learning to frame your busy thoughts in a much more objective way
4 Steps To Successful Meditation
- Start by reserving a spot 20-30 minutes in your day where you can be by yourself
- Choose your substitute stimulus. Go with something you know has soothed you or relaxed you in the past and is repetitive. For me, the sound of ocean waves is perfect – they have always relaxed me, are repetitive and can be isolated to not have other background distractions. For you, it could be your own breath, a mantra that you repeat over and over again, etc…
- Get comfortable sitting or lying and being to focus on the substitute stimulus. Expect that the first several minutes your mind will be filled with busy thoughts – simply rise above those (pretend you are up in a cloud looking down on them) watching them flow by (as if they were not even your own) and gently bring yourself back to the substitute sound. This will happen many times – it's ok, this is part of the process – this IS meditation.
- Eventually you will begin to notice more focus on the stimulus, your breathing slows, your stomach and muscles loosen and you may feel sensations of floating, tingling in your fingers and toes – you have now reached the point you wan to continually strive for. Once you reach this point, entertain the thought that you will now go deeper, much deeper gently allow your thoughts to float back to your substitute stimulus.
If you don't reach step 4 on the first (or even second, third or fourth) try – that's ok.
You will eventually, and you control your ability to get there. Just keep trying, keep persisting.
Each time, you will feel closer until you finally reach that euphoric moment of being able to slow everything down (your mind and body)
All of this teaches you how to practice self-discipline – and remember, we already know that self-discipline is the key to having more freedom, happiness and success in life.
Are you ready?
Inside Attracting Greatness we share some advanced lessons of how to improve your meditation and introduce the ability to actually direct your meditation to overcome challenges, habits and achieve directed things in your life…that's when meditation gets REALLY powerful.
Let me know how you are doing with this – leave a comment.