Meditation is pretty simple – sit still and think (or don’t think) for a few minutes. The not thinking tactic is what turns most people off of meditation; it’s tough to let your thoughts go and allow your mind to wander. The technique discussed in this article is not hard – you don’t have to focus on not thinking; you don’t even have to sit still.
Meditation can be really be practiced anywhere; it doesn’t require a silent environment with calming background noise or a cross-legged position. In fact, I practiced this 6 step meditation for 10 minutes while sitting on the Manhattan subway on the way to my hotel.
There is only one requirement to meditate: Focus
If you are deliberate in the few minutes you spend in thought, you will extract every ounce of meaning that the universe makes available to you. And that what meditation is about – relaxing yourself and creating a more well-developed perspective of your place and purpose in this thing we like to call Life.
That brings us to the first step in my 6 Step Meditation:
1. Ponder Your Presence on Earth
When diving into this first step, it is helpful to perceive yourself as a dot on a map – a single individual in a world of 8 billion. Think about your connectedness to all things through the commonality that we are all relatively insignificant. Think of how you believe you are perceived by those that cross your path throughout all of your experiences. Once armed with this knowledge, ask the question: How do I want myself to be perceived? Strong, wise, entertaining?
When I practice this meditation, I want to be viewed as Compassionate – someone who is interested in the unknown and kind in spirit.
2. Express Gratitude
This second step is pretty self-explanatory, but I will give you some examples from my meditations to get you started.
I am grateful for:
My family and friends and their wellbeing |my health | my home | my job | opportunities | strength of mind | my possessions | music | sunny days | technology | great thinkers | all of the things unknown to me in this world
Think of all the things that you hold onto as regrets – forgive yourself and let them go.
Think of all the people you hold a grudge against – forgive them and move forward.
If something makes you upset, try to think of if it will matter in a year and if it won’t, forget about it.
4. Envision your “Dream-self” in 3 Years
Relative to an entire lifespan, 3 years could be considered your near future. All of us have aspirations and ideas of who we want to be – think of your view of the world as this person.
What skills and accomplishments do you want to have? What do you want to be more knowledgeable about? What type of character do you want to consistently exhibit? What places do you want to have visited? What types of relationships will you be engaged in; what will the quality of those relationships be?
There are so many elements that make up who we are as individuals – when you make time to think about all of them, suddenly you are in control of how your actions today impact the person you will become.
5. Envision the Perfect Day that Moves You Towards your Dream-self
It really takes one change in a routine to place yourself on a path that will lead you in the direction you want to go.
What are the little things you could do today that will advance who you are towards your Dream self? Think of the incremental steps that are necessary to progress in all the elements in your life that you thought about. Acknowledge that these steps aren’t difficult and that they simply take action.
6. Identify Motivating Factors to Get you There
Nothing is impossible, however some things we say will we do get lost in the distractions of everyday life. How can you stay consistent?
That is the closing step in this meditation – what can I do to motivate myself to stay on the path towards who I want to be? One answer is to continue reminding yourself of that person through this reflection (meditation). Another is to set yourself on a schedule. A little bit over a long period of time adds up to greatness. Finally, you could reward yourself – how you do that, is up to you.
Practicing this mediation is a great way to keep yourself grounded and driven. You remind yourself of the humble place you occupy in this world, as well as a holistic future you can have with minor acts of consistency. It takes a week to get the hang of it, but once you’ve got it…there will be no stopping you from being Great, in all aspects of your life.