Over the past few years, mindfulness has picked up some serious momentum. It’s by no means a new practice, but suddenly it’s cool for investors, athletes, and executives to openly talk about their dedicated mindfulness and meditation practices.
So I found it refreshing to hear a different message recently.
Now, I’ve heard this question countless times on different podcasts and web shows, and you almost universally hear one of two answers:
- Yes I meditate and it has changed my life
- No I don’t meditate, but I need to start
It’s widely accepted the mindfulness is a prerequisite for sustained success.
So I appreciate Ramit’s unapologetic take on why he doesn’t meditate.
I have a lot of people who are a little bit older than me, and the advice they give me is to get more spiritual, yoga, etc. I’ve thought a lot about this, because if all of these successful people are telling me this, then there’s probably something to it. And what I decided is that at this point in my life I’m not into that. And that’s ok. But I also know enough to know that I’m not different than anyone else. I’m basically the same 98% of the time. So I’ll bet you someday you’ll see me doing some yoga or something.
I think this response is incredible.
With all the spotlight and buzz around mindfulness lately, it’s so easy to get swept up in it because you feel like you have to do it. But Ramit doesn’t fall for that trap.
He isn’t arrogant enough to believe that he’s above the whole mindfulness idea, but he’s tried it in his life and has decided that it’s not right for him now. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
For me, there are two key takeaways from Ramit’s answer.
First, don’t just follow the crowd and jump on the bandwagon for every craze that comes through. There are a lot of great tactics out there, but none of them are for everyone.
Some people swear by CrossFit, some can’t stand it.
Some people wake up early and get right to work, others work best at night.
I like taking cold showers, but I understand that they’re not for everyone.
You don’t become successful by just following a bunch of tactics because they’ve worked for others. Listen to whatever has worked for these other people, try it in your own life, pay attention to the impact it has on you, and determine whether you want to stick with it.
Maybe a mindfulness practice will change your life. But if you give meditation an honest try, and find that you’re really not seeing any benefit after a month or so, give it up. Maybe try something else for a mindfulness practice, or come back to it in a few months.
There’s no reason to follow a routine if you’re not seeing benefit from it.
The second key takeaway from Ramit’s statement is that everyone is at a different stage in their life.
You may have some awesome book or movie that changed your life, but don’t expect the same from everyone you try to share it with. That message moved you because it hit you when you were in the right place to receive it. That might not be the case for everyone.
Sometimes, there are lessons that we just aren’t ready to hear. That doesn’t mean these lessons won’t someday be useful. It just means that it isn’t the right time for them to impact us.
It’s important to accept that, and to understand that others are the same way. When you’re trying to reason with someone, or have them try something that you think will benefit them, be patient if they don’t jump right in.
Maybe they’re just being stubborn, and they need a nudge to take action.
Or maybe, they just aren’t ready for your message. That’s fine.
It might be frustrating, but be patient. And be prepared to deliver your message whenever they’re ready for it.
Maybe it will be tomorrow
Maybe it will be five years from now.