The exercise discussed within the first 10 minutes is something I have tried and found helpful. Take a sheet of paper and at the top write a goal of yours. Then list up to 20 ways in which you can achieve that goal or improve your current ways of doing things in order to reach that goal. If you think of something during the day that relates to the goal, write it down. This process is thought to impact the subconscious programming in the mind so that the person is directing more attention and effort towards their goal, and consequently it is achieved more efficiently.
He mentions that what we become is what we think about all day long and that most people use only about 5% of their potential. In fact, for most people, over 90% of their thoughts repeat from day to day, thereby limiting their success potential. Try the exercise of tracking the different thoughts you have in one day and you can observe that the mind is conditioned and repetitive.
Through being more conscious of one's thoughts, fresh and innovative ideas are more likely to arise. One of the most reliable ways to create a "pattern interrupt" to the default thought cycles that constantly flood the mind is by getting in the gap between thoughts and creating an awareness of the silence found between thoughts. Gradually, the goal is to increase the time spent in the gap.
The key to success lies in making meditation a habit despite self-doubts that you are not doing it correctly. If you do get lost in a thought, just bring awareness back to the breath and keep going!
I think one of the best benefits is that steady meditation practice
contributes to non-reactivity. This is useful because it means that you do not let your mood states be as immediately or intensely impacted by what other people say and do, which is determined by their own level of consciousness and current mood state. Instead, you can be in a better position to choose what you say and do, rather than letting it be automatically determined by the other person who may trigger in you a negative emotional response.
Earl discusses how we have a lot of discretionary hours after working and sleeping, and if we took just 5 hours a week to devote to increasing the capacity of our minds, the results would be out of proportion in comparison to the time spent. People tend to prioritize physical exercise as necessary to toning and strengthening the body and maintaining physical health. However, they do not devote the same time to engage in development for the mind. The mind is a muscle that gets stronger when you meditate. The reverse is also true; without meditation the mind becomes less able to utilize its full potential because without conscious awareness, we behave in ways that reflect the conditioned, unconscious mind. Therefore, many talented and hardworking people have trouble achieving their goals. Journaling one's experiences and emotions, to understand the deeper reasons for reactions, is also an excellent way to build conscious awareness.
The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.
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