Become More Mindful Each Day
When I opened my eyes this morning, I looked over at the corner of the room and took a deep breath. It was the corner near the fireplace, where for the last two weeks, I sat, crossed my legs, and closed my eyes for twenty minutes of mindful meditation. Now, some people may still consider meditation as a strictly spiritual practice. Something reserved for chakra juggling mystics after new moon parties. However, tons of scientific research credit meditation and mindfulness with reducing anxiety, improving cognition, and decreasing distraction.
In a world where external stimuli chases us down like an avalanche, a mindfulness practice can be a beacon in the snow storm.
Craving the benefits of this so-called bicep curl for the brain, I had enthusiastically committed myself to a 30-day mindful meditation challenge. This morning would have been day 18. I sat in my corner, felt the heat of the fireplace and wiped the sleep from my eyes. Eager to begin my cerebral scrub down, I set the timer. That’s when it hit me—yesterday came and went, and I didn’t meditate. I had told myself I’d find the time, yet somehow, the barrage of office emails and hours of mindless internet scrolling took precedence over my mental hygiene. All that time lost in thought, rehearsing arguments in my mind I’ll never have in real life, added up to a day lost and a meditation streak broken.
Some of us might consider dieting one day a week, or lifting weights only once a month, to be pointless.
We don’t like to believe lackadaisical regimens can produce the fast, proven, real, extreme results we crave. If we can’t do something correctly and consistently, why bother at all? What we forget, however, is what Einstein called the 8th wonder of the world—compound interest.
The power of compound interest is simple. In financial terms, it means we earn interest on both our initial investment along with whatever interest has already been earned. If we invest $100 and compound 1% interest every day, in one year we’ll have $3,778.34. That’s an increase of 37x! I considered this 8th world-wonder and my last few weeks of meditation. I realized how my sense of contentment and emotional well-being had increased not only from when I started the challenge but how it continued to build upon the progress I made from each previous day. While I may have failed the 30-day challenge, all was not lost.