I've been working with clients for over fourteen years - helping them understand how they can grasp control of their mental energy, their inner power. But intellectual understanding is one thing. Actually experiencing your inner power is quite something else altogether - and something that will make a complete difference to your life - if you know how to put it into everyday practice. To that end, I've been teaching my clients "mental exercises" for all those years. More correctly, they've been learning how to meditate!
However, the most common feedback that I get from my clients is that they find meditation difficult. In fact a couple of really high achievers told me recently that meditation was the most difficult thing they'd ever tried in their lives. And they couldn't come to terms with what they saw as their failure.
Now, "failure" is a word that I cannot relate to meditation. It makes no sense at all to judge how your meditation is going, because the whole point of meditation is to observe and experience - not to analyse, dissect or judge. The whole point of meditation is to start cognising and to stop recognising.
You see, when we receive information through our five senses, we cognise - it's raw data that we have yet to make sense of. Unfortunately, we make sense of that raw data using our subconsciously stored knowledge. And because our subconscious primarily focuses on "snapshots" we took during our formative years, instead of making sense of the raw data, we make nonsense of it. That is called recognition.
One of the key purposes of meditation - or mental exercising - is to stop recognising and t start simply seeing and experiencing the here and now for what it is - not what we think it is based on long out of date information. So it makes no sense whatsoever to analyse or judge our meditation. If you're finding your mental exercising difficult, so what! If you think you're not improving or that your mind is all over the place while you meditate, so what!
As a management team with whom I spent three days working recently agreed, you just have to do it!! Just meditate - or mental exercise - for the sake of doing it. Just doing it is the end in itself. Why, because it is a choice you make. And almost everybody else - "normal" people - never make any choice whatsoever about their lives at all. As my online workshop explains, so-called normal people lead "normal" reactive, automatic, mindless, "not-so-bad" lives. Choosing to meditate and them simply doing it for the sake of doing it makes you abnormal - you've decided to spend a little time not reacting, not stumbling around like a headless chicken. You've chosen to spend a little time mindfully.
OK, maybe your mind wanders during meditations. So what - so does mine, so does everyone's! Don't react to it - and thereby start the whole chain reaction of normal mindless behaviour all over again - just stay calm. Don't get frustrated if you're not achieving some altered state of mind during your meditation - just re-focus on your chosen "mental exercise" or meditative technique. Don't start analysing it, just notice your breathing. It's the choice of sticking with it that will discipline your mind into not reacting, not getting frustrated, not recognising and making nonsense out of what's going on - in your ordinary everyday life.
As a result of simply sticking with your meditation - of persevering with it every time your mind wanders or you get distracted - the choices you make will make you abnormal - abnormally happy and abnormally successful. As a result, you will be more fully tuned in to the wonderful reality of the present moment, more alert to today's opportunities which your muddled mind would otherwise completely miss. As a result, your clear state of mind - open to the inspiration that is in universal energy all around us - will effortlessly lead you ever forward to the life you really, really want and make today an effortless present where you're more effective than everyone else, because you're more tuned in than everyone else.
So, don't think meditation is difficult - it can be and often is - but that is just another useless thought which you should simply not entertain. Instead, when it comes to improving your mental fitness, why not just do it!
Willie Horton, an Irish ex-accountant and ex-banker who has been working as a success coach to business leaders and sports people since 1996, has been living his dream in the French Alps since 2002. Each week his weekly Free Self-Help Video Seminar is received by thousands of people around the world. His acclaimed Self Help Online Workshop is being followed by people on four continents - they say that it's life-changing. More info: http://www.gurdy.net