“The almanack of Naval Ravikant”, no doubt, is one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read in 2023. In it, one of the most impressive and thought-provoking quotes is:
Yes, in the recent decade, when healing and self-care seem to replace self-help to be the most popular book genre(s), we’ve heard too much about things like meditation, walking in nature, etc., right? Even science tends to support the benefits of these activities on both our physical and mental health. My favourite podcaster, Andrew Huberman, has quite a few episodes with tons of scientific evidence to strengthen our belief in these activities.
However, how many of us have really been able to do it consistently?
It seems that once again, the reality shows how knowing is quite different from doing. Many of my friends told me they did try meditation for 10, 20, sometimes 60 days continuously, but then life (oh, it’s always life) got in the way and they stopped. Some of them even got back to it after a while, and then stopped again, several times.
One of the reasons, I believe, is that we often assume that because these activities are good and beneficial, implementing them should be easy, without any resistance or pushback.
In other words, we never truly understand how hard it is to make change, how resistant our body and mind can be.
Now, if you ask any long-term meditator, I believe they will confirm to you how hard it is for them at the beginning. How even just sitting still for 2 minutes seems impossible. The mind finds all the tricks to say that this is nonsense, that there are thousands of things we should do at the moment (podcasts to listen, books to read, friends to message, etc.), instead of sitting and doing nothing like that. It’s quite a battle. Yes, a battle, that requires a huge lot of effort and willpower to win, to resist the temptation, and to complete the first few 10- or 15-minute meditation slots.
But, the important thing is, exactly because of that battle, that we often might not feel relax at all after doing meditation (at least at the beginning). Instead, we might even feel mentally exhausted with a lack of willpower and decision-making fatigue, which can ruin the whole day if you do it in the morning (as usually suggested).
And then we blame meditation. We say that it’s ineffective, it doesn’t make any difference, and, of course, “It’s not for me”.
I pick meditation, but I guess my message applies for every good habit or activity:
"Good things take time"
So, as long as you understand its benefits (by reading, or listening to Huberman’s podcast, etc.), have a belief in it, and try to do it consistently for at least 60 days (as Naval Ravikant himself suggests).
And, more importantly, be easy with yourself. Like me, you might only be able to feel how helpful it is after several months.
But, trust me, it will definitely pay off.