For those of you who regularly practice meditations and those of you who are thinking about beginning to meditate, I am going to share with you some of the most commonly know goals of meditation. Sometimes, pop media makes meditation too fancy and magical and it is easy to lose track of the real reasons for meditating. I am going to list out some of the most important purposes.
The Biggest Goal of Meditation is to Calm Your Mind
Calming your mind or clearing your mind is the most important goal of meditation. I would even argue that it is the only main goal and all the other goals are just sub-goals that happen to be benefits that come with this goal. Think of our human mind as computers. In today’s culture, it is difficult not to have a busy life. Even for those of you who don’t have an intense job, entertainment and toys like smartphones, social media and instant messaging make your lives super busy and noisy. It is not difficult to imagine how noisy our minds are. There are also no reasons to believe that we can make good decisions with our noisy minds. Our minds are like a computer with hundreds of apps opened. The make the computer back to running efficiently, there is nothing better than hitting the reset button. And meditation is the reset button to your mind. There are actually other ways to reset your mind, doing some simple exercise like walking and jogging for say 45 minutes can also do the same time. It’s just the meditation is often easier and faster for a lot of people. In my case, I would rate 45 minutes or long walk almost equals to 10 minutes of meditation. And I can have my meditation at home under all sorts of weather.
A Clear Mind Allows You to Think Logically
My idol Charlie Munger has said that the biggest factor of his success is that he can think rationally. Being able to think rationally has two parts. The first part is that you need to have enough knowledge to understand the reality. The second part is that you have to have a clear mind to digest the reality logically and clearly. While meditation can’t help you with the knowledge part, it can definitely help with the thinking logically part. Let’s use your previous victory as an example. Did you get the victory by making some good decisions? If yes, what are the other things that causes you to win? I bet that, for most of you, you would agree that your victory is a result of some good decisions, your effort and luck. While you can’t control luck. You can control your effort and your decision making. If you do already working as hard as you can, which is the effort part, the decision making part is the part which can make your productivity skyrocketing. If you are willing to spend just a little bit of time to meditate everyday, I am pretty sure that it will help you to make better decisions.
Increased Concentration at Work
There are two ways that meditation can make you concentrate better at work. The first one is that it can make your mind more clear. That will make your mind wander not as much as it used to without meditation. For example, if you go to work after having meditation, you would find yourself being able to focus on a specific task better instead of thinking about what you are going to do after work every ten minutes and things of that sort. The second way that meditation can it easier for you to concentrate at work is that it helps you get rid of some of your ego. I would call this effect of meditation ego-reducing. Ego-reducing is simply a by-product of clearing your mind. Have your mind cleared allow you to look more clearly at what is going on with your mind. Let’s say that there are 10 things that you really want to achieve. If you are able to see clearly, very likely you will see 9 things out of the 10 are ego-driven desires. Have you ever had that fancy business idea that keep distracting you from focusing at work? You may not have suffered that if you find out that the fancy business idea is simply a product of your ego, i.e. business you want to build because you want the rock star status of being a startup founder and the fancy office and stuff. I am not saying that every idea in your head is ego-based ideas, I am saying that there may be some good ideas but 9 out of 10 they are simply egos, at least that’s how my brain works.
Having Better & More Meaningful Relationship
This goal of meditation is sometimes undervalued as it seems to be a pretty indirect side product of having your mind cleared. To many people, having good relationship with their other half or their family is the most important thing in their life, so this is actually a pretty important benefit of having meditation. How does meditation make you have better relationship with your other half? It’s actually quite simple. When you argue with him or her, there is a good reason to believe that you can only think of things that are done wrong and forget completely what has been done right. For example, if you are a father, do you really have to argue with your wife about who should do the dishes? Do you remember the type of pain that your wife had when she delivered your lovely baby? If you can meditate and see things clearly, so you don’t just see the bad and lazy side of your wife and see also the great and lovely side of her, I bet that the argument would at least be less intense.
In conclusion, meditation is not magical but it is extremely useful. It is a very effective tool that helps us clear our minds and that will also give us a lot of side benefits. If there is only one goal for meditation, it is to clear your mind.