Carol S. Dweck, PhD, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, tells us that we either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.1 If you haven’t developed metacognition and blasted your stories apart, your mindset is fixed. If your mindset is fixed, you crave respect, you demand to be heard, you need to be right…. If you have a fixed mindset, you’re not listening to the cues around you because you are resistant to change. As long as you’re identified with your thoughts, your false origin stories will keep you stuck in Commonland. And you will never achieve your full potential.
Let’s not be like that!
The concentration training that I teach helps your mind to stabilize and focus in order to unleash the power of metacognition.
This work of self-transformation is no joke. Most people fail at first attempts because they get trounced by the multitude of obstacles that pre-exist or arise during early stages of the process. Here’s a list of some of these obstacles. Before you read them, tell yourself they will not stop you from developing your optimal mind power. You won’t let them!
- Too busy—not the right time to start training
- Weak motivation—to climb the ladder at work, find love, get rich
- Not strong enough direction—no exposure to an authentic teacher
- The path is too complicated, too difficult to connect with—it’s too esoteric
- Compromised physical or mental capacity for the training
- Too easily distracted by sensory attractions—drawn away from the meditation training toward gaming, social media, food, sex, alcohol, drugs, etc.
- Low on the list of priorities—unfortunate circumstances prevent focused effort, such as living in poverty, fighting cancer, going through a divorce, caring for someone with special needs, working full-time while getting a degree, etc.
- Boredom: “Meditating sucks.”
- Agnostic, atheist, recovering Catholic, etc.—loss of faith leads to a lack of perseverance
- Don’t know your why….
Though there are more, those are the top ten excuses I hear most. You will likely confront one or more of them on the path to mastery. For me? I didn’t know my why, and I was bored out of my skull. But motivation came easy because of the serious discomfort I was experiencing in my chosen profession. The timing was right, and I had an authentic teacher. I also didn’t have to worry about being distracted by the digital world. (The internet wasn’t even a thing yet!) I wasn’t married with kids or struggling to pay the rent. I had fortunate circumstances. Having said that, if you’ve gotten this far, it’s likely you have many of the right conditions to put this training to work for good effect.
There’s a serious upside to starting your concentration training today. Taking time to meditate every day will also make you more organized and clearer about what to say yes and no to. This magically adds more free time to your busy, overbooked days. It’s also an immediate mood enhancer. As you find yourself knuckling down for the first two, ten, twenty, or 200 sessions, you’ll likely catch yourself in a better mood afterward. I’ve also heard people say, “It just makes life easier.” I love that one.
Zen concentration training got me started with a strong foothold on the path to awakening. It was like bootcamp for my brain. Thirty-some years back, it was basically divine intervention that I stumbled on a mentor. Today, you have found me… and other mentors can be surfaced with a simple shoutout to a few friends via text or social media. The wave of mindfulness teachers has been making its way across the Western world for well over two decades now. It’s gaining momentum…. If you can’t find your own Kaicho Nakamura, consider a meditation retreat, authentic Yoga training that includes meditation, Transcendental Meditation, or a highly rated online course. If you prefer to go it alone with me, then you’ve got this. Easy day.
I look forward to sharing more practices and trainings with you as we work to focus your mind, together. Until next time, Hooyah!