Friday, September 24, 2010

The Mind Mistakes the Talking for the Doing

I agree with this short talk. Identifying with success is much easier than cultivating the conditions for making it possible. I like to tell people that when they begin to practice mindfulness meditation, it is a good idea to keep it to yourself until the habit is established. It’s similar to waiting to tell your friends and family about a pregnancy until after the first trimester. In fact, the length of a trimester is a great milestone when it comes to consistent meditation practice. Ninety days of consistent practice (as you define it up front) is a great place to start. Wait to tell your people that you’ve been practicing for three months instead of letting them know you are planning to try. The same advice applies to any skill development or regimen.

“Repeated psychology tests have proven that telling someone your goal makes it less likely to happen. Any time you have a goal, there are some steps that need to be done, some work that needs to be done in order to achieve it. Ideally, you should not be satisfied until you had actually done the work. But when you tell someone your goal, and they acknowledge it, psychologists have found that it's called a social reality. The mind is kind of tricked into feeling that it's already done. And then, because you've felt that satisfaction, you're less motivated to do the actual hard work necessary. So this goes against the conventional wisdom that we should tell our friends our goals.”

~ Derek Sivers