The word meditation invokes a lot of different emotions and thoughts in people. For some individuals even just hearing that word can bring up feelings of resistance or discomfort. We all attach our own meanings and emotions to words, and meditation is a beautiful example of that, and I am a prime example of one of “those people”.
In the past where it got tricky for me was getting my brain to truly buy-in to the belief that meditating will improve my efficiency, productiveness, and enjoyment in life. After all, how can sitting or lying down somewhere with your eyes closed, doing nothing for 15 minutes really aid in your ability to do more? Wouldn’t it just take away 15 minutes of your precious time by doing nothing? Now although I “knew” better, I didn’t truly believe with absolute congruence that meditation could benefit me in those ways.
Where it turned a corner for me is when I started to understand and appreciate the actual mind-body skills that I was training. I was building concentration, which is the capacity to pay attention to what you want to pay attention to. I was building up clarity, which is the ability to be clear and make discernments in what’s happening in your experience. I was building my equanimity, which is the ability to not fight with your experience as its unfolding.
Concentration, clarity, equanimity. Those hit home a whole lot harder. Those skills I know for sure can and will benefit me in my everyday life. And I would gladly dedicate 15-20 minutes a day to improving those.
If you are trying to convince a type A personality to fully embrace the benefits of meditation, I imagine it wouldn’t be the wisest to immediately talk about getting out of their own head, or just shutting down for a while, or simply focusing on their breath and not letting their mind wander. It would be a much easier sell if you described in detail the actual skills they would be improving and how those skills can relate to their life. Then once they buy in to those beliefs, you can guide them through whatever meditation practice you see fit.