A woman meditating by a book

Return to Your Book 100 Times

Whether you like the idea of meditation or not, it has something to teach you about reading books. Consider this: meditation is the practice of taming your mind. It’s not about sitting in silence with an empty brain, it’s about recognizing distraction and then training your brain to come back to a point of focus – usually your breath. But there’s a trick to doing it well.

When a thought arises during meditation, don’t get frustrated with yourself. Once you realize you’re distracted, simply acknowledge the thought and return to the breath without judgement. That’s the important part. By calmly retuning, even if it’s 100 times in the space of a short meditation, you’re building a skill – the art of leaving distraction for focus. And the more you do it, the better you get at it.

Reading a book is similar to meditation. When you start, you’ll feel your attention wander. Don’t get angry about – simply return to the book. Even if you have to return 100 times to the same page, find gratitude in the fact that you’re training your brain to stick with something. In time, you’ll notice that you need to do this less and less until, eventually, you can read for an hour in complete mental focus.

Until tomorrow, read slowly – take notes – apply the idea.

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