I’d had it with meditation- after spending years practising it, I came to the conclusion that there just has to be a better way.
Yes, it helped me release some stress.
Yes, every now and then it brought my mind to a place of total peace and calm.
Yes, I enjoyed the practice initially (and I still enjoy the process of sitting down, closing my eyes, but now I practice something very different).
The main reason I quit meditation was due to a growing frustration with the inconsistency, combined with a realization that there were a multitude of other practices that helped in developing long term happiness.
There were times when I’d come out of my 20 minutes session feeling on top of the world. But most of the time I’d come out of the session with my mind full of more thoughts and worries than before I started.
And look, I’ve studied and practiced meditation long enough to know that this is all part of it, this is what meditation is about.
I get it. I understand not to set expectations.
I understand that a big element of meditation is to simply and innocently accept whatever comes.
But you know what, I just got fed up with accepting that.
The constant cycle of a few nice, relaxing sessions followed by a lot of frustrating sessions became tiring and my meditation practice turned into a reluctant chore.
After years of meditating for 20 minutes twice every day, was I a better, calmer, more present person?
Maybe, fractionally, but I really couldn't say for certain.
And look, I’m not dumping on meditation- how could I? Millions of people around the world get so much from it.
But I wasn’t one of those millions.
So I asked myself- why am I doing this?
It turns out the reason I took up meditation wasn’t to become more present, or to release everyday stress or to create a more balanced life.
The reason a person meditates is exactly the same reason why a person takes up physical exercise, or dieting or goal setting or any form of self-improvement.
You might think it’s because you want to be fitter, or thinner or richer.
OK, but why?
The answer is because you want to be happier. That’s what everyone is aiming for.
Happiness is the key or in the words of Aristotle: “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence”
OK, so if happiness is the key, then the question is:
Do we have some control over our happiness, and if yes, then how can we become happier?
Good news- the answer to the first part of the question is yes, we have a level of control over our happiness.
Now in terms of how much control, this point is debatable.
Sonya Lyumbomirsky, one of the foremost experts on the psychology of happiness and author of the groundbreaking book “The How of Happiness” (I’d really recommend you read it if you have the time), proposed that there are three primary sources of happiness.
1. Genetic is responsible for 50% of our happiness.
2. Intentional activity accounts for about 40% of our happiness. These are activities that we set ourselves, that we have control over.
3. Environmental circumstances account for 10% of the reason we are happy, so this could include where we live, the people we surround ourselves with.
Since the publication of her book in 2007, there has been much debate about these figures and my own take is that they seem over-simplified.
However, regardless of the exact percentage breakdown, extensive research in the fields of psychology and neuroscience demonstrate that by implementing certain practices or exercises into our daily lives, we can become happier.
Great- so what do I need to do to become happier?
Get a free, breakthrough, happiness exercise
This is where I initially become a bit unstuck- not because there aren’t any techniques to practice, but because there are too many techniques.
For example, when I Googled “how to be happier”, the top result is a great article from the NHS in the UK with the following tips:
1. Manage your stress levels
2. Enjoy yourself
3. Boost your self-esteem
4. Have a healthy lifestyle
5. Talk and share
6. Build your resilience
These are all fantastic, if somewhat broad, suggestions, and there’s way more- there’s gratitude, adding purpose, being compassionate, being self compassionate, setting your intention, building/harnessing relationships, savoring nature and the list goes on.
The problem is that there are simply not enough hours in the day for a busy person to practice even a small number of these proven techniques.
So that got me thinking- what if I could develop something, some form of practice that incorporated the main pillars of happiness.
I spent years practicing each and every happiness technique and then I narrowed my list down to the techniques that I found to be most effective and enjoyable.
My aim was to develop an exercise that, when practiced, would help people develop and maintain long term happiness. For the exercise to be successful it had to tick 3 boxes:
- It had to be easy to learn and practice
- It had to be enjoyable
- It had to be effective at developing long term happiness
It took me another few years to develop this technique, and I call it Lite Mind.
Lite Mind is founded on the belief that there are 2 things a person needs to do if they want to develop long term happiness:
1. Appreciate and take the time to appreciate the good in your everyday life
2. Add purpose to your life
And so I developed simple exercises around these 2 principles.
Contained within these exercises are what I found to be the best happiness techniques, including gratitude, joy, serenity, love, intention, engagement, compassion, heartfelt appreciation, adding purpose through intrinsic goals, ensuring that you spend more time with the people you love, savoring nature, exercise, enjoying the sounds around you.
Get a free, breakthrough, happiness exercise
Lite Mind was developed for busy people and is practiced in a way that minimizes the impact on your time.
The morning session is just 2-3 minutes, the evening session is 8-10 minutes, and you practice these exercises just a few times every week.
The length of time per session varies because there are 64 different guided sessions.
These morning and evening sessions train your brain so after just a week of practice you will start to naturally tune into the good in your everyday life.
There is also a weekly review exercise that you practice once a week for about 20-30 minutes- this is the exercise that adds purpose to your life.
The impact of Lite Mind on my life and on the lives of the people who practice it has been immensely positive as evidenced by this testimonial from Mike:
“I am feeling more relaxed, calmer and happier than I think I’ve ever felt in my life and it’s thanks to Lite Mind.
I have the time to spend with my kids, time that I never had before and I never realized how important it is to do this-and how happy it makes me feel.
I’ve also started writing a novel- this was always my dream, and I can’t put into words how much this has added to my life.
None of this would have been possible without Lite Mind- I would say to anyone to give it a try, you won’t regret it.”
Like any form of worthwhile self-improvement exercise, developing long term happiness requires effort and commitment.
I’m not promising that Lite Mind is the magic bullet, the 1 size fits all practice for guaranteed success.
Everyone is different.
And I’m not saying that I am now 100% happy all of the time. That’s just not realistic. I have responsibilities, a young family and a busy, sometimes stressful life.
I get annoyed just like everyone else. Everyday stress can get to me. That’s life.
But what I can say is that I don’t get as stressed as before.
I am far more appreciative of the good I have in my life.
I am spending more time with the people I love.
I have the time to do things that I enjoy, that I am passionate about and that add purpose to my life.
And even though I consider myself to be a pretty selfish, self-centered person, Lite Mind has made me a kinder person.
In short, while my life is by no means perfect, practicing Lite Mind has had a huge impact on my overall levels of happiness.
Get Lite Mind for free: To show you how amazing the Lite Mind exercises are, simply click here to get a free, breakthrough happiness exercise.
About the author
Caemin O Connor is a business owner, a husband and father to 2 beautiful girls.
After years of practicing and teaching meditation, he got frustrated and a little bored with it.
So he started researching and developing new techniques.
He focused on happiness, as he realized the real reason why people try meditation, or any form of self improvement, is because they simply want to be happier.
Caemin spent years studying happiness and the various techniques involved in harnessing it, from gratitude, to compassion, from mindfulness to savoring nature.
The end result is Lite Mind, a breakthrough technique for developing long term happiness.
Simply click on the button below and get a free Lite Mind exercise.