Why I Started FitMind

It seems like an odd move to suddenly depart from finance to start a meditation company.  

In truth, it is a pretty radical career change.  

But what I’ve found is that meditation is the perfect antidote to the modern world, to everything that plagues the human mind: attention deficit disorder, depression, anxiety, social discord and much more. 

The mind is all we have. It is the very way we perceive the world around us.  

Psychologists will tell you that 90% of your happiness is a result of your worldview, or perspective. So, in that regard, why do we spend nearly all of our time focused on improving the 10% that is our external circumstances? Yet we often neglect to train the 90%, our minds. 

I think most people don’t realize that you can train your mind. It seems counterintuitive, the mind training itself. But what scientists are now referring to as self-directed neuroplasticity (a fancy way of saying “meditation”) is the ability for the brain to re-wire depending on how you direct your attention. This is a recent discovery in neuroscience, and an incredibly empowering one.

You need not have any mental health problem (in fact, you might be living a very happy life) to benefit tremendously from meditation. You probably won’t realize how often your mind worries about the future or gets buried in the past until you sit down and observe it. (Some researchers tell us that about 65% of the average person’s thoughts are negative. That’s a miserable existence!)[1]

Do you think you control your thoughts? Where do they come from? Only through meditation, by developing introspective metacognitive awareness, does it become clear how out of control the untrained mind really is.

Meditation is the primary tool we have for training our minds to be under our control. It provides us the ability to disconnect from negative emotions, think rationally, and enjoy the present moment. It gives our more recently evolved, rational part of the brain (prefrontal cortex) control over the more primitive desires (limbic system and brain stem). Meditation allows each of us to be the best version of ourselves.  

In my opinion, modern living is simply incomplete without a regular meditation practice because we are otherwise easily manipulated by, for example, artificial intelligence or targeted advertising. If we are dominative by our primitive brain, how are we different from animals that run on pure instinct? When we serve our minds, instead of our minds serving us, living becomes difficult. 

Worse still, if we don’t meditate we will tragically live a large portion of our day completely removed from the present moment (where life actually occurs). Research has shown that your mind wanders about 47% of the day,[2] lost in a mental simulation of the future or past.

And all of this isn’t even to mention the medical benefits of meditation. While most people are aware that exercise is necessary for health, I think it has not yet become common knowledge just how strong the link is between mind and body. Mental illness can manifest itself physically, and vice versa. No health program is complete without a mental training component - it would be like ignoring diet or sleep!

That’s why my aim is to get everyone meditating. And meditating properly: not some dumbed-down mindfulness app (although that might be a good starting point), but real mental training. Meditation isn’t a pill, it’s the scientific process of training the mind, and it takes applied effort and consistency. In a world in which everyone wants quick fixes to their problems, my goal with FitMind is to make meditation as fun and interesting as possible without detracting from its effectiveness.  

FitMind is a method of learning about and systematically training the mind. It’s an attempt to get everyone’s mind in the best shape possible, allowing for the best life possible.  

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[2](Killingsworth, Matthew A., and Daniel T. Gilbert. "A wandering mind is an unhappy mind." Science 330.6006 (2010): 932-932.) 

Liam McClintockComment