Why are writing and meditating so hard to do regularly? Over the last several years, I’ve tried to incorporate them into my daily routine, but I’ve struggled to maintain doing both consistently.

Many activities are hard to do regularly, like exercising, eating healthy and waking up early. However, writing and meditation are interesting to examine for one important reason — they are opposites. Writing is thinking. Meditating is not thinking.

Why is thinking so hard? Well, because humans are inherently lazy. Anytime we can offload having to think critically, we tend to do so. Hence why we love sports, video games, movies, tv shows, Instagram, chatting with friends and so forth.

Why is not thinking so hard? This one’s harder to explain. Since humans are lazy, wouldn’t that mean we would love to just not think about anything for a half hour or an hour a day? Well, no, but why? My best guess is that we are so inherently comfortable in a middle phase — between thinking and not thinking, that we do everything we can to stay there. It’s like being in a warm bed on a cold morning — all we want to do is stay there for as long we can. Sitting silent and noticing our thoughts is a scary and uncomfortable proposition because we are so used to being in the middle, more comfortable phase. In this phase, we are almost like drones just chugging along on without the will to think nor the mindfulness to sit still.

The solution? As with anything, there is no magic pill. We have to will ourselves to get out of the warm bed and do what we know will be good for us. Personally, it comes down to discipline and doing the things that make me uncomfortable because I’ll better off in the long run.