As a mindfulness teacher, I am used to skepticism. More than a few people believe that personal development, meditation, and emotional intelligence are just fairy tales for adults with impressionable minds.
I don’t care. I have seen the results for myself. I was a skeptic myself, thinking that self-help was just a publicity stunt to make money selling books. Until one day life hit me hard.
If there is one thing skeptical people are, besides being distrustful, it is that they are pragmatic. skeptical comes from the Latin skeptics, which in turn comes from the Greek σκεπτικός (skeptikós), meaning ‘thoughtful’ or ‘reflective’. The skeptic always doubts but because deep down he is constantly looking for answers.
The skeptic’s problem is the same as anyone else’s: he does not want to leave his comfort zone; he feels very good with his airs of superiority distrusting everything and everyone (I was that arrogant). But when something serious happens to him, he runs away from his comfort zone as if it were a house on fire.
Every good skeptic knows that if he doesn’t help himself, no one will help him. And when he realizes the previous sentence he puts aside hypocrisy to embrace the change of attitude towards self-help because helping himself is the only solution and he knows it.
The same month I was fired from my own company, I was betrayed by someone very close to me and someone very important to me died. After spending months consuming myself in the bonfire of victimhood I decided it was time to look for solutions.
I opened my mind, I needed different methods to obtain different results from what I had harvested so far. It was then that I read The Inner Compass by Álex Rovira. When I finished it I understood the phrase “books heal”.
As I have already said, every skeptic is pragmatic. When I realized that reading that book improved my emotional discomfort I decided to try more of those holistic things that I had criticized so much: Yoga, Mindfulness, working on my reflex, reducing my ego, etc.
One of the ego’s tricks is to make you think that others are self-centered and not you. But you don’t learn that by reading Buddhist books…