Most self-help books focus on how you can achieve more. How can you do more, be more… and do it all faster.
This article takes the opposite tack: how and why you should simply sit and be still. The practice of mindfulness – being fully present and aware of the here and now – leads to successful living and greater fulfillment in all aspects of work and life.
The happiest and most successful people are those who have developed their social and emotional intelligence. They have finely tuned self-knowledge and self-awareness.
Honing the skills of awareness requires mindfulness becoming aware of what’s going on inside and around you on several levels. Mindfulness leads to living in a state of full, conscious awareness of ones whole self, of other people and the context in which we live and work.
Before you dismiss mindfulness as New Age rhetoric, pay attention to the research. Recent studies in management science, psychology and neuroscience point to the importance of developing mindfulness through the experience of meditation.
Mindfulness and Busy People
Mindfulness meditation has long been practiced by those seeking calm and peace of mind. A Buddhist-trained HR professional, Michael Carroll encourages stressed-out executives to meditate to become more open and, consequently, more effective.
In his book, The Mindful Leader: Awakening Your Natural Management Skills Through Mindfulness Meditation (2008), Carroll explores the key principles of mindfulness.
The Benefits of Mindfulness
Recent research highlights the many benefits of mindfulness meditation:
But practicing mindfulness requires much well, practice. It demands vulnerability and heart, rather than ambition and achievementa tall order for many hard-driving, results-oriented people.
How to Practice Meditation
In brief, mindfulness meditation is a friendly gesture toward ourselves, in which we take time to sit still and focus on breath for 1025 minutes or longer. You can meditate in your office, sitting in your chair. Here are some essential guidelines:
The Restlessness Experience
At some point in meditation, we experience our mind’s restlessnessa strong desire to be somewhere else, doing other things. Youll be reminded of matters that need your attention.
When you experience restlessness, youll come to realize how you shut down your sense of “here and now” your own presence in the world as it really exists. It’s easy to become distracted, and hard to sit and be still with ourselves.
To become mindful, you must understand the distinction between trying to improve yourself versus experiencing who you already are:
The Art of Non-achievement
Practice mindfulness meditation with non-achievement in mind. Meditations benefits are attained by exercising unseen “mindfulness muscles” as you sit still. Focus and concentration improve with each practice of meditation. Eventually, you learn to turn off the part of the brain that judges.
Mindfulness skills develop with practice and are then applied with a natural ease and familiarity to your thinking, feeling, and expression as you go about your day.
When you slow down, you gain a realistic picture of what’s going on instead of speeding through your dayor worse, speeding through your life.
As your coach or as your mentor, I support you to pay more attention to present moment experiences with openness, curiosity and a willingness to be with what is.
I offer a 30-minute phone consultation, which will be scheduled at no cost to you. Request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also welcome your referrals.