“The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion.” —Thích Nhất Hạnh
Seems like everyone is talking about Mindfulness these days.
But, what is mindfulness, exactly? And how does it support us in our work?
Wikipedia’s definition of mindfulness is “The psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training.”
I think of mindfulness as paying attention in the present moment to both inner and outer worlds without being too focused on my thoughts. I’m engaged with whatever is happening in the moment with positive attention, rather than focusing on my inner dialogue.
Just this week, I was reading an article in the latest issue of National Geographic on the science of addiction. The article stated that when examining research on the ways that were most effective in preventing relapse, mindfulness training was more effective than a 12-step program.The simple practice of being mindful—without judgment and without reacting—apparently supports people to deal with their urges during recovery (whether it’s drugs, food, gambling, smoking, or whatever).
I don’t know about you, but I find that fascinating.
And of course, even with situations that rank far below addiction on the intensity scale, I know from my experience that practicing mindfulness benefits just about everything. In fact, it’s a one of the most powerful business tools, bar none.
So with this in mind, today’s post is about some of the ways that practicing mindfulness benefits your business.
We do what we do, only better
When we’re mindful, we experience things differently. There’s something about letting everything go except for what is present in the moment.
We accomplish more overall because we aren’t so caught up in all the other things happening around us. Rather, we’re present with what is in front of us.
Meetings go smoother, calls are efficient yet connected, and other people feel our presence in a positive way.
Before most sales calls, I take 5 minutes to quiet my mind and do a little mini meditation. When I go on the call, I’m calm and very present. I listen wholeheartedly and I can always tell when the connection is made. This one thing has made a huge difference in my sales.
Attention is focused without being single-minded
Being mindful makes it easier to focus, but it’s not about being focused on one thing to the exclusion of everything else. Mindfulness allows room for ideas and creativity to flow because we are open to whatever comes forward.
There’s nothing forced about it. When we’re being mindful, the email we’re writing comes together easily without effort, the next steps in the project we’re working on naturally evolve, and the financial statement we’re reviewing is easy to digest and understand. Simply because that is where our attention is.
If resistance to whatever we’re working on comes up, when we’re mindful, we can acknowledge the feeling and let it pass, or decide to do something different in that moment.
My experience is that when I’m mindful, the task in front of me gets done, and I easily move on to what’s next. When I’m all over the place, my attention becomes fragmented and things take longer and often need revision.
Work-Life balance is easier to attain
Here’s the deal. At work or at home, mindfulness enriches what we experience. Things flow in a calmer way, and it’s easier to create the time for ALL things in our lives, whether work or play.
When we’re mindful, we can see how our experience outside of work contributes to how we are at work.
I used to get off work and spend the evening thinking and talking about work. Not so much anymore, unless something is going on that needs attention. I’ve learned to be present, whether I’m sharing a meal with family or taking a walk. When I go back to work, I feel rested and ready to give it my all.
Mindfulness cultivates interconnectedness
Another benefit of being mindful is the awareness of how we feel and how our bodies feel. There is an interconnectedness that happens.
When we’re conscious of our feelings, we make decisions with clarity. In the same way, when we listen to our bodies, we’re able to make decisions that are self-honoring about what’s going on with us physically.
We’re also connected to people, to community, and to nature. Sometimes we get caught up in all that’s going on and don’t notice what’s around us. Being mindful allows us to notice things, even when we’re busy. We notice things like the flowers growing on the side of the road on our drive to work, the stars in the sky when we go outside at night, and whether the people around us are happy or upset.
When we’re mindful, we feel the interconnection to all that we experience. This supports the relationship’s we have, the way we communicate with others, and how we are with ourselves. These are just a few of the benefits of practicing mindfulness. Even spending a little bit of time each day being mindful will foster well-being in your life, which is good for you, and good for your business.
What are benefits that you’ve experienced from being mindful in your business?