Just how mindful are you as you go through your day? Are you focused on the present moment? Or lost in thoughts about the past, and on what’s happening next?
Many 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.
You’d be surprised to hear how many people I coach live each moment daydreaming in the past or in the future. People slide through their days thinking about who said what and what they will say the next time they get a chance. Or, they’re imagining what things will be like when they achieve their goals and get beyond today.
We don’t spend enough time or energy fully engaged in reality, responding to what’s in front of us, fully present in our relationships.
The happiest and most successful people are those who develop their social and emotional intelligence, have finely tuned self-knowledge and self-awareness, and who value their relationships, including:
- The ability to connect with personal values and principles
- The ability to imbue actions with meaning
- The ability to align emotions with goals
- The ability to keep motivated, focused and on purpose
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 one’s 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.
People who meditate to improve their focus and concentration in the here and now benefit in many ways. I’ll share more about this in my next post. In the meantime, you can contact me here or on LinkedIn.