The reason you are here is to get your business together, I get it. BUT Pre-work doesn't only entail gathering your vital business stats, we gotta lay the foundation for this thing. Before we get too far down the list, let’s just really look at mindfulness. A lot of people do not understand how mindfulness works. You will not be one of those people.
THIS WILL BE AN INTRO VIDEO
We are going to ease into this thing, by starting with the basics. Mindfulness is a pretty clear cut term. What makes mindfulness so attractive, is the traits of those who practice. As elusive as the concept may seem at first, its effects are easy to spot. The main one: Emotional Intelligence. Before you can manage a business yourself -- you have to manage yourself and your life. So emotional intelligence is a must.
WHERE MINDFULNESS MEETS BUSINESS
Think of this as your mini primer. Click to expand the sections and get a feel for mindfulness, business and everything in between.
click to expand
What is Mindfulness
> Mind·ful·ness -- ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/ -- noun a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique. People quit mindfulness without giving it a fair chance, because they do not understand what it is designed to do. It is designed to help you, help yourself. Some people think mindfulness doesn’t really work because "it doesn't take away my problems." But that isn’t what mindfulness is designed to do. It’s like claiming toasters don’t work because you can’t use them to make pancakes.
Mindfulness itself might seem trivial, except for, in reality, we spend more time veering off topic than we do on the matter at hand. Our mind races a mile a minute and we lose touch with our body (bite nails, slump in our seats, tap our feet). We end up engrossed in obsessive thoughts about something that just happened or fretting about the future. But honestly, this is part of what makes human.
Characteristics of Mindfulness:
- Intention - create, set and work towards a personal mission, vision, and values
- Attention - focus on the present, one thing at a time
- Perspective - maintain an open, non-judgmental, non-reactive mindset
How can Mindfulness help Business?
Mindfulness is not new in the world of business either. Terms like consciousness, values based, change management etc., when unpacked all have the concept of mindfulness at their core. For business, in short, mindfulness helps highlight the inner workings of the mind. Seeing how we filter and process perceptions, decisions, and strategies; highlights preconceived notions and underlying motivations. Essentially, we learn what we're doing as we are doing it. Knowing this makes it possible for you to set aside your personal "filters”, which is critical in business. Omitting these biases allows you to be open to yourself, others and the process. Making us more innovative and ultimately more productive. It’s the secret sauce.
Let’s back up to productivity for a second. People misunderstand the notion of productivity. Therefore, we focus on the end result, and less (if at all) on what goes into achieving it. Productivity is about much more than getting things done. It's about open, calmer minds, increased self-awareness and a capacity for self-transformation. Mindfulness gives you a competitive advantage over those unable to step out of their "norm". While they are stuck in the old, you are out trailblazing the new. Being conscious of our own mental processes, and practicing control of those processes will empower you to be successful. Cultivating the key elements of a mindfulness practice you strengthen your capacity to live and work effectively.
It's Easy...But it Takes Practice
One of the greatest things about mindfulness is that as soon as you notice that you’re not mindful...you're being mindful! Yes, even being mindful of your own lack of mindfulness can be part of your practice. It’s actually the very first steps of your practice.
With that being said, practicing mindfulness is kind of like going to the gym. If you’re new to weightlifting, you don’t want to start with a 100 pound weight. You’re apt to try and pick it up, get discouraged, and never hit the gym again. Patience, compassion and consistency will make your practice more beneficial to you.
So there you have it, that’s it. Mindfulness is really that simple. To better assess where to start in your mindfulness practice, here is a quiz, to get you going. Take it and see where you stand, there are even book recommendations if you wish to do more research.
But Wait, What About Business
The bottom line is for the sake of efficiency, we tend to make new decisions based upon old associations. Through mindfulness practice, you are able to notice how the mind reacts to thoughts, sensations, and information, seeing past the old framework and habitual patterns that unconsciously guide behavior. This creates space to deliberately choose how to speak and act.
So your job is to do just that, identify the old framework and habitual patterns of your industry or job (Intrapreneurship matters too!). Ask your peers, your target market, jeeves (aka google), look at your competition etc. Really spend time considering what is influencing your current approach to your job or business. To keep from lifting a 100lb weight on the first day, we will stop here, but don’t lose your notes. We will build on this soon!