Mindfulness- Is it going to change your life radically? Probably not. But, will it help you transform yourself with every small step to greatness? Absolutely.
In the previous article on mindfulness (Mindful leadership: making work life better), we noticed how inculcating mindfulness as an inherent trait benefits corporate leaders for a better and more rewarding life both professionally and personally. Now, let’s dive deeper into how to be more mindful and hence more remarkable as a result.
“Remain calm, serene, always in command of yourself. You will then find out how easy it is to get along”, said Paramahansa Yogananda. His book, ‘The Autobiography Of A Yogi’, deeply influenced leaders and artists like Mahatma Gandhi, Elvis Presley, Steve Jobs, George Harrison and many more to embark on a quest of inner transformation & self-actualization through mindfulness.
It doesn’t require a special mat or fancy clothes to practice it. Also, you don’t need to go to an ‘aashram’ or spiritual place to learn it. (Though of course the collective positive energy and consciousness at ‘aashram’ can elevate the individual consciousness, but more on that in another blog.) Mindfulness requires only ‘You’. Being mindful is realising that you are here and now. It’s all about experiencing more of ‘what is’, which in turn, helps you create a positive impact on your life and make excellence a habit.
Here are some great tips to get you started:
- Start with small: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, said the ancient philosopher Lao Tzu.Begin with a minute of being mindful of your surroundings few times a day. Remember, your brain responds better to tiny bursts of mindfulness as it allows you to explore it at your own pace. This releases stress and keeps you motivated all the time.
- First things first: Arianna Huffington, President of Huffington Post describes early morning mindfulness practice as her “joy trigger”. As you are like a clean slate when you wake up, practicing mindfulness in the morning will set a relaxed and positive tone for the rest of the day. Take a few deep breaths and see how you feel in the bright morning while you get ready for work.
- Notice something new every day: Try to find something new in the most trivial of things. Observe yourself when you’re brushing your teeth, walking in the garden, eating a breakfast or a meal, etc. Focus your attention on the sight, smell, sound, taste and feel of these activities with intense joy and with an element of discovery.
- Learn meditation: Jeff Weiner, CEO of the world’s largest professional network Linkedin, attributes his leadership excellence at the workplace to his daily practice of meditation. Our minds are wired to wander around a million things. By meditating, you will learn to lovingly and gently bring it back when your mind has wandered away. Meditation facilitates the emergence of mindfulness effortlessly. So, learn meditation through leadership coaching to achieve better work-life balance.
- Be patient on yourself: Don’t give up because as they say- It’s hard in the beginning, messy in the middle, but beautiful at the end. It took a lot of time and efforts to reach the place you are in life, right now. It takes time and patience to learn mindfulness and to use it to make your life better. Remember, it’s a journey where the destination doesn’t matter. You don’t have to get anywhere, you just have to learn “to be”.
A recent book by Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson named Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body outlines the benefits of mindfulness and meditation in a compelling way grounded in new research findings.
Closer home, business leaders like Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Anand Mahindra, and many more keep sharing their personal experience on mindfulness, which is certainly.
Mindfulness is a precious skill which hands over to you the power to transcend every problem in life by deeply understanding it versus running from it. It’s a practical way to experience life’s wonders with utmost curiosity and passion, and provides you with tools to understand life with the greatest depth and wholeness. In this way, it creates abundance in your potential to grow and prosper in life. Rightly said by Oprah Winfrey, “Only by connecting to the stillness (mindfulness), where all creative expression, peace, light and love come to be, can you create your best work, and your best life.”