In a fast-paced, technologically advanced society, the role of mindfulness to achieve success is of increasing importance. Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, unconditionally. So what does this mean? Mindfulness stems from the ancient practice of connecting one’s self to the present moment through increased awareness. It is in the present moment we can appreciate where we are, for what it is.
Appreciation is important, whether we want to be there or not, as it is through appreciation that we gain perspective. Mindfulness has been shown to enhance perspective, performance, decision making and problem solving, innovation, as well as contributing to reducing bias and stress. From these results, it is easy to understand how mindfulness can contribute to both business and personal success.
Broadened perspective. Mindfulness is based on a tenet of viewing life from the present moment. By looking and assessing where we are, and consider where we would like to go, we have a better perspective than one that is burdened by the past. From this perspective we may be able to see our situation or challenges in a new light. When we see where we are, right now, we can more carefully analyze opportunities that may exist, by appreciating this crossroad. When we possess a traditional perspective, instead of a mindful one, we assess how we got to where we are which introduces bias into our potential outcomes and limits our thinking as we become stuck on the role of the past. A broadened perspective provides us with greater possibilities.
Improved Performance. Mindfulness is a continual learning mindset which leads to improved performance and excellence. When we consider our organizations or ourselves as “the best,” we shortchange learning opportunities and improved performance. The best indicates that there is nothing better. It indicates that we have arrived, not that we still have somewhere to go. When we consider ourselves continual learners we embrace a philosophy that no matter how great we have become, there is always room for improvement- and this may not be based on what we have done in the past.
Solutions based on context. Within mindfulness, context is of utmost importance. Just because we have succeeded in business or on a personal level by taking certain steps, this does not mean that what we have done is the only way. There may be a better strategy to take us to a better place, but if we don’t judge each present moment, within context, we miss out on many opportunities, especially the opportunity of appreciating the crossroad. Focusing on what we’ve done limits our solutions. Instead, consider context to broaden perspective and enhance innovation in the present.
Work/life balance. Work and life do not need to be in competition with one another. When we are mindful, we can integrate both into a harmonious union. When we increase our awareness to understand when we are feeling overwhelmed, we can practice mindful decisions to bring our harmony into balance. Balance helps increase awareness of hidden opportunities, in the present, as we reflect on what we want or where we want to be from a perspective of learning. What we can learn right now, is critical to balancing out chaos and gaining clear perspective.
Increased creativity and innovation. When we are facing problems and become stuck, applying mindfulness can help us see the clearing through the weeds, instead of relying on habits to resolve. For example, if we are faced with dropping sales or a low income, mindfulness helps us evaluate new solutions. This is an opportunity to say, “I am here. What exists where I am?” We may have tried one way to approach a problem or done things that are traditionally always done (habits), but why do it that way? Mindfulness helps us to see that this moment is what matters. We now have an opportunity to find a better solution. Think of mindfulness as a field of limitless possibilities. There are no boundaries- not from the past, nor in the future. We are where we are- what exists in this place? In business this is an opportunity to appreciate a dedicated workforce, despite slipping sales. In one’s personal life this may be health or drive.
Fair and bias-free mindset. One of the great benefits of mindfulness is that it is a conduit for fair and biased-free thinking. When we are freed from how we did things and consider where we are, we reduce blame and guilt, and are better able to move forward. Mindfulness is liberating, especially in decision making and solution finding as it opens our minds to a limitless future, by considering the present state and that what is, is not fixed. When we keep fluidity in how we perceive the future and what we desire, we open ourselves up to better outcomes.
Mindfulness is a powerful, transformative tool. It is the key to helping us break habitual strongholds by seeing every moment as an opportunity to learn and grow. “Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better” Jim Rohn.
Jolene Church is a mindfulness practitioner, success coach, and motivational speaker. Her latest book, Thinking 101: Fundamentals of a Successful Mindset, helps people break down conditioned barriers in our thinking that inhibits our success. www.SuccessfulThinkingMindset.com
Jolene holds Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership and is a certified master success coach. Jolene's writing is continually inspired by the challenges that her clients are facing. She finds constant inspiration in the world around her and is profoundly honored to be living her purpose helping others turn impossible into possible.