Just a few years ago you could only read about mindfulness in yoga and spirituality magazines and websites. Today it is pretty much everywhere! The most prominent business publications, such as The Economist, Forbes and Wired, feature it regularly and there’s even an international conference focused on mindfulness in business, called Wisdom 2.0!
But what exactly is mindfulness and how can it work for you?
As yoga teacher and long time meditation practitioner I can definitely confirm the tremendous help it has given me during the busiest times in my law career and later on, in the startup world.
The time is now
Simply put, mindful living means being aware and actively present in the moment. It means noticing and completely engaging in what is happening in your life right now.
By doing that you are not governed any more by fears, expectations or reactions, that arise out of habit, but by a conscious response to actual circumstances. Being rooted in the present moment, you can better assess the situation, notice its various facets, and use all your skills, when taking action.
In fact, research has found, that with increased mindfulness people become more charismatic, innovative, effective and less judgmental. Memory and attention improve, relationships expand, stress and pain decrease, energy increases. In short, we start using our full potential.
Open your mind
One of the first steps towards mindful living is committing to noticing new things in your work and home environment. That way you open up your perspective and become aware of new possibilities. In turn this enables you to be more creative and innovative.
Acceptance is key
Despite the fact we all know failure is part of being an entrepreneur, we can easily get discouraged and perhaps even give up, when it happens.
Taking the mindful approach to it, makes all the difference. By acknowledging how we feel and accepting the situation as it is, we can come to a conscious realization, that what has happened is already in the past. Focusing on the present moment, gives us a new perspective – the opportunity to see, that every “failure” also brings a valuable lesson. Perhaps it is about how we can improve our product, maybe it is a pivoting point for our business, or a meeting with a potential new business partner or investor.
Our reactions, especially when they are not mindful, are based on our own particular experiences and skills. Which are always limited, because we simply cannot know and master everything.
By regularly reminding ourselves, that other people see and experience the same situation differently than we do, we can become more accepting towards them and their opinions. As a result, our relationships with colleagues, friends and family improve, we collaborate better and as a result we can produce more innovative and creative results.
Experience your full potential
And this is just scratching the surface of how mindful living can enhance our life! By taking up a regular mindfulness practice, such as meditation, we slowly develop a more permanent inner stability and peace of mind, an inner joy that does not depend on success in work or private life, and a growing sense of kindness and compassion.
To come back to our starting point, anyone can practice mindfulness in everyday life. The first step towards it, is to decide to be aware and fully present in the moment. Making it a habit, you will undoubtedly notice results, because by only being rooted in the now, we can tap into our full potential for creativity and success. And that is ultimately the basis of innovation and disruption.
Are you already using or thinking to start practicing the mindful approach in your private and work life? I would love to know what are the results that you are noticing!
I wrote this article for Pitch.rs, a platform for sharing knowledge for entrepreneurs and startups.