People often ask me, "How do you manage to stay calm with everything you do?" The honest answer, it wasn't always that easy until I learned how to practice mindfulness. You see, my mind was always "full" and caught up in the uncertainty and pressure that we all face on a daily basis as human beings.
I'm here to share with you 5 key ingredients to living a mindful life which will set you apart in the workforce, allow you to lead with peace of mind, and bring ROI for your hard work in both personal and professional environments.
1. Remove the word SHOULD from your vocabulary. What should you being doing? Odds are, you are doing what you are doing because the current situation and your born intuition is driving you in a certain direction. The easiest way to cloud your vision is to worry about what you should be doing instead of focusing on the present and what is.
2. Make YOU time everyday. In a world with constant email, instant gratification, and the first words when being asked how you are is "I'm busy," you must make time for yourself. Find a time when you can devote 30 minutes to check-in with you each day. A time when you can journal what is going well and what you would like to change. A time to review your emotional state, understand where frustrations are coming from, and re-frame the negative into positive outcomes. And no, the gym does not count.
3. Attend a WEEKEND WORKSHOP on meditation. Yes, all of you non-hippys can attend and will find value from a meditation workshop or retreat. It might be hard to sit still like it was for me in the beginning, but I promise you will find it well worth your time; you might even go back for more! There are numerous places that teach meditation, hold workshops, etc. You can even visit a local Buddhist church or monastery to learn about the ancient practice of meditation. Think of your first time as a cultural experience and not a challenge to your religious identity.
4. FOCUS on the present. You cannot control what happened yesterday and your vision is not likely great enough to predict the future. As all leaders have learned, the floor will fall out on you when you least expect it; it is how you get back up that matters. Learning to be present and focused is a key skill that will set you apart as you lead teams, answer questions, and decide on what strategy your company will take as it adjusts its course to market conditions.
5. NOT YOUR EMERGENCY. Before entering the business world, I worked on the busiest ambulances and fire engines in the nation. I learned how to push my body and mind to their limits as I responded on 20+ emergency incidents in a 24hr window. The key to staying sane, it is not your emergency. Your life is the most precious gift, your mind the most powerful tool, and your ability to harness happiness, joy, and satisfaction completely within your control. Remember the next time a co-worker snaps at you or a project didn't go so well...don't take things personally, don't get caught in the drama, and remember, it is not your emergency. Always respond in a calm and confident manner to control the situation; in doing this, you control your reaction to stress, making yourself the one everyone will gravitate towards in those uncertain times. And in that, you will rise to the top as a leader and trusted adviser to those around you when the situation is at its worst.