We live in a world that loves busy people. Loves them.
It’s a world that feeds us a steady diet of breaking news and mobile technology. We’re told ‘busy’ means important. Successful. Fabulous. Normal.
But here is what’s rarely mentioned, busy minds aren’t so wonderful when you’re in a leadership role. And they don’t allow space for happiness or thriving.
A stressed mind just breeds more stress. It’s too preoccupied to see an easy path right in front of it and too busy to notice everyday moments of joy.
As a leader, you need to be clear-headed. You need to make sharp decisions. And, while this might be hard to hear, a busy mind is a scattered mind.
I see you shaking your fist at me. It sounds unfathomable to have a demanding career and active personal life without having a mind that’s bursting at the seams. I agree it’s not easy. But I assure you, it’s possible.
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: The Mindfulness Challenge
I challenge you to set a goal for yourself to have a calmer mind. I think you’ll be surprised at how fast the benefits kick in.
Start by giving yourself 5 to 10 minutes in the morning (or at the end of the day) to put down all technology and just be still and silent. Just be.
Sounds painfully simple, right? Can you do it for 3 weeks straight?
It’s likely you’ll find your mind chattering non-stop at first, unable to take even a moment of true silence. That’s ok. Go with it. When it chatters, talk back. Tell yourself, ‘It’s ok to be quiet for a moment. It’s ok to not think right now.’
You also might find yourself drifting off, and then suddenly jolting alert again. That’s ok too – it’s not a problem.
Above all, be gentle with yourself as you experiment with mindfulness. Take great caution to not get frustrated or angry with yourself.
Your goal isn’t a perfectly still mind. It’s simply to play with letting it be calmer for a few minutes a day and accept whatever the experience brings.
If you liked this blog post, you'll love my book Lead + Live Advanced: 6 Practices to Master the Art of Thriving.
Lisa Martin has made it her mission to help companies keep and cultivate leaders. She’s the creator of the Lead + Live Better leadership programs, author of five books, including the bestselling Briefcase Moms, and she is a seasoned speaker, facilitator and executive coach.
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