Mindfulness is sweeping corporate culture. It’s the hot buzzword of the moment. It’s practice brings great benefits. However it is not the ned all and be all. It needs to be balanced in order for you to succeed. What does this mean? Let’s start with what mindfulness is.
Mindfulness is the act of being in the moment. It is focusing on what you are doing right now. In practice most people focus on their breathing to clear their minds, but you can focus on any activity you are doing. It is about being aware of yourself, your activity and your surroundings in that moment. It is a great way to resent your mind and stay focused.
What do we mean that it needs to be balanced. Like most things, people tend to go overboard. Being in the moment is great. It enhances your focus on what you are doing. Now, however, there are people promoting the idea of ALWAYS being in the moment. It follows the idea that if some is good, more is better. This is not the case.
Being in the moment is about focusing on what you are doing at that moment. It is about being in the present. Practitioners often state that you don’t want to focus on the past or the future. This is not entirely accurate. Most of us need to focus on the past periodically. It’s called evaluating. If you simply do a project and don’t look back to see if it was a success or not, you are not learning from it. You need to evaluate and learn what went wrong and what went right so you can use those lessons in what you are doing now.
We also need to focus on the future from time to time. It’s called planning. You need to plan what you are going to do so that things go smoothly. You wouldn’t have an event by showing up the day of the event and assuming everything will be in place.
Past, present and future all have their place. Evaluate but then move on. Plan but then take action. Balancing mindfulness is about going into the past and future as needed, but not dwelling there. This is balancing mindfulness. Like everything else, mindfulness has its place, but you can’t use it to the exclusion of all else.
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