Mindfulness and Meditation: Keys to Success in Business and Life
Mindfulness and meditation have been described as one of the keys to great, dynamic leadership. Leadership voices including Harvard Business Review, Michael Hyatt, Hugh Culver and others write about its importance.
However, whether you’re a leader or not, developing mindfulness is one of the most important things you can do. It leads to important tools to develop better relationships, manage stress, keep a positive mind, improve energy levels and cultivate presence.
What is mindfulness?
In Buddhism, mindfulness is defined as the intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one’s attentions on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment.
Understanding your state of mind is one of the greatest insights you can have. Your state of mind effects those around you, especially if you’re in a leadership situation.
If the ship is sinking and the Captain in panicking, how would everyone else feel? If he’s calm, confident and in control, would it be a different story?
In the business setting, the Arbinger Institute’s Leadership and Self Deception and Anatomy of Peace were great reads. They talk about recognizing how your judgements effect people, and managing conflict.
Why it’s not enough
Recognizing your state of mind and external factors is just a starting point. You’ve reached the door and opened it – the next step is to develop a strong mind that can stay calm and positive no matter what the world throws at it. This is done with meditation.
Meditation is exercise for the mind. There’s a lot of types of meditation out there. It’s important to find one that develops a greater connection between your mind, body and everything around you.
Whether it takes the form of sitting quietly or something active (like going for a run), you’ll find that the best leaders have a regular meditation practice and recognize its importance and value. It helps them stay present, be calm under pressure and recharge.
For the last decade, I’ve been training (and teaching) with the Vancouver Ki Society, a non-profit school that teaches a version of mindfulness called Mind and Body Coordination and its applications to health and life. It’s by far, one of the most valuable things I’ve done in my life.
For those interested in learning more, we are running an introductory course in New Westminster starting October 15th. Visit the Vancouver Ki Society’s website for more details.