Both mindfulness and resilience are hot topics that everyone in business is talking about at the moment.
Are they related?
Mindfulness has become increasingly popular in western societies in recent years and is seen as a fundamental behaviour for developing resilience.
You are not your thoughts. Your thoughts and feelings arise out of processing information unconsciously and combine with your physiology to create your reactions and your behaviours. You can take responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, and behaviour and work on your own issues as an individual.
Buddhists have been meditating using mindfulness techniques for more than 2,000 years. Mindfulness meditation is not about sitting cross-legged in a cave chanting “Om”. What’s more, there’s no need to become a practicing Buddhist, or ‘Anything-ist’, to benefit from the principles of mindfulness. There is however much benefit to be gained from using some age-old Buddhist philosophies in your life.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that encourages to acknowledge the fleeting nature of your thoughts. You live in the present – in the moment – physically and emotionally, to clear your mind of clutter about what you did in the past and what you will do in the future. By clearing your mind, you can focus on what is really important and what really matters. A disorderly way of thinking can lead to leaping mindlessly into a usual routine or interaction, which can reduce resilience.
One Buddhist concept is called the Noble Eightfold Path which gives a very practical and useful framework to clarify thinking and take an idea from its conception through to successful delivery. It’s also an easy and graceful way to move forward with in life. The difference between those who succeed and those who spend time just thinking about it is taking action. Specifically, it’s about taking the right action at just the right time.
Using the Noble Eightfold Path, here are 8 hacks to work with mindfulness and develop your resilience.
Hack 1: The Right View
Have clarity in your vision and think through its whole life cycle to maturity. Be open to the possibility that it is not your initial vision but its many possible spin-offs that will work out. Bear in mind that it’s okay not to be right all the time.
Hack 2: The Right Resolve
Hold your vision in your heart viewing obstacles and setbacks as opportunities for learning and improvement. Any chances that come your way are signs you are on the right path. It pays dividends to thank them for coming along. If you encounter adversity, it is not time to give up. Resilience is developed through adversity not despite it.
Hack 3: The Right Speech
Market your products and services by extolling their virtues and benefits – not by disparaging those of your competitors. This is especially true on social media. When you send the right message with good energy, others will re-broadcast it for you with amplification.
Hack 4: The Right Conduct
Act ethically and morally at all times. There is truth in the saying that what goes around comes around. It pays dividends to bear in mind the ecology of the planet when using resources. Recycling old and unneeded resources adds great value at minimal cost. Giving away redundant stock, or unused equipment, to those who need it, removes stuck energies from your life.
Hack 5: The Right Livelihood
Be mindful to avoid being greedy and over-ambitious. Make some aspect of your products and services available to all, irrespective of how much they can afford. Give something away for free in exchange for a marketable email address. Share your wisdom so you leave a trail to you and a legacy.
Hack 6: The Right Effort
Work hard but don’t work yourself into the ground. Take breaks but be fully focused when you are at work. Allow your employees some flexibility and encourage them to take all their holidays and to work from home if possible and practical. Being mindful means applying effort at the optimum time so you don’t attempt the impossible or repeat tasks unnecessarily. If your creative flow is flagging, go for a walk and literally allow your breath to bring inspiration your way.
Hack 7: The Right Mindfulness
Be constantly aware of your thoughts and feelings; their source and their purpose. Great creativity stems from expanding your awareness into the whole mind states engaging both left and right hemispheres of your brain to work on the same task at the same time AND involves getting your head, your heart, and your gut to work in harmony.
Hack 8: The Right Concentration
Give yourself a minimum of 10 minutes of me time each day. If you start the day with a quiet mind, you become poised for this new level of great creativity as you become better at noticing opportunities and serendipities that might otherwise pass you by.
After just a few days of regular practice, you gain the ability to stay in the meditative state with your eyes open during the day. When you do this, two remarkable things happen.
- You get more done in less time and external interruptions start to reduce in frequency and severity.
- External events seem to happen just at the right time so you end up being lucky in business and in your life in general.
Through mindfulness, you are able to become more consciously aware and more focused on your emotional and physical needs to ensure that you are not neglecting them. When you are more mindful, you can take control and develop your resilience and the resilience of others.
[The author has the rights to the image – purchased from iStockphoto and adapted]