Small business owners possess a new secret weapon. Mindfulness hands you the key to being happier and more productive in your company.
What is Mindfulness
He describes it as “paying attention to our thoughts, emotions and sensations in our body in the present moment in a non-judgmental way”. And he explains the most important and difficult part for business owners is to be non critical. They need to avoid getting frustrated or angry which only makes the problem worse. David laments the alternative to mindfulness. He describes this as getting caught up in a cycle of constant reactivity.
David describes mindfulness as incredibly simple, but not very easy. With all the distractions and interruptions in our business day, we must decide where we turn our attention. In his book “Mindful Work: How Meditation is Changing Business from the Inside Out”, David frames mindfulness not as a feel good or “woo-woo” type of practice, but one where business people are seeing measurable effects on improved productivity with lower stress levels.
To get started, David suggests appreciating the “small moments, many times”. You can take one of two paths: First, wait a few seconds and pause for a moment before you turn your computer on in the morning. Similarly, let the phone ring a few more times before you answer it. Secondly, there is also apps for mindfulness like Headspace or 10% Happier.
Mindfulness has made it into the mainstream. David organized a meditation group at the NY Times and hundreds of people signed up. Earlier this year, he and others led 400 executives from the NY Times in meditation at a recent leadership retreat!
As the NY Times Corner Office columnist, I also talked to David about the leaders he has interviewed from his unique social and political point of view including Gwyneth Paltrow and Bernie Madoff.
Image: David Gelles