Yesterday I rode the subway into Manhattan to attend a class. During my trip, I saw a woman buried in her music; the MTA bus driver repeatedly saying, “Sir, please step behind the white line”, but ignored. Another frustrated commuter squeezed and shoved through the crowded, subway walkway and impolitely hurled for a seat. In an hour, I observed more than a few individuals either not pay attention to their surroundings or unaware how they affected others. I discerned each person had one circumstance in common: a lack of mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is recognizing how your chances to be robbed increase because you appear vulnerable, recognizing how if you are asked to step behind the line is for your and other’s protection, and recognizing how you avoid inciting an argument because you waited instead of pushing through the crowd. You are aware how the words you speak or the actions you choose have severe or even fatal consequences in any or all areas of your life. Sometimes a lack of mindfulness is displayed in the individual who is more concerned with themselves than others. Synonyms for mindfulness include conscientious, self-awareness, sensitive, or responsible.
What are additional examples?
Your friend turns into a raving lunatic in the midst of a disagreement. However, you are aware the role you played causing these hysterics. Your boss doesn’t hand-pick you for projects or select you for specialty assignments. A lack of trustworthiness from past incidents is the cause, yet you recognize this. Conversely, an employee refuses to respect or listen to your instructions. But, you realize how this disrespect stems from long ago conflict. In a romantic relationship, your significant other does not trust you. You still know this distrust is now the core issue of every dispute in your relationship. These examples are additional examples of people displaying or understanding mindfulness.
Let me insert this important note; mindfulness does not mean you are to blame, but more about how you are directing the results in a particular circumstance.
So, are you mindful?
One way to measure the levels of mindfulness are your outcomes. Is life a struggle or are you accomplishing your dreams and goals? Are your friendships healthy and reliable? How is your health? Finances? Happiness? Confidence?
- The problem for the lack of mindfulness: you are in your head or thoughts. Being in your heads is common, but it takes practice and awareness to recognize yourself or your thoughts. When you step out of yourself, you see what is going on with you or mental dialogue occurring.
- The solution for developing mindfulness: practice silence, stillness, and solitude. The longer you stay silent, still and alone, the greater your ability grows to see your thoughts or inner conversations.
- The underlying cause for the lack of mindfulness: Lack of self-awareness, self-discipline, and self-development. I sound like a broken record, but self-awareness is essential to solutions or problem-solving. If you are not cognizant of the predicament, how can you solve the problem? When you lack the ability to sit long enough, the reason is you require self-control and personal development. Your shortcoming is the lacking within or a weak self-traits.
- The required Action to improve mindfulness: Practice delaying gratification to improve self-control. Each time you are tempted in life delay the gratification. The best example I can think of is to resist the delicious chocolate you know you need to eliminate from your diet. Until you no longer surrender to your chocolate cravings, extend the time from eating that dark, sweet chocolate to finally conceding to never eating that chocolate.
Each individual I encountered on the subway was too involved in their inner conversations or not mindful enough to see the potential conflict. For example, the iPhone lady who stand to be robbed because she partook an internal conversation with her music. The male who continuously stepped over the line because he took part in a constant conversation in his head, “I need to ask the bus driver a question.” And the individual who rushed for the seat held the personal chats, “I want to get a seat.” Again, each involved with internal conversations.
To conclude, you need to increase your silent time to become habitual with noticing and listening to your inner voice and avoid being in your head or thoughts.
Final words, if you aspire to lead you must master mindfulness because leadership and mindfulness go hand in hand. Whatever leadership role you are involved in, you need to be mindful or attentive to others feelings. And if you have not left your dead-end job, found love, stayed in a unfulfilling relationship, or felt unfulfillment each directly results from the lack of mindfulness or internal conversations you are partaking with yourself. What area of your life are you not mindful or having internal self-sabotaging conversations????