Can Mindfulness Make Us More Socially Engaged?

There’s a fair amount of criticism about how practicing mindfulness is a selfish endeavor. The assumption is that by taking time for classes or retreats, quietly reflecting on my inner state, and choosing to minimize distractions or “noise”, that I will become overly focused on myself at the expense of the very real local and world issues surrounding me. To that I say: Perhaps, but there’s much, much more to the story. Harmful vs. Noble Selfishness For most of my life, I have strived to be considered a success; to be “enough”. This meant being hyper-fixated on my outward appearance, …

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How Perfectionism Harms Us (and Those We Love)

Imagine coming home after a long day at work to a house cluttered with dishes, a stack of mail on the table, stray socks on the floor, and an overflowing trash can. You’re so exhausted, and with another intense day at the office awaiting you tomorrow, you’d love nothing more than to crawl under the blankets and go to sleep. Do you eat a snack, brush your teeth, and hit the sack? Or does your breath quicken as your eyes scan the room and you begin a mental list of everything you need to do before going to bed? If …

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Mindfulness: The Antidote to Unproductive Meetings

Many of us spend large parts of our workdays in meetings that seem to go nowhere. Maybe we are not paying attention when important concepts are being introduced, or our ideas don’t get the consideration they deserve because everyone is busy on their respective devices or lost in their thoughts. In either case, there is a waste of time and resources. Important decisions don’t get made, and opportunities are lost. So, how do we change this? How can our organizations take full advantage of the collective wisdom of all the participants? Here are some suggestions for bringing more mindfulness and …

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Why Leaders Need Mindfulness

During my career, I’ve been in many leadership positions and I’ve worked with many different leaders. We all seem to get tripped up and stumble in the same places, and our effectiveness suffers. We don’t take the time, or aren’t able, to get through all the noise and confusion to see what is actually happening; we can’t clear enough mental space in our overloaded brains to come up with groundbreaking solutions; and we too often lose touch with the very people that can help us navigate change successfully. The qualities of an effective leader that I’ve observed and experienced really …

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