A mind that is fast is sick. A mind that is slow is sound. A mind that is still is divine.
As I said in last week’s column, I have just returned from walking over 450 miles on the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. That experience taught me so many important lessons that each and every business can learn from as well.
Walking seven or eight hours every day (about 15 miles) gives you lots of time to be with your thoughts. I quickly noticed that if I watched my thoughts and just allowed them to rise then dissipate rather than follow them, I became so relaxed. In this calm state, I was able to see the world from a much more holistic viewpoint.
In our daily lives, our minds generate so many thoughts. Sometimes they are helpful, but other times they can pull us away from the things we should be thinking about.
For example, one entrepreneur was constantly thinking about a new product he was going to bring to market. In this distracted state, he lost focus on managing his cash flows. Had he been more mindful of his thoughts, he would have recognized the bigger issue was his cash flows, not this new product.
In business, our minds are on full-throttle all the time. That increases our stress, and we frequently end up focusing on the wrong things.
Adding to this problem, we tend to pile thoughts on top of thoughts. If we allow ourselves, we can get caught up in the story our mind is trying to create for us.
If I have the passing thought that I need a new belt, for example, I may start thinking about when and where to go buy one, what color I want, and on and on. I waste all this time following this thought, and I may not actually need a new belt at all.
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Here is the bottom line. Mindfulness is being able to watch what the mind tosses up without getting lost down rabbit holes. When you start following every thought in your head, you throw your mind into hyper drive.
Recently I got a note from a company saying they never received my payment. I knew I had paid the bill, so immediately, my mind went on a rampage, first trying to figure out what happened then how to fix it, and my anxiety really started to increase. I lost view of everything else and got fixated on this one issue.
Truth was, the amount of the bill was only $4.50—hardly worth all this commotion. My mind thought it was a big deal, however, and I allowed myself to get sucked into my mind’s frenzy. Looking back at this, I have to laugh at the energy I used up unnecessarily by not being mindful.
Meditation is a great technique for practicing mindfulness.
Now go out and work on becoming more mindful for the benefit of your business and yourself.
You can do this.