I spoke to a network of female entrepreneurs last week about my lesson learnt in business; it occurred to me that much of what I talked about was mindfulness.  Accepting that you choose your own reality, being fully present and taking responsibility for your actions, being aware of how you feel and what your body is telling you and trusting your instincts.What is mindfulness and why becomes it?“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition of mindfulness: founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program University Massachusetts Medical Center.You develop stress focusing on negative ‘what if’ scenarios, you anticipate problems that do not exist and worry that you will not be able to solve problems.  In my book Business Evolution, when scenarios play out bigger in your head than they do in reality, I call this being a ‘big head’.Are you so focused on outcomes, that you remain oblivious of the things around you?
I allow a limited time to go to the gym for a daily work-out; I am so focused on getting back to my desk to start my working day that I miss the moment.  I am focused on my training goal that I miss what is around me and therefore I do not connect to the people and the things in front of me.When you are not mindful you develop a mental rigidity and habitual reactions like, “they won’t”, “it’s impossible”, “I can’t” when in fact you do not know if you ‘can do’, or what ‘is possible’, because the alternative is uncomfortable. As an entrepreneur you must be comfortable with being uncomfortable to maintain the mental flexibility of intention and purpose.How can you use simple methods to become mindful?

Ellen Langer highly respected for her four decades of research into mindfulness states that “mindfulness gains the advantage of heightened awareness, you remember more, you create more and so are able to make connections and to take advantage of opportunities, people like you and you like people because you are less judgemental and more charismatic.”

When you are fully present and open, feelings like regret become redundant ‘here and now’ becomes the focus. You can get rid of mental blocks; mindfulness is a soft focus on your goal while being open to new possibilities, new information and a new perspective. It is being on purpose.

Becoming grounded in the ‘here and now’, using all your senses with people and things is an essential skill for entrepreneurs. How do you know what you can do unless you take off the auto pilot and switch on all your senses, only then do you open-up to the possibilities. Buddhism talks about the six sense ‘doors’ which are:
1.    The eye and visible objects
2.    The ear and sound
3.    The nose and door
4.    The tongue and taste
5.    The body and touch, and
6.    The mind and mental objects.

Develop a habit of everyday mindfulness through a combination of purposeful thoughts, meditation; breathe work, exercise, words and deeds. All kinds of meditation use soft focus as a medium through the breath; this gives you the opportunity to notice what is going on around you.

How will mindfulness help you in business?

Imagine if thoughts were transparent, would you choose another perspective.

  • Stress is a function of your perspective, how could you choose another perspective.
  • Overwhelmed in business, decided what is a disaster and what is merely an inconvenience.
  • Scan you six senses for where you are now and focus on where you will be not how.
  • Accept reality and move forward quickly.
  • Be present and open to pay attention to the detail of what is happening around you.
  • Always look for ‘win-win’ in every situation.
  • Decide your intention at the beginning of each task, meeting or call etc..
  • A mindful manager is non-threatening with an open demeanour.
  • Be creative, rules, routines, and goals guide you they do not govern you.
  • What is your intention; re-establish your resolve throughout the day.
  • Be OK with not knowing it all.

Langer supports that ‘mindfulness helps you realise that there are no positive or negative outcomes, only options and choices, each with its challenges and opportunities. Mindfulness in business is being consciously more sensitive to context and perspective to produce with purpose on purpose. What can you do to be mindful in business?

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Janice B Gordon: The Problem Solver Business Growth Consultant, Mentor, Speaker and Author. Business Evolution – Creating Growth in a Rapidly Changing World will give you the guidance you need to evolve you and your business and exceed your customers wants and needs.

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