This is how being mindful transforms your life
Are you too getting dragged by the hustle of a hectic lifestyle? Do you feel busy and behind all the time?
Keep reading and see how the very same day can unfold when you are busy trying to accomplish it all, vs. when you are mindful and aware of the present moment.
Scenario 1: One more busy day in the life of an executive:
Alarm clock rings, morning routine starts (if you are lucky to have such one), you grab something for breakfast and rush out the door. You head to the office while having phone meetings on your commute in order to optimise your time, you get there and get dragged by your assistant Marie to a meeting room even before you manage to say good morning with a smile (as good leaders are supposed to do), unexpected tasks popped out of the blue from that meeting, which ruined your whole day plan, and dragged by the urgency of the matter, you start executing.
Your heart rate raises and when you start to get on top of the issue, you remember the report to be delivered tomorrow morning – shoot! – you rather get started on that one, now.
As time seems to escape as flying out of your fancy watch, you notice lunch time is kind of gone, and feel lucky to get a sandwich from the vending machine while you type your last paragraphs. Again optimising time, pretty genius.
Just at the time when someone taps your left shoulder, well not just someone, but your boss. “You are our best man/woman in the department, so I am honoured to give you the responsibility to present (and sell) that business case on the strategic meeting with top management, congratulations! pre reads must be ready in 2 days, I know you won’t fail us in this one”, he said as he leaves winking. You sketch those pre reads in your head and write a draft now, while the business case is still fresh in your mind.
That was one more evening and you’re still at your desk… you rather get going and grab some take away unless you want to spend the minutes you have left with your family in grocery shopping and cooking. Is pizza again, kids love it, and just once in a while cannot be that bad.
Did we also have take away yesterday by the way? Well this is not the time to think about healthy lifestyle and all that, you need to get going!
The car is running out of fuel and you must stop on the gas station if you want to make it home at all – oh no – today is not the day to spend some extra 10min on this!
Coming home you manage to have dinner with your family, while thinking about how to finalise the draft for the business case tomorrow, and remembering that you never finished the last paragraph of your report. Oh no! I should then be doing that first tomorrow morning, or better before going to sleep. Time optimising again, you are a crack.
Noises and voices around you, your kids tell with full enthusiasm how their day went, your wife/husband reminds you to buy some wine for your cousin’s birthday dinner this weekend. But you are not there, cause you are busy tidying up the pizza left overs and thinking about completing that report in time.
You are busy, cause you are important, anyone would get that..
Scenario 2: Same day in the life of our executive friend, when being mindful:
Alarm clock rings, morning routine starts: energising mindfulness meditation, revitalising session at the gym, shower, healthy breakfast, check calendar, establish top 3 priorities for the day. You take a deep breath, feel positive, grounded and very grateful for the day ahead. You head to the office and think about how you are going to help others and make this day unique.
You enter the office and Marie urges you to get in a meeting. You know Marie is a brilliant young assistant, but also that she can easily get overwhelmed and impatient when things don’t go as planned. You observe that happening to her in this moment, and ask her what the meeting is about , you ask her to represent you and make a list of tasks afterwards, together with a proposal for whom they could be delegated. She feels empowered and motivated. You then spend the time instead wandering around the office saying good morning and asking how everyone is doing, as you get a hot cappuccino from the coffee machine and get focused on your 1st priority for the day; the report to be delivered tomorrow -goes without saying with your email and phone turned off.
You focus fully on the words you are typing and the effect you want to cause on the reader, you take a deep breath and receive inspiration and ideas to a catchy, professional and innovative report.
But suddenly, your boss wakes you up from your state of flow as he impatiently taps on your shoulder. You turn to him with a smile and ask him how he is doing today – he seems a bit confused since he is not used to that kind of human attention from an employee, so you see his face relaxing and smiling as he answers: “I am great thanks, and you?”. You notice his tone has calmed down and he asks if you have a minute, to which you gently answer: “I am really looking forward to hear what you have to say, though in this moment I am finalising this very important report. What about meeting for lunch in about 20 minutes?”. “Sure!”, he says, and he heads back to his desk.
Voila, your report is done and it only took 50 minutes all in all. You head to the restaurant for a good lunch, where your boss asks you prepare a presentation for top management and you both agree on a suitable deadline.
Excited by your boss’ idea and feeling deeply inspired, you go back to your desk and make a bullet list of the main topics of your presentation, while they are fresh in your head.
You look at your watch and plan to stay one more hour to read emails and finish up some of the daily priorities, before heading home to your family.
You buy groceries and fuel the car on your way, and find these great activities to disconnect from a productive work day and get into your “leisure time” mood.
You make dinner with the help of your kids, and find it a lot of fun to hear all their stories of the day.
Once everyone is asleep, you take some minutes to reflect about your accomplishments, feel proud about your contributions, and grateful for the day that just went.
What may be in store for tomorrow? You don’t know, but you sure know that no matter which curve balls life may throw at you, you will know how to stay mindful, grounded, and handle the flow of events with grace and ease…
And you, which scenario will you choose?