The Be-Do-Have Paradigm: A Symphony for Mindful Living and Leadership
You might find yourself buying into the belief that if you acquire this or that, you'll be happy, accepted, loved, beautiful, successful, etc. When you're not busy accumulating, you're likely busy doing. Sometimes, there’s even a level of pride in sharing how busy we are.
Leaders experience another layer of complexity, often sandwiched between keeping management or the board happy and employees happy. The pressure is immense and making good decisions is hard when distractions are never-ending, and the pressure to always be "on" takes a personal toll.
The Forgotten 'Be'
What we often overlook is how we 'be.' How in touch are you with your feelings or what's going on inside your body? I remember driving once and feeling my entire being scream that something needed to change. But I wasn't ready, and I learned that ignoring my body has its limits. Your body will speak louder until you have no choice but to stop and listen. I learned this the hard way.
There's a saying that your body never lies. It has accumulated deep wisdom over the years. When you don't listen, you're likely to repeat the same mistakes.
One challenge of being so busy is that you don't have time to reflect. Learning can't happen without reflection. It means taking the time to be still or to do something mindlessly so that your mind can take a break and your subconscious can rise to the surface. All this is hard to do in a world where distractions surround us. We get buried in our “to do” lists.
Mental Fitness and Resilience
Just as physical fitness is important to our health, so is mental fitness. Our ability to ride the ups and downs of life means that we can respond more positively to life's challenges rather than reacting with old damaging behaviors.
Mental fitness is about practicing being present. Consider it like building your mental muscles the way you would for your body in the gym.
A Gift to Yourself
We live in a world where being still feels boring or maybe even impossible. Yet, the ability to be fully present is probably one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself. If you find yourself running ragged, stressed, and unhappy, perhaps it's time for you to be still.
Be present to the sounds you hear, the sound of the autumn leaves rustling on the ground. Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, the breeze on your face, the beat of your heartbeat, or the velvety skin of a peach. When was the last time you truly tasted your food? If you find yourself running ragged, stressed, unhappy, perhaps it's time for you to be still. Slow everything down, notice your breath and the rise and fall of your chest as you breathe.
As we learn to be more present, we will find that it becomes easier over time. We are worthy of this gift to ourselves.
How might you gift yourself in being more present today?