"I rarely have time for myself!", a client I coach - a CEO in the petroleum industry, complained.
It seems he's busy every moment. It is already his habit of being, there's always so much to do and so little time.
"Have you heard that google has incorporated the secular form of mindfulness to help employees become more productive?", I asked him gently.
Even leading executives talk about why meditation is essential both to their jobs and to how they live their lives.
Perhaps you're reading this because you feel rushed yourself and want to slow down and reap the benefits of being still with yourself.
Zen and a new Habit of Leadership
You can be quiet in body and quiet in mind. Both are important. Being still physically saves you a lot of energy and effort. You feel less exhausted by the end of the day. Mental quietness has a similar effect on your psychological, intellectual, and emotional energy.
All you have to do to achieve stillness of body is to finish your chores and then relax. Even while you're completing your tasks, you can conserve energy by using little movement. To get an idea of how to do this, just watch a monk in action. Or notice how a cat relaxes.
Stillness of mind is more challenging to achieve. However, this kind of quietness is much more critical to overall contentment.
How do you feel when you get some shocking news? How about when you finally reach your target at work, win an award, or find yourself suddenly in a crisis? You feel a rush of adrenaline and you're off, letting off steam in a gush of emotion, words or action.
So if this is such a natural response to big changes, why do you need to cultivate stillness? When you're in the middle, when you're centered, you can see both ends of the spectrum.
When you refrain from reacting in an extreme way, you can control your response to the situation. You can be objective. Most importantly, you can learn from your circumstances and use them for self-development.
From another perspective, when you've cultivated internal quietness, you're less likely to face extreme ups and downs.
Try these 3 Tips To Manage your Mind:
- Stop. In an extreme situation, pull away from the circumstance for a moment. Take a deep breath before you react.
- Listen. Listen carefully to what's being said. If your mind jumps the gun with words you feel compelled to speak, bring it back to the moment. Return your attention to what the other is saying.
- Think. Contemplate why you're facing the situation. Did you play a part in creating it? Is the other simply mirroring you? Is there something you need to learn from this circumstance?
If you take these steps, you'll be able to avoid overreacting or reacting negatively in haste. This means your response, if and when it does come, will be the right one for the circumstances and for you.
The Importance of a silent mind for executives
Another way to develop mental stillness is to practice silence. Speak only when necessary. Speak only when you have something of consequence to say or something that will help the other.
Before you speak, examine your motivation for saying what you want to say. Is it to further the welfare of the other? Or is it to praise yourself or prove that you're right and the other wrong? A need to always be right is the basis of much conflict.
Moreover, when you're habitually silent, your words have more effect. People pay attention when you speak.
As you work toward greater self-awareness, try cultivating internal stillness. Just follow these guidelines as a start. As you practice, you'll realize many rewards. And then it becomes a new habit.
For my client these steps seemed practical. But in reality he struggled in the beginning to keep silent in the midst of a discussion or a request to employee. Then after we adjusted the action plan to keep 3, 5 later 10 times silent during a day before he replied, he used it naturally. He formed a new habit of silence, since he was able to get his words across so much more powerful and could acknowledge the view of the other person.
Silke Glaab (aka SilkCelia) is a psychologist (MA) who helps executives, entrepreneurs and experts to be more resilient to stress and dramatically improve their thinking and feeling so that they enhance their performance and leave a legacy in their companies, their lives and the world.
Silk uses rapid transformation therapy to help clients to transform the roots of a presented issue within minutes while using neuroscience to boost brain power and emotional intelligence to create mindful behavior and decision making in all areas of life.
Silk holds a master degree in psychology and has worked for over 20 years as a trainer, consultant and counselor in divers industries in Germany, Kenya, and Dubai. She is personally trained by the celebrity hypnotherapist Marisa Peer and the neuroscientist Prof. Dr. Kennedy.