The concept of mindfulness is often spoken about purely in spiritual terms, when in fact, it is something that is particularly relevant to your life in the business world. What is Mindfulness? The website PsychologyToday.com does a very good job of defining the concept:
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.
The most important aspect of Mindfulness in the business world is a continual observation of your feelings as well as what is going on around you.
Here’s an unavoidable truth about you in the working world: You’ll screw up. Sometimes you’ll make massive screw ups. Things will go wrong due to your mistakes. If you’re thinking “Nah, that won’t happen to me, I’ll avoid stupid mistakes like that”, then you’ve just made your first screw up.
Employees that constantly believe that they’ve never made the mistake and blame it on other factors when in fact they were at fault are on a straight road to nowhere, because they’re never learning. As humans we learn primarily through experience and reflection. It is also true that it is the toughest times that we learn the most. You become far more experienced on difficult projects than on easy ones. The tough client teaches you more about service than the easy one. And without mistakes we will never truly master the craft we are practising.
However, all of this learning requires you to be mindful. How did that mistake happen? How could I have done that differently? How could I have handled that impossible client in a better way? What actions and thoughts of mine led to that? Open minded self-reflection is critical in developing our careers and ourselves as people.