Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.
— Eckhart Tolle
A company, as Richard Branson says, is simply an idea to make peoples’ lives better. It consists first and foremost of individuals, human beings. To make a positive and sustainable change we must consider every single person. Simply put, if every person is happy, the organization is at peace and performance improves on all levels. Easier said than done, of course.
But there are ways. There is an innumerable amount of studies. that show the diverse benefits of practicing mindfulness such as increased emotional intelligence, self-regulation, and resilience. In short: Mindfulness makes for a better, more balanced, and happier life. But why is that so?
Information Overload Makes Mindfulness Increasingly Important
The world around us sometimes seems overwhelming. We are flooded by streams of information. And when we do have one of these rare instances of not digesting any new data we tend to think about the past or the future in some way. We give our brains no rest. This makes it hard to focus on what’s important. In work and life.
We cannot make the world less hectic, but we can change how we perceive the world around us and how to deal with it. To shift our mindset this way we need to go on new paths and apply new methods.
I have found Mindfulness to be the most effective way. So much, that I started writing articles and developed a website about it (take a peak here). Mindfulness has helped me calm my mind. From always thinking and planning to tranquility. From easily losing focus to unwavering concentration. From wanting it all at the same time to finding peace in the moment and taking it step by step. Mindfulness was the key.
It helps us to accept our circumstances and ourselves. It enables us to center ourselves, to focus on the essentials, and to not be distracted. It helps us to become aware of what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and thus to make better decisions.
Enjoying Every Step of the Process Is Key
Organizations and people have goals. And these are important, as they give us a sense of purpose and direction. But we should not make our fulfillment purely dependent on the achievement of these goals. Instead, we should be enjoying the process towards these goals as much as reaching them. Some goals require just 10 steps, others 100 and others maybe a million. It doesn’t matter. The idea of mindfulness is to be mindful at every one of these steps. That is to be aware of and to give every step, every task and every moment at hand your undivided attention. This way we can live in the present and simply enjoy the journey. This, like any new skill we learn, takes practice.
The Mindfulness Movement Is Reaching Our Organizations
Ultimately, it is the individual that has to take responsibility. This is why I am convinced that if we advocate mindfulness in our organizations it will pay off in many, even unexpected, ways. And there is proof: Many companies such as Google, Apple, Nike, and Microsoft have recognized the benefits of meditation and report large successes in integrating mindfulness programs in their company culture.
Mindfulness Is Gaining Popularity at MaibornWolff
We at MaibornWolff have experienced similar results as the aforementioned big players. As a people-centric organization, we have successfully integrated mindfulness into our company. We currently offer an 8-Week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction training based on the teachings of Jon Kabat Zinn. The participants of this course learn different types of mindfulness meditations. In addition to that, the course focuses a lot on self-reflection and interaction between colleagues. This way we not only benefit from the mindfulness practice but also from an increased understanding of others around us. This in turn creates a sense of belonging, a sense of community. It’s good to know, that everybody has their own struggles in life.
In addition to this course, we offer daily meditations remote and on-site as well as weekly yoga classes. While it may be too early to come to a definite conclusion, we can already see that our offerings around mindfulness have been adopted very positively by the employees and executives.
In summary: We now have the science confirming the benefits of mindfulness. We have stories of success from various recognized companies. Our employees like it. And, it is easy to implement. There really is no reason not to try mindfulness. It may just become the next big key to employee happiness.