What is Mindfulness?#roopakism Roopak Saluja • November 26, 2015
I could start by talking about Bihar, Paris or intolerance but instead, I’m going to focus on mindfulness.
What is Mindfulness?
According to the Apple dictionary, it’s “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique”.
Why should you care?
How often do you find yourself sitting in a meeting and realizing you’ve just zoned out over the past two minutes? Or does it sometimes hit you that the five minute facebook break you took should have ended twenty minutes ago? Maybe you’re thinking about the weekend instead of really listening to what’s being said on a conference call? Maybe some of this is familiar, maybe not.
The point is that mindfulness and focus are very powerful phenomena when you can apply them. And those of us who just aren’t as focused, for the most part, don’t even know what we’re missing. I for one have a very, very short attention span. Right from my childhood, I’ve found it very difficult to concentrate on anything for more than a couple of minutes. Though I was never officially diagnosed, I’m pretty sure I suffer from ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder. Those of you who’ve been in meetings with me will have experienced my mind wandering or me zoning out and asking for something to be repeated.
Around six weeks ago, I rediscovered an app called Headspace. I had originally discovered it around three years ago but for some reason, I used it for a week and gave up. A couple of months ago, I was having a drink with a friend in New York. He talked about how he uses it and loves it. Instantly, I shot a ‘note-to-self’ to revisit Headspace and when I did, I was pretty convinced I could really benefit.
It’s described as “Your Gym Membership For The Mind” and among other things, really helps you focus. Using meditation techniques for just ten minutes a day (you can choose to up this to 15 or 20 minutes should you want to; I’m still keeping it at 10, just to make it easier to stay regular), it allows you to work on things you’d like to work on. Once you’ve completed a 30 day foundation course (of just ten minutes a day), you can choose your area of focus- focus, relationships, health, etc. For me, right now it’s focus. I’ve been using it for 47 days straight and I’m really excited about what it’s doing for me. If you’re interested, here’s the iOS link. I’ll be nice to you Androids too. If you use a mobile OS other than these two, you need to get a life.
Why am I sharing this with you?
Because the mind is a very powerful thing. But most of us don’t use our minds to the level we could and should be. Having embarked on a personal journey of mindfulness, I find that over the past month, I’ve become more effective as a manager, decision-maker, CEO, parent, husband, etc, etc. simply by being a lot more ‘there’. So I thought to myself, could we improve our output and performance as a company, by making more of us be more mindful more of the time? The answer is obvious. So whether you choose to check out Headspace or use any other technique to be mindful, I hope that by reading this, you will be somewhat inspired to explore the concept of mindfulness and use it to your own advantage in life and to that of The 120 Media Collective.
Before I go, I’d like to take a minute to recognize the tragedy that befell Bombay seven years ago to the day and to remember those affected by it. The same goes for Paris last week. I’m sure you all join me in the hope that the world becomes a safer place and that we never again see something like what our two cities experienced in 2008 and 2015.