Mindfulness, the new superpower of the 21st leader…
Every so often, an event occurs that changes who you are and how you think.
When I arrived at Google’s Emotional Intelligence (EQ) “Search Within Yourself” leadership retreat after traveling 22 hours from Australia feeling excited, tired and exhausted, little did I know how profound a learning experience this would be.
In a nutshell, the program brings together the latest research in mindfulness, neuroscience and EQ delivered in a practical pragmatic approach, which is focused on assisting leaders to integrate these principles into their daily lives. As someone who teaches EQ I have always understood the value of mindfulness; however, I’ve struggled to find the time to integrate this into my life.
On the flight over, I couldn’t help but wonder how in today’s rapidly changing world where we often find ourselves living on autopilot, what would happen if we slowed down and began to integrate mindfulness into our lives. Its crazy to think that in a world where we are experiencing change faster than ever before the key to our effectiveness may lie in the ancient practice of bringing stillness to our lives.
The discipline of bringing attention and stillness to ones life has long been practiced for centuries through contemplative disciplines like meditation, prayer and rituals, you may be wondering how can these ancient practices enhance our effectiveness?
Its simple, the more awareness and attention we bring to our thoughts, emotions and responses the better prepared we are to position ourselves to respond appropriately to what’s happening around us. It seems the new buzzwords of the 21st century are agility and resilience yet how do we develop these critical skills.
As I discovered in the program it all begins with self-awareness and developing our skill in mindfulness or commonly referred to as the G Pause. So what is the G Pause? The G Pause is a practice and discipline of bringing attention and focus to self.
Imagine the power of a tool that quickly enables you to bring calmness to self when facing adversity or helps to restore your cognitive thinking to make more effective decisions or navigate the challenges of constant change.
This may seem overly simple yet in a world filled with constant demands and distractions how do we practice the G Pause and bring attention and focus to self? After all isn’t it selfish to take time out for self?
Crazy huh? Yet research highlights the many benefits we can all enjoy by integrating the practice of mindfulness into our lives, better health, relationships, resilience and effectiveness.
I know you’re probably thinking this seems somewhat new age, but I invite you to join me in a 30 day experiment where for 10 minutes a day you bring quietness and stillness into your day, in doing so become present to self through the practice of focusing on your breath. As you consciously bring attention to each breath you may find your mind wandering with thoughts and distracted by feelings that may arrive in thought or through your physical body. When this happens come back to each breath and reset your focus, this is what it takes to bring the G Pause into action. In doing so engage with curiosity and become mindful to the impact the G Pause can have on your life.
In his recent book “Focus” Daniel Goleman, highlights the importance of the leaders capacity to pay attention and identifies three critical areas of focus for leaders: self, others and environment.
So what’s changed in my life with the G Pause? EVERYTHING yet nothing! Nothing in that I’m still the mum, daughter, sister, wife, leader, employer, coach, facilitator and friend I’ve always been, and EVERYTHING in that, the way I experience life has totally changed.
Since returning, it feels like I’ve woken from a deep sleep, suddenly life seems slower, less chaotic, more peaceful and joyful. I’ve become present to the personal cost of being distracted and the huge impact this has had on those I love, my relationships and effectiveness in all areas of life. This realization can never change what has been, only how I live each day moving forward with self-awareness and attention.
Each hug, kiss, handshake and conversation brings forward new opportunities for love and connection. In fact, only this morning as I went in my children’s rooms to kiss them good morning, I sat on their beds listening to them breath, lingering longer in the silence and being overcome by the power of the G Pause.
I wonder what the world would be like, if we brought the power of the G Pause to our lives and became present to what is right in front of us?
About The Author:
Angela Giacoumis brings 25+ years of successful experience in executive and leadership coaching, training, leadership development, and facilitation. As the Australian Network Leader for the Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Network, Angela is passionate about creating positive change through building Emotional Intelligence.
Phone: +61 8 8234 2144