As someone who has performed stand-up comedy in front of 1,000 people and scaled a 20,000- foot mountain, I can tell you the only "must" that is critical to success in each is mindfulness.
Unless you stay "in the room" and react to every verbal and non-verbal audience clue, you will bomb. Guaranteed. Likewise, unless you stay laser-focused on every single hand and foot movement as you scale a monstrous peak, you could easily fall thousands of feet into the abyss. Also guaranteed.
Alas, comedy and climbing are the only pursuits that force me to be mindful. The rest of the time my mind is bouncing from one idea to another.
But an entrepreneur named Yuhna Kim, has created Simple Habit, the very first mindfulness app that may help the most distracted among us "be in the moment." (Note: My agency has no affiliation with Yuhna's firm.)
Yuhna was kind enough to provide six tips that are new to me (and which I intend to include in my daily routine starting January 1st. Or 2nd. Or maybe MLK, Jr., Day). I'm not sure. My mind's already bouncing around.
But enough about me. Check out these tips and, if you're impressed, download the app:
1. Start With 5 Minutes. It's a common misconception that to meditate, you need to sit for long periods of time in the morning, but that's not true. You can meditate anytime and anywhere, even while commuting, while taking your lunch break, or before giving a presentation. (Note from the author: Meditating on an indefinitely delayed New Jersey Transit train has been scientifically proven to be impossible).
2. Meditate On The Go. Learn to associate 5-minute meditations with different situations or stressful moments throughout your day (e.g. before a phone call). By giving yourself this moment, you are allowing yourself to pause, breathe, and clear your mind before jumping into whatever you're doing.
3. Mark Your Calendar. Like any great habit, consistency is key. Put 5 minutes of mindfulness every day into your calendar or set a daily reminder for yourself. This is especially helpful when you're stuck in auto-go mode or when your schedule becomes overwhelmed with a million meetings and to-dos -- you can set a reminder through most apps including Simple Habit.
4. Find Your Space. I use our office couch to meditate and encourage our team members to do the same. Some of our employees prefer to use one of our conference rooms to have more privacy and stillness. Find the space that feels comfortable for you. This could be at your desk, in a meeting room, or even at a nearby park. As mindfulness becomes increasingly more common, some offices also offer rooms dedicated to meditation. Ask your office manager to help you find a set space for your new daily habit. (Note from author: I'm thinking of having a hammock installed in my office).
5. Invite Your Team To Join. Meditation has proven to help reduce stress, sharpen focus and improve productivity. Set up a daily time and invite your team to group meditations. You can also start your weekly team meetings with a one-minute meditation. By incorporating meditation into your team's schedule, you can help foster a happier, healthier, more productive environment for the whole office.
6. For Leaders, Be Open About Your Practice. Leaders have an opportunity to make workplace meditation more commonplace simply by opening up about their own practice. Take time to meditate at work and be open about your meditation breaks. This helps your employees to feel more comfortable (or inspired) to do the same. (Note from author: This may be your biggest hurdle since many executives are reluctant to display vulnerability).
As I said, I intend to download the App and see if it makes a difference in my quality of life. I'm all about being in the moment, but need to transfer those skills from the stage and summit to the office. I'd continue but I have a call to make or is it a meeting to attend? Who knows?