Creative commentary plus crafty composition

Posts tagged ‘Personal Development’

Being Mindful

It would seem superfluous disputing that the mind is the most important cognitive part of the body; assuming that’s so, being ‘mindful’ should be at least in the highest echelon of good default positions.

What does mindfulness mean? An article in the February edition of Toastmaster magazine gives this a thoughtful (as it were) look.

The author wastes no time in maximizing the scope of mind matters: she uses the example of a familiar cartoon called ‘The Worrier Pose’, which illustrates that we typically juggle a miasma of concerns, to make the point that what may be top of the whirlpool of our mind is – everything!

Engaging in mindfulness helps divert us from self-judgement and other distractions of consciousness. It has been a part of practices such as yoga and Buddhism for centuries. In our times, this subject had come to influence a range of fields, from psychotherapy to sports.

To dissect what mindfulness really encompasses, consider these elements:

  • Focusing on the moment: ‘secular’ mindfulness is considered to mean paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment in a non-judgemental way; in this way one’s senses are tuned in to now; accepting that the mind will wander, meditation can be a valuable way to address this, as an “activity of bringing your mind back when it wanders”, training it to settle on the present
  • Focusing on the mind itself: another perspective sees mindfulness as being aware of our mental states, non-judgementally; adhering to this practice helps one to breed an inner balance along with self-confidence, and moreover one can “more readily access creativity and intuition necessary for publicly communicating a vision and problem-solving”; feelings such as anxiety can be recognized for what they are, minimizing their impact
  • Focusing on colleagues and others in supportive groups and professional organizations: understand and encourage the diversity in others one encounters in these groups, reducing barriers and increasing connection, as well as enhancing our communicative skills in speaking and listening

There are also a few suggestions on to how to ‘cultivate’ mindfulness.

  • Keep some physical distance from one’s cell phone
  • Concentrate on one task at a time (multi-tasking is multi-muddling)
  • Try changing habitual responses, such as using the less dominant hand for tasks usually done with the other
  • Pay attention to all of one’s senses
  • Use the meditative practice of focusing on the centre of the body, which substitutes awareness of the present moment in lieu of attention on thinking

These approaches contribute to enhancing ‘mental strength and clarity’, laudable resources for coping with our fast-paced lifestyle.

A Hurdle is not a Stop Sign

Perhaps all of us, at one time or another, have been tempted to feel discouraged, perhaps quickly, by setbacks on the long journey to accomplishing major goals.

Indeed, if looking at statistics, one can easily be ready to throw in the towel, especially if that towel is frequently coated with rejection.

Many of us are familiar with the 80/20 rule, which anecdotally applies to a wide range of endeavours: (more…)

Adding Value

The proposition of ‘adding value’ has been an underlying foundation for success in service-oriented businesses for many years.

If one wants to generate a positive, lasting and loyal, relationship with customers, providing those extra ingredients of value is vital. This could be indirectly related to business, i.e. taking clients to lunch, paying for tickets to events, etc., or more directly, such as keeping in regular contact, or going the extra mile in solving problems quickly, or obtaining more helpful data for decision making. (more…)

10 Alternate Strategies for Self-Reflection

In a recent posting, The Look of Reflection, it was noted that the human impulse to making comparisons seems pervasive. Therefore, finding effective strategies helps us to cope, and hopefully in time thrive.

It’s worth considering that there are many other available strategies to reflect on, for uncovering and energizing the ‘better you’. (more…)

The Look of Reflection

How vulnerable are you to an overload of envy about the success of others, especially people you know well?

An article in the December issue of Psychology Today delves into this subject, with a subtext of measuring how happy and successful we feel about our own lives. The ease with which this can become a personal issue has been dramatically escalated by the rise in access to and influence of social media. (more…)

What’s in Some Words?

In looking through our Toastmasters club file of words of the day, as individually used in our meetings over the years, there are some interesting revelations.

Words chosen by members, in turns as ‘Wordmaster’, show quite a range of choices, from relatively familiar to quite obscure, as well as varying degrees of efforts made in their presentation (font size, definition, etc.). (more…)

The Karma / Janus Connection

The expression that there are two sides to just about anything applies, in many peoples’ anecdotal experience, to karma.

What is karma?

Stemming from east Asian religions, karma relates to the culmination of a person’s actions in life (potentially added to by one’s previous ‘states of existence’) impacting, or even deciding, one’s fate moving forward. More simply, karma = destiny, or fate, as influenced by one’s actions. (more…)