Start the new year off right. Self-awareness plays an important role in business success and overall happiness. By Prerna Gupta (Founder & CEO of a stealth startup)
Many of us are drawn to the peace and happiness promised by a life of mindfulness, but we often abandon it in our daily lives because practicing mindfulness can seem at odds with our desire to succeed.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Here are nine simple ways that incorporating mindfulness into your busy work life can actually help you succeed:
1. Forgive and Forget
Workplace politics are draining, and a waste of time. Don’t let yourself get sucked into drama. Save your mental energy for your own success by forgiving those who slight you, forgetting who said what about whom, and moving on to more important things.
2. Breathe Before you Blast
Try not to shoot off emails when you’re angry. Take a deep breath first and reflect on what’s behind your anger. Anger-driven emails almost always do more harm than good, to sender and receiver alike.
3. Stop Being ‘Judgy’
Mistakes are an opportunity to learn, not an excuse to look at yourself or others with negativity. Assessing mistakes from a neutral perspective allows you and your team to grow from them. Harping on them only serves to bring you (and those around you) down.
4. Do What you Want
Mindfulness gurus often talk about the idea of “intention.” But what does intention really mean? It means to make sure you know why you’re doing what you’re doing. And to do what you want.
If you feel like you are wasting time in your current occupation, stop doing it and start something new.
5. Salute the Sun
Starting your morning with a quiet mind will help you be more effective throughout the day. Carve out time in the mornings — before the day’s madness ensues — to do a few sun salutations, eat a leisurely breakfast, go for a jog or engage in whichever activity helps you to still your mind.
6. Salute your Enemies
The word “namaste” means “I bow to the divine in you.” Having respect for your enemies will help you learn from their strengths and be more objective about your own weaknesses. So salute your enemies. You may find yourself with fewer of them if you do.
7. Take Victory in Stride
It’s important to celebrate milestones. But don’t get addicted to them. If you let yourself become too attached to your victories, you will be less able to cope with defeat. And the ability to persevere through failure is essential to success.
8. Sleep More
According to the Dalai Lama, “Sleep is the best meditation.” Get more of it.
9. Enjoy the Journey
Life is short, and you will spend most of it working. Work can either be depressing, or it can be an incredible ride. It’s up to you.
The more you enjoy what you do, the better you will be at it.
About the guest blogger: Prerna Gupta is Founder & CEO of a stealth startup in a novel area of artificial intelligence. She is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and author, whose work has been published in the New York Times, Forbes, TechCrunch, FastCompany and Recode, among others.