Future Of Work: Mindfulness As A Leadership Practice

“What the mindfulness movement has proven is that no matter what an employee’s role in the company, mindfulness can allow for a greater level of attention and engagement. An investment of time in the practice can pay dividends in the form of increased employee productivity, well bring, reduced stress levels and even reduced healthcare costs.”

From: Forbes Magazine – Leadership

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Wellness at work: The promise and pitfalls

‘”The person you report to at work can be more important to your health than your family doctor. We want to send people home safe, healthy, and fulfilled—all three dimensions.” Employers are in a unique position to be a good influence on health and general well-being. After all, working people spend more of their waking time on the job than anywhere else.

“The biggest cause of chronic illness is stress, and the biggest cause of stress is work.”

“I do feel you can think about purpose and performance with equal weight. If our people are not truly excited, and if they haven’t slept well or eaten well or exercised well, if they’re nonmindful, clients are not going to have a great experience.”‘

Source: McKinsey & Company

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Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness Getting More Popular

‘The American workforce is becoming more mindful. In a new study of more than 85,000 adults, yoga practice among U.S. workers nearly doubled from 2002 to 2012, from 6 percent to 11 percent. Meditation rates also increased, from 8 percent to 9.9 percent.

That’s good news, say the study authors, since activities like yoga and meditation have been shown to improve employee well-being and productivity.

“Our finding of high and increasing rates of exposure to mindfulness practices among U.S. workers is encouraging,” they wrote in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) journal Preventing Chronic Disease. “Approximately 1 in 7 workers report engagement in some form of mindfulness-based activity, and these individuals can bring awareness of the benefit of such practices into the workplace.”’

Source: Time.com

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The Problem of ‘Living in the Present’

“These days, many of us would rather not be living in the present, a time of persistent crisis, political uncertainty and fear. Not that the future looks better, shadowed by technological advances that threaten widespread unemployment and by the perils of catastrophic climate change. No wonder some are tempted by the comforts of a nostalgically imagined past.

Inspiring as it seems on first inspection, the self-help slogan “live in the present” slips rapidly out of focus. What would living in the present mean? To live each day as if it were your last, without a thought for the future, is simply bad advice, a recipe for recklessness. The idea that one can make oneself invulnerable to what happens by detaching from everything but the present is an irresponsible delusion.

The beginning of wisdom here is to think about what we are doing. We engage in all sorts of activities: reading an article in the newspaper, reflecting on life, attending a protest, preparing a report, listening to music, driving home, making dinner, spending time with family or friends. Though all these activities take time, there is a crucial difference in how they relate to the present moment.

What would it mean, then, to live in the present, and what do we gain by doing it?

To live in the present is to appreciate the value of activities like going for a walk, listening to music, spending time with family or friends. To engage in these activities is not to extinguish them from your life. Their value is not mortgaged to the future or consigned to the past, but realized here and now. It is to care about the process of what you are doing, not just projects you aim to complete.”

Extract from The New York Times (Opinion)

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How Leaders Can Improve Their Thinking Agility

“As you work to stretch your own thinking agility, remember that the least likely time to change is when you’re facing high pressure to perform. In those critical moments, people usually behave in the way they know best. This means that efforts to stretch your thinking agility are best undertaken when pressure is low. Agility moves aren’t about right or wrong ways to think. They’re about the situational awareness and intentional effort to adjust your thinking to the circumstance.”

Just like Yoga is for the body…

Source: Strategy+Business

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People doing jobs they think are unnecessary

‘In 1930, economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that by the end of the century technology would have advanced sufficiently that in countries such as the UK and the US we’d be on 15-hour weeks. “In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen. Instead, technology has been marshalled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. Huge swaths of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they believe to be unnecessary. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.”

“There’s capital, doing better than ever; the robots, doing all the work; and the great mass of humanity, doing not much but having fun playing with its gadgets.”’

Source: The Guardian

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Once again science confirms what Yogis say

‘Breathing is not just for oxygen; it’s linked to brain function and behavior. Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered for the first time that the rhythm of breathing creates electrical activity in the human brain that enhances emotional judgments and memory recall.

Another potential insight of the research is on the basic mechanisms of meditation or focused breathing. “When you inhale, you are in a sense synchronizing brain oscillations across the limbic network.”’

Source: Neuroscience News

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