What do Steve Jobs, Apple, Google and Yahoo have in common? Well, there’s the obvious – they brought us amazing innovations that allow us to communicate, perform tasks and be entertained 24/7 with technology that, a generation ago, would have been regarded as science fiction. What you may not know is that all of these same innovators all introduced Mindfulness Training into their workplaces.
But what is that, you say?
Mindfulness is the practice of being aware and present in each moment. It can increase your ability to focus, remember and learn. Mindfulness cultivates innate intelligence and can aid team collaboration. A person skilled in this practice is able to see things as they really are and thus be able to respond more effectively.
Mindfulness is not that easy for us to do because it is contrary to how we have been conditioned to perform. It asks us to be present, accepting and open rather than striving and chasing our problems.
Recently, a developer here at Imaginuity told me that when writing code stumps him, he switches over to a 15-minute video game session. Then, voila! The answer to his coding problem miraculously downloads in his brain! He could have wasted hours striving for a solution, but chose, instead, to let his mind do the work. This is a form of Mindfulness. So is checking our ego and cell phones at the door during team meetings, thus allowing us to be fully present to our colleagues and projects.
Here we see Imaginuity employees in their natural habitats, being mindfully aware of their need for intermittent play.
Mindfulness is a practice known for centuries by the mystics and is now being recognized by science and business. It’s interesting that the same innovators who brought us this wonderful technology that allows us to perform multi-tasks at lightning speed are also pioneers of mindfulness, the practice that just might help us effectively control our new technology, rather than letting it control us.
Meditate on that (or don’t) and let us know what you think.