The Power to Notice and Choose
Are our days an endless parade of zoom calls, emails, and follow up’s?
There is a better way, says Dr. Daniel Friedland, author of Leading Well from Within. This week we are exploring some of Danny’s wisdom around the specific ways we can learn to self-coach ourselves and teach others to so the same.
Yesterday we looked at the power of being intentional about priming ourselves for our day by getting up an hour earlier to create time to reflect, ask questions, and then trust in what Danny calls the flow of emergence.
We can take this same mindset with us into our day.
Really? Quiet time by ourselves in the morning is one thing. But life is busy! Our days are hectic. There’s not enough time to get it all done.
As it turns out, cultivating a more intentional mindset is surprisingly accessible.
We begin by simply deciding what we will focus on right now. Perhaps the first thing on our schedule is dropping our kids off at the swimming pool. We ask ourselves: what’s most important about this moment? Perhaps we decide it’s enjoying this time in the car with our kids. So, we focus on that. When our mind wanders (because it always does), we simply return our focus to what’s most important now – which happens to be driving our kids to the pool.
Next up is a team meeting. We ask ourselves (or perhaps the team): what’s most important about this meeting? Then, we focus on that. We are in that moment. When our attention wanders and we find ourselves getting stressed about a big deadline later in the day, we gently return our focus to being here, being present in the team meeting. Again. And again. We keep coming back.
Our day becomes a series of pivot points. We focus 100% of our attention and energy on each pivot point as it happens. We are intentional. THIS is my pivot point right now.
When we are at dinner with our family at the end of the day, we focus on that. And when our mind wanders (because it always does), we simply return our attention to the moment.
One other benefit of this approach is – with time – our lives begin to feel more integrated. Our days are no longer a series of separate, unconnected responsibilities and deadlines. Instead, we live more coherently, bringing our highest and best self to each encounter and experience.
Living mindfully may sound intimidating. It doesn’t have to be. It’s simply the power to notice and choose. We do three things:
1: Decide what to focus on. And then, keep coming back to that.
2: Ask: what’s most important now? [or another creative mindset question. Example: What am I here to learn?]
3: Be open to what emerges.
Reflection: How present am I during my day?
Action: During my next meeting, when my mind wanders, experiment with bringing my attention back. Again. And, again.