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Do You Want To Be Mindful? Ask Yourself This Question Every Day.

Do You Want To Be Mindful? Ask yourself this pivotal question.

Written by: Marshall Goldsmith and Kelly Goldsmith (Are you the author?)

As a leader, it is critical to be mindful and present in interactions with your many stakeholders throughout the day. While this is very easy to understand in theory, it is incredibly difficult to do in practice.

Mindfulness, a key component of Buddhist philosophy, has become quite in vogue today. In looking up “mindfulness seminars” on Google, I found countless programs ranging from a day to eight weeks in duration.

Our great friend, Dr. Carol Kauffman, was recognized by Thinkers50 as one of the Most Influential Coaches in the World. Kauffman teaches her clients to repeatedly ask themselves one simple question. This question is the most useful tool for increasing mindfulness that we have ever tried:

“Am I being the person who I want to be right now?”

To us, this question is the perfect summary of what it takes to be mindful.

Nobel Prize-winning behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman has a profound saying that he repeats in his bestselling book, Thinking, Fast and Slow: “What I see is all there is.”

As Dr. Kahneman says, our lives tend to be determined by what we keep in front of us. In today’s frenetic world, it is hard to keep focused on anything. If we do not “keep it in front of us,” it just gets lost.

Garry Ridge, the CEO of WD-40, is one of the greatest leaders we have ever met. One of his secrets of success is to keep whatever he wants to accomplish IN LARGE LETTERS in front of him and visible. Ridge practices this every day of his life.  

If you want to be mindful, keep a large poster at work and home that asks, “Am I being the person who I want to be right now?”

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