Mindfulness and awareness are similar, but different. For example, as you’re reading this right now, you might be aware of your surroundings but that awareness would not mean you are being mindful of them. Just by reading this last statement, you are now probably more aware of your surroundings because we’ve brought your attention to them.
If you pay very close attention to all that’s around you and stop reading this blog for a moment, you will hear sounds, sense the physicality of your chair or sofa, detect fluctuations in the temperature of the air around you. You’ll see everything with much more detail, if you choose to.
This is the difference between being mindful or paying attention through your ability to apply “awareness.”
In short, it’s the powers of attention.
Where you place your attention is key to being in the present moment. For example, the best leaders are also considered to be the best “listeners.” They truly suspend judgment or wait to reply (or put in their own two cents’ worth) at the first sign of a pause. Fearless leaders make us feel “heard” and may not even have an answer for us when we first pose a question. They are mindful listeners.
In the present moment
Mindfulness includes being in the present moment, not thinking or being concerned with the past or future. The past and future don’t exist when you are completely present. The undisciplined mind wanders to the past, the future, to different thoughts.
Stay in the moment with your experience, whether it’s a particular emotion (fear, excitement, joy). The present is the most powerful moment you have. Savoring the important nuances of the moment expands your mind. Since the past is over and the future is yet to be, the present moment is the only true moment you can experience.
In mindfulness, we’re focused on the now, but it doesn’t mean we can’t think about the past or future. You can think about the past or future mindfully and purposefully with full awareness of your thoughts, emotions and actions.
Can you think of a moment when you were present in such a way that it affected the outcome of a particular situation?
Thanks for sharing!
For questions about this post or for information on becoming a fearless leader, contact Dr. Cathy Greenberg and The Fearless Leader Group at (888) 320-1299 or by email at email@example.com.