I’ve talk about mindfulness in the past and the value it has as a daily practice. I’m here to tell you it’s no different today than it was when I wrote it over 6 months ago. If you haven’t read it I’ll get you up to speed. I practice on a daily basis the art of mindfulness, it really is an art and not always difficult. Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. It’s the focus of being present in everything that you do and every connection you make.
I do my best to be mindful of everything I do, I don’t lament or live in the “glory days” of my past nor do I get caught up in living completely in the future. For the most part, and I do slip from time to time, I focus completely in the present because only today do I have the control or power of my actions. I have no capability to fix the past nor do I have the capacity to predict the future, the only time that matters is now.
We can get lost in “what-ifs” and “I wish” and that can take us down a rabbit hole of dissatisfaction and sorrow. Instead we can take all of our past as learning experiences to apply to our present to create the best future possible. It sometimes can be hard to live fully in the moment, it really can be but it is often easy to bring yourself back.
So what the hell does this all have to do with anything? Well, being mindful of the present can open many opportunities that you may previously have been blind to and that’s the whole point. If I didn’t do my best to mindfully live in the present I would’ve been blind to many opportunities that I normally would’ve missed. For instance today marked the first day of my new job as a software developer. This opportunity would not have been anywhere near possible had I not been mindful of the present and seeing opportunities amongst the noise.
When we start living a mindful life we start seeing the opportunities that have always been right there in front of us all along. When we get to see those opportunities we get to experience a great many of positive things while at the same time avoiding the pitfalls of living in the past and the future. This is especially true when we interact with people online or in person, don’t just look for the people who you “think” will give you the best return on investment for our time but look for people to make meaningful life long connections, these are the relationships that will pan out and that will reward you for a lifetime.
Networking is a dirty word and everyone hates doing it but it works. The problem with networking is that when you think about networking all you really think about is how is person x or person y going to give me the things that I want or help me achieve my goals. Networking is about leveraging other people, basically using them to achieve your objective and you rationalize being a terrible person and using others by telling yourself “the end justify the means”. Well this is a terrible way to approach it, now if we approach networking with a mindful discipline what we are doing is not using people but creating relationships. This may seem like a distinction without a difference but the difference is immense.
The difference to networking when you approach it with mindfulness is that instead of creating a commodity that serves you and only you, you are creating a relationship or friendship based on mutually shared interests. From my experience friends are going to work harder to lift you up and help out, more so than any stranger would do. With mindfulness you generate friendships that transcend just a sleazy what can you do for me relationship. If I approached my life and my relationships solely as a “what can you do for me” relationship I wouldn’t have had the opportunities that I do today.
Living a mindful life can simplify and reduce stresses but it can also let you see excellent opportunities that you may otherwise miss. The signs are typically right there in front of our face but we are too worried thinking about our past or focusing on our future that we miss what is right in front of us. When taking a mindful approach we can see and be in the moment, leaving us open to the world of possibilities. This approach goes to driving, eating, friendship, learning, creating, networking and every other thing we do as human beings. Take the time today to be in the moment, be mindful of what you are feeling, seeing, and experiencing, don’t let the limitless opportunities slip by you.