Corporate Culture

Just Be…Be Present

Heidi Buttolph
Heidi Buttolph
Business Development Consultant, Organizational Engagement

As you read this blog, how present are you? No really…how aware are you of your surroundings now and throughout the day? On your way to work, did you observe the scenery or landmarks during your drive? Do you recall if you washed your hair during your shower this morning? How did your shampoo smell? Have you been paying attention to the room you are in? What’s the temperature? What are you sitting on? Is it comfortable? There are so many things going on right now, right here, in the present — your immediate environment, sensations in your body, and thoughts and feelings in your mind of which you probably weren’t consciously aware.

Research shows people spend almost 47 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing. Add to this the fact interruptions occur every 11 minutes at work, and believe it or not, it then takes 25 minutes to get back to what we were originally doing before the interruption.

These examples and research highlight the fact we’re living much of our days in autopilot. We have routines at home and at work, and we go through the motions not truly paying attention to what we’re doing. Our minds wander elsewhere, and we end up eating without tasting, looking without seeing, and talking without knowing what we’re really saying.

Stop — purposefully pause right now and be more present. This is the very guidance we’re sharing with our leaders to ensure they and our employees are at our best every day to promote health, protect wealth, and deliver peace of mind for our clients. We’ve entered the “attention economy” where the ability to maintain focus and awareness is every bit as important as technical or management skills. This means being more mindful through greater awareness which occurs by paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. Being mindful helps increase one’s effectiveness, decrease mistakes, and enhance our creativity — all of which contribute to delivering results personally and professionally.

Mindfulness isn’t to be confused with relaxation but instead awareness and acceptance of whatever state the body and mind are in. Mindfulness can be practiced through meditation or quite simply through mindful conversation, mindful walking, mindful breathing, mindful eating, mindful driving, or being mindful of our environment and any life experience.

This awareness and intentional focus takes practice, and in doing so, we become more aware as we walk around of sounds, sights, smells, and movement. As we eat, we should be aware of tastes, smell, sensation of chewing each bite, and the increasing feeling of fullness in one’s stomach. It enhances our overall individual well-being, all while enhancing the well-being of those around us.

Today’s world moves at lightning speed. Let’s purposefully pause…taking time each day to just be…be present with those around us and truly make a difference in their lives. This is Holmes Murphy’s focus and our promise to you!

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