Today’s workplace has 2 speeds: Warp Speed, and Warp Speed Max. While organizations have become leaner (fewer people), the work load has not diminished proportionately. The frazzled few who are left are basically in reactive mode, warp speed. No time to think. No time to plan. No time to breathe. This is not healthy for the individuals nor, in the long run, for the organization. Sprints are only effective for the short term; one cannot complete a marathon by sprinting the entire distance.

So, just for the sake of your health, make me your customer. (Because “the customer is always right, and you need to do what the customer tells you.”) I invite you to close your eyes and relax for 10 minutes. You can set a timer on your smart phone if you wish. Ready to start?

Remember a time and place where you were calm and centered. What did it look like, sound like, smell like? Who was there with you? Now, let that calm center soothe your frazzled nerves.

Just stay there for 10 minutes. 10 peaceful, soothing, restorative minutes. If you’re not used to this, it can seem forever. If (when) your mind starts racing, just release that thought gently.

And when the timer sounds, come back to the present gently, staying centered in your special place.

You can practice this daily – this letting go, this grounding. If you do, I guarantee that you’ll be more relaxed. You’ll be more effective. And you’ll enjoy your life more, both at work and with your family and friends. I have practiced this and similar disciplines for years; it, and my family’s love, have kept me grounded and effective when life has been difficult.

Dreaming big for a moment, if most of the people in your organization did this, would your organization change? Would it be a better place to work? Would it be more effective in fulfilling its mission?

This dream is not as far-fetched as it might sound. The practice outlined above is a foundation of the Mindfulness movement that is currently a hot topic. Incidentally, the practice will still work long after Mindfulness is forgotten and replaced by some other hot topic.

Gary Langenwalter

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