When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love. – Thich Nhat Hanh
I was chatting with an old pal recently, and he quipped, “You know, Elaine, you seem very high on this social-media-from -inside-out concept. Perhaps you should focus on that.” He was referring to empowering internal teams to serve as social media promoters.
Well, I began to ponder it a bit and realized–good idea, but probably easier said than done. I saw a recent Gallup study that indicated more than 85% of employees are unhappy with their current jobs. Employees and managers reported feeling stress or boredom as the two most common experiences throughout the workday. The high cost to employers is absenteeism, burnout, lost productivity and disengagement. Certainly, if your employees are not engaged, they are most likely not going to be the most passionate brand advocates.
So, maybe inside out is the right notion. But, we must start—not inside the business—but inside each individual. Satisfaction does not just happen—Mr. Jagger taught us that. However, many from my friend’s generation might say, “You pay them to make it their business.” The truth is there appears to be something missing. It’s not something that can be filled in with a couple of posters on the wall, free donuts on Friday, or a holiday potluck. It requires something deeper and more profound—a deliberate shift in consciousness.
Mindfulness—it’s about being fully present and engaged in the moment and taking responsibility for what’s working, what’s not and your reactions to it. This is the radical personal epiphany I have had in the past six months—which has changed the way I perceive everything. I think we all exist so much of the time on autopilot—particularly at work. We blame others for our predicaments and often feel powerless. Or, we get into a tragic rhythm of “just getting through the day.” No wonder we feel cranky and demoralized. Or, we are constantly worrying what else we should be doing at any given point in time. Or, we’re anxious about politics, about what the boss thinks, potential layoffs, the other gal’s promotion— you name it—all things over which we have no control. It’s a recipe for emotional mayhem.
To plug into the creative juice and to joy, we need to cultivate clarity, communication, peace — and consciousness. Plus, a little fun. That may be what Google and Zappos have been able to foster in their environments.
However, the first step is to get clear about who you are. Make sure you know you, what you are about, and what success will look like when you get there. Sounds easy enough, but hey, as my experience has shown, this is probably the hardest part.
Next post – we’ll review some easy ways to begin living more mindfully. Mindfulness 101 . . . ways to start now. Let me know what you think.