What we know for sure is that “thought” is the baseline of business. How we think creates our visions, our goals, our aspirations, our inventions, our solutions, our ability to be productive, and achieve results.
All that you have thought up to now has brought you to this point in your career and your business. All your accomplishments, all the hardships you had to overcome, all you have learned, all you do and create, all of it was created by you and provided you with the career and corporate culture you now work in and the business outcomes you currently have.
Through thought we deliver on intentions because thoughts originate in the mind. Hence the “mindfulness” movement. In the mind, images get formed into language and that language then gets formed into actions and results in our work life—and they have a direct and succinct correlation to our success or failures. How does this happen?
Even the keenest scientists in the world don’t actually know how thoughts fully work—but they do! Great performance and achievement starts with the thought to be great and to perform well. The intention of finding oil starts with the thoughts and desire to do so. All inventions to create sustainable energy and more green ways of operating all start with our thoughts. All notions of peak performance and powerful goals originate in that kind of thinking. So why don’t we just think positive and make everything happen right the first time? Why do we make mistakes, get diverted, or go off track?
Why do we miss deadlines, forget things, and end up short of where we’d like to be? The answer is in the mind.
Like all of us, there are aspects of your work life that don’t work—because of the way we think. Thought is constructive and it can also be destructive. We all have opposing thoughts. Sometimes they serve the goal and sometimes they divert from the goal. In this era of business and mindfulness thinking, we call destructive thought the “ego mind.” Not the old definition of ego being self-indulged, cool, and standoffish—but a rather different definition of the ego mind has emerged.
The definition of ego in this era is the thoughts you think that cause your demise and the thoughts that diminish your goals and aspirations. Ego thoughts are the ones that limit the range in which we produce results. They sabotage the tasks of the day and the final project outcomes. They divert from the focus. They focus on lack, competition, and keeping cards close to the chest. They complain, justify, and often feel overwhelmed. Had any of those lately? Has it been effective?
Ego thinking puts up barriers to our greatness and it limits the abilities we have to produce powerful results. Results are not diminished by the economy, or the leadership, or the climate, or the price of oil, or the current drama of the day—rather they are diminished by thinking that problems outside of us are bigger than we are, and we have no way to overcome them. This is not the truth, of course—it’s just how the ego mind thinks at the time. Any time you have not had the result that you were looking for, there has been an underlying thought that made that result happen. Goals are not reached because somewhere along the plan, the ego mind came in and dropped the ball on the way to the finish line.
Mindfulness business means stopping the rat race of producing by force and taking a look at “how we think” that is getting the results that we have. We need to stop long enough to reflect on the places we give up and give in. The places we tolerate low performance and the places we justify our outcomes. We need to look at where we give our power away to an outside source and where we don’t want to be responsible for outcomes.
The ego mind can misuse thoughts, and those thoughts can delay your success. But the good news is, it’s temporary. The higher mind is always there, whispering in the background—“go this way.” The mind and body are self-organizing and self-correcting—just like nature. Everything has its natural propensity toward its purpose and goals.
All the breakdowns in your work life are ego-based thoughts. The stress, the worry, the anger, the complaints—all live in your breakdowns. But breakdowns have a purpose—they lead to breakthroughs! When you take the time to be self-aware and “mindful,” you realize that what it is to be a human being is to have the ego mind and the higher mind happening all the time. It’s firing at you point blank moment by moment, and you can either be the sailor of your own ship and be self-aware, or you can be like a plastic bottle on the water in a storm and be thrown around in the waves—wherever the wind takes you.
So this is not a time hide from the so-called “soft skills” of business—quite the contrary. Ignoring the issues of the day and pretending you don’t see the errors of our ways and the impact on the economy, the environment, and the people of the world is highly counter-productive.
To be SELF-AWARE and to understand that anything is possible and that by taking responsibility (ABLE TO RESPOND) and by seeing the ego and its actions, we can change our thoughts. We are not our thoughts; we have them, but we don’t have to be reactive of them. We can use them for their highest results—or we can fall victim to them in our own demise.
Getting to a breakthrough in your work life means you must first recognize your ego mind creating drama, chaos, and a lack of results. See it for how it disconnects and covers over the truth of accountability and responsibility. It shows up in the little things—not being on time; justifying outcomes; breaking promises; blaming others; tolerating counterproductive behaviours; not honouring your word; not doing complete work; holding back and competing with team members; not collaborating; and not communicating when it’s needed. All of these so-called “soft skills” add up without us even realizing it and then, BOOM—we get hit with a result that we didn’t expect. We think it was the economy—nothing could be further from the truth.
Today, in this era of business, our jobs are not just about performing a task. They are about working on purpose and about managing our minds so that the ego can be seen—and transformed when it sabotages success. How do you do this? First you look to the results. Are they where you want them to be? If the answer is “no,” then you start looking at the way you were thinking and the thoughts that led up to that. You identify the way the team was thinking and the way the collective corporate culture was thinking—that produced the negative result.
Right now, with the price of oil lower than ever, there is a mass ego movement of fear, scarcity, and lack. People are afraid and scrambling. The tone of the day is “reaction.” Do we really believe this way of thinking will solve things? Our ego thoughts can be hidden—sneaky at best and violent and killing at worst. We have war to prove it. Ego thoughts are always counterproductive and are always fear-based. They feel low and depressed. They never feel good in the culture of your organization, with your teams, or with you. Take a look and see where the ego thoughts hide out in your organization. Are you organized around power and results, or are you organized around diversion and demise and unconscious reaction?
Making companies work well is not only a function of the leadership. It’s a function of the collective corporation—and that means you. It starts with you being self-aware and conscious of from which mind you are operating—the ego mind or the higher, more productive mind. The mindfulness movement will probably be the most productive movement we have witnessed to date in the history of humanity. The business world is simply a result that will show us how we have been thinking based on our abilities to get creative and fuel new results. Mindfulness, coupled with technology, puts us in a high-performance model of exponential growth: an era which we have never had such privilege to work in. That’s good news because the matters of the day are mind matters. We live in amazing times—let’s see what we can create with it!
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