How many times do you feel like you are subject to the whims of forces outside your control? An urgent deadline emerges. A key employee resigns without notice. Technology fails at a critical presentation.

Like it or not, we are compelled to make a decision when life throws us career curve balls. That’s where mindfulness in business can be a huge asset.

If you have spent any time in the business world, you know the name of the game is being one step ahead of the pack. Sensing where the growth or value is going to come from and getting there NOW. You’ve probably heard phrases like, “Let’s be proactive and get a jump on the competition.” or “The early bird gets the worm.”

It’s a lot easier said than done, but practicing the art of being proactive is a key component of efficiency, because time matters. And the way you activate proactivity can propel you, your company and your life into a more successful, satisfying and authentic realm.

Combining the Best of Two 

So here’s how mindfulness and proactivity synergize.

Being proactive means you take responsibility for the way you move through the world. It is a perspective that puts you in the driver’s seat rather than at the mercy of others, life, etc. Rather than “I have to, I should, I can’t because…” proactive people come from a place of, “I choose to, I am, I want to.”

When we take the time to be mindful, perhaps observing our language in this case, we are able to discover an unconscious perspective that has been hiding beneath the surface of our awareness. When we become cognizant of patterns that are disempowering us, we are again faced with a decision.

But this decision is a bit different than the externally appearing chaos mentioned in the beginning. This decision requires a desire to empower ourselves, to become better, more effective humans in EVERY aspect of our lives.

Because let’s face it, many of us have gotten so used to making our problems and challenges someone else’s doing, it’s rather daunting to consider taking on the full reality of our lives. No one would argue that it’s easier to blame that failed presentation on having to travel all night to get there in time instead of a lack of preparation or self-care on their part.

But I promise you, the dividends are endless if you put yourself in the driver’s seat of your own life and get proactive. You may not always get to choose how people behave or what challenges life hands you but you do get to decide how you respond to the situation. Sound trite?

You might also like: Mindfulness & meditation as a tool - not a goal

Try For Yourself

Here’s a little experiment. Try being more mindful of the language you use when speaking about activities and responsibilities in your life for one day. Notice if it’s, “I have to pick up our partner at the airport at 6AM” or if it’s, “I am picking our partner up at 6AM.” If you notice yourself thinking or saying more of the “I have to, I should, I can’t” phrases, try switching to a more proactive language for your task and see how it feels.

We always love to hear your feedback and experiences around mindfulness in business!