When did mindfulness become a thing?

“The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.”
― Alice Morse Earle

In career terms we spend much effort in planning for the future, where we might be in a given amount of time. We explore possible paths for our future career, research what we need to do to get on and follow those paths, and strove to achieve this.

In doing so, it may be all too easy to get caught up in the outcome and the strategy we have to make it the outcome we want. All too easy to forget about the moment we are living in now. All too easy to forget to smell the flowers.

Similarly, it may be all too easy to get caught up in a paroxysm of angst over things that have happened in the past and the consequence of these events. Whilst we may live with the consequences of our actions it hardly helps lower our stress levels if we spend time agonising over “what went wrong” or “what might have been”. All too easy to forget to smell the flowers. Far more useful to learn from the past and move on.

Of course it is important to learn from the past and use this learning in building our future. However, it is also important to enjoy the journey. Surely, we should all be able to do that.

One definition of mindfulness, from Google, is “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique”.

Surely we can all strive to achieve that on a daily basis, whilst working towards our career outcomes.  Or, do we really need to be instructed on how to do it?

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Martin Coffey

About Martin Coffey

Career Management Skills Developer, Researcher Development Team.

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