Thursday, March 5, 2015

In the Zone!


Im guessing that most of us have been in the zone, that state of mind where we are so focused on a task that everything just comes together, and all distraction just falls away. Thinking back, it is during these experiences when we not only remember being the most productive but also having the the most fun, even if its a task that we might usually abhor. And time flies. This zone has been talked about for eons, and has taken on different names and descriptions. A recent trending way to describe or at least practice for this experience is mindfulness. Another great reference or description is being in the FLOW.

Thinking back to my most mindful moments they are moments alone, as well as being with others. I can remember the calmness in the chaos many times like being in a trading frenzy on the NYSE, or finding the zone during a squash match or a running race, or floating through a day of administrative work. Also memorable are those boardroom meetings that fly by as ideas come together and dialogue(as opposed to debate) ensues. All of these experiences of being in the zone by myself or with others came from being mindful. Paying attention to what I was doing in those moments.

Musicians practice so that they can get better, so that they can have more meaningful experience, so can we practice to get better at our day to day lives, whatever that may be. Mindfulness practices whether it be in the boardroom, on the field or doing the dishes, increases the chances of us finding that more productive and enjoyable zone.

Mindfulness is thought by many to be a cult as a recent Harvard Business reviewdescribes. But that seems like saying that paying attention is a cult. We are taught from the beginning to pay attention, it is in our nature to do so.

This weeks New York Times article about Aetna’s CEO's personal practice and company wide offering gives us some relatable perspective to the personal and corporate benefits of these practices.

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