Being Mindful at Work is to acknowledge that work only offers us the present moment -- which is fleeting and fickle and constantly surprising. Work, with all its pressures and successes and confusion, unfolds on its terms not ours and we can be awake as it unfolds or we can resist -- a choice we can and will make moment by moment for the rest of our lives.
When we are Awake at Work, we are alert and attentive in the present moment, willing to perform our jobs properly. By cultivating such precision, we can feel clear-minded and available on the job -- free from doubt and complication.
Humility is total openness where we shed our costumes of self-importance and discover that we are comfortable and powerful being no one in particular. And if we cultivate this humility in a very literal sense it does not matter what our job station is, which can then make all the difference in the world. "Whatever you do will be insignificant," said Mahatma Gandhi. "But it is very important that you do it."
When we respect our jobs, we realize that we are not just making a living, but we are living our lives -- right here and now on the job in all its remarkable immediacy. By respecting rather than resisting our job, we discover that work is not an intrusion or burden in our life, but a profound invitation to help and to contribute to our world.
To be Awake at Work is to acknowledge that all human beings are instinctively decent; all human beings want to be respectful, honest, and helpful. Such decency, however, can not be taken for granted and must be developed and appreciated and respected. To be Awake at Work is to cultivate this basic decency in ourselves and others at all times and under all circumstances.
Being Authentic at work is to trust that being who we are where we are is perfectly sufficient. Such Authenticity introduces the possibility that we can drop our anxieties over failure and and success and become genuine and curious at work rather than threatened or imprisoned by it.
Courage at work requires that we examine the less optimistic side of our jobs -- the areas of discontent and frustration and resistance. In Awake At Work, exploring our anxieties about livelihood is a gesture of fearlessness: a willingness to be honest with ourselves and open to others.
Awake At Work
David Nichtern and Michael Carroll share a conversation around what they learned from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and how that translates into the concept of the authentic colleague in the modern-day workplace.
The role of mindfulness awareness meditation for leaders
We all know what human agility looks like. For those of us who have attended a performance of “Cirque du Soleil” or the NYC Ballet, we are fortunate to have witnessed remarkable performers executing flawlessly: muscular, refined, and utterly disciplined. And while we may assume that such creative elegance is unique to the performing arts, today’s business climate filled with calamity, unknowns and crisis is fast making the very same agility the defining skill for leading today’s global enterprises.
The kind of leadership we usually encounter in business, in government, and even in our spiritual communities assumes a top-down perspective. At the top are the leaders, who are engaged, ambitious, and effective. At the bottom are life’s voyeurs, uninvolved, hesitant, and resigned. In between is everyone else. Neither visionaries nor bystanders, most of us go about our lives and are expected to fit in and do our best to contribute. To a great degree we take this top-down perspective for granted.
The Buddhist approach, however, does not encourage us to wait for someone else to take...Read More
Excepted from “Fearless at Work”
A favorite Taoist story passed down through the centuries recounts the tale of a young boy caught in a most distressing...Read More
Michael Carroll was interviewed by David Shifrin for The Art of Change.
Too often, vision is driven by spreadsheets, competitive analysis, product plans, service planning, and marketing. All those are important, of course. But relying on those views too much can come back and bite you if you haven’t spent time feeling your sales rep’s pain, exploring your warehouse and fulfillment problems; listening to your vendors, customers and patients. What are people going through? What do they have to say? What would...