As we come to the end of 2016, I sit and reflect on what has happened this year; what I can learn from it, what I would like to celebrate and what lessons I’d be bringing with me to 2017.
2016 has been a year of mindfulness, an ongoing discipline that I’ve come to learn, unlearn and relearn over and over again throughout the year. A part of mindfulness involves acceptance, meaning that I pay attention to my thoughts and feelings without judging them. When I choose to be present, and in a state of active, open attention and awareness as well as purposefully tune out distractions, I experience the moment at a much deeper level.
With an Emergenetics uni-modal preference in structural thinking, it’s easy for me to forget about the other colours and just “do”. However, as I practise the discipline of mindfulness, I would do my best to pause, even if it is for a few minutes to remind myself that the other colours are important too and to consider options and ask myself questions from the other preferences. For example, from the blue, I would ask “Whatever I’m doing at this point, does it meet the task’s objective(s)?” From the yellow, “How does this relate to the bigger picture? Can I look at this task from another angle?” From the red, “Can I learn from others as we work on this project together?” Whenever I’m receiving feedback or having a meeting with colleagues or friends, I make the effort to keep behavioural preferences in mind so that I don’t take what they say personally. As we say it here at Emergenetics, “It’s not personal, it’s just preferences.”
Mindfulness has also changed the way I keep my space neat. It’s not just about stacking things properly, or putting them in a visually pleasing manner. It’s about the reason I keep certain items and why I discard some of them. Most physical items evoke certain memories, taking the time to go through these items help me to keep my area clear of clutter and ensuring that whatever I keep is important.
Another aspect of mindfulness that I keep close to my heart is recognising that my thoughts and emotions are fleeting and do not define me. This frees me from my negative thought pattern and encourages me to move on and improve my state of mind at the given point of time.
Studies have shown that practising mindfulness, even for just a few weeks, can bring about a variety of physical, psychological, and social benefits. I have seen these positive changes in my life and this is something that I look forward to bringing across with me to 2017 and the years beyond that! These lessons that I have learnt may be small, and I’m determined to celebrate my wins, no matter how tiny. Join me, in this practice of mindfulness; the positive wonders of purposeful attention awaits you.