How to Be Mindful at Work and Still Keep Your Job

Once you have started on the path of mindful living, it’s amazing how quickly it becomes a part of your day.  Most of us go through the motions of living, and forget to be conscious of living with purpose,  only to discover at the end of the day, – that you can’t even remember what you had for lunch!!

What do I mean by that?  Well, look at the commute to work.  Many times, you have probably stopped for a traffic light, and thought, “I don’t remember the last couple of minutes of the drive.” You are on automatic pilot, and while, fortunately, you are a competent driver, it’s a bit of a jolt to realize you were driving in a state of unconscious competence.  When we become so immersed in the routine of daily living, that we go through certain parts of it, like driving to work, on automatic pilot, – that’s where the departure from living with purpose occurs.

So, what should we focus on, while going about our day?  This will sound odd, but focus on everything.  Don’t allow the automatic pilot to take over.  Be aware of your surroundings, of sights, sounds, smells.  I work very near a coffee roasting company.  Every day, I smell the incredibly rich and robust smell of coffee being freshly roasted.  When I meet a fellow worker on the way in, I say ” doesn’t that smell wonderful?” and the response is “what smell?”  They are so out of tune with being in the moment that they don’t stop to enjoy the state of being that we spend every moment of our lives in.  Whether awake or asleep, it is our state of being that matters.

If you are a file clerk, or a bank manager, or an astronaut (well, especially if you are an astronaut), focus on every detail of your day; be consciously aware of the purpose of each activity you undertake, make every moment the most important moment of your day.  It’s been often said to live each day as if it were your last.  That’s a bit extreme, really, because it focuses on a somewhat gruesome thought.  I find it much more uplifting to consider each moment as singularly important, because all we have in life in the present moment.

So why not honour that moment.  You will never have another just like it.



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