Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Bringing Mindfulness to Your Career

Insights by Stanford Business, March 19, 2018

by Theodore Kinni

A woman takes a moment to pause and practice mindfulness  | iStock/Wavebreakmedia 
A thousand years ago, there was a cobbler who hated his work, but could not escape it. One day, heartsick, he met a monk, who suggested that he practice his craft as a meditation — by reframing the attention, intention, and emotion with which he approached his work. He followed the monk’s advice. Today, he is remembered as the Divine Cobbler, one of India’s 84 mahasiddhas, gurus who reached enlightenment through mindfulness.

Stanford Graduate School of Business lecturer Leah Weiss, principal teacher and trainer in Stanford’s Compassion Cultivation Program, opens her new book, How We Work: Live Your Purpose, Reclaim Your Sanity, and Embrace the Daily Grind, with the cobbler’s story. It still strikes a chord today, she says, because “nothing provides more opportunities than the workplace for us to feel discouraged, disappointed, bored, overwhelmed, envious, embarrassed, anxious, irritated, outraged, and afraid to say what we really feel.”

Of course, most people today are not as trapped in their jobs as the cobbler. But leaving a job we don’t like may not alleviate the suffering. “It’s like breaking up with one person after another and another in romantic relationships. There’s a common denominator in what’s not working,” says Weiss.

Here she discusses why the grind makes us better leaders and how to practice mindfulness to reconnect to your purpose. Read the rest here.

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