Last week, I spent time with my professional mentor Alan Weiss and my mastermind group in Miami. One of the topics we discussed was working on keeping your mind in the moment. If you’re like me, that’s easier said than done. Keeping focused on the thing you are doing without getting distracted is critical to crucial conversations, presentations, and relationships.
As I was flying back on Sunday, I tried something to practice. Allow me to share with you…
I was listening to my music and I decided to “be in the moment” while listening. Instead of allowing my mind to wander and daydream, I decided to focus on the music (by the way I was listening to Bruce Springsteen’s Glory Days, for what it’s worth). I focused on the back beat. It’s easy to just listen to the lyrics, but there’s a back beat to all music. I simply kept my mind on the back beat and tried to really feel it. It was excellent practice.
When you’re in a business or personal conversation; when you’re speaking publicly to a group; or when you are simply trying to get work done, you need to listen to the back beat. You need to be so focused on what is happening in the moment, that other things don’t distract you. Turn off distraction (e.g. emails); tune out extraneous items (e.g. stuff on your desk); and feel the experience you are in at that moment (e.g. speaking).
This is a skill. For some people, it might be easier than for others. For me, it’s a skill I need to develop (although my wife says I’m excellent at it when watching football on TV). I am using my new practice tool of music. Find something to train your brain. Being in the moment will improve every moment you have.
Today’s Extra Points comes to you with a slightly different look. My Constant Contact iPad app doesn’t seem to allow me to copy a prior email. I will not be deterred while on the road!
I’ve been on an East Coast “tour” for the past week. Two destinations with a polar difference in climates. Stop 1 was Miami (see sunset above) where it was 68 degrees and sunny. Stop 2 was New Brunswick NJ where it was 10 degrees when I landed. You can imagine my suitcase represented this polarity with what I packed. No in between here.
Our society today seems to react in exponential polarity when conflict arises. Whether it was the Richard Sherman interview on FOX after the Seahawks defeated the 49’ers to advance to the Super Bowl; or the hi-jinx of celebrities like Justin Bieber; or decisions made by your local city council/school board/state legislature, the polarity of opinions and differences is tangible. It tends to explode out of control when mixed with the social media engines of Twitter and Facebook. People are able to spout opinions and be vitriolic in real time without repercussions.
Why is this important to you as a business leader? Because if you choose to lead, you must be prepared to deal with the noise. It used to be that you could deal with it one in one. Today, you and your business must be prepared to deal with people loving and “hating” you and being vocal without knowing the whole story. To do this, you must do three things. First, you must build up your own self confidence and not allow the negative side to depress you. Second, you must not allow too much “love” to distract you and lose focus. Third, you must develop exemplary language skills to show knowledge, empathy, and be influential.
Too much of anything is never good. Today, the polar extremes of too much positive or negative can influence your own thoughts, behaviors, and actions. Don’t allow the noise to overwhelm you. Keep perspective and be a leader.
First time in Miami and about to enjoy a day with my mentor Alan Weiss and my colleagues that I’ve worked with over the past 2 years. A day full if learning, sharing, and camaraderie. Oh…and the view isn’t bad, either!