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Mindfulness: a nice to have; or an essential life tool?

I made an assumption that since I lived in Asia, those around me would have a good grasp of what mindfulness was. After all, it did originate from this continent. I assumed wrongly. Singapore is a multicultural, vibrant place that encourages innovation and professional development and because of this, there is a strong community of start-ups and innovation lead companies – producing one of the world’s stronger economies.

Like all educated societies, the emphasis has been on obtaining good grades to start your career on the right track. Well, that sounds good, right? Yes, of course, but what I am highlighting is the amount weighted towards it. There is something else missing from the equation for people to feel mentally and emotionally strong. When things get tough in life, work or personal, how have you been taught to cope with this? To suppress emotion? To brush over it and think positively? Or maybe simply to “man up”? These strategies are not sustainable and you will be left feeling dissatisfied, disgruntled or burnt out because too much emotional baggage builds up.

What drives success in life?

As much as, 80% of a person’s success in life is attributed to soft skills, of which a large proportion is believed to be emotional intelligence (known as EQ). “Emotional what?”, I hear you say. Well, you know what IQ is; think of this as the emotional version. Here’s the thing, emotion drives all our actions, period. Therefore, it is essential for people to self-regulate their own emotions to feel internal equilibrium and for them to thrive in life. It’s simple, feel balanced and strong on the inside; and the outer will follow.

Crack this and you’ll be one of those people who will just know the right thing to do and say, you’ll start making clearer decisions, you’ll get noticed for your fresh approach and people will want to be around you. Sounds like great leadership skills to me! So, how do you achieve this Holy Grail? Simple, learn how to adopt a mindful mindset.

What is the role of mindfulness?

It allows you to be aware of and to regulate emotions when they arise. It’s like any problem, if you address it early it can’t snowball into something bigger. Look at it this way, to hold on to emotions is like putting all your rubbish in landfill. Oh, and the landfill is your back garden. It’s not sustainable and it will just increase over time. It’s far better to dispose of your rubbish in a more conscientious way. Using this analogy is to recycle it into something new.

Mindfulness is to EQ; what education is to IQ. The core components, such as open awareness, acceptance and choice, reinforce the self-awareness and self-management quadrans of EQ. The more you flourish in these areas the more compassion is nurtured. Studies have shown that people with a higher EQ have a higher level of perceptiveness, which means they are more likely to be socially aware and to manifest better relationships. The link, they believe, is down to exercising self-compassion and extending it towards others.

All in all, it’s pointing towards mindfulness being highly complementary to a person’s EQ development. So, I ask you, is it a nice thing to know; or do you see this as an essential life tool? You decide.

About the author

ANJI HALLEWELL is a Self-Mastery & Performance Expert, who over the last 15+ years, has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands, such as Mediacom, FOX, RBS & QBE Insurance in a variety of talent development roles. After spending years mastering the impact of behaviour on human potential, and personally experiencing some of the high-pressure challenges facing today’s aspiring leaders, Anji discovered that self-mastery was the key to achieving natural success. She has taught 100s of professionals proven mindset tools for them to rise above the negative workings of the ego and perform at their best.

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