by clicking the "Next" arrow.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Mindful : April 2015
Research shows that being grateful dismantles the impulsiveness of a wandering mind. April 2015 mindful 67 Want more from life? Appreciate what you’ve already got. You’ll start fixating less on that salary increase and noticing the existing wealth of your surroundings. The Richness of Everyday Life Before you read further, pause and consider your circumstances. Chances are you’re in a comfor table, safe setting, with access to virtually unlimited resources. You can travel freely, communicate globally, and explore the entirety of human knowledge virtually unrestrained. And you likely have ready access to friends, colleagues, family, and neigh- bors. Most of us are endowed with unprecedented resources never before experienced throughout human histor y. Yet, there is a “rub”—a strange irony to our circumstances. Despite such remarkable pros- perity, too many of us find our- selves increasingly depressed, anxious, and unhappy. And, in the midst of such anguish, we aren’t treating each other well. Nearly 90% of us feel that rudeness in everyday social encounters is getting worse. And on the job, 78% of us feel disrespected, bullied, or demeaned. In short, while those of us living and working in devel- oped countries are profoundly prosperous with resources unimaginable to the billions of humans who came before us, we are, nonetheless, increas- ingly dissatisfied. What’s the source of this “irony”? How have we come to obscure our good fortune? And what can we do about it? In his study of “cognitive mind wandering,” Matthew Killingswor th documented what may be the source of our problem. Essentially, his research found that we human beings spend about 50% of our time thinking about something other than what we are doing. And at work our minds stray as often—almost always toward non-work-related concerns. And here the research brings the irony into sharp focus: According to Killing- swor th’s findings, when our minds wander from our imme- diate experience, what we are considering is almost always more distressful than the actual experience we’re having. In essence, we spend a lot of our time ignoring our pros- perous circumstances while giving birth to the ver y distress we’re seeking to avoid. This is where mindfulness-awareness meditation comes in. Meditation teaches many things. One of the core effects is we become ut terly familiar with our immediate experience. Whether tragic or triumphant; exquisite or horrif ying; painful or pleasurable, meditation liberates our hear ts and minds to savor life as a “lived expe- rience” rather than a mental rehearsal of thoughts, ambi- tions, hopes, and fears. And it’s here in our willingness to open to life that we can realize our profound prosperity—not as an “economic fact” but as a remarkable lived experience. While training our minds on a meditation cushion or chair is a power ful discipline, no doubt, we can also bring prosperity alive in our work life with these simple practices: Mar vel at devices Too often we treat our iPhones, tablets, and computers like bothersome intruders or numbing gadgets. Or we take wonders like lightbulbs, toilets, fridges, and airplanes for granted. Instead, pause and consider the sheer human brilliance that brought us such power ful devices. Mar velling at our modern-day experience rather than being numbed by it can make us happier and more productive at work and in life. Express gratitude Research is fast showing that being grateful is a skillful way to dismantle the impulsiveness of a wandering mind. Here, we deliberately pause throughout the day, at home or at work, to be grateful for a glass of water, a loving friend, a colleague, a blue sky, a working traffic light, a breeze—the list is endless. Delight in others’ joy Whether it’s a child smiling with her mother, a fellow work- er making a breakthrough, or teens playing soccer, there is much human joy to witness and appreciate. Remember the scope of human despair Over 20,000 children star ve to death daily, hundreds of mil- lions are homeless, and human despair is vast and unrelenting. Recalling that so many are without prosperity and permit- ting our hear ts to break while lending a hand is a noble way to savor our good for tune. It helps sometimes to think not just about how we work, but about why we work. 21st-cen- tury economic theory is fast concluding that successful “prosperous” societies will be less about accumulating wealth, growing income, or amassing consumables, and more about relieving human suffering, inspiring human cre- ativity, and offering solutions to human problems. Such an awakening comes as no surprise to mindfulness prac- titioners. Because all we have to do is pause and witness our good for tune, and sharing such prosperity with others, then, just comes naturally. ● Michael Carroll is the author of Fearless at Work. at work mindful practices