Mindfulness is a word that gets tossed around a lot these days. It’s often associated with Buddhist practices and meditation: activities that are designed to develop our abilities to be present and in the moment.
Ellen Langer, Harvard professor of Social Psychology has a much more direct approach to mindfulness. She describes it as the “simple act of actively noticing things.”
The opposite of mindfulness is mindlessness. We are mindless when, instead of actively noticing things, we rely solely on our learning, associations, and assumptions from the past.
We are often mindless with our talent. We “know” what we’re good at and what we’re not good at. We’ve found our strengths; know our DISC profile, and our enneagram number. At one time these distinctions were fresh and perhaps opened up new possibilities for our talent, but quickly they fade into labels that we and, what’s worse, others use to label us – to contain our talent, not to free it.
At its best a Talent Catalyst Conversation is an exercise in mindfulness. When a Talent Catalyst actively notices the language and emotions of a Talent Hero, that recognition can spark new possibilities. When a Talent Hero creates a fresh story by actively noticing what answers occur to questions like “What are your hopes,” new life chapters begin to be written.
Labels can be useful ways to categorize past behaviors and tendencies, but to Take Charge of Your Talent – your self-expression – a little mindfulness goes a long way.
To learn more about Ellen Langer and her approach to mindfulness see: http://www.ellenlanger.com/books/3/mindfulness
Photo by: clogsilk