Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said “Knowing others is intelligence, knowing yourself is true wisdom.” Mindfulness is a gateway to discovering that wisdom and increasing your focus and clarity.
Understandably, many of my community members have heard about the benefits of mindfulness. But they are skeptical. The thought of sitting in a meditative pose for 1 hour a day is daunting. Yet they have heard about the medical and business benefits of living and working mindfully, and want to escape 24 x 7 “always on” digital demands.
For that reason, they often ask me how they can incorporate mindfulness—which I define as the ability to stay present and focused on the current task at hand without judgment—into their workday. The art of high noticing is one of my favorite methods.
I initially learned about the art of high noticing from Cathy Hawk. She’s the founder of Clarity International. She and her husband, Gary Hawk, have developed a dialogue and inquiry framework to align one’s vision with one’s passion. They refer to the process as “living lights on.”
It is very difficult to live “lights on”—or live with passion and high energy—if you are unable to notice subtle shifts from one day to the next. Without a high noticing ability, people, places and things start to look and feel monochromatic and mundane. If you are buried in your smart phone or proud of constantly multitasking, it is virtually impossible to distinguish how things are different from a previous state.
In addition to working with over 2,500 senior executives and leaders, Clarity© has taught me to rapidly notice when my thoughts and actions are draining and ineffective. I can rapidly recover from those patterns by shifting my thoughts, words, and actions in another direction.
As a high noticer, you are able to follow your energy and determine whether you are expressing draining and negative behaviors. These may include fear, exhaustion, anxiety, overdoing, or habituation. (Do any of those behaviors describe your work style, or am I alone on this one?) Conversely, “lights on” (higher energy) behaviors foster effortlessness, service mindedness, enthusiasm, excitement, and visionary thinking.
Science of Mind columnist Deborah Sandella described the high noticing Clarity© model this way: “When people are enthusiastic about their lives, there is a noticeable change in the way they look and express…all of us can live in this state of mind by consistently shifting our thinking from thoughts that drain energy to thoughts that enliven us.”
The high noticing exercise begins by reflecting on one question: What’s different at your work/home since last week, or since yesterday? Here is how you can implement this exercise with your executive and marketing team. Check out this 2 minute video from my recent AdWeek DC keynote:
How would your workday look differently if you could make some subtle shifts in your thinking? This one simple exercise is a step in that direction. It will help you become a high noticer—and you won’t need to become a yogini or monk to achieve it. In this keynote, I shared the stage with Bozzuto’s CMO, Jamie Gorski. She is a mindful marketer who has embraced high noticing.
In just one minute, shift can happen. Will you be there to notice it? Tell me what you think in the comments below.
Other posts and articles you will enjoy:
- 10 Quick Tips to Help You Save Time & Restore Your Creativity
- The Year of Being Heard: How to Think Like a Market Maker in 2015
- Marketing Smarts Podcast: The Mindful Marketer
Copyright 2015, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.