Business and Mindfulness?
There’s an interesting article I ran across recently that speaks of Return on Investment(ROI) of practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is a lifelong practice that one would initially think is way beyond the scope of a phrase like ROI, but to some, it can help frame the importance of mindfulness practice in a way that coincides with their current worldview.
Most of the world is currently focused on a capitalistic model. We work and expect results and rewards for the work. We are not in a Star Trek world where we all work for the good of mankind. People, in many cases, are motivated to work in order to acquire money. We tried to work for the common good, and it failed (see Soviet Union). Therefore, we love the idea that the work that we do will pay off for us either immediately, or down the line.
ROI and Mindfulness
In a recent article titled, “The ROI of Practicing Mindfulness at Work” from business2community.com, author Michael Carroll states:
In business, getting a return on our investment of time, money and resources is . . . well, what business is all about. But when we blend mindfulness meditation with making a living we discover that pursuing an ROI is a mere part of a much larger landscape. When we exclusively focus on pursuing goals, hitting targets, completing projects, and meeting expectations, our ambition, while worthy, can nonetheless blind us with its speed and forward looking intent. And it is here where mindfulness meditation and the wisdom of non-achievement can make all the difference in the world. Because in our haste and speed to achieve, we may in fact be speeding past the very thing we are looking for. Such speed can obscure solutions hiding in plain sight, camouflage potential business partners as adversaries and blind us to creative possibilities of all kinds.
Life Moves Pretty Fast…
The beauty in this paragraph is that we can look at mindfulness practice from a ROI standpoint, and it can propel us to practice, but as we practice, we realize that the journey is just as important as the destination. The practice of mindfulness is the destination we lust for. Enlightenment is as much the return on investment as it is the investment itself.
The solutions to our problems are often in plain sight, but we usually speed by them on our race for returns. Mindfulness is not a quarterly earning practice, it’s a buy and hold investment that pays dividends. Sometimes the dividends are large, but more often, they are small, yet noteworthy.
Michael goes on to state:
…sitting still for long periods of time is how we slow down, wake up and reacquaint ourselves with seeing and living our lives clearly. Whether on the job, at home or at the local grocery store, mindfulness meditation encourages us to fearlessly open to life on its terms rather than ours, to step past our fixation on making life “better”, “happier”, or “more secure” and instead confidently recognize and embrace life for exactly what it is.
This is certainly worth internalizing while practicing mindfulness. Michael could not have stated this better. ROI is a great motivator, but not all that we should be looking for while practicing mindfulness.