The blinding speed of today's information-saturated, time-deprived, hyper-competitive world forces us to run, run, run just to keep pace. Alarm! Hit snooze. Alarm! Shower. Shave. Turn cell phone on. Check headlines. Check voice mail. Check e-mail. Google dog groomer. Make dinner reservations. Microwave breakfast. Drive to office. Check e-mail. Check schedule. Text Junior about afternoon pickup time for soccer practice. Join global teleconference in progress. Answer incoming texts. And that's just the first hour.
Accessibility through technology can be a double-edged sword. It is a blessing in terms of your productivity, but it is a curse on your peace of mind and your ability to know yourself. You can end up being a "human doing" rather than a human being, which leaves no time for awareness. When you're busy being a "human doing," you're usually too focused on your job to look outside at the big picture or look inside at your thoughts.
A quiet mind enhances our hearing.
So, how, exactly, in today's hyperactive and attention- demanding world, can you spend more time thinking about your thinking? Quit moving and be still. Relax. Be quiet. Look around. Listen.
My youngest daughter has a special area in her room where she can chill and relax. She calls it her "chillax zone." Although your "chillax zone" might not have big pink pillows and a fluffy white carpet, you also need to make a time and place that offers mental space.
Your space can be your car as you drive home after work, a reading or meditation corner in your house, your bathtub, your gym, a nearby park where you walk; your space can be anywhere you can be alone with your thoughts. The thinking, planning, and reflection you do in this space helps you get off the treadmill and rise above the hurly-burly of your everyday world to gain a better perspective on yourself, your purpose, your values, your team, etc.
You don't have to go on vacation or head for the spa. All you have to do is change the scenery in your mind. Instead of trudging along the dusty trail following the ruts of the wagon train, fly yourself to the top of the mountain where you can be still, relax, and dream while you gaze out over the world below.
When you stop moving, your world gets quieter. You don't hear the babble of people working all around you, the rustle of information, the pinging of emotion, the roar of the wind past your ears. All that noise is gone, and then you can truly listen.
As Indira Gandhi said, "You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive at rest."
So, try being still to be more aware of your thoughts so you can intentionally form a positive coaching mindset.