Taking a Moment to Pause

During this time of year, we are often overwhelmed. Schedules are full and there are never enough hours in the day. But while you are busy rushing from one thing to the next, I offer this reminder from my book Leadership to Words at a Time, to pause, breathe and reflect.

Set aside time at the beginning of each day for contemplative silence, i.e., meditation. Starting each day with quiet reflection has a healthy centering effect. It readies you for what’s to come, easing you into your day. It’s restorative in that it replenishes whatever was extracted from you the day before. It lowers your stress so you can better handle the stressors you’re likely to face later. Taking a moment to pause makes you more passionate about and devoted to your work. And it helps reconnect you to your principles and ideals and recommits you to living with good character.

Taking a moment to pause helps reconnect you to your principles and ideals and recommits you to living with good character.

Getting centered through a few minutes of quiet reflection brings composure to your leadership, steadying your nerves so you can bring forth your best. It offers a moment of pleasant peace in a sometimes unpleasant, unpeaceful world. Certainly, this is a better way to start the day than arguing with your kids while wolfing down a microwaved breakfast burrito.

Pause to Cultivate Composure

The important thing is that you learn to cultivate composure so you can view situations without the interference of your own hang-ups and insecurities and make decisions more objectively. Freeing up mental space and letting go of your anxieties, resentments, and judgments, allows you to objectively consider where and how to do better in your personal and professional life. Don’t overthink it. What matters is that you set aside some quiet time at the start of each day to create some inner tranquility so you can listen to your inner voice.

Set aside some quiet time at the start of each day to create some inner tranquility so you can listen to your inner voice.

Once you’ve quieted your mind, you start observing situations more compassionately and objectively. This helps you consider your own contribution to things that have gone wrong. All while helping you get clear on the actions you can take to make things right. Meditative reflection makes you thoughtful. And, in my opinion, is as essential to your leadership life as mentorship, education, and experience.

What does your morning routine look like? Too busy? What steps could you take to make contemplative reflection a part of it?

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