Mindfulness: Just be

Mindfulness or the ability to capture your thoughts can be a great skill to develop that will help you in your personal branding process. It can bridge the gap between the “real self” and the “ideal self”—helping you to improve your life satisfaction.

I would like to run a small experiment with you. This exercise only takes one minute. I want to invite you to be silent for one minute, without talking or doing anything, just be here.

  • What did you notice during the exercise?
  • Were you distracted by your thoughts during the exercise?
  • What were your thoughts about?

The goal of this exercise is to allow you to see how much attention goes to your thoughts. You likely noticed that your mind is all over the place. Your mind may say things like, “This is crazy. What’s the use of this?” or conjure up thoughts or images of the past or future. The mind can be a very powerful tool, but it can be very difficult to keep it under control. In most cases, thoughts are controlling us, rather than the other way around.

To what extent we can regulate our attention is strongly related to well-being. Research suggests that the extent to which we have control over, among other things, attention is a strong predictor of happiness, satisfaction in social relationships, resisting temptations and academic performance (Duckworth & Seligman 2005; Kelly & Conley 1987; Tangney, Baumeister, & Boone 2004).

Focus your attention on what is happening at this moment, the now. Although this sounds easy, it seems that we often just do not live in the moment, but rather focus our attention on our thoughts or the content of our thoughts. Thoughts require attention. Mindfulness regulates attention.

In my psychological romance novel, All the Other Voices, the main character, Marina, and her sister, Sophie, are caught in this loop of internal chatter. You can read a sample chapter to see if my writing style aligns with your reading preferences. If you like what you find on these pages, chances are likely you’ll enjoy the full book.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. ”

— Rom. 12:2, NIV

Duckworth, A. L., & Seligman, M. E. (2005). Self-discipline outdoes IQ in predicting academic performance of adolescents. Psychological Science, 16, 939–944.

Kelly, E. L., & Conley, J. J. (1987). Personality and compatibility: A prospective analysis of marital stability and marital satisfaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 27–40.

Tangney, J. P., Baumeister, R. F., & Boone, A. L. (2004). High self-control predicts good adjustment, less pathology, better grades, and interpersonal success. Journal of Personality, 72, 271–322.

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