mindfulness scape

Mindfulness is a great tool for self and career-management but I have often wondered whether it could also be the antithesis of career planning or imagining future outcomes.

A mindfulness practice trains the mind to stay present, to focus on the task, activity or person in front of us. It helps us to manage worrying thoughts about the future or the past that we can’t do anything about. It also helps to reduce stress and tame anxiety. It’s a muscle worth developing.

The risks to mindfulness as a practice are related to the temptation to avoid making important decisions that could impact on the future, aligning with the majority (not thinking independently) and becoming over-tolerant of behaviours or situations that are not working.

It seems to me that being present to the moment and making decisions for the future are both necessary for sensible career management. However any planning or future thinking is best done with an open attitude to the outcome. I like to re-frame this as having an intention rather than a plan.

An intention, when it is clear and happens alongside a disciplined mindfulness practice, is likely to result in a future outcome that is better than you might have planned – or even imagined. Here is a good link that offers a balanced overview.