Home IT management Council Post: How To Stop Being ‘Mind Full’ And Start Being Mindful

Council Post: How To Stop Being ‘Mind Full’ And Start Being Mindful

Council Post: How To Stop Being ‘Mind Full’ And Start Being Mindful


Krumma Jónsdóttir, Management Mentor and Executive Coach | Positive Performances.

Chose to be more and do less.

Chose to be on top of your business and make the right, thoughtful decisions.

Chose to be there for yourself, your family and friends.

When was the last time you stopped and took a second to think about who you are? When was the last time you found yourself alone in silence—no music, no phone, no laptop; just you, your thoughts and feelings?

Some might not remember or may say “Gosh, I hate the thought of it;” some may have tried it, and it made them feel worse than ever. Let’s admit it: Many are not ready or willing to look into the mirror and face the truth.

But if your desire for change is stronger than your acceptance of the status quo, then before the end of this article, you will discover how powerful your mind is and that you have the capacity to create habits and patterns facilitating your well-being and success. Helpful to that end is the acronym “SSSTOPPPP.”


Find a place where you are alone with no distractions. You will need a chair, a piece of paper and a pen.

Write down words describing who you are right now: “I am [a parent, a manager, a business owner, an athlete, etc.].” Among these words, include at least three words describing how you feel in this very moment: “I am [tired, exhausted, happy, afraid, excited, burned out, apprehensive, thrilled, etc.].”

Stand up.

Shake your body.

Shake from your head to your toes and observe every joint. Appreciate the parts of your body that move easily, and be gentle and attentive if you experience stiffness or pain.

Sit down.

Find a comfortable, relaxed position where you can observe the environment and still access your pen and paper.

Take a breath.

Simply breathe; maybe place one hand on your chest and one on your belly.


Close your eyes and feel how your body automatically manages to breathe. Observe without trying to control. What part is moving the most, the chest or the belly?

Observe the difference between the temperature of the air you breathe in and the air you breathe out.

Observe the room you’re in.

Listen to the environment.

Stay in this mode for a few minutes. If sleepy, give yourself a moment; you may simply need some rest.

(Mindful observation is connected to positive intelligence, or PQ. Special thanks to Shirzad Chamine for his guidance on this section.)


Now think about the three hours to come. If you’re doing this exercise in the early morning, think about the period between now and lunch, for example.

“I want to be [calm, active, disconnected, caring, attentive, resourceful, convincing, productive, etc.].”


What needs to happen for you to be who you are planning to be?

If you want to be disconnected, you could say, “I shut down my phone and PC.” Is that realistic? Maybe for the first step, you put an “occupied” status on all your apps and log out of your email. Next time, you will take it further.

You want to be calm? Leave your home for a 10-minute walk.

You want to be attentive to a loved one? Ensure you will not be disturbed when you’re with them.

You want to be persuasive? Take time to update yourself on some information.


Have a glass of water and proceed with your plan.


Once the event you chose is over, do a pulse check and ask yourself how you performed. Be honest, with the right amount of ambition and self-compassion.

• Self-awareness facilitates self-management.

• Self-management opens you up to social awareness.

• Social awareness enables social influence.

A Personal Example

It is 9:15 a.m. I’m tired and apprehensive. I have a meeting with IT from 10 a.m. to noon. I am at the office; fortunately, I can close the door and have a minute for myself.

Standing in the middle of my office, I shake my body; I stretch my hands and shoulders. Gosh, it feels good. My neck is a bit stiff; I stretch it from the right to the left. I’m already feeling a bit more relaxed and energized.

I sit down and close my eyes. With one hand on my chest and the other on my stomach, I simply breathe. My chest is doing all the work. After three or four breaths I can feel my whole body slowing down. I almost fall asleep.

Instead, I focus on the meeting to come and think about what is at stake. First thought: If only I could skip it and move on with my other projects. Then I take stock and remind myself of the opportunities a positive outcome could create. What does success look like?

A key to a successful meeting is my being attentive and accepting that the IT guys have a different point of view; it is about me being optimistic about the future, me speaking last and being convincing. So, the results I want are to be attentive, optimistic and convincing.

I take 15 minutes to get myself into the right mood. I retrieve the report sent by IT yesterday and read it through. I force myself to change every yes but thought to yes and and write down some options and alternatives to their proposal.

Finally, I go out of my office into the break room and make myself a big cup of tea. Instead of going back to the office with my cup as I often do, I drink it there and have a chat with a colleague from HR.

I feel good about the meeting. I have decided it will go well; I feel ready, prepared and energized.

So What?

Simply put, like physical fitness, mental fitness can improve our well-being and lead to functioning at optimal levels. Mental fitness development is measurable, goal-oriented and intentional. Everyone can be an actor in the process of helping themselves and others in their environment to become mentally fit.

Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches. Do I qualify?


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