Make every Monday a Mindful Monday.

To all the mom’s out there I hope that you had a wonderful Mother’s Day

“Behind all of your stories is your mother’s story because hers is where yours began”. Mitch Albom

My family spoiled me with a few of our family traditions. Decadent homemade pecan rolls and bacon, onion, and cheese quiche.

This is why I run marathons

Not running 30-50 miles per week would have me weighing in at 300 pounds.  Berta is the 300 pound Italian girl inside me who is dying to come out.  That is why in addition to this podcast I also host a Facebook page called Thompson Challenge.  It is all about being 1% better than you were yesterday.  It mostly focuses on being better in a physical way, but we include all types of self-improvement.  So check it out @ThompsonChallenge and there is also a Facebook page for this podcast @TheEverydayLeaderPodcast.

Both are intertwined.  Why? Because you cannot get better in one area of your life without it trickling into other areas.  It’s just impossible.  Here’s an example say my goal is to lose weight by cutting out dining out.  My intent is to improve myself by getting my weight under control, but I’m also improving my finances with all of the money I am not spending eating out.  See how that works.  So, by getting 1% better every day doing Thompson Challenge there is no way that somehow it doesn’t make me a better leader. I speak of compound interest in the intro to this podcast.  Thompson Challenge adds residual income.  You continue to get paid in your leadership improvement after the work is done in the self-improvement department.

May Challenge

This month is fun on the Thompson Challenge.  It’s 7 days of awesomeness. Each day is designed to be completely flexible based on current fitness level and overall health and the only equipment needed is your own body.

Six-pack Sunday

Mindful Monday

Tank top Tuesday

Walking Wednesday

Thirty Thursday

Flexibility Friday

Sofa to 5k Saturday

Today is Mindful Monday

Today being Monday the focus is Mindfulness; Mindful Monday.  No it’s not rest day.  It is an intentional time out for yourself to quiet the mind and be in the present.  When we are able to realize and accept each moment for what it is, we are able to appreciate the little things we take for granted on a moment-by-moment basis.  To some degree, this is something many of us are already doing more of already this seventh week of stay at home – appreciating the little things like going to the grocery store or being able to enjoy a movie at the theater.

Mindfulness is considered by some to be a superpower.  When you’re in tune with the present moment and how you’re feeling, you’re better equipped to handle really everything better, but especially stress.

Example of Why Mindfulness Helps

Here’s an example from my week – we went grocery shopping – no judging – we wore masks and practiced social distancing.  As a side note, I will say that others believed that their masks gave them the superpower to be rude to others.  As we waited in line to check out, and it was a pretty long line, this woman cut right in front of the line just as we were finally getting in sight of a cash register.  Instantly, I was pissed.  Who gave her the right to cut in front after all of us waited and as I had these thoughts I became pissed.  I felt my face turn red, the tone of my voice hardened, my language reflected my anger.  Why?

“Our life is shaped by our mind for, we become what we think” Buddha

Now, mindfulness is not not getting pissed off – mindfulness is being aware of being pissed off and not acting on it by being in control.  Be present, check in with that thought, and then release it rather than act on it.  The goal of meditation isn’t to control your thoughts, it’s to stop letting them control you. Can you see how this can reduce stress?

As a leader – those you lead are always looking to you to see how to react.  Then they will follow your lead.  When leaders focus on mindfulness they are more aware of their thoughts and more in control of their actions and can be the leader their team needs in time of adversity.  This is a necessary skill in your leadership toolbox.

Mindfulness is one I’ve personally struggled with.  It seems awkward and weird.  Actually, it is very easy.  The trick is don’t over think it.

Here’s 5 easy steps to practicing mindfulness.
  1. Choose a time that is right for you 5-10 minutes or longer if you can.
  2. Find a quiet place
  3. Sit and relax
  4. Focus on your breath in and out
  5. When you feel your mind wander off of your breath try to re-focus

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness.  If you are attentive you will see it. Thich Nhat Hanh.

Make this and every Monday a Mindful Monday.

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