Mindfulness. This topic could go in several different directions from kooky to practical. For me, mindful is a word that encompasses to key things; awareness and intentionality.
Awareness is how much you have perceived and to what degree you have perceived it. Intentionality is how you act as a result of the accumulated awareness that you have achieved. As you become more aware of things, you have the opportunity to increase how intentionally you interact with that which you have become more aware. I know this is a bit abstract, so let’s put it in an over-simplified context that makes sense.
You’re standing in a field of grass. Someone else is standing a small distance away. They throw a ball to you. It’s heading your way and you do nothing. The ball hits you in the face, your nose bleeds, you curl up in the fetal position and cry like a tiny baby. You have just increase your awareness about what happens when a ball is thrown at your face. You now have the opportunity to interact with that more intentionally. The next time a ball is thrown in your direction, you can either get out of the way or catch it.
This week, I achieved a new degree of awareness regarding ownership in the context of applying life force to accomplish work. I have a great capacity to do work with an owner mindset. I have done so in many of my previous jobs. Unfortunately, I suffered from a shortage of awareness of some key factors. When I personally worked with an owner mindset, I would have the whole business in mind and act accordingly. I was able to anticipate needs and work proactively. All great things. The disconnect came when I had expectations of my own. I expected that since I behaved as an owner, I should have a high degree of authority and influence to go with it. When I didn’t get that, I would become discouraged or embittered.
My new awareness about ownership came when I was able to articulate what ownership is and what it is not. Here’s the summary, I can take ownership; hold or be held responsible; give or be given authority. When you approach work with an owner mindset, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to be held responsible at that level. It means that you are choosing to be aware of a larger context than the context in which your tasks exist. This allows you to anticipate needs and work proactively. It also doesn’t mean that you automatically have the level of authority to match the level at which you are taking ownership.
With this new awareness, I can intentionally approach all aspects of my life with an owner mindset (which allows me to add optimal value) and not become disillusioned with expectations that I am going to be wielding a bunch of authority or getting any extra recognition for the work that I’m expected to do. This has been very freeing and I’m experiencing a great deal more satisfaction in the work that I do and a great deal more confidence in deciding what I will and will not choose to commit to doing. I am also able to better manage everyone’s expectations.