Today, while practicing yoga, I was thinking what a great world of business we would create if the top executives of every company practiced yoga.
Current estimates suggest there are up to 20 million Yoga practitioners in the United States, yet in my travels, I haven’t come across too many top executives who admit to practicing yoga. Yoga has been rated as a highly beneficial practice on multiple levels of body, mind and spirit. I have been practicing yoga for the past five years, and given the many benefits I have experienced, I am convinced we could use more executive yogi’s in the business world.
Here is my vision of what yoga-practicing executives would inspire in their employees and businesses:
- Discipline to work at being our best selves and companies
- Positive intent and commitment to unlocking our full human and business potential
- Union with ourselves and each other; no silos; together we support each other’s evolution in a balanced way
- Rigor to work and grow; to find our optimum performance edge that working towards can be uncomfortable, but won’t hurt us or be more than we can handle and leads us to exceed our expectations of what is possible
- Individuality in self expression of the flow, that is also guided by a shared framework and goal within a community
- A “mindful state” where one recognizes distractions and attachments, acknowledges them and then returns to being fully present in the moment. Yogi’s turn off cell phones, lap tops, and thoughts about past and future and focus on RIGHT NOW and doing the best you can at that very task
- Calmness of mind that inspires confidence in times of change
- Clarity of mind and enables us to see things more clearly to inspire creative and strategic solutions to complex problems
- Emotional and physical strength to face difficult situations and people
- Stress management techniques for facing outdated habits, new challenges and other stressed out people or customers
Wow, just listing these benefits makes me want to get to the yoga studio. The funny thing is, yoga can be as simple as taking time to sit with your eyes closed and breathe deeply for 5-10 minutes. Clearly, if we are all breathing, we can all practice yoga no matter how busy – even executives.
What do you say?
Intention defined: A course of action that a person intends to follow; The goal or purpose behind a specific action or set of actions en.wiktionary.org/wiki/intention
Intent defined: The purpose of something that is intended; The state of someone’s mind at the time of committing an act; Firmly fixed or concentrated on something; Engrossed; Unwavering from a course of action en.wiktionary.org/wiki/intent
Resolution defined: a decision to do something or to behave in a certain manner; ordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
- firm in purpose or belief; characterized by firmness and determination; “stood resolute against the enemy”; “faced with a resolute opposition”; “a …
- unhesitating: characterized by quickness and firmness; “his reply was unhesitating”
Under closer examination, I don’t see much difference between intentions or resolutions. Before exploring these differences, and because New Year’s Resolutions have a bad reputation, I decided to start my year off with intentions instead. It always seems cool in yoga when we have to ‘set an intention’ for the class. I love the way forcing myself to get focused for that hour makes me feel during the class and how I carry that with me the rest of the day.
But really, isn’t the key not what we call them, but rather what we do with them? Both intentions and resolutions require conscious action which is what I am committing myself to in 2010 and what I hope to contribute to those I interact with as well. Whatever I am doing, my goal is to be fully present so I can make the best choices possible for what I do and say.
That’s it. Plain and simple – to be awake for 2010 with intention and resolution.
No going through the motions just to get through something; reduce the time I spend behaving on autopilot and stay on manual drive where I consciously choose the way I act and carefully measure the words I use; be aware of ALL that surrounds me not just what is in front of me. I know from past experience that when I do this – I am a better and happier person. I know from my executive coaching practice that when my clients do this, new possibilities emerge and better results get accomplished. The tough part is doing it most of the time vs. some.
Conscious action: I think I will call this my ‘ intentsolution’ for 2010.