At the finish, Eliud Kipchoge, the man who made history by completing the marathon in under two hours, was happy. “I want to inspire many people to think that there are no limits to man. We can do it,” he said. This Kenyan super-athlete, who had prepared for months for the challenge, ran the 42 kilometers completely focused… His body, heart and mind aligned around the goal he had set for himself.
This focus, the search for “mindfulness”, a term often referred to as mindfulness, is far from recent. Its origins lie in Buddhism, 2,500 years before this boom that seems to be emerging now. Much is being said about it today, whether in the corporate world, academia or on social media, as a result of society’s growing concern to ensure improvements in its psychological well-being.
There are many known benefits. There is already consensus that, from making our thoughts more positive, reducing stress and anxiety, strengthening our memory and contributing to better relationships, this philosophy, whose principles allow us to refocus by better managing our internal resources, allows us to live more healthily.
Most mindfulness techniques specify that our eyes should be closed. It’s true that for many it’s easier to achieve a state of “mindfulness” this way, especially for beginners, as we know that fewer active senses mean less diversity of stimuli captured. We’ve all been in situations in the past where some of our senses have been deprived. We already know that these moments sharpen the other senses. These experiences force us to focus and give the best of ourselves, and often remain imprinted in our minds… unforgettable.
Experiences of sensory deprivation, more or less intense, help develop mindfulness. They are an increasingly important element in a journey of emotional growth that is the basis for our professional growth. However, one or two moments are certainly not enough to see significant improvements. In this respect, a routine of practice is necessary for the benefits to emerge, but experiences are effective catalysts for the necessary process of awareness that we need for ourselves or for our employees.
Eliund Kipchoge trains 300 days a year at the highest physical and mental level. He always runs with a smile on his lips, which encourages his brain to release pain-relieving hormones. His performance accelerators were technology (weather forecasters, special shoes, etc.) and his team (41 top athletes accompanied Kipchoge and were exchanged with the support of a car in groups of seven every five kilometers), fundamental to the historic feat in Vienna.
The foundations of this man’s success lie in his biology, the context in which he grew up and his mental capacity and focus. To be better, we can do little about the first two… but today we can increasingly experience and improve our mindfulness. Here’s the challenge!
Article for INFORH, written by Luís Rosário Partner at Immersis.