Rapidly shifting our attention from one responsibility to the other will divide our focus amongst all sorts of things, leaving us potentially scrambling, unfulfilled and unhappy.
By, Bhuvaneshwari Sawant and Sonal Gadhvi
We are conditioned, from a very young age, by the capitalist culture in which we live, to keep going, keep achieving, and keep conquering goals that we are told are important; conditioned to multi-task; conditioned to put results and numbers above all else, but at what cost?
In this frenzied state of living, we begin to confuse functional success with productivity, and never pause to truly reflect on how our lives are going, or to ask those close to us how their lives are. Being busy and overworked has become so glorified that we feel like it’s okay to not have the time – time to stop and understand what is going on in our bodies, thoughts, and emotions; time to take stock of our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health; time to really connect with the people in our lives.
We all want to be happy, productive, and successful, but not being able to focus on the task at hand will always result in subpar work, inconsistent decision making, and the feeling of not being in control. Rapidly shifting our attention from one responsibility to the other will divide our focus amongst all sorts of things, leaving us potentially scrambling, unfulfilled and unhappy. The root cause for this is a lack of self-awareness, and it can be prevented if we learn to better understand and manage our thoughts and emotions.
We know that today’s leaders need self-awareness to be effective. Which includes, an understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, feelings, thoughts, and values — as well as how they affect the people around them. But that’s only half of the story. Without an equally important skill: self-management, self-awareness is useless.
According to ancient Indian scriptures, now being validated by modern science, you taking care of yourself is as beneficial to those around you, as it is to your own wellness.
One thing you can do to take control of how you think, feel, and act is to invest time in thinking about your personal brand. When you dress appropriately for a given occasion (Appearance), you are more likely to feel confident and prepared. This helps you take more initiative, communicate effectively and articulately, and appear more self-assured in your body language (Behavior). Effective communication will help you form many acquaintances, but only a caring, nurturing, and empathetic personality will create lasting bonds with the people you meet (Life skills), and help ensure your emotional health and wellbeing.
Generally, there are six steps to leading a happier, healthier and more successful life. The first is to deepen self-awareness in terms of your body, your mind, your thoughts and emotions, your emotional awareness, your personality, your skills and talents, and your shortcomings. Next is to look at yourself through the perspectives of others so you can build on your emotional intelligence. Third, is to use this knowledge to get clarity on your vision and purpose in life. The fourth step is to be bold and courageous in your convictions, and be able to present your true dynamic self to the world with elan. Next, is to improve the quality of your communication skills. The last step is to become an effective leader by cultivating strong connections and becoming skilled at identifying people’s strengths and helping them build those up.
Taking these steps towards increasing your emotional intelligence and becoming more mindful can help you develop equanimity and balance in your life, in your relationships, and in your environment, resulting in unshakeable confidence that will carry you through anything that life might throw your way.
(The authors are Co-founders, NYOU Image Consulting. Views expressed are personal.)