Everyone’s doing it.
E-bookstores overflow with Mindful Work, Mindful Teen, even Mindful Birthing. Participants at the Davos’ World Economic Forum could opt to sit in on a session. Phil Jackson of the Knicks credits it with promoting general well-being. Even Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, having introduced yoga and meditation throughout the healthcare giant, says those practices have reduced stress levels and pain while improving sleep levels and productivity.
With its origins in the Buddhist concept of sati, or the memory of the present, mindfulness was appropriated by a savvy scientist in the 1970s, who then parlayed it into a worldwide movement.
Is it mainstream yet? Well, sorta. Ellen Langer, a researcher into this topic for more than four decades, explains that, bottom line, mindfulness simply helps you appreciate why people behave the way they do. Her perspective: That life consists of moments – and if you make the moment matter, everything will matter.
It reminds us of the reason many of us started in this business: To make things matter and, by extension, to make ourselves matter. By starting with awareness, the foundation for all of advertising and marketing and communications work, or so our thoughts went, we can awaken people to new things, new philosophies, new ways of being. The challenge today (other than mastering the chaos around us): To ensure that we’re mindful of what truly matters.