Mindfulness: Measuring vs. Noticing

Although this post is written in the context of sales professionals, it applies to people in all walks of life!

Those in sales are used to measuring results to see how they’re doing. One-hundred percent of quota. A million dollar sale. Another million to go for that trip to Aruba. Certainly, in diet and exercise programs, numbers are used to measure progress. Lost two pounds. Benchpressed seventy pounds. Body/mass index of twenty-four.

But in mindfulness and meditation practice you don’t have these metrics to measure your results. I suppose you could use the length of time you’re meditating, but you’d likely be more successful meditating for one minute with a high quality of awareness than for twenty minutes lost in thought, so length of time doesn’t tell the whole story.

To help reduce the frustration that can come by not having metrics to show how you’re progressing in meditation, consider cultivating the intention just to notice. If you have difficulty meditating and it’s challenging for you, notice that. If you have a wonderful experience, notice that (and realize that everything is temporary and that doesn’t mean you’ll have a wonderful experience next time). If you were lost in thought for your entire meditation time, notice that. If you forgot to notice, see if you can notice that.

Here’s how you can bring the practice of noticing your sales calls. Let’s say you’re meeting with a client for the first time. Maybe you’ll notice the pictures on the desk, or the higher education degrees hanging on the wall. Maybe you’ll notice that you have a judgement arising about the client’s ability to purchase—and then notice that you can release that judgement, since it’s getting in the way of your path to the sale.

By noticing that you’re aware that you’re aware, you’ll be on the path to mindfulness. The path can have many twists and turns along the way, but the best way to stay on it is to continue to notice.