Mindfulness: A Snapshot of a Business “Classic”

MindfulnessOpinions vary as to what defines a “classic” business book. My own opinion is that it offers insights and counsel that are of timeless value. To paraphrase Bernard of Chartres, a 12th century monk, their authors are the shoulders upon which each new generation of leaders stands. For example:

Ellen J. Langer
Addison-Wesley; First Printing edition (March 2, 1989)

I recommend the 25th anniversary edition (A Merloyd Lawrence Book) published by DeCapo/Perseus Group in 2014.

Langer explains how and why almost anyone can achieve mindfulness that will accelerate personal growth and professional development.

Because this is a second edition, of a book published 26 years ago, some may incorrectly assume that much (if not most) of its insights and counsel are dated, hence obsolete. No so. In fact, in my opinion, the material is more relevant now than ever before as Ellen Langer shares her thoughts about how ever-alert mindfulness can accelerate personal growth and professional development. As she observes, “A vast literature about mindfulness has filled scholarly and popular journals since I began this work. Much of the recent research [as of autumn 2014 when she wrote the Preface to the 2014 edition from which this passage is excerpted] is actually on various forms of meditation, and the focus is on preventing stress and negative emotions. “Meditation is a tool to achieve post meditative mindfulness, regardless of how we get there, either through meditation or more directly by paying attention to novelty and questioning assumptions, to be mindful is to be in the present, noticing all the wonders that we didn’t realize were right in font of us.”

Most human limits are self-imposed. (Pogo the Possum nailed it: “We have met the enemy and he is us!”) Being mindful empowers you to set specific goals and will really help to answer especially important question and solve especially serious problems. Langer stresses time and again that mindfulness is a way of life, not just a technique. Being intensely aware of what’s happening around you each day should be a never-ending process.


Posted in

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.