Last year I went to some culture training in London for work. I have wanted to write about the experience for a while and I keep putting it off. Much of what I learned I have been actively trying to use every day. That of course was the point of the culture training, to get everyone taking part to think and act differently in their interactions with each other. At at the end of the training we were asked to write down things we learned at the training that we wanted to remember to do every day.We were given an “I will” card to write the items down on and put it in our wallets. I don’t keep the card in my wallet but it sits at the base of my monitor at work so i have it to reference if I ever need to. I keep a picture of it in my Evernote so I always have it with me. On my trip to Minnesota last month I was having dinner with several managers including my manager and his manager and the topic of the cards came up. Out of the 5 of us present everyone remembered what they had on their card or produced it out of their wallet to show they still had it. Some of these people had taken this training 2 years ago. It was interesting to see that everyone was still invested in changing our behaviors with each other, and that I wasn’t the only person actively working to inprove.
I have been mindful of things I want to improve on however that experience got me wanting to renew my efforts at self improvement. The first item on my “I will” card was a reminder that I will apply what i learned at the workshop. To me that was a catch all to just remember to think about what I learned and not forget. That is harder than it seems. There are many days were I don’t remember however thankfully I think the majority of the time I am mindful of things i want to be doing. The first I will that I learned that I wanted to live by is “be here now”.
Be here now is a fascinating concept that can be applied to work life as well as personal life. It simply is to remind me to be in the moment and avoid distractions. At work that means focusing on a meeting or a conversation and not multi-task. It means paying attention and giving what you are doing your undivided attention. At home it means to not be distracted by work. To me it means that I want to leave my phone on my desk or if i have to in my pocket when i get home and not be distracted by it or what it is alerting to me. I get so little time with my kids when I get home and almost no time in the morning during the week. I want to make use of that valuable time and not be distracted by my phone, work or anything else. There are days when I am. I am not perfect but i am getting better. I want to get to a place were i put my devices away in a drawer and not worry about stuff.
Maybe I am concerned about this because I am in the technology field or because i read about how kids react to parents distracted by devices. I also read and see how families and small kids just zone out with devices when together. I worry about that with my family. I know MC and I are role models for them and the girls watch what we do and try to emulate us. That is why be here now is important to me on a personal level as well as a professional one.
The training was a very enlightening experience for me. Seeing how it affected and continues to guide others that I work with is also good to see.
Be here now was one of 4 items on my I will card. I hope to write about the other ones in the near future. One of the points in an upcoming post I think will have a lot to do with be here now so I wanted to write about it first.
Note the photo in this post is from my desk at home. Everyone who went through the training got that placard. I see it around my office here and there. I know people who put up posters in their garage to remind them as they got home to be mindful. I felt the biggest impact for me would be at my desk at home since that is where i put my bag and keys, etc right when i get home.