Lessons in Mindfulness: The Task at Hand

What are we thinking about today? The task at hand. We were thinking about all the people we know who start tasks and projects but have great difficulty finishing them. Some folks have wonderful ideas and can see the big picture but lose themselves in the details. As a result, many great creations never become reality. Therefore, it is essential that you develop mindfulness in your life. The following are examples of how you can achieve this.

Learn as You Go

Over the past few years, we have built a nice sized chicken coop and run. We have been asked “Who built your chicken coop?” and “Did you use a kit?” We always answer, “We built it, and we did not use a kit. We built it from the ground up.” The reason why we were able to build it is because we conceived of the idea in our minds, thought it through, purchased the materials needed, and began to build. It was constructed with blood, sweat, tears, frustration, trial and error, and determination. We stayed focused on the task until it was done. Recently, we added an addition to the chicken coop, and it was completed more quickly and easier than the sections we build before it. The result of our effort is greater knowledge and confidence, and a greater ability to create and build something and bring it into reality.

Plan Your Goal

A few years ago, we got the bright idea of redoing our garden by creating raised beds. With the idea of what we wanted to accomplish; we began to gather the materials we needed. Staying focused on what we had envisioned, we began to put the garden boxes together one at a time. Mistakes happened and corrections were made. In the end, with fertile soil in each box, seeds were planted, and we were able to see the benefits of our hard work. Staying focused on the task at hand provides great rewards in knowledge gained and the pleasure enjoyed for success.

Focus on Completing the Task

A man who has been a great influence in our lives relates a story of how difficult it is form him to wash the dishes. Every time he sees a pile of dishes at the sink he procrastinates, finds something else to do, or invents a reason to not wash them at all. This has been a lifelong problem for him, and he still has difficulty making himself clean the dishes. It may seem ridiculous to some, but this is a simple way to learn mindfulness in your life. All it requires is focus on the task. Say to yourself, “I am washing the dishes.” Focus on that one statement and do the dishes. Breathe and focus on completing the task. If anyone asks you to do something else say, “No, for I must do the dishes.” Keep saying this over and over until the dishes are done. This is what a karate instructor needs to do to be successful in washing dishes!

Enjoy the World Around Us

Little things are big things. We take up walking to work on fitness and weight loss all at the same time. As we begin our mission of walking every day, we feel revived and refreshed knowing we made a good choice. As we walk day after day, we begin to become focused on walking: getting a mile or more per day, counting the number of days we have walked, and the speed in which we can complete our walk. Then our walk begins to become boring as we do it day after day after day. Oops. We didn’t feel like walking today. That’s okay. We’ll just walk every other day. Before we know it, we are walking less and less. STOP!!! Let’s change what we are doing. Change from the focus of walking to enjoying life and the world around us.  Pay attention to our breathing. Make sure our breaths are slow and deep, filling the lungs and going into the abdomen. Look at the world around us. Feel the breeze. Feel the sun. Listen for the birds. Look at the trees, plants, and animals. Are others walking? Smile and say ‘Hello’. Look at the sky and the formation of clouds. Use the walk for meditation. Walk and take in the world. Walk with mindfulness.

Focus on being fit, losing weight, gaining strength while enjoying nature, family, and friends.

How to practice mindfulness

We have the ability to make every task enjoyable from start to finish. There are a few things to remember.

  1. Choose a goal that is achievable and meaningful.
  2. Make a plan to help monitor progress.
  3. Focus on the task at hand.
  4. Enjoy what life has to offer.

Any task can help develop mindfulness by staying in the moment.

Remember: Stay Fit, Stay Young, Stay Alive

Enjoy the Learning

“Let it be still, and it will gradually become clear.” – Lao Tzo (Mindfulness)

Diet, strength, flexibility, endurance, and relaxation are the five vital keys to keeping healthy and physically fit.

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