Mindfulness applied to performance doesn’t mean only physical performance to win competitions and seek victories in sports, it also refers to performance in “living life to the fullest,” optimizing our ability to live every moment of our life. According to George T. Mumford, performance is being able to physically perform what you have mentally decided to do. In other words, it is the ability to put into practice what you have put in your head.
We were born with this ability, mainly supported by our ability to live in the moment. As children, we are our divinity, our masterpiece. In this period, we fully express ourselves, we are alive and we receive with open arms every moment that comes to us. We live in a constant state of wonder and adventure. How to rescue this sensation and insert it into the crazy routine of adulthood?
What it is: the power of concentration on the present moment. Mindfulness is the most important of all five superpowers, the ability to place one’s attention on the present moment, look at everything as small children, let things speak for themselves before we impose our judgment.
How to use this power: I am in a field between stimuli and the answers. The world is constantly sending stimuli to us, and we have to respond. The key is to see ourselves as a field separating the stimuli we receive from the answers we give. In this field, our mission is to receive each stimulus, analyze it, and choose the answer that we will give. Each stimulus will require a different answer, each human being will use a different value to respond to different stimuli.
It is easier said than done. In our busy life, it’s difficult to consciously stop and create this field. Routine is often like a hurricane that surrounds us. The important thing in this scenario is not to let ourselves be carried by this hurricane. We should find out where the eye of this hurricane is and find who we are in the middle of this multiple stimuli, but without becoming part of it. That’s the only way to look at things from a balanced point of view. In this “field”, we are able to access our knowledge and intelligence.
What it is: the power of cultivating a positive mind. When the mind is positive, we see things positively too.
How to use this power: life as a marathon. We are all athletes in life. Everything is just a matter of training, being sure that we’ll get there, not so fast, but not so slowly either. Life is like many types of sports: where 90% is in our mind and 10% is what is not. If we don’t have full control over what happens outside our mind, then we have to focus on it. What do you want? What price do you have to pay for what you want? And what price do you really want to pay? Having these questions very clear in your mind is key to a better life. The mind works based on clarity and the body the rest will follow that.
What it is: the power of keeping concentration and focus, of being yourself, and not trying to be what you are not.
How to use this power: wherever you go, be there. We should get comfortable with discomfort. If we don’t feel uncomfortable, we are not evolving, growing, and learning. The ideal place to be is between the comfort zone and the discomfort zone. Don’t run away from this place.
What it is: the power of having faith and presenting resilience, of being able to overcome, no matter what happens. It refers to our ability to choose our reaction to what’s going on around us. This way, we become stronger.
How to use this power: believe that you can. The more we do, the more we are able to do. Once we create the field between stimuli and answers as a result of mindfulness, we realize we have power over the present moment, based on the decisions we make. We may not have power over what surrounds us, but this power to be present and choose and be responsible for every choice we make increases self-confidence, making us sure that everything will work out.
What it is: the power of listening to that voice that tells you everything you need to know, of following your intuition, without being simply reactive or fully rational.
How to use this power: don’t mix deep listening with your thoughts. We all have internal dialogues. Many of them are automatic negative thoughts that increase our stress and suffering. Well, they are just noise. We should go deeper and use our intuitive mind, the mind that is deep inside, not just the thoughts we usually come to our mind. The power of thought is great: we become what we think we are.
George Mumford ended his lecture reminding us that we are masterpieces. In fact, we are still the same masterpieces we used to be when we were children. But we need to rediscover the masterpiece and share it, share it with ourselves, with the world.