Mindfulness & Lessons from the Lakers1 Comment June 12, 2011 / Posted in Breathe, Mindful Leadership, Mindfulness
Looking backwards over today; what a marvelous day with Kip, Alan and Cheryl. What a wonderful scone that Vince made along with the flat white that Shelley put in front of me. The unexpected warm evening as I walked in the dark here in Yallingup to get the lasts 400 steps of my 10,000.
While the NBA Champions will be crowned on Monday or Wednesday, there is much to be learned from the LA Lakers about being present and being mindfully in the moment. What follows is through the eyes and emotions of a dear friend and fellow Vistage Chair, Larry Cassidy.
So…what did I learn from the sudden demise of the Los Angeles Lakers? That as hard as it is to get to the top, staying there is harder yet. That success is slowly undercut by complacency, boredom, even age, and certainly a pinch of arrogance (as in, “I can turn it on when I need it.”). So excellence slips away, an inch at a time , like a wound from a thousand duck bites, none of which kills but when added together can batter what was once indominable. The lesson: like rust, “ordinary” never sleeps….it is always on the move, erroding and reducing what was once special, little-by-little then all at once….and “slippage,” however small, must be immediately corralled and reversed….or we will wake up one day on the sidelines, on the outside looking in. — LMC
So Mindfulness is in the practice. Present. Aware. I have always remembered what someone told me years ago: If you’re coasting; know you’re going downhill. It’s about the practice and being present.
Somewhere I was reminded: If someone tells you they are enlightened; they’re not. Somehow the more conscious I become, the sneakier my unconscious or my shadow becomes. Going back to Larry’s reflections: when one is in the limelight, one is blinded by the light. And while others can see me clearly, I cannot see them because the spotlight blinds me. And if I’m caught up in the spotlight of my thoughts; I’m already a step away from being present and in the moment: Mindful.
It is all about one’s practice. It’s about me practicing. A practice that is lifelong. Continually bringing myself back to this present moment. Back to this breath.
The measurement of performance is: Performance. Walt Sutton reminded me of Kierkegaard’s words that say the same thing in a different manner: Life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backwards.
I am brought back to the words of Buddha and the Kalama Sutra:
However, after thorough observation, investigation, analysis and reflection, when you find that anything agrees with reason and your experience, and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, and of the world at large; accept only that as true, and shape your life in accordance with it; and live up to it.
These words, the Buddha went on to say, must be applied to his own teachings.
I get to see me now, in the moment. I get to say to myself, accepting myself – all of my being: I see you. And the attitude is one of gratitude. Thanks Kip, Alan, Cheryl, Vince, Shelley, Larry, Walt, and Soren. Thanks Buddha.