Jet skiers and shirtless joggers are not typical sites in Chicago in mid-November. However, that was part of the scenery today on Chicago's lakefront where the temperature reached a balmy 64 degrees. The photo above shows that I did not have to share Oak Street Beach with too many others! The beach is my favorite destination, any time of year, to collect my thoughts and practice being mindful.
Each morning I spend the first hour of my day reading. Typically, it is a book related to health and wellbeing, or one of professional interest. Today's choices included: Gemba Kaizen, by Masaaki Imai (McGraw-Hill, 2012) and Focus by Daniel Goleman (Harper, 2013). "Gemba" means workplace. "Kaizen" is a term that describes the process or strategy of continuous improvement. Gemba Kaizen translates to "continuous improvement in the workplace". Massaki Imai is recognized throughout the world as a leading authority on Kaizen. Gemba Kaizen may be the best book ever written on the subject. Daniel Goleman is a prolific best-selling author and expert in the field of emotional intelligence. Focus makes the case that our attention works like a muscle. If used well, it will grow. If used poorly, it can atrophy and provide no defense against the endless distractions that fill our day - and minds!
My early morning reading exercise prepares me mentally for each new day. The information and inspiration acquired from what I read makes me more reflective, and sometimes even leads me to act on what I have learned or been inspired by. Walking up Michigan Avenue today, crowded with shoppers and tourists, I thought about Daniel Goleman's "mindfulness" benefits. He said it "lets us focus on what's important rather than be distracted by what's going on around us." I crossed the street and headed for the beach!
Read and Apply!
M. J. White is the creator of “LEAN Wellness”, a radically different approach to transforming health and wellbeing at work. It is inspired from the top-down, but driven from the bottom-up by continuous learning and improvement. The result is lasting behavior change in people and a more productive work environment. To learn more, visit the website at: www.wellstreet.us or email M. J. directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.