The things that led to the biggest impact in my path to mindfulness

The journey to a more mindful state of being is a process – and one that will never end. That said, a few thing stand out as having the biggest impact on my incremental progress toward being more grateful, happier and more successful.

I’ve written much about the benefits of meditating. It works. Want medical proof? I lowered my resting heart rate from 112 beats per minute down to 65 just from meditating. You’ll enjoy a new baseline of patience, gratitude and joy that will permeate into every part of your life. It’s the single biggest factor for me in living mindfully.

Reading “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie
Warning: This book will change you. It changed me. Carnegie provides a number of principals for living a better life and improving the way we interact with others. Yet it’s also about the way we interact with ourselves. It’s as much about our attitude as it is a bible of tips and tricks for building great relationships. I’ve read it 14 times now.

Reading “Crucial conversations”
This book is extremely helpful in understanding how successful (and disastrous) conversations work. There are practical tips that will help you navigate even the most tense and crucial conversations.

Exploring Taoism
Reading Stephen Mitchell’s translation of the “Tao de Ching” and the “Tao of Pooh” by Benjamin Hoff helped me understand the Taoist way of living. It’s not a religion. It’s a way of being. Taoism focuses on allowance and trusting in the natural way of things. It’s helpful in letting go of a need to control and our tendency to “do” instead of to “be”.

Reading “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek
Sinek comes to the conclusion that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. That is so true – and it underlines the success of brands like Apple and leaders like MLK. This book changed the way I look at marketing and how I try to live my life. He has a great TED talk if you don’t want to read the book.

Learning to surf was one of the very best experiences of my life. Waves, and the ocean, flow according to their own rhythm – not yours. If a wave is going right, you’d better go right – unless you want to wipe out. We can’t always control the flow in life. Yet we can find great joy and success from going with the flow and making the most of it.