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Our reality is a place we often try to escape from - trust me, I’d know.
Before becoming a more active mindfulness practitioner, I spent much of my time thinking about the what-ifs, imagining certain scenarios, and just generally did a lot of things absentmindedly.
For a very long time, this made me blind to things I should have picked up on. It impacted my adult development in a major way.
I recall having a conversation, a few years ago, with a family member who told me that I miss out on plenty of subtle cues that would otherwise clue me in on the things that happen around me. I remember being dismissive of this and telling her that the little things shouldn’t bother anyone - we’re all adults and can go beyond our emotions, right?
I was wrong. I think later that year, I had a falling out with someone very close to me for just that reason - I missed out on the things they were trying to express with their words and actions.
My absentmindedness was, essentially, making me a very un-empathetic person. I had lost connection with my reality, at least in terms of my personal life, and this certainly taught me many professional lessons I carry with me to this day.
Don’t get me wrong - this lack of connection is not solely a personal issue. It has a very real impact on the work you do and how you build your career. All of this comes down to adult development, in my opinion.
Let’s take a look at a few reasons why this matters.
Absentmindedness prevents you from seeing who you really are
If you’re constantly living inside your head, you’re not going to notice the things that happen around you. When you’re not paying attention to your environment, you’re not paying attention to how you respond or react to what happens in it.
Self-awareness is critical for adult development. If you don’t know who you are, what values are important to you, what you don’t like, what you fear, and what challenges you, you won’t be able to figure out how to become the person you want to be.
When you lose connection with your reality, you exist in a silo. The person you are, in the present, means little. By this very fact, you lose the person you’re meant (or destined, if you believe in that kind of thing) to be.
Stress management is another aspect of living mindfully, self-awareness, and adult development. In my experience, less stress = less absentmindedness = more space to work on the things I need to.
Losing connection with your reality cuts you off from plenty of opportunities
Something else I’ve realised - first, as someone who was absentminded and now as the CEO of a mindfulness company - is that when you’re not aware of what’s really happening, you lose out on plenty of opportunities.
We’ve all seen it happen: The coworker who doesn’t pick up on the little things and is labelled as lazy or a bad worker or a family member who is resented for their absentmindedness.
Regardless of what you consider an “opportunity”, these labels and perceptions hurt - especially if you’re the one being branded this way.
Losing your connection with reality has a lot to do with this because, ultimately, you don’t have the awareness, sense or practicality you need to seize opportunities that benefit your adult development.
Absentmindedness prevents you from forming meaningful relationships
The relationships we form and enjoy with people, regardless of whether they’re our family members, friends, colleagues or loved ones add plenty of meaning and value to our lives.
They’re actually a rich source of adult development because you learn so much by interacting, engaging, and caring for the people in your life.
When you lose connection with reality - and lose sight of what’s important - your relationships suffer. When you live in your head, your reality and your relationships are never satisfying.
As a result, you miss the things that matter, fail to appreciate what you have, and miss out on making authentic connections.
Leverage the benefits of mindfulness for more meaningful adult development
Adult development doesn’t come by easily. You need to put in the work and you need to commit to it with the utmost awareness and dedication.
In this process, I’ve found mindfulness to be a very useful tool. It has, in fact, demonstrated an ability to lower emotional reactivity and make us more empathetic.
It’s why I’ve committed my time to support companies in Australia and other parts of the world with the Awakened Mind platform.
Through the use of cutting-edge meditation technology - including our patented brainwave entrainment solution, Neurosync™ - we help you achieve mindfulness at home and at work, one guided meditation at a time.