Janice Sullivan and Jenna discuss mindfulness habits that will help you show up at your best in every situation and maximize your outcomes.
Simple Mindfulness Habits To Maximize Your Success
Every morning around 7 a.m. you can find Janice Sullivan, CEO of The Contemporary Lifestyle Group, riding the subway to work…and meditating.
“I can be standing nose to nose with people but I just shut down and meditate in the midst of all of us hurdling underground. By the time I get to my stop, I’m done and ready for the day,” she says.
Janice believes meditation is her secret weapon; One that grants her access to an endless well of energy, focus, vision, and optimism. I appreciate her approach to mindfulness as a strategy we can use to be more positive, productive, and successful in everything we do. These are a few of the insights I’ve been sharing since our chat.
— Be Sincere: Sincerity is the theme that’s impacted me most from our conversation. It’s one of the most meaningful ways we can connect with each other; Yet, in our fast-paced lives, it often feels rare. Janice shared an inspiring example of its influence…
After a season of unexpectedly low sales at one of their biggest retailers, she knew she didn’t have any data to convince them to place an order for the upcoming one. Acknowledging the circumstance, she worked with her team to reframe the situation and determine the most effective way to approach the sales meeting.
Rather than present audacious strategies or inflated numbers, she chose to be sincere, saying: “We’ve launched many successful collections together. This season wasn’t great but I need you to trust me, be our partner and put your faith in us. We can do incredible things again.”
“Instead of selling, I was very vulnerable and asked for listening and open-mindedness. The conversation was successful because they heard that. When you go in with that approach and reframe the ask you get better results,” she says. “Sincerity is a bit of a lost art these days. People really value it when they feel it.”
There are numerous lessons to glean from Janice’s experience. For me, though, the most important is being sincere in everything we do. At it’s core, sincerity is about honesty and respect, which we all crave and deserve.
— Meditation as a secret weapon: As someone who also meditates, I completely agree with Janice’s belief in its life-changing impact. She shared two specific ways it’s improved her life:
First, meditation increases your sense of optimism: “Meditation doesn’t make you innately positive,” she says. “What it does, is help you stay connected to the positive by reminding you to focus on it rather than being dragged down by the negative. When you look for the positives you find opportunity.”
Meditation also helps you articulate and connect with your vision on a deeper level: “Your mind constantly wants to jump from idea to idea. Meditation stops your racing thoughts, empties your mind of them, and allows you to fill it with what’s important."
Janice practices this in a micro way before she walks into every meeting. Try her strategy before your next one: “Stop. Take a breath and visualize how you want the meeting to go. Fill yourself with uplifting thoughts that it's going to be positive and you'll be at your best."
“The juxtaposition, though, is that you need to visualize it and then let go of that vision if it doesn’t manifest,” she says. “The meeting may go differently than you planned. That’s okay. Meditation helps you stay present and respond to what’s happening in the moment.”
The combination of cultivating your vision while being capable of responding to your reality helps you be more successful in all aspects of your life, she adds.
Janice’s meditation practice, similar to many others, also reflects the important insight that there is no ‘right way to meditate.' The right way to meditate is the way that works for you. Find your own practice!
— Small steps. Bigger outcomes: I was impressed by Janice’s genuine desire to ask for feedback and expand her mental capacity, and quickly learned that it stems from a helpful framework she utilizes: Open Minded & Considering vs. Closed Minded & Defensive.
Here’s how she describes it:
“When someone is delivering a hard message to you, there’s a part of your brain that wants to go 'Defend! Defend! Defend!’ What you actually need to do is pause. Listen without judgement or racing to a solution, regardless of how uncomfortable it is.”
Then, ask yourself: What is the action I can take right now?
“That’s all you have to do. You don’t need to solve the whole problem. You just have to find the next right thing to do.”
I appreciate Janice’s approach for the way it enables us to view situations from a calm and deliberate headspace, rather than feeling overwhelmed. By solely focusing on the next right step, which by default will be small, you decrease the pressure of having to get everything right; A small step can be corrected.
This can be a challenging mindset shift because it contradicts the mental programming that rewards us for finding fast solutions. It’s one that’s certainly worth it, though.
Whether you’re facing a challenge at work or dealing with a delayed flight, follow Janice’s advice to respond from a place from clarity. You’re guaranteed a better outcome.