Using Mindfulness to Change Your Career

Harvard psychology professor and mindfulness researcher Ellen Langer on how we perform better when we turn off auto-pilot.

Maybe you drove to work today and can’t remember how you got there. Or maybe a recent argument with a family member is making it hard to focus on a looming deadline. Without meaning to, you cruise control into the office, thinking of a million things you have to do.

Ellen Langer, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Harvard University, is author of Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility—among a dozen other mindfulness titles and more than 200 articles. She recently sat down with Alison Beard, senior editor of the Harvard Business Review, to talk about how mindfulness and work life. Here are a few keys points from Langer:

Rules should guide, not govern:

“The rules you were given were the rules that worked for the person who created them. When you’re mindful, rules, routines, and goals guide you; they don’t govern you.”

Mindfulness encourages better performance:

“The rules you were given were the rules that worked for the person who created them. When you’re mindful, rules, routines, and goals guide you; they don’t govern you,” she said.

Read the full interview. And you might want to check out “Putting Mindfulness to Work” from the Mindful magazine archives.Tara Healey of Harvard Pilgrim suggests four steps for bringing mindfulness to work.

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