Let’s begin with a short exercise. For it to work though you need to be in a comfortable place. Nothing fancy, just don’t do it if you’re driving, walking or catching Pokémons right now. Here is how it goes:
- Stop everything else you are doing and focus on what you are reading right now.
- Breathe in using the bottom of your lungs (breathe with your belly).
- Take a long breath through your nose, fill you lungs from the bottom up and hold the air in for 4-5 seconds.
- Breathe out slowly through your mouth until there’s nothing left in your lungs.
- Repeat steps 3 thru 5 at least 5 times, slowly.
- Now try to feel the tips of your fingers. Close your eyes if it helps, but focus as much as you can on feeling the tip of your fingers.
- Keep at it for at least 30 seconds. Focus.
Did you feel them? Were you able to? Did it work? Or did you feel silly, didn’t really breathe as much as you could have done before and quit after 7 seconds of trying to feel your fingers?
Are you still reading this blog?
7 out of 10 people doing this exercise will not feel the tip of their fingers. 2 will say they did and 1 just doesn’t know what to answer. Our fingers happen to have the biggest concentration of nervous terminals in our body. They are there for a reason as our hands are our top “prospecting tools” through which we seize the world every day. They are there so you can feel the world as you engage with it. That’s how important they are.
9 out of 10 people don’t think on their fingers on any given day of the week. Chances are the one person left on that statistic has a reason to think about his or her fingers: they might not have any or aren’t able to use them. The rest of us just take fingers for granted.
Think on your professional persona now. Think on what you bring to work every single day and what you go back home with. I bet that if you repeat the exercise above but instead of trying to feel your fingers you try to think on the basics you bring to work…you will get the same results you did with your fingers. Chances are that if you are not aware of your extensions (such as hands), you might not be aware of how you extend yourself at work, of what you project.
And isn’t that what working is all about? Extending yourself into a context that needs far more than just working hands: it needs minds, it needs whatever flavor we can add to it. That’s what getting the right job is usually about: finding the place where you can be yourself or add the most from yourself to what we call “work”.
said that Media is the extension of our senses and I claim that to be true for more than what he meant. I strongly believe that our jobs should work as extensions of who we are. What we bring to the world and present forward. This brings me back to the importance of being aware first so to know who, when and how you truly are at work.
If we can’t think on our fingers and we use them constantly…what about those other things that you bring with yourself to your work every single day? Which one of those you are used NOT to think about and might be the ones that make you special? What skills, what knowledge do you have that you take for granted?
Breathe in. Hold it. Breathe out. Repeat. Now think. Focus.
Are you now aware?
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Also published on Medium.