The Mindfulness Manifesto

I believe that each of us is meant to give something unique to the world. Whether in our careers, our family or community, or through volunteer service or a religious organization. We all have something special to offer.

We all want to be happy. We want to contribute, to make a difference in our world or community, no matter how small. We crave connection with others and a meaning to our lives.

But too often things get seem to get in the way of us maximizing our potential.

Our jobs aren’t what we thought they would be — coworkers are nonstop scufflers, our to-do lists are never ending and the bottom line seems to be all that matters. Then when we get home we don’t have the energy to be the parent or partner we’d like to be, we can’t keep up with our schedules or find any time for ourselves. And we too easily forget the feeling of reward we get from giving back.

I started Hero in a Half Shell and Golden Bristle to change that.

I don’t need a thousand words to tell you what I’m here to do: to help people unleash their awesome on the world. That means helping them to do their best work and live their best lives – happy, healthy, calm and focused on what’s important to them.

It’s not possible to make a difference if we’re concentrated on the wrong things, if we’re overstressed and overwhelmed, if we can’t foster relationships with people we care about.

And it’s more important today than ever before. With inboxes thousands of emails large, phones that never stop blinking and an endless media cycle that reminds us all that we’re doing wrong with our lives. Oh, and our kids now have iPads by the time they’re 3, so they don’t miss out on this barrage, either.

The reality is, the world isn’t going to slow down around us.

It’s on us to take a pause.

I know this as well as anyone. I have been a part of the game — leading companies in their efforts to interrupt you on Facebook, email and anywhere digital. And I’ve seen the screens begin to eat our days. Staring at our phones instead of our families. I knew I had to change.

Since I found the tools on this site and put them into regular practice, my life has gotten better in every aspect. Every month, without fail.

I can feel the decrease in stress – not around me, but inside of me. I notice my upsets, the negative or judgmental thoughts and ruminations, and am more able to let them go. I’m more focused on my important work, less sucked into wasteful distraction and the stuff I don’t care about. I’m more patient with my friends and family, willing to listen and feel and invest, and grateful for everything I have. I feel healthier and do more to take care of my physical health. And possibly most important, I’m nicer, both to myself and others. (And more aware I am sometimes still a cranky old man.)

This is not to say things are suddenly perfect. I’m not always happy or full of cheer. I struggle with difficult people – including myself when I’m being difficult. I get tired and impatient, I waste time and I still check my phone way too often. Negative thoughts are around every day. And, yeah, I’m still cranky more often than I’d prefer.

But that’s kind of the point. Perfection isn’t an aim. Nor is it possible. None of us will cease to experience sadness in our lives, or stop being afraid. By the same token, it’s unreasonable to think we’ll always be happy.

Mindfulness helps us understand that these things come and go. Our thoughts rise and fall like waves in the sea.

I can’t make a promise that working with me will make your life or your business perfect. I can’t promise that you’ll find perpetual happiness or that this is a quick fix. It’s not. Nothing is.

Make a commitment to this and I do promise your life will change. Slowly at first, then more quickly. And at some point you’ll look back and won’t be able to recognize the person you are compared to the person you started as. I know. It’s happened to me.

But the truth is, none of the work I do is about me. It’s about you. It’s about helping you unleash the awesome that’s inside you and your business so that you can make incredible things happen. I’m just lucky to be here.

If you feel like talking, I’m here. On email – matt[at]goldenbristle.com. By phone – 615-592-1122. On Twitter – @thieleman1. Say hi. For real.