An emphasis on growth at any cost has decreased well-being and happiness levels individually and collectively. The long-accepted "hustle and grind" culture in business is fast becoming an antiquated model for today’s society.
Instead, imagine businesses where team members must report on well-being as a key performance indicator, like any other typical sales and marketing metric of profits. Where every purchase in the workplace has been responsibly sourced, and words like "gossip" and "toxicity" become extinct. Higher-level, more conscious words like "compassion" and "joy" dominate business vernacular as all business leaders focus first on themselves, not others, to make change.
This transformative energy impacts their surrounding teams and environment, in turn rippling out to a new normal for the global economy being both purpose- and profit-driven — igniting what I call a Presence Movement.
What Is The Presence Movement?
From a high-level view, it’s valuing being present in business and life. It’s being conscious, or highly self-aware, of fully living each moment, tending to one’s own well-being and happiness, aligning one’s mind, body, heart and soul.
However, most small business leaders face two major global trends that can hinder this.
Need For Constant Adaptation
What you learn today may become obsolete tomorrow. As technology outpaces our brain’s ability to adapt and keep up, the sheer impact of the data we encounter daily will continue to accelerate.
Some say 65% of preschoolers will be in jobs that don’t yet exist, and 90% of the entire world’s data was generated in the last few years. Technology is only accelerating to the point of singularity. Imagine what it will be like two years from today.
The ever-increasing, constant information overload causes too many options for our brains to sort, analyze and choose. On top of that, our brains are dealing with so many competing apps, and email inboxes are becoming storehouses for junk. Conscious entrepreneurs cannot keep up with the sheer volume to process.
Your brain endlessly multitasks with multiple tabs open, app notifications and message interruptions just sitting there unless you shut off all electronics and go totally offline.
On top of that, conflicting online advice makes it more difficult to discern and make choices aligned with your highest self. You can find whatever you want to believe online. But what is the best step to take right now, at this stage in business, that’s a fit for your strengths and your market?
How This Applies To Your Business
Shifting times call for shifts in business models. As I like to note, there are two critical questions to ask ourselves:
• To stay relevant in today's constantly evolving market, how will you make decisions for your business from the inside out, amid all the noise?
• In what ways can your business integrate the quadruple bottom line of people, planet, profit and presence (the 4 P’s) to make a stronger impact in your community and beyond?
These questions are what catalyzed the Presence Movement.
My clients have inquired into these questions. Just by asking themselves these questions, they are able to make new choices, allowing themselves to be more present and more in flow during their day.
For example, one client has learned to breathe. They counted the number of breaths they took in a minute and discovered it was too high. They now set a timer labeled “breath” every hour that reminds them to pay attention to their body and notice their quality of breath.
With other clients, they are now ensuring they take a minimum of four weeks, if not six weeks, off a year, ideally a week per quarter, to allow a full recharge for the next quarter.
Once they realize that rest is not only more productive but required, it debunks any myth that working harder, longer or faster is more effective. Instead, they discover how going slower can actually be faster in creating more quality, long-term, sustainable progress.
Three Simple Steps To Ignite A Presence Movement
Taking actions without commitment won’t work long term through the unexpected breakdowns that are likely to happen. By committing, you can navigate through challenges and obstacles. When the storms of life inevitably hit, your commitment acts as a beacon or guiding light of what direction to take next.
To calculate is to track and measure an intended action, or to design and plan. What is your baseline to measure your progress? Take an assessment, and then set a goal for where you want to go and what your focus will be for the next quarter.
The key to making something be alive and to be held accountable is sharing this with others. Staying connected in a community online or in person is key to keeping your commitment alive through the conversations you have with like-minded folks who care about this, too.
The Presence Movement Starts With You
Being present is a choice you make each moment, every instant, right now.
By learning to listen to our breath, integrate our brain with our bodies and make more time to rest, we create an infinite wellspring of energy to draw from and circulate with others, elevating the consciousness of those around us and beyond.
By igniting the fourth P, or presence, in the quadruple bottom line of people, planet, profit and presence in your business, it allows an empty space to simply be, in wonder and awe of what will emerge.
This article was originally published on Forbes.com.
Anna Sun Choi