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Mindfulness without the Bells and Beads. Unlocking Exceptional Performance, Leadership, and Well-being for Working Professionals. Edition No. 1

  • Book

  • 224 Pages
  • June 2021
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • ID: 5201826

Winner of the American Book Fest 2021 Best Book Award, Management and Leadership; Silver Medalist, 2021 Living Now Awards; Bronze Medalist, 2022 Axiom Business Book Awards for Success/Motivation/Coaching. 

Use mindfulness to unleash your potential - without adopting spiritual beliefs

Mindfulness Without the Bells and Beads: Unlocking Exceptional Performance, Leadership, and Wellbeing for Working Professionals strips away the bells, beads, and hyperbole associated with mindfulness, and explains how you can take your performance and leadership to the next level in just eight weeks, without adopting any spiritual or new age beliefs.

Author Clif Smith, a US Army veteran, former diplomat, and CIA-trained former intelligence officer, serves as EY's Americas Mindfulness Leader and Global Mindfulness Network Leader and is internationally recognized for bringing mindfulness to tens of thousands of corporate and government leaders across the globe. In this book, Clif shares teachings and insights to help achieve the tangible benefits of practicing mindfulness as a fundamental part of our professional and personal lives. You'll discover how to:

  • Enhance mental focus, resilience, and decision-making under pressure
  • Increase the impact of your communication and leadership
  • Transcend limiting beliefs, fear, and other psychological barriers to success
  • Connect, understand, and interact with others more effectively
  • Effectively incorporate self-care into a high-performance life
  • Demystify the practice of mindfulness to make it ideal for a corporate setting

Perfect for corporate leaders, managers, and executives, and any working professional in a high-pressure or high-performance environment, Mindfulness Without the Bells and Beads also belongs on the bookshelves of anyone who works in a stressful environment and wants to achieve a higher level of success and a better quality of life.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Tal Goldhamer ix

Introduction: A Staggered Start xi

Part I My Journey With Mindfulness And An Introduction To The Fundamentals 1

Chapter 1 The Power of the Trained Mind 3

Three Skills That Changed My Life 5

The Three Skills Applied 9

Chapter 2 Why Mindfulness Now? 19

Chapter 3 (Some of) The Science of Mindfulness 31

Mindfulness Changes the Brain 32

Mindfulness Reduces the Size and Activity in the Amygdala 33

Mindfulness Increases Activity in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) 33

Mindfulness Increases the Size of Your Hippocampus 34

Mindfulness Increases the Size of Your Insula 35

Chapter 4 How Do Our Brains Work outside a Brain Scanner? 38

Chapter 5 Finding the Signal in the Mindfulness Noise 46

Chapter 6 The Fundamentals of Cultivating Mindfulness 54

Focused Attention Meditation 56

Open Awareness Meditation 65

Chapter 7 Your Journey 67

Part II Diving Deeper: An 8-Week Journey To Exceptional Performance, Leadership, and Well-Being 71

Chapter 8 Introducing the Course 73

Motivation 75

What Do You Need to Give Up? 75

Establishing the Practice 76

Dealing with the Excuse-Making, Judging, and Controlling Mind 78

Chapter 9 Week 1: No Trivial Moments: Moving from Autopilot to Aware 80

Waking Up to Your Life 84

Mindfulness and the Body 87

Chapter 10 Week 2: The Mindset You Bring to Your Experience Matters 95

Nonjudging 97

Patience 98

Beginner’s Mind 99

Trust 99

Non-striving 100

Acceptance 101

Letting Go and Letting Be 101

Gratitude and Generosity 102

Shifting from Doing to Non-Doing, aka Being 103

Common Themes, Challenges, and Questions 104

Chapter 11 Week 3: Do You Have the Story or Does the Story Have You? 108

Mindfulness of Sounds, Thoughts, and Emotions 113

Common Themes, Challenges, and Questions 117

Chapter 12 Week 4: The Saber-Toothed Tiger of the Modern World: Everything 121

Stress and Our Stress Response 123

Common Themes, Challenges, and Questions 127

Chapter 13 Week 5: Delving into the Difficult 130

Responding versus Reacting 132

Common Themes, Challenges, and Questions 138

Chapter 14 Week 6: In the Same Boat 143

S.P.A.R.R.ing during Difficult Interactions 148

Common Themes, Challenges, and Questions 154

Chapter 15 Week 7: Who Watches (Out for) You? 158

Empathy 160

Compassion 162

Kindness 162

Cultivating Empathy, Compassion, and Kindness 163

Common Themes, Challenges, and Questions 167

Chapter 16 Week 8: Maintaining Momentum 170

A Mindful Day 173

Common Themes, Challenges, and Questions 177

Chapter 17 A Final Word 181

Acknowledgments 183

About the Author 187

Appendix 189

Notes 195

Index 201


Clif Smith