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Mindfulness and Leadership


Ellen Langer




Speaking at the ADC Future Summit in Melbourne, psychologist Ellen Langer speaks about the theory of mindfulness and how uncertainty and awareness affect the quality of our...


When we're learning about how to be in this world, it doesn't occur to us that whatever we're learning can be understood differently. What I'm going to do today is talk about the concept of mindlessness and show that basically, we live sealed and unlived lives. It's important to break the seals that keep us from experiencing all that we could experience.

I went into a store to make a purchase. I gave the cashier my credit card. She saw that the card wasn't signed, so she asked me to sign it. I signed it, and then she ran it through the credit card machine. She gave me the credit card slip and asked me to sign it again. I signed it. Then she compared the two signatures. If they didn't match, it would have been funny, right? What interested me was that she was oblivious to the fact that this made little sense. It made me think that when you're not present, you're not there to know that you're not there. My argument is that most of the time, we're not present. Popular psychology tells us to be in the moment, but when you're not, you're not there to know it. So, I'll show you how to be present.

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