THE BLOG
16/02/2015 06:15 GMT | Updated 15/04/2015 06:59 BST

In Pursuit Of Great Work

In this new era, we constantly need to adapt to changing circumstances and leave our comfort zone to take bold risks. Applying yesterday´s solutions to today's problems no longer works.

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The digital age is challenging us collectively and individually. With almost every industry in a process of disruption, we are experiencing more uncertainty and change than ever before. We are overwhelmed by constant connectivity, information overload and back-to-back meetings.

In this new era, we constantly need to adapt to changing circumstances and leave our comfort zone to take bold risks. Applying yesterday´s solutions to today's problems no longer works.

Dominic Barton, Global MD of McKinsey, recently summed this up nicely by saying "People work in a bewildering new environment where little is certain, the tempo is quicker and the dynamics are more complex."

Within all the upheaval, there is an opportunity to become fully responsible for our career and life at large. We are beginning to understand how malleable our habits, talents and intelligence actually are. Brimming with optimism, we can see failures as learning opportunities and empower our lives by cultivating creative habits and new skills.

Yet contemporary education has largely overlooked creating a curriculum as systematic as computer science on how to manage oneself. Professionals are left to fend for themselves trying to understand, skillfully handle and transform the inner forces of thoughts, emotions and beliefs.

An increasing number of entrepreneurs have started to apply Mindfulness - a modern, secularised word for Meditation - to stay resilient, resourceful and present in the digital age. While not too long ago, western science scoffed at this eastern practice of mind training. And it was considered pseudo-scientific to talk about a mind-body connection or the possibility that our brains remain malleable and plastic throughout our lives. But things have changed.

Now, hardly a day goes by without a new scientific study being published on how mindfulness can reduce levels of stress hormone cortisol, improve our ability to focus under pressure, make us think more creatively and even reverse ageing.

Its hard to miss, Mindfulness is increasingly being considered an inner technology which helps us to deal with increased demands of modern life. Within the last few years, many CEOs came out - as meditators; ranging from the late Steve Jobs, to Bridgewater´s Ray Dalio and Twitter´s Jack Dorsey, the list is as long as it is impressive. These CEOs actively take charge of their inner landscape by carving out space to train their minds.

As most of us spend the majority of our waking hours at work and technology now blurs the lines between our work and private life, the call for balance is becoming louder. Yet Dr. Ellen Langer, a Harvard psychologist who researches into Mindfulness, highlights that it is erroneous to think within a work-life balance framework. What she calls for is work-life integration as "balance" suggests that work and life are opposite forces that have nothing in common. Thus we often think we have one set of skills for the office, and another set for home. Langer feels we should seek to pull the two worlds closer together. We should be the same person in both arenas.

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Building on this idea, Second Home and Hacking Happiness are exploring creative ways of responding to this new paradigm by introducing an interdisciplinary curriculum called "In the pursuit of great work". This series of talks and workshops held at the iconic Second Home in Shoreditch covers the mechanisms of increasing self-awareness and cultivating creative habits to become the best possible version of ourselves.

The curriculum invites participants to step out of their comfort zone and discover "who" instead of "what" they want to be. Each session covers a specific topic and offers practical tools that we can integrate into our lives. The first session on February 17th focuses on self-awareness and how the practice of Mindfulness can change our brain to unlock our true potential.

For more information & to buy tickets, please visit bit.ly/PursuitOfGreatWork