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There are four hurdles that we all need to overcome if we want to take our career to the next level. These are the foundational mindfulness principles that we all need to apply, regardless of where we are on the path of a mindful leader.

If you find you are stuck at any of the five stages of a mindful leader, then you need to go back to these fundamentals. It will be one of these hurdles that are in your way.

Decide What You Want

The first hurdle is to have a purpose.

People with purpose report being more happy, motivated, and satisfied with their lives. If you are stuck in your career, it’s a good chance you’ve disconnected from your purpose.

Purpose gives us a reason to get up in the morning. It motivates and energizes us. It allows us to push through resistance and get back up after a setback.

Without purpose, we lose our drive and slowly fall into a rut of mediocrity which leads to dissatisfaction and unhappiness.

The secret is to figure out what you want to be when you grow up, and in place of that, make it your purpose to discover your purpose.

Everyone questions if they are on the right path. If you in doubt on which route you should take, know that it’s more important to start moving then it is to sit and wait for the perfect answer.

So pick a direction and start taking action. Make it your number one priority by saying no to everything else.

You need to spend 80% of your time focused on this. Forever!

You Will Never Arrive

The second hurdle is that you will never arrive.

A big part of our dissatisfaction with life is that we strive to arrive at a destination, believing that when we get there, we will have achieved success, and only then we will be happy.

If you’ve ever achieved a goal, thinking that you have finally arrived, only to realize a few months later after the temporary high of achievement has worn off, that you are miserable, then you know what I’m talking about.

This pattern is repeated over and over again in our lives. Believing that we will be happy when we’ve achieved our next goal. Breaking out of the “only if …” cycle is the key to unlocking happiness and building self-confidence.

The secret is to enjoy the journey. Find satisfaction from the activities, challenges, and habits that happen along the path as you move toward your goal.

Find satisfaction in the work itself, build in mini-rewards along the way, and enjoy the ride.

Embrace A Beginners Mind

The third hurdle is to embrace a beginners mind.

A fixed mindset is like a glass ceiling, preventing you from moving to the next level. If you’ve stalled out in your career, there’s a good chance that it’s your fixed mindset that is holding you back.

Know that all of your negative thoughts and doubts about being an effective leader are distorted by your existing beliefs, judgements and values.

The secret is to shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.

You need to realize that leadership is NOT something you are born. It’s a skill that anyone can develop.

If you are stuck, you need to banish the negative self-talk, shift your thinking, and become extremely curious about the world.

Cultivate a growth mindset by embracing curiosity and practice non-judgement.

You may need to go slowly at first. Start by catching yourself when you are caught up in a downward spiral of negativity or self-doubt.

When someone pushes your buttons and triggers an emotional hijack, be mindful of this behaviour, and bring a beginners mind to reduce your recovery rate.

Embracing a beginners mind is a critical step toward achieving emotional freedom and becoming a mindful leader.

Serve Your Tribe

The fourth hurdle is to serve your tribe.

A tribe is a group of people connected together, working to achieve a shared interest. The project team you are assigned, the culture of your company, and the LEARN2LEAD Community are all examples of tribes.

You know what I’m talking about if you’ve been part of a team, working together to reach a common goal, and achieve it. Creating this common bond during these experiences is priceless.

I’m still in contact with my peers from past projects. When we get together, we always talk about the shared journey, the challenges that we overcame, and share the stories we created together.

The secret to a satisfying career is to look for opportunities where you can be of service to your tribe.

Become a master of your craft, so you will be able to work on the most challenging and cutting-edge projects. Look for situations where you can coach and mentor other tribe members to learn and grow. And when necessary, roll up your sleeves to help out, even if it’s not your area of expertise.

The greatest gift that you can give to someone is to help them out, unconditionally. You want to be able to add value without expecting anything in return. If you are keeping score, thinking that you are owed something, you’ve missed the entire point, and will never clear this hurdle.


If you find that you are stuck at any of five stages of Mindful Leadership is most likely one of the four hurdles. Here’s a quick recap …

1) Always make sure you have a clear motivating goal. Make this your number one priority. And if your purpose is aligned, all the better.

2) Discover the enjoyment in the effort required to archive your goal. When you achieve it, enjoy the accomplishment, then choose your next project.

3) Embrace a beginners mind and shift from a fixed to a growth mindset. Be curious about the world and practice non-judgement.

4) Master your craft and create opportunities to serve your tribe. Your highest growth will come from the unconditional investment you make in others.

Do you have a question about the four hurdles? Leave a comment below, and I will be sure to respond.

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