The lost art of thoughtfulness

The concept of mindfulness has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Though concepts such as meditation and eastern philosophies emphasising the importance of staying in the present have been around for centuries, we are now living in an age where we need them more than ever. Another concept that I believe is needed more than ever these days is thoughtfulness. I believe it is even more rare than it was a few years ago yet it remains more important than ever.

What do I mean by thoughtfulness? Thoughtfulness means spending time putting yourself in other people’s shoes. It means considering what is in the best interests of others. It means putting thought into what can make others feel good. Thoughtfulness involves focusing on caring for others through your words and actions.

Perhaps it is because we have so many things to keep track of that we fail to have the time to be as thoughtful as we might be. Many things we do are on automatic pilot. We have far too many emails or messages for us to be thoughtful at each turn. Instead, we communicate the minimum that is needed because if not, we risk being overwhelmed.

I am not always as thoughtful as I could be and I do make an effort to improve this every day. I have a habit, however, of paying attention to how whatever I do may make others feel. For example, many people think nothing of cancelling plans with another person at the last minute. This is normal practice for some. If you think further on this though, you will realise that cancelling plans means that the person you were due to meet has missed out on plenty of other opportunities that they might have had if you never made plans in the first place.

Always telling your friend about your problems is fine as long as you are also listening to their problems. Considering what your partner really likes before buying them a present is so much more appreciated than just getting them something that is expensive as compensation for the lack of thought put into it. These are some examples from the personal world.

In the business world, it is equally as vital to be thoughtful. For me, the companies that show that they actively care will have my loyalty. When a company is thoughtful and does what they can to help me in relation to something that is important to me, it makes me much more likely to do more business with them.

Thoughtfulness is not nearly as popular as mindfulness. Like mindfulness, it requires a few simple shifts in how you think but you need to do it consistently. When you do, you will start to notice yourself getting far better results in all aspects of your life.


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