A mind is a terrible thing to waste. At SIYLI, we know the most powerful leadership tool you have is your mind, so it pays to develop good mental habits. Projecting positivity is an excellent attribute for business and life. When people are drawn to you, you become a natural leader.

There are two ways to develop these positive mental habits: Kindness and Empathy.

Kindness:

cat sees self as lion in mirror

What we think, we become.

The practice of creating mental habits is based on a simple, intuitively obvious yet profoundly important insight. It has been described this way: Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind.

In other words, what we think, we become. The method itself is simple; invite a thought to arise in your mind often enough, and it will become a mental habit.

For example, if every time you see another person, you wish for that person to be happy, then eventually, your instinctive first thought is to wish for that person to be happy. After a while, you develop an instinct for kindness. You become a kind person. Your kindness shows in your face, posture, and attitude every time you meet somebody. When you project kindness people intuitively trust you. They will sense you have their best interests at heart. Developing a trusting relationship with employees and coworkers is one of the essentials of working in an office.

Once you’ve discovered how to project kindness to all you encounter, it’s time to develop your empathy.

Just Like Me Practice:

The practice reminds us how similar other people are to us, thereby creating the mental habit of equality.

Visualize somebody you care about in your mind while doing the exercise. Then consider the following:

This person has a body and a mind, just like me.

This person has feelings, emotions, and thoughts, just like me.

This person has, at some point in his or her life, been sad, disappointed,

angry, hurt, or confused, just like me.

This person has, in his or her life, experienced physical and emotional

pain and suffering, just like me.

This person wishes to be free from pain and suffering, just like me.

This person wishes to be healthy and loved, and to have fulfi lling

relationships, just like me.

This person wishes to be happy, just like me.

Given how social we are and that we need others to survive, it makes sense for kindness toward other people to be intrinsically rewarding to ourselves; it is probably an important part of our survival mechanism. One study even suggests that performing one kind act a day over just ten days can measurably increase your happiness.

Develop these healthy mental habits and you’ll find that you relate better, communicate more effectively and hold greater influence at the office. Kindness and empathy can be the keys to becoming an effective leader.

SIYLI Suggestion: This week, practice the just like exercise with a different person each day.