Growth | Written by: Yiqing Zhao

6 Little Known Things Mindful People Do Differently

Ok, the word "do" popped out right away as I was looking at this title.  Before I talk about what mindful people do differently, I would like to remind you of the order of being, doing, and having. That means who you are being dictates what you are doing, eventually leading to what you will have. 

So you need to look at the level of being in the first place because that's what makes all the difference. It's not what they do or not do. Because we are human beings and we have different preferences--you don't need to do what others are doing. 

But if you look at successful people, while they may all have different occupations and do things differently, their being-hood is pretty much the same. That's what I would like you to be aware of in the first place.

What does mindfulness mean to you? To me, it means being present and aware. Those are the two key elements of being mindful.

I have found mindful people have the following traits:

1. They center themselves

Centering yourself means keeping yourself calm, instead of getting reactive. Things happen, right? Life is never honky dory, and sometimes things don't go your way. Keeping yourself centered means that you are not swayed by the circumstances. You can regulate your emotional state. 

Centering yourself also means you are more focused, that your mind is clear without drama. 

On a higher level, centering yourself can mean staying in your lane--that is, sticking with your choices, living your life purposefully, and not getting distracted by "new shiny objects".  This is a noisy world--everybody is doing something. Everybody has a story to tell. Getting distracted is the single easiest thing that can happen to you.

So keep yourself centered. Remember your purpose. Stay in your lane.

2. They don't rush through things

You must have heard "slow is the new fast", right? Well, mindful people know when to slow down--because slowing down doesn't mean slacking--it means regaining focus--which will help you achieve your goals even faster.

Mindful people are busy in a different way--they do things that move the needle. They do things that matter. They do the right thing, not the easy thing.

More importantly, they don't rush through things--they care about the process, more than the results--because, hey, come on, life itself is a process anyway, right? Eventually, we are all going to die--so what really matters is the process and the experience. 

Slowing down will give you an opportunity to taste multiple layers of life--like drinking a great cup of coffee, whose flavor comes in layers. 

When you slow down, you are less likely to miss the less obvious opportunities, therefore expanding your possibility of creativity and discovery. 

When you slow down, you are more likely to fully abstract the nutrients life has to offer, absorb and implement them, creating much more results at a much faster speed.

3. They experience before they speak

At the end of my training at acting school, one of my classmates asked the teacher:" If we could only have one takeaway, what would it be?" The teacher answered: "Experience it before you say it."

I've been practicing this mantra since. This is the key to mindfulness--being mindful is about fully living in the moment. You need to have an experience first before you verbalize it. 

Good news? You are going to show up more authentic and wise. You are going to have faster personal growth. You are going to have a stronger presence and charisma.

If you experience before you speak, you are going to listen more, feel more, and speak less. You are going to be a better listener who is interested in others, and you'll start to pull people in.

4. They feel their feelings

Do you know why a lot of people are addicted to food, alcohol, sex or even work? Because these things are perfect emotion buffers.

Stressed out by uncertainties? Go finish that jar of ice cream.

Feeling worried, disappointed, defeated? Hello, tequila shots. 

Feeling unworthy? Be a workaholic and get some extra work done.

You get the drift? When you don't want to feel certain negative emotions, you use others things to buffer them. Your brain will just automatically send you to that box of chocolate because it knows sweets will make you feel better. 

That's also why I opened this article by disputing the "doing" part--doing can be a quick fix, but never a real solution. A lot of times, staying busy and doing things is just your way of staying away from realities. 

Mindful people don't buffer their feelings. They are ok with not feeling ok. They give themselves permission to feel all the feelings without judgment, knowing that they will pass.

Emotions are just like waves--they come and go. Mindful people don't hold onto them. They experience them, then let them go. They have the grace, and hold space for themselves to fully embrace the emotions. 

Mindful people are not just mindful--they are brave. They are brave, because they know feeling negative emotions doesn't mean they are in danger. They don't need to run away.

5. They trust their guts

If you find this point to. be "woo-woo", let me ask you: Have you ever felt you just "knew"? Have you ever felt strong, gut instincts that tell you you know what's best for you? 

If your answer is yes, can you recall what you did after feeling that gut instincts? Did you talk yourself out of it, ignored it, or just went ahead and made the decision--even if it seemed crazy?

Mindful people are more likely to become successful for many reasons. One of them is that they listen to their guts.

They listen to their guts because they know that's their voice--all the rest of the mind chatters don't belong to them. They know, because they pay attention. they listen with their whole being, they are present.

When you are mindful, when you are present, you will know what's yours and what's not. You will be able to tell voice from noise, and you will have the courage to act on even the wildest yet the most correct decisions.

6. They live to serve a purpose

This goes with the point above--that gut instinct telling you to go for your dream says a lot about your purpose.

Mindful people pay attention to the signs that show up on their journey, and they connect dots with those signs. They follow the trail leading to their purpose.

When you have a purpose, it's much easier to center yourself--you just need to constantly remind yourself of your purpose, and guide your mind over there.

When you live to serve a purpose, you will be much more courageous to face adversity and challenges, because you know the universe is testing your will and strength before sending miracles your way.

When you use your purpose to guide you, you will be much more resilient, open, vulnerable. You will be more resourceful and committed, and you will tap into your potential like never before--because of that strong drive.

Final thoughts

Let's forget about the "doing" for a second, sit down with ourselves, and ask what we really want in life. Ask ourselves who we are, or who we want to be, and why we do what we do.

When you can answer those questions, you are already being mindful. So start from there. Use your answers as a guide, and choose to believe.

When you choose to believe you are the person you want to be, and you already have what you want, you will take actions from that place. You will reach a higher level of being, and you will send higher energy into the world.

Trust that this will work, and be mindful to receive, too. If you don't feel like you already owned it, you wouldn't be able to openly receive it--then you are just blocking your own fortune.

Remember: Being > doing. Whenever you are in doubt, or at a loss, give yourself a gentle reminder, and get back on your belief. 

Work on your belief, not the "tricks" or "tips". Work on your being, and your doing will follow suit. 

When you decide on what purpose you are serving, when you have unwavering faith and are willing to put extraordinary efforts to your commitment, you are for sure on your way to success--your unique success that is defined by you.

Related Posts

How to Ground Yourself: 12 Simple Techniques

How to Ground Yourself: 12 Simple Techniques

Why Am I So Clingy? (And What to Do About It)

Why Am I So Clingy? (And What to Do About It)

Does Marriage Counseling Work?

Does Marriage Counseling Work?

12 Simple Ways to Rejuvenate Yourself and Restore Your Mind, Body, and Soul

12 Simple Ways to Rejuvenate Yourself and Restore Your Mind, Body, and Soul

6 Little Known Things Mindful People Do Differently

6 Little Known Things Mindful People Do Differently

104 Acts of Compassion You Can Do Any Day

104 Acts of Compassion You Can Do Any Day