THE BLOG
02/26/2014 03:05 pm ET | Updated Apr 28, 2014

I Feel Like Fred Astaire

I feel like Fred Astaire to Dr. Ellen Langer's Ginger Rogers. You know the story of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, right? In the 1930s they made a number of films and were famous as dancing partners. But as Bob Thaves said decades ago in the Frank and Ernest comic strip, "Sure he (Astaire) was great, but don't forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did, backward... and in high heels."

I don't personally know Dr. Langer so we haven't danced together, but she is a guru of mindfulness, which is the real term for what I call "noticing." And whereas I have been trying to spread the word about the importance of noticing, and providing you examples of how noticing will improve your life exponentially, and urging you to laugh more, Dr. Langer has been doing real academic research on this.

Dr. Langer's article in the March 2014 Harvard Business Review is entitled "Mindfulness in the Age of Complexity." In this excellent article, she talks about the importance of mindfulness and how it makes people more productive and innovative. She says that mindfulness is "energy-begetting, not energy-consuming." Yes!

She also talks about how mindfulness reduces stress. She is not talking about meditation; she is talking about clearly thinking through options rather than mindlessly giving in to the stress of worrying about worst case scenarios.

Dr. Langer ends with this thought: "Life consists only of moments, nothing more than that. So if you make the moment matter, it all matters." Exactly!

So I have great admiration for this Ginger Rogers of a Harvard professor. She talks with well-earned gravitas about all the things I have been trying to tell you, my dear noticers, in The Did Ya Notice? Project blog. But I am only an Astaire-ian titan of business, being the Chief Noticing Officer and all. Do listen to Dr. Langer too. She is telling you verifiable truths as a respected academic, while dancing backwards in high heels.