In this course, wicked problems of industrial practice, there are many ways to look at wicked problems. Throughout this class so far, I have already become curious of learning multiple ways of understanding a wicked problem with compassion. I have already seen the changes throughout my life intellectually, emotionally, and somatically. Because of this it is interesting to look back and reflect on how my progress toward this is going. This is especially relevant to mindfulness as it has greatly affected my mind, heart, and body.
Moreover, I feel like the one thing that has greatly helped my progress toward this goal of having compassionate curiosity to the multiple ways one comes to understand a wicked problem has been the practice of mindfulness. When we first started practicing mindfulness in class, I was initially closed off to the idea and did not really understand what it meant or did. Each week when we repeatedly practiced it in class, I began to notice changes and also became curious and did some of my own research. One thing we were told to do was to find ten minutes each day to do any sort of meditation or mindfulness. At first, I actually found this very difficult for myself and often was not willing to make the time. I would either blame having too much to do during the day or just not wanting to do it all. Near the beginning of this journey one day, I even sat down and started practicing mindfulness, but found myself begin easily distracted and therefore did not do it for at least another week. As we were continually encouraged in class to practice on our own time as well, I finally made myself start doing it consistently. I found the best time for me was right before bed because I had no distractions, and I was already winding down from my day and ready to reflect. For ten minutes, I would sit in my chair and do the affirmations from what I could remember in class. I just finished my first full second week of practicing mindfulness like this and have already noticed major changes.
In addition to this, one thing that I found helpful was doing yoga. I have been doing yoga on and off throughout my life but never realized how similar it could relate to mindfulness. Focusing on your breath is one of the main things in yoga and I find this to be the thing to concentrate on in mindfulness as well. One time, a day after class, I was doing yoga and realized some of the same techniques from the instructor were taught in class earlier which made me realize that just like mindfulness, yoga could help me in my journey to becoming curious in different ways when it comes to understanding a wicked problem.
First off, in my mind, I feel way more open than I used to. I feel like I was closed off to many other opinions, especially that were not my own, and now I take the time to embrace them and really understand different points of views. I now understand the importance of acknowledging others’ beliefs and opinions even if you may not agree with them. This is something that I have seen mindfulness change in me. As we practice in class, and now outside of class, I take the time to truly believe that others understandings of a wicked problem are just as important as mine.
Emotionally, I have also seen a change. I have never been one to be in tune with my emotions or never really understood others in that way, but now I feel like, with the help of mindfulness, it makes me think a lot differently. Moreover, I used to think of emotion as a weakness and struggled with vulnerability, however, now I think that the people that can directly say what they are thinking and feeling are some of the strongest. I have now softened my heart to compassionately hear others in the ways in which they understand wicked problems. Mindfulness has played a part in this as it made me more willing to hear others’ opinions and realize that everybody lives different lives besides their own, therefore, having different opinions, especially when it comes to wicked problems.
Not only have I seen changes in my mind and heart, but also in my body. After practicing mindfulness, especially when I do it at night, I feel like I sleep so much better than I used to. I also feel a lot less anxious and just overall have much more energy. It makes me feel ready for the day and what’s to come. Because I feel more open this also, in turn, makes me excited for class and to hear what other people have to say and their viewpoint on certain situations or problems.
Another goal of this course is to develop humble and compassionate responses to wicked problems. I feel like my progress toward this goal is at a steady incline. From practicing mindfulness and having already seen changes intellectually, emotionally, and somatically, it is somewhat easy to say that I have already seen progress. Overall, I honestly just feel more open and willing to hear what others say and not immediately disregard them because I believe that my opinion is the only one that matters. Because of this I had to take a step back and humble myself when I realized I used to be somewhat closed off. I also feel like I have more compassionate responses to wicked problems. When trying to think of multiple solutions, it is quite easy to think of one that just benefits you. However, I am starting to think in a way that is more open and have more willingness to want to find a solution for everyone, even though that is very unlikely. Overall, I feel like my progress towards having compassionate curiosity to the multiple ways one comes to understand a wicked problem and developing humble and compassionate responses to them is at an incline, and I cannot wait to see where my progress will be by the end of this course.