Mindfulness is best defined as an awareness that arises within when we:
The formal practice of mindfulness is mediation. The informal practice is how we interact with life mindfully (with greater equanimity).
One of the most useful programs I adopted was MBSR. I was fortunate to learn from a true master of MBSR who expanded the teaching far beyond just practical MBSR.
Notes from The Mindfulness Edge by Tenney/Gard
How to rewire your brain for leadership, personal excellence, without adding to your schedule.
The main motivations of all action
We are essentially programs that react to situations based on how we've been programmed to react. How our program reacts to events are called decisions. Decisions are programmed responses and a combination of genetics and conditioning. The life experiences we've had up to this moment impact our decisions.
While many of our programs are helpful, many are not. For the most part, we are unaware they are even running. It's often those who believe they are free from habitual programs that are most trapped by them.
Looking at increasing the value of partnerships in my life, I may to take a closer look at a defect in my program. I recognize that being part of a family with 3 brothers and a highly competitive father may be an issue I need to debug. Why do I find it difficult to feel genuine empathy for the accomplishments of others? Is this causing me to surround myself with people who are level below me just so I can feel better about myself? I don't feel good about myself when I'm surrounded by those who are a level up, so am I unconsciously pushing those people away?
This is a real condition! From wikipedia:
The default mode network is most commonly shown to be active when a person is not focused on the outside world and the brain is at wakeful rest, such as during daydreaming and mind-wandering. But it is also active when the individual is thinking about others, thinking about themselves, remembering the past, and planning for the future. The network activates "by default" when a person is not involved in a task. Though the DMN was originally noticed to be deactivated in certain goal-oriented tasks and is sometimes referred to as the task-negative network, it can be active in other goal-oriented tasks such as social working memory or autobiographical tasks. The DMN has been shown to be negatively correlated with other networks in the brain such as attention networks.