Being ever mindful, present and sharp for a Happily Ever After

Have you ever been asked, “How do you keep on top of things?”

How do we all manage the different tasks and feelings we experience on a daily basis? How do we keep them in check and stop them from spilling over?

My short answer is that when you know yourself at your best and your worst, you know what to watch for and how to keep yourself in check. It’s about recognizing how our brains work, what motivates and drives us, what makes us tick. With that knowledge, we can gain power over our emotions, better understand our perspectives and have more control over our actions.

I have just finished reading the book Mastermind by Maria Konnikova. She talks about the two worlds within our brains that have a sort of Watson and Holmes divide. One is systematic and process driven, and the other is freer to think and be creative.

This is how our brains are wired, but most of us have a preferred place to live. I prefer the Holmes way of thinking, but I am mindful and aware that in order to be present and successful, I need to tap into my Watson side, especially when that way of thinking is required for me to function in my work and with my team.

For some of us, it can be difficult to stay mindful of how our ways of thinking — and the actions they drive — affect others. For others, it’s a breath of fresh air to view things without emotion, discarding our biases so we can see clearly and tap into our knowledge.

Holmes, in the book, is quoted as saying, “I confess my dear friends I am forever in your debt.” This is indeed how I live, forever learning from the people around me and going into every conversation with the thought, “What can I learn from you today? And how can I help you today?”

Going about with a sense of purpose to help others gives unprecedented rewards, and indeed I am forever in my friends’ (colleagues’ and clients’) debt for the knowledge I gain from them every minute of every day. It is a sad day when I cannot learn something from someone or something.

I see happiness as essential to the success of a Holmes and Watson-structured brain, and I think it’s this state that allows us to be at our best selves and spark that bit of understanding that leads to so many happy endings. It opens a window for those “ahh haaa” moments we all have in projects, stories, problems, situations where we suddenly have an idea of how to solve something, how to make things better. Our mind becomes sharp and everything becomes clear.

I believe that these moments happen when we are at our happiest, when we are loving what we’re doing and enjoying the team that’s helping us along the way. .

So in order to stay focused and be aware of the storyline unfolding in our lives, I think what’s needed is to create a Happy…..

… Ever After

… Ever Present

… Ever Mindful

… Ever Sharpened


Sarah James was ANZ lead for Authentic Leadership in DXC and an advocate for DXC’s Women in Leadership and STEM. Prior to leaving DXC in September 2017, Sarah founded the Empowering Future Leaders blog and was its primary author. With over 15 years of experience in the world of IT, Sarah’s specialty is spatial information and includes integration on projects as diverse as mapping volcanoes in Hawaii to delivering high-tech police vehicles.


  1. Great advice! I can relate to this completely. Thank you Sarah!

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