Mindfulness Speaker Dave Mochel visits Harpeth Hall

Mindfulness Speaker Dave Mochel visits Harpeth Hall

Dave Mochel is the founder of Applied Attention, a mindfulness consulting company that partners with businesses, schools, and individuals to bridge the gap between what matters most and how time and energy are used. According to Mochel, "The goal is to teach people how to consistently refocus on what is present, what is important, and what is effective."

Mochel presented at Harpeth Hall's April in-service faculty training, and he returned to campus at the end of September to speak to students at an all-school assembly, and to parents at an evening event in the Frances Bond Davis theatre.

Mochel advocates the practice of "Mindful Self-Regulation" and its power to transform your life.

True to form, he kicked off assembly by asking the room to stand up and participate in a mindfulness exercise to refocus on the present. He advises doing this "Mindful Self-Regulation" multiple times a day.


According to his website, www.appliedattention.com, Mindful Self-Regulation is a life skills practice based on the following principles:

  • You cannot control what shows up in life, but you do have a choice about where you put your attention and energy.
  • You are more capable than you think. This means that you have access to resources and abilities that your brain sometimes hides from you.
  • Everything you do is practice. The human brain is constantly rewiring itself to become more skilled at what you do repeatedly. This means that you need to be careful what you practice.

The benefits of Mindful Self-Regulation include:

  • A greater ability to focus attention and energy on what matters most
  • A more graceful and effective relationship to stress, anxiety, distraction, and setback
  • Deeper connection with others through clear, kind and assertive communication
  • Increased clarity of values, goals, and commitments

"This simple and powerful practice builds the fundamental skills necessary to embrace challenge, learn from others, and thrive in any circumstance," said Mochel.

Mochel talked about the brain and a human's capacity for survival and growth. "Your brain can view any situation as a problem or an opportunity. It also connects past behavior with survival," he said.


According to a very informal poll (I asked several people what resonated with them most about his presentation), some of the takeaways on "Practice" were impactful:

- Practice is what you do. Where you put your attention. Whatever you do, you are going to get better at it - good or bad.

- You get better at whatever you do repeatedly (practice). "You are always practicing something."

- He quoted Bruce Lee: "Under duress, we do not rise to our expectations - we fall to the level of our training."

Mochel encouraged us to practice being with "what is."

  • Focus on Purpose.
  • Practice what you seek.
  • Be of service to others, which is the most profound way to connect to others.

He also reminded us that discomfort is normal, and working with discomfort is a skill. Dave advised, "Don't be more comfortable with failure, instead accept the discomfort that comes with failure. Be grateful for the discomfort and learn from it."

We were thrilled to welcome Dave Mochel back to campus to share his meaningful experience, wisdom, and mindfulness practices with our community. Learn more at www.appliedattention.com.