That’s Idea #1, and a novel one for a vacation. If you’re anything like I was–driving relentlessly with work–I would actually get physically sick when I finally (infrequently) got away with my family for a few days. A cold. The flu. It’s clear that was my body saying “Enough.”
So maybe, before we get to the vacation part of this blog, you should look at your work life–your stresses, worries, the frenzies to perform. Even if you’re not a maniac like I was, we carry emotions in our bodies, and they can cause us to get sick. That’s my gentle nudge to care for your health this summer.
An Active Vacation
Back to vacation…if you have kids with you, your vacation will be active, which can be fun! Just reserve a little bit of time for you. Wake up earlier than the family with a cup of coffee, and a little time to meditate. Take a walk on the beach, where you can daydream. Grab a moment at night to gaze up at the sea of stars.
And importantly, unplug from your job!
I had a client named Barry, who ran the New York City market and managed hundreds of employees. When he would take vacation–often for two weeks—he would put an Out of Office message on his email. He never checked. I asked him over lunch one day about the stresses of coming back to all those emails, and he surprised me. “I delete them,” he said. “If they’re important, the person will circle back to me.”
I never had enough courage for that, but maybe you will.
P.S. He never got fired.
A Quiet Vacation
Now let’s say you’re taking a vacation without lots of family, perhaps just you and a partner. Being away from the familiarity of home affords you new perspectives and new insights. A couple of years ago, I traveled to Rome for a conference, and had some time on my own for a few days before meeting up with colleagues. As I toured by myself, I found the Vatican impressive, sure, but the most joy I got was from watching a few young boys play soccer out my inn window each morning. There was something about their innocence and pure joy that was enchanting. And it occurred to me: I hadn’t felt pure joy in some time.
Reset, Idea #2.
We are many people, with multiple talents. By the Rome trip, I’d helped to start up media businesses, was a COO, had written books, and was actively speaking. But the moments of fun and joy had dimmed. Where I did find them was at universities, where I spoke and met with college students. Their views on life and the world were endlessly fascinating to me. So, I ended up doing a reset, and wrote a book for them instead of my typical career leadership books.
John Mark Comer, author of The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry (an easy and helpful read btw) wrote about how we don’t allow ourselves moments to slow our relentless pace. “Hurry is a form of violence to the soul,” he wrote. When we’re lucky enough to slow down, and to reflect on our lives, ask this question:
“Who am I becoming?” As a worker, a friend, a human being?
I’m sure you’re becoming someone even more wonderful than you are today, growing your talents, and growing your heart. But you may have also lost passion for your work, and if you’re brave, you’ll begin a new plan for a reset.
Rest allows us to find what’s hidden in us, what new thing may be calling. The spark inside that can fuel a whole new career, possibly a whole new life. We carry a constellation of talents within us. Be sure to offer every single one of them to the world.