On Vacationing, Reflections from 2 weeks in Hawaii - Top 5
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I recently read a quote by Richard Branson that said something to the effect of "If you don’t come back with 2-5 new business ideas from your vacation - you're doing it wrong"
There is a lot of buzz around the companies that offer unlimited vacation and whether or not it actually works. In a lot of cases, employees find it challenging to understand how to maximize this great perk without giving the impression that they are abusing it, so they end up taking LESS vacation then before. In the US, it is widely reported that 54% of employees end the year with UNUSED paid time off that they are then unable to carry over to the next year.
It got me thinking, why is vacationing so important? Why is slowing down and stripping back life to it’s most simplistic form so crucial to our sustained performance at work, as parents, as partners, as people?
In my opinion, creating the space for less distraction, a new environment and surrounding yourself with people that replenish you - create small impactful shifts in your perspectives that send you back in to the world a little more grounded, focused and at peace with what matters most - to you.
Here’s what I am taking back with me, in no particular order, top 5:
Drink coffee IN. I mean sit down. Drink my coffee. No laptop, no phone, no driving, no rushing. Just sit. Look people in the eye. Chat. Converse. Connect.
Morning beach walks, this is my version of Meditation. Being quietly alone for 20 minutes in the morning undisturbed sets me up to respond vs react to whatever comes at me during the day. I’ve learnt some insane lessons on responding vs reacting over the past 18 months and being on vacation didn’t stop those moments from coming at me. I see the power in sleeping on it, taking a breath, going for a walk, letting go, forgiveness, patience and trusting that things are as they are meant to be. Giving myself time to respond from a place of love (even when it hurts) VS reacting from a place of fear (to protect my ego) ensures there is more peace and love in the world. (and yes, I believe that one person can make a difference).
Connection - Slowing right down, doing one thing at a time. Listening to my sons speak. Really listening. Asking my Mum questions about her life and soaking up all her warmth and wisdom. Watching my dad play endlessly with my sons, holding hands with my sister, breathing in Samuel when he crawls into my lap, holding Jack when he cried and cried after slipping by the pool.
The beauty of Maui is that there is nothing to do! Wake up, beach, swim, relax, eat, beach, relax, eat, swim, swim again. There were so many times during the day when I felt the pull of ‘you ought to be doing something! You are wasting time! You should be at least researching or reading up on something!’ And I let it go, over and over again.
Work - I let myself work in the mornings for an hour after my beach walk and breakfast. Why? Because I fuckin love it.
Ocean Swims - Being in the ocean has got to be the ultimate feeling of being completely and utterly in the moment. No watches, no phones, nowhere to be. Complete surrender. You are at the mercy of the ocean - vast, unpredictable, stormy, calm, peaceful. Time does not exist, and when you are in a magical place like Hawaii, a sea turtle will cruise by every now and then to say hey and remind you that you are not alone. Bliss.
Oh and the ideas, the ideas are flowing.
Musings by: Tess Sloane, Talent Lab