Last week I went away to the mountains. I flew from San Diego to Bozeman Montana to meet up with some friends at a ski resort called Big Sky. It was my first time in Montana and what a beautiful and peaceful place it is. The snow filled tranquil setting and the bonding and communicating with my friends at the highest level was exactly what I needed. This week I felt recharged and reinvigorated and “work” was less laborious. Its extremely evident that relaxation does in fact enhance your creativity so how can you replicate the recharge from a vacation like this in your daily life? It’s easier than you think.
Isn’t it obvious why we need breaks and periods of relaxation and reflection time, but yet so many of us don’t actually take those much needed breaks? So what happens when we don’t take these much needed personal time (lets call them mini vacations).
Let me start with a short story. A very good friend of mine who is very successful was the founder of a very well known company. He was not even 30 and he was making millions but also working 75+ hours per week.
His company went public and he proceeded to experience premature heart failure. Yeah sure he was “successful” but at what cost? He was actually going through a period of accelerated aging where his heart couldn’t handle the workload and his body began to shut down. Think about that, he was actually speeding up the rate at which he was aging. Life is already short enough, the last thing we need is to increase the rate at which we age. We are supposed to be doing the opposite.
Lets dig a little deeper. What happens when the heart gets unhealthy? Well, as you may know the heart pumped over a gallon of blood through your body hundreds of times a day. It delivers oxygen and eliminates toxins in your system. When your heart isn’t working properly you are not getting the oxygen you need and not eliminating the toxins from your body. You are in essence slowly dying. Morbid I know but I am trying to make a point.
When your brain doesn’t function well your efficiency Next, when your heart isn’t pumping oxygen properly your brain gets sloppy and sluggish. Your brain needs that good oxygen to function properly. When your brain doesn’t function well your efficiency goes down DRASTICALLY. You have to work two maybe three times as hard to get something done then you would if your brain and heart were working properly.
To take it even further, you begin to look older. Have you ever seen the rich fat man in the red BMW that Tim Ferriss was scared to turn into in Four Hour Work Week? Or better yet, do you have a friend that you perceive as successful yet he or she is aging rapidly before your eyes? I bet you do and maybe that person is you.
By not getting proper relaxation and reflection time you are creating a negative environment for growth and creativity. You may be extremely successful and you may have opportunities galore but your momentum won’t last as its not sustainable.
Am I preaching a little? Just a bit. Well I apologize if I was but the fact is I care for your well-being. This is a blog about living a happier more fulfilling life and having a healthy heart and brain would greatly help you to be happier and more fulfilled.
So now that we know that not getting your proper relaxation and reflection time is BAD and ultimately counterproductive to health, happiness, and fulfillment, what’s next? No its not that shotgun vacation where you unplug for 5 days and then come back freaking out about the 5 days worth of work you need to catch up on. It’s creating a new daily habit in which you can have relaxation and reflection and where you can rest your heart and brain.
Our goal here is long-term sustainability of your well-being combined with high productivity. I also want you to look and feel younger. You can be successful AND have great health and well-being, but like most things you have to work for it.
So what are some habits you can start doing to create your own personal “daily vacation?” To name a few; go for a walk, meditate, meet a friend every morning for coffee, sit in a café and write for 30 min, go to the beach or mountains to be inspired by nature, go to the gym, listen to an uplifting audiobook, go to a park and sit on a bench and just watch life, read to your kids, etc.
I would suggest the first thing you do is sit down and write 10 things you’d like to do on a daily basis that you would look forward too. Of those 10 things pick just one and implement it immediately. Don’t over do it as you most likely have some bad habits you need to break but it will take time. Make little steps everyday.
Then you can keep a journal and start tracking how you feel throughout the day. Write down how you feel when you wake up, how you are mid day, and what you feel like before bed. When you start implementing your “mini vacations” you will start to notice a pattern. The days you do your new routine you will start to notice better mood and more vitality. This will reinforce what you are doing.
As I said above I care for you! You can have success and be balanced. See where the exercise takes you above and see how you grow to enjoy your mini vacations. This is a lifetime practice and it will help you lead a longer, happier, more fulfilling, AND SUCCESSFUL life. Cheers!