Some of you may have noticed that there was no Insider List at the end of June- and for those who have been with us for awhile, you probably figured out that it meant I was on vacation, since this is the 3rd year in a row I’ve taken a June vacation-related hiatus from the Insider List.
It was great to unplug for 10 days or so, and I’m getting better at doing it. But I have to confess, I still felt a bit guilty not writing the communications I’ve committed to writing on an ongoing basis: the Insider List, the Forbes blog posts, the Erika Andersen blog posts, and my weekly emails to the Proteus team. Nothing bad happened as a result of not doing that writing, and I truly believe it’s important to take complete breaks from work — even work you love. But still…I noticed I wasn’t completely OK with it.
Fully Doing: Fully Not Doing…
Based on dozens or perhaps hundreds of conversations I’ve had over the years with colleagues, clients and family members, I know that this is a pretty common problem. We tend to think about vacations when we’re working; we tend to think about working when we’re on vacation. We think about family and friends when we’re with our colleagues; we sometimes think about colleagues when we’re with family and friends.
And the problem with this is that when we’re not 100% present in any given moment, everything suffers: our experience, our results, our relationships.
To get a sense of this, think about a moment in the recent past when you were fully engaged and present. Perhaps it was a moment playing with one of your kids, when everything else fell away and it was just the two of you having fun. Or maybe a discussion at work where your brain was on fire, you and your colleagues were coming up with great stuff and you completely lost track of the time. Or it could have been a solitary moment at the end of a day, sitting and looking out a window; relaxed, a little tired, but just enjoying taking in a beautiful view.
Think about how you felt in that moment — physically, mentally, emotionally.
I can’t speak for you, but I know how I feel in those moments of being completely present: aware, open, full of potential; as though the best of me is more accessible. Wonderful experiences can find me when I’m present: I’m here to be found. I do my best thinking; get my best results; provide best support for my most important relationships when I’m all here.
So, my commitment to myself (and this is a lifelong commitment — vacations are simply a demonstration to me of how much I need to keep re-committing to this) moment to moment, is:
I’ll see you there…