Ok, so when I started on this journey of finding my purpose things were easy. You know, read a book, smile more, write lists of stuff that I want, visualize, focus, meditate and so on. Then came those real life moments where you have to deal with the stuff that isn’t in the books. You know the BS of life. The stuff that can make you depressed, angry, mad, sad and question if you will ever make it to even one part of your desired destination.
Honestly I hit a wall. Things are going great and we are poised to have a better year than I ever imagined I could have in my life (unless you count the dreams on my “lists”) but somehow I was a grump. Life’s little dings had taken hold and made a large dent. I couldn’t read anymore advice, quotes had lost meaning, good things were hard to focus on, bad things were easy to make “super bad,” people annoyed me, I annoyed myself and so on. What to do?
Well, I was reading a book that basically said “book a trip.” The advice was telling me to get away from it all and really let the batteries recharge. Leave the phone, emails, calls, and internet requests behind for a week and just go. Like most of the self-help strategies I have used, this one seemed to annoy me the most. I mean damn, we hadn’t made the money yet. We still have contracts pending I have rent to pay, my kid needs shoes, I gotta keep working and pushing.
Then I thought, when have I ever taken a vacation where it was about discovery and not recovery? This book suggested taking the week to discover more about myself, not just recover. It was an interesting perspective. The book suggested you take a trip to a place you have always wanted to go…for me that would be Greece. Well, according to my budget and life’s reality I couldn’t do that so I hit up priceline.com and went for the 3.5 star hotel option in Orlando. We got a great rate for three days (remember the book said a week) so we took off on Sunday morning.
Sunday was like the past five Sundays…me barking away at the family. The good thing was my phone was off, so no emails or internet to distract me as I fumed at the family’s mistakes. The results were exactly what the doctor ordered.
The goal was to head back Wednesday all ready to get back into the swing of things but something happened on Monday. I knew that I didn’t spend enough time discovering. I realized that I was just check listing my life again. You know, hey yeah we took a vacation…check. After, a phone call that annoyed me I realized I needed to take the book’s advice and add a day. So I did. That was the best decision I have made in a while.
After a hectic run around Sea World on Monday, my mind started to open back up to “why I am following my passion.” I was able to look at my business with hopeful eyes and remember why I am going in this direction. I was able to remember why I left my teaching job to become an event photographer. I could see all the things that I couldn’t before. My family made me smile again. My wife was awesome again. My son was cool again. I wasn’t so chippy again. I was happy that we are expecting a daughter in October. I was happy to take my son on a long walk around the hotel so my wife could just chill. I was happy to tip the waitress, bellhop, and other kind helpers at our awesome hotel. I was living. I was enjoying my life.
I realized a few additional things. I have made some good choices even though they were hard to make. There are good people out there and the world isn’t all bad. My business is important to me. My family is important and a cool bunch of people. My sister is cool. My brother is cool. My parents are cool. And everyone should be able to enjoy the life path they decide to follow, including me. We don’t all have to chase riches if we don’t want to. Our path is our path. Ahh so refreshing.
Being back I am in a better mood. I realize that being a super doer/ hero for the last two years of my business has hurt me mentally. I made the mistake of trying to carry everyone then complain when they didn’t pull their weight. I am human also.
I now know that breaks are important. One must have discovery breaks in order to continue to move forward. I will work to add this strategy to the life of my family at least once a year. I hope you get to the point where you need this message…taking a week, shutting off the phone and the world will be an amazing renewal. I honestly believe it is necessary to become a better you.
Thanks to Daniel Priestley author of Become a Key Person of Influence for the great advice.