I’ve just returned from a week in Cape Cod with my sister, niece and nephew and our two dogs. We kayaked, sailed, swam, ate lobster, slurped clam chowder, laughed a lot and I read four fiction books that had nothing to do with self improvement or careers.
I stayed away from Twitter, Facebook, emails + my computer and unintentionally, TV. I didn’t think about my business or my finances or much of anything other than whether my beach towel was dry and where my flip flops were. Once or twice this dark thought flitted across my brain, “How serious can I be about my business if I can so completely let go?”
Now that I’m back home, I know the answer and it’s, “I can be very serious about my business because I can completely let go.”
I have unearthed a well of motivation and energy that escaped me for the entire summer until now.
So, body surfing and kayaking helped my business by giving me back my mojo.
Before I went away, I had been working on some projects, or better said, thinking about working on some projects. I knew what I had to do, but I couldn’t get out of my own way. It worried me. Where did my motivation go? How did my satisfaction quotient get so low?
Fortunately, I’ve learned that being uncomfortable usually means a shift is happening so I didn’t beat myself up like I have been prone to do in the past (and have discovered my clients do too). Instead I trusted that something would happen. I wasn’t sure what it would be, but I kept moving forward. I focused on my clients, and I looked forward to my vacation.
A Creative Director that I worked with told me that he gets his best ideas when he’s not “at work.” He said that he has to allow time to think about other things entirely — that could be looking for shells, fishing, snowboarding or climbing the Eiffel Tower. I thought of him when I doubted myself for that moment.
Everyone has different energy levels and ways of working. I also don’t believe it’s time for me to chuck it all and live at the beach selling bracelets. I love what I do so I’m lucky that way.
But even when you love your work, you still need time to replenish your energy, creativity and satisfaction quotient.
For me that meant getting off the internet entirely. For someone else it might mean using it differently. But we all need a change of pace and a break from our busy minds.
In fact, I often suggest to my clients who are looking for what’s next in their lives to allow themselves time each day to not think about it. It seems so simple, but it can be tough when you’re uncomfortable in the “not knowing.”
So next time you find yourself wondering if you’ll ever figure out what’s next, let yourself forget about it for a little while.
I’d also love to hear what you do to get inspired or recharged.