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May 18, 2004



It always amazes me how different surroundings affect my thoughts. We leave for Greece for 10 days tomorow. What I am thinking about for this vacation is the difference between retreat and vacation. I have alot of things to think about (start new business, job change etc.) and I could carve out some time while in Greece to think through some things. However part of me says relax and come back rested and ready to focus new energy on these issues when I come back. What is your experience in this area?
Thanks for the description of The Sound (being from Victoria it was a slice of home - currently in London).

Curt Rosengren

Nick, last year I took my first vacation in two years that was longer than a long weekend. Needless to say, it was needed. I had a project that I was working on, and knew that often that change of scenery can work wonders, but at the same time I knew I really needed some downtime.

My solution? I brought the files for the project I was working on with me, and gave myself permission to not even touch them the entire time if I didn't feel like it. They were only there in case the inspiration struck.

At one point early on, I found myself reaching for the files almost automatically. I stopped myself and asked, do I really feel inspired to work on this? I realized I was reaching for it more from a sense of obligation. I put it away and didn't touch it the rest of the vacation. But it felt good knowing it was there for me if I wanted it.


Curt, you are so right about how a change in location can shake things loose. Sometimes a simple walk around the block can have a similar effect. (I, like many people, tend to do my best thinking while walking -- and in the shower!)

It is unfortunate that many of us who are "employees" are essentially chained to our desks. Most work environments (in my experience) don't allow for the kind of flexibility you describe. That's really too bad, because when you chain your employees to their desks, everybody loses.

Nick, it seems to me that you can both "think through some things" AND relax. I suggest you set aside a few days of your vacation just that purpose. Find a nice quiet place by the sea where you won't be distracted by attractions and activities and just chill out. As you relax, you'll find it will be easy to start addressing some of your questions.

I did that in Mexico a few years ago. I went to a beach cabana place in Tulum expecting to stay for four days and then move on. I ended up staying for ten days and barely left my hammock. It was wonderful! I relaxed, ate, rested, swam, read, and did a lot of thinking.


Excellent advice from both of you. I am going to bring my journal along and see what comes up...If it is nothing then I won't force it. I will let you know how it turns out. Love the blog Curt.

lori richardson

Yes, I've always talked to sales teams about getting out of their "homeostasis" - (AKA comfortable surroundings) and shake things up a bit - one of the biggest sales deals I closed happened after I went to a museum - and got my "AHA" moment while looking at some beautiful, handmade quilts. Got a new idea which closed the deal. I truly don't think I would have had that idea had I not gone there that day.

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