Co-authored by Erin G. Winston, founder of Jacob's Promise
What is your definition of a vacation?
The standard definition of a vacation is disconnecting from work to have fun and participate in recreational activities. Oftentimes it means traveling away from home for an extended period. According to the common definition, a vacation is an escape from the routine of life.
A vacation is actually a state of mind.
A vacation generally consists of recharging your mental batteries. Many are not fulfilled in their work environment because of a lack of inspiration and fulfillment -- therefore the vacation becomes an escape from reality. And disconnecting from your everyday reality allows you to be in a constant state of euphoria, experiencing amplified feelings of freedom, presence and relaxation.
Imagine yourself sitting at the edge of the ocean, feeling a gentle breeze blowing across your body, the sound of the waves hurtling towards you, and the crashing of cool water upon your feet. At that moment, there's no worry or concern -- there's only a state of being. Being on one accord with nature allows you to be fully present in the moment.
The goal is to carry that feeling back to your everyday environment to live a purposeful life.
Are you living, or merely existing?
Most live predictable lives where they are living to receive a reward. The reward often appears in the form of a paycheck, bonus or an anticipated day off. Anticipating external events locks you into a pattern of seeking extrinsic motivation. Constantly waiting results in longing, disempowerment, and powerless over your own happiness.
Live for the reward of living a fulfilled life. Create opportunities that allow you to express your uniqueness.
Being mindful is your key to constant euphoria.
Be mindful of your thoughts. What are you focused on? What are you excited about? What would you like to share with others? Recognizing your innermost desires will help you understand what fulfills you.
Take out a blank sheet of paper and draw three vertical columns:
- In the first column, list what excites you (i.e. rollerblading, watching movies, etc.).
- In the second column, list all your strengths (i.e. writing, cooking, etc.).
- In the final column, list all the ideal ways you'd like to make money (i.e. consulting, speaking, etc).
Look for commonalities. Your sweet spot is the intersection between the three columns.
Perform this exercise without thinking about financial responsibilities or everyday life. This survey is about uncovering your personal nirvana. What fulfills you is already internally planted. Extracting that information is a necessity to attain maximum clarity.
Once you discover that you hold the key to your own happiness, then you can begin to act in accordance with your own rules. In doing this, you should feel the same euphoria as you did when you imagined yourself lying on the beach.
Recognize the barriers that keep you from achieving fulfillment within yourself. What's important? Examine every aspect of your life; friendships, business affiliations, extra-curricular activities, etc.
Ultimately, what you'll find is that you are in your own way. You're holding on to distractions that aren't aligned with your highest self. Eliminate yourself as the barrier by releasing anything that's not aligned with your purpose.
At work --
Be productive, not busy. Pinpoint your most important tasks, and prioritize your day by completing those items first. We waste our time performing miniscule assignments to project the illusion of busyness. Meanwhile, our most difficult tasks are resting on our shoulders because we delay completing them. Delaying a task only forces us to carry it longer.
Get the burden off your shoulders. Procrastination is a sign of fear. Pour love into what you do. Bringing the vacation back to your everyday life is about seizing back your time. Finish burdensome tasks first to relinquish yourself of busyness and reclaim your time.
Rewrite the rules
Give yourself permission to rewrite any rules in your life that don't steer you along your path of fulfillment. It's also time to rewrite your relationship with time and money.
Many have internalized the fact they should work hard for money when the opposite holds true. You don't have to work hard for money. Instead, monetize your hobbies and skills from the items listed in the exercise above so money can flow to you freely.
A rule of thumb is to avoid trading your time for money. When you trade your time for money, the result is that you won't have enough of either. Time is our most valuable asset. Invest your time so it yields a return.
At work -- Prioritize and complete important tasks earlier in the day so you can use the remaining time for creative planning. Develop opportunities where your natural gifts and talents can be maximized in the workplace.
Make yourself an invaluable asset. Don't ask for permission, just do it. When you shift your mindset to a non-traditional way of thinking, you will learn to invest your time in activities that have the greatest return on investment, and will also surround yourself with people who inspire you to be the best version of yourself.
Your vacation doesn't have to end when you leave the beach. Make everyday your vacation by creating a life that fulfills you.
Cheers to your success.
Comment on what strategies you're using to turn your everyday life into a vacation.
** --- About the Authors --- **
Erin G. Winston is the founder of Jacob's Promise. She helps organizations develop holistic approaches to behavior modification, to guide people in reaching their maximum potential.
Jamilah Corbitt is the founder of JaiWiz. She is committed to helping people authentically connect with their ideal customers, and shares her knowledge through blogging, speaking, and workshops/seminars. Reach out to her directly on twitter @JamilahCorbitt.