From the desk of Greg Giesen
Why is it that there never seems to be a good time, or enough time, to:
- Take a meaningful vacation
- Attend that Yoga class you’ve been talking about
- Add a day onto a business trip to see the sights
- Provide team building for your work group
- Sit by the fire and read a trashy novel
- Do personal growth work
- Hire a management/leadership coach
- Take time for yourself
What’s up with that?
Is the hustle and bustle of our lives so important that we neglect ourselves in the process? If that’s the case, then we’re being shortsighted and missing the big picture.
And yes, I’m talking about myself as well.
You see, I’m headed out to Hawaii for a vacation of a lifetime and I’m feeling a little guilty. I’m feeling guilty because the timing of this trip is not ideal given all the projects I’m currently involved with, not to mention that I’m right smack in the middle of revamping my business after fifteen years. Why, I’ve got deadlines to meet…people waiting for reports…web designers needing copy…marketing people looking for direction…clients seeking coaching…associates needing my time…friends wondering why I don’t communicate more…and a little Yorkie named Bailey complaining that I travel too much.
Clearly, it’s just not a good time.
Or is it?
Maybe the better question should be: Is there ever a good time?
Well, is there?
I can tell you that there are two possible answers to this question.
- The short-term (in the moment) answer will always be NO!
- The long-term (visionary) answer will always be YES!
What do I mean?
If we live our lives in a reactive-mode, then we have a tendency to define ourselves by what’s happening around us in the moment. This is what I mean by short-term. Because there will always be more work than we have time for; more fires to put out than we have fire hoses; more meetings and obligations to attend than we can possibly fit on our busy schedules…there will never be enough time or the right time to do anything for ourselves that’s outside of the rat race. That’s because we are the rat race.
When we choose to define ourselves by what’s happening around us, we allow the external environment to dictate who we are on a given day. When productivity is high and complications are minimal, we had a good day. When productivity is low and complications are overwhelming, we had a bad day…and the cycle continues.
I choose to think differently.
I prefer to take the long-term, proactive perspective about life. What this means is that I am committed to being a work-life balanced leader in all facets of my life. This means taking vacations, making time for family and friends, working out at the gym three-times per week, seeking out personal growth opportunities, and taking quality time for myself…even if I don’t have the time.
If I’m not at my best with clients, colleagues, friends and family, then I’m doing a disservice to them and to myself. Therefore, I need to take good care of myself so that I can serve the people in my life, both personally and professionally, at the highest level possible.
So it really doesn’t matter if it’s a good time or not. If you are committed to continuous growth and development, as I am, then you do it anyways. There will always be things that pop up in life and fires to put out. What’s non-negotiable is our commitment to ourselves.
This is what the Leading From Within program is all about. This is what the Zen Leadership Institute (my new company) will be focused on. And this is why I’m going to put work aside for a few days so I can fully enjoy being in Hawaii. No, it’s not a good time and I’m going anyways!