Unplug on vacation

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unplugFor the first time in many years, we went on vacation and I unplugged myself from work. At first, I was not quite sure how I would cope with it, but then I took a leap of faith and went along.

The trip included 4 days of cruise time in which I went without the daily connection and interaction of LinkedIn, FB, Twitter and WordPress. In jeopardy was my blogging streak, because I did not have Internet connection, as I got preoccupied by all the activities on the cruise and before I knew it the day was over. The first five days of our vacation went by really fast.   When we left the boat, I was reminded that I went without all the great tools for 5 days. The interesting part is that I did not miss it at all.

Over the next few days, I stayed disconnected from work until someone reached out to me. I was engaged in work for 4 hours, but after that I was able to not look at my blackberry and did not login to work for the rest of the trip.   I found that at times it is best to be disconnected. It helps rest your mind and recharge your energy.

Regarding my blog, I was able to post my blog on Humility on Leadership on Sunday. I guess the streak continues. As I wait for my flight to return home, I decided to blog on this post. Unplugging is at times the best way to recharge. In these days of technology advancement, it is great to realize the blessing of being able to spend time with your family and not be bothered by the lack of connection to the outside world.

While I enjoyed being disconnected, I ran into a mother on the cruise that mentioned that her two teenage children were upset because there was no Facebook on the cruise. I felt bad for the children, however I think this is a perfect opportunity for them to learn the skill of socializing and exercise their verbal communication skills. Another mother gave in and paid for the wifi connection on the boat. We later ran into her and she was complaining that the children used up $89 of Internet in less than two days.

Overall I learned a valuable lesson of being disconnected. It gives me time to reflect and assess what’s going on with my life. It is bittersweet that I’m blogging in a waiting area at the Orlando International airport waiting for my flight. New experience always brings about new learning. I suggest you unplug on your next vacation.

 

Plan your career like planning your vacation

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travel plansIn the recent class that I taught on 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, I pointed out to the participants that while the 21 laws is a leadership program, the underpinning of the program is personal development.

The class participants were a cross section of individual contributors to mid-level managers.   My objective was to let them know that even if you don’t manage anyone right now, you still need to learn what it takes to be a leader. More importantly, that self-improvement is crucial to their future success.   What they do now will greatly affect their future.

When I taught the third session, I asked the participants by show of hands, how many created their ‘DO NOT DO LIST’.   I was surprised that less than 1/3 created their DO NOT DO LIST and created a plan of action on how to improve themselves. I then followed up with a question: How many hours do they spend planning their vacation? Their eyes lit up and I could see the excitement and enthusiasm.     On average, they spent 20 hours preparing for their vacation; that’s almost three days spent to plan a vacation, but they could not be motivated to create a plan to help improve themselves.

Canadian personal development expert, author, and public speaker, Brian Tracy, once said, “If you wish to achieve worthwhile things in your personal and career life, you must become a worthwhile person in your own self-development.”     Remember that you can only harvest something if you plant the seeds.   Everything takes time to grow and develop; without proper planning you will always be at the wrong time even in the right place.   Imagine being in the right place, but at the wrong time; it means that you don’t have what it takes to get the job done.

career directions

As I look back to that moment, I decided to reiterate the value of planning. I stressed the importance of planning for your future.   I asked them the question: Would the fear of failing now be greater than the fear of failing to achieve your dream? It is a question only they can answer.   Remember that regret is always in the end.

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