Summer Vacations Make Us Stronger. Here’s Why.

Summer vacations make us stronger. Period. Why?

Let’s cut to the chase. In ten short days, you’ll have a summer to enjoy.

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Say that your goal numero uno this summer is landing a new gig (a new job, new client, etc.). Now let’s look at this goal in the context of the top three summer goals on your list:

  1. Land a new gig
  2. Visit the Taj Mahal

  3. Hang out with family at the beach for a week

We are tempted (in the wisdom of our modern society) to say that goals #2 and 3 are a distraction from goal #1. How can you play when you are supposed to be doing something more important? 

But if you look at the facts, visiting the Taj Mahal and finding a new gig have a lot in common.

How so? Each one requires you to envision, plan, execute and move out of your comfort zone in a big way.It’s not just the precious downtime of vacation that makes you stronger, it’s the mindset of creativity, openness, goal-setting and action. It’s also the stimulus and satisfaction that come from achieving what you set out to do.

Compare that to procrastinating at your desk, or letting your body leave the office while your brain stays virtually trapped there. How is that improving your mindset?

Even goal #3 of the beach, admittedly much less dramatic than a trip to the Taj Mahal, requires vision, planning and execution. It will also take you out of your comfort zone, unless you are fortunate to live at the shore or your business card currently reads “beach bum.” A trip to the beach requires focus and action, and it exposes you to a whole new set of information and challenges that you will never find at the office.
Hmmm, a day at the beach…. It’s not just hot sand and folding chairs. You may find something washed up on the shore that makes you say “what the heck is that?” And while your mind races through its catalog of information trying to make a match, the other problem you were looking to solve (your new gig) gets a hit in your brain, and your eureka moment arrives. You have figured out the missing piece to make real progress.

Compare again to procrastinating at your desk. No synapses firing wild. No catalog of information activated in your brain. Nope. Instead, the cycle is:

Guilt for not being productive. Boredom. More guilt. Repeat.

Maybe you can even make a new connection at the beach, someone who can answer the question of what that thing you saw actually is. (Eureka again?) And just maybe, in the way that fate and coincidence often play their hands, she might be exactly the right person to introduce you to the right person.

Need I mention this would not happen at your desk? Or if you miss the weird sea life thing and connection because you are mentally checked out?

Reframe summer: less guilt, more possibilities.

Stay in the moment. Vacation strong.

Anne Marie Segal is a business and career coach to attorneys, executives and entrepreneurs. 

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ABOUT ANNE MARIE SEGAL Anne Marie Segal, founder of Segal Coaching LLC, is a career and leadership coach, author and resume writer who guides attorneys, executives and entrepreneurs through career transitions, advancement, job interview preparation, leadership development and personal branding. A former finance and hedge fund attorney, Anne Marie has presented to the United Nations (ICTY/MICT), University of Chicago, United Way, Association of Corporate Counsel and National Resume Writers Association, among other organizations. She has published two career-related books: Master the Interview: A Guide for Working Professionals and Know Yourself, Grow Your Career: The Value Proposition Workbook, written on career and resume topics as a Forbes Coaches Council member at Forbes.com and been quoted on CNBC.com, Monster.com and other media outlets. You can learn more at AnneMarieSegal.com or visit her LinkedIn profile at linkedin.com/in/annemariesegal.

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