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The Day Before Vacation

August 15, 2013

By the time you read this I’ll be in Barbados. I heading there on Tuesday with the family to celebrate my Dad’s 80th birthday and it’ll be the first time in a long time that we will all be together. However, I’m writing this the day before I leave simply because it’s my normal writing day. As I sat down to write this morning—with the intention of saying something of a completely different nature by the way—two things came to mind.

 

The first was Zig Ziglar, going on in his talk on the Qualities of Success about how productive you are on the day before your vacation. Et Voila, here I am, surely living proof! When I heard Zig discussing it I agreed with him but the point he was really making was that if you could be that productive every day you would be able to do more and be more in your life.

 

The second thing that struck me this morning was how much focus it takes to plan a vacation. I am talking about a good one, a really big and meaningful one, not one of those Friday morning “Hey honey, what do you say we check out the autumn colors this weekend?” kind of trips. For the one I am on now, we have a lot of people staying in the house we have rented so it’s been a ton of emails back and forth about what we are willing to pay for, discard, who will sleep where, cook, clean up and so on. But even if we were staying in a hotel it would be the research of where, what amenities were offered, making sure there were activities for all age groups, and maybe even what country we would like to be in.

 

Here’s my idea – plan your life as a vacation. Most people look forward to their vacations, wouldn’t it be nice to look forward to your life? Now it may be too daunting, and probably unrealistic, to plan for say sixty years or even twenty years in advance. Choose a time block that feels comfortable and one you can get excited about. We’ve been planning Dad’s birthday for just under a year.

 

As for being productive every day, well, to organize the vacation you know the steps: first you have to decide where you want to go. From there you can figure out where you are going to stay, who you will invite, and your budget. It’s the same in life. Where do you want to be a year from now? Who do you want in your life? And what kind of financial planning has to be in place to get there? It takes diligence to make sure things don’t fall through the cracks, constant checks to make certain you are still on track, and when things go wrong the flexibility to change or adjust your course. Always, of course, keeping your overall vision in view.

 

In the back of my mind, as usual, are those in chronic pain. Yet the truth is that no matter who you are, what difficulties you face, or disabilities you have, without a vision for your life and the daily, weekly and monthly plan reviews you will never go on vacation. Paulo Machado from Brazil is one of two surviving children who have spent their entire lives in a hospital. They were part of a group of 11 children admitted to Clinicas with cases of polio. Paulo, now aged of 45, is using his computer animation skills, and money raised online, toward creating a 3-D film. His roommate is a published author and paints holding the brush in her mouth.

 

Though it does take effort it’s not hard to create a vision or life for yourself and when you look at the process, as you would vacation planning, it can be fun too. It’s exciting to know where you are going and see life unfold as you work your plan to accomplish your dream.

 

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