Surrender to Summer
Summertime…and the living is easy!
This year my beach vacation was utterly relaxing.
Having just returned home, I sit here lingering in the serenity of this wondrous feeling of chilling so completely.
I found rest and relaxation by looking at leadership goals in a new way. I made it a point to include big goals (discovering the power of surrender) and little goals (reading three mindless books at the beach this year).
I didn’t quite reach my goal of reading all three books during my vacation. Even though I finished the third book at home on Saturday, it still feels like a significant breakthrough to me.
It was such a delightful and positive experience.
I really could surrender to fantasy filled fiction. Versus being so focused on business goals, integrated social networking strategies, and leadership, mindfulness, and presence—which I am normally so passionate about—and almost consumed by at times.
And that little goal of reading held its significant power over me.
It started so simply for me. Walking into the nearby Barnes & Noble before I left and buying Summer Affair by Elin Hiledbrand with its gorgeous beach cover. Perfect.
Once I started reading, I became immersed in the fictional lives of dozens of people I didn’t know (nor needed to know) living on Nantucket Island. I was out of my normal routine. I was allowing myself the pleasure of mindless enjoyment and enriching exploration. I couldn’t wait to read each new chapter. What a complete joy to read.
Once finished with book one, I couldn’t wait to devour another. So I kept the momentum going and got a second book, Castaways, by the same author. Four couples, intertwined with each other at multiple levels and depths. Delicious.
I longed for more. So then there was book three, The Diary, by Eileen Goudge. Taking me back to a woman’s diary from the 1950’s, I read and became enchanted with the lead character Elizabeth’s will to seize what it was she TRULY wanted in life no matter what anyone else thought.
As I finished the third book tonight, even if after arriving back home in Allentown, Pennsylvania, I realized that setting that “little goal” to read a novel this vacation—one that could carry me away—had returned far more investment by week’s end than I had ever anticipated. I had in fact gotten so caught up in the literary momentum I ended up reading three books in quick succession. Who knew when I walked into that Barnes & Noble, how powerful that would be.
By focusing on fiction, I was allowed to refresh my love of reading for fun and build some reading “capital” for more serious reading throughout the year. I enhanced my leadership capabilities by imagining in a deeper way than I typically do. And most important, I catapulted myself completely out of my routine and launched myself vigorously into a new world of possibilities.
By enriching myself, I am now ready to create more success, more meaning, and more contribution—to help others to accomplish their leadership goals in service of themselves and others.
My vacation goals served me well. I get the sense that they will sustain me and my leadership for some time to come.