Whether we are on vacation or a business trip, our schedules are full every minute of every day. Must do this.. must see that … we try to do it all. And at the end of our trip, have we accomplished what was on our long to-do lists, or do we lament over what did not get done? Unfortunately, I am in the latter camp more than I want to be. I spend so much time focused on the 'doing' that I overlook the 'enjoying'.
On a recent flight, I started a conversation with a gentleman sitting next to me. He was reading one of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, authored by my mentor Jack Canfield. This gentleman had just been to visit his 90-year old mother. He was upset that TSA had not allowed him to bring a jar of beets through security – a jar of beets made with love by his mother. He had recently lost his job and he struggled to pay for the airline ticket, but he really wanted to see his mother. He relayed how unworthy he had been feeling of late, and his confidence in finding work was very low.
Well into the conversation I began to have regrets about starting the conversation in the first place. I had a novel with me that I really wanted to get back to. I had work that I should be doing … and magazines to catch up on. But I felt that he needed someone to talk to so I continued to listen. The values that he was expressing in family, in his religion, in hope and trust, made me realize that I could learn a lot from this man. I began to relax and enjoy and learn from his conversation and decided that my novel could wait for another time.
I put aside that mental checklist that I carry around in my head that says I have to check off each item on my to-do list, and it felt very nice and freeing. The time in flight passed quickly. As I got off the plane, I was really pleased that I had been able to enjoy our conversation and felt that the guidance we offered each other would be valuable for a long time to come.
The point of this article is to let some enjoyment into each and every one of your travels; even business travels with full to-do lists. That enjoyment will be different for everyone. Some of the enjoyment is planned – some of it comes upon us unexpectedly as in the gentleman with the beets. It may be a full day of enjoyment or just a few minutes.
Your enjoyment may come from being with friends or from some precious moments spent alone. Be open to it, look for it, and start each day asking "What enjoyment am I going to experience today?" You may find that you will be able to tolerate more of the travel challenges when you focus on the enjoyment you experienced. So leave your to-do list and long list of travel complaints aside for a short time. Really feel the enjoyment that you were able to have a result of being fortunate to travel.