I’ve just come back from a two week cruise in the Caribbean. I’m the first to admit that in day to day life I find it difficult to switch off so when I was faced with the prospect of fourteen days on a ship with limited internet access I wasn’t sure how I would fair. Would I end up with cabin fever or would I relish the disconnection of life on the ocean waves? To my surprise it was the latter. I found the physical distance from the office and the headspace of an enforced digital detox really therapeutic. Sure I thought about work from time to time but I also had an opportunity to reflect on life in general and to spend some time observing some of my fellow members of the human race. Here’s what I learned from two weeks on the high seas:
Being truly present isn’t easy but it’s worth the effort.
It costs nothing to say thank you.
Emails can wait.
Black sand gets very hot.
You only get to teach your child to swim once.
A banana tree only produces one bunch of bananas in it’s lifetime.
Happiness is a choice. So is anger.
It takes 2-3 cocoa pods to make a 100g bar of chocolate.
Age is a state of mind.
Your imagination can take you to places that your feet can’t.
Not carrying a mobile phone is liberating.
Anyone can dance. Everyone should.
50% of Britons are Vitamin D deficient.
Politeness unlocks doors.
Health is much more important than wealth.
Aruba’s 50cent coin is square.
Positivity is contagious.
Singing is good for your soul.
8 hours sleep can be life changing.
Your Facebook newsfeed isn’t news.
Being is more important than doing.
I don’t share this list with you because it is particularly profound - these are merely my personal realisations and musings from two weeks spent with family. I share this list with you because I think we often let our learning pass us by. We process much of our life on an unconscious level and the act of bringing our thoughts into consciousness allows us to focus the lens on the sort of person we want to be and the impact we want to have in the world. Next time you get the opportunity to take some time out I challenge you not to switch off completely. Instead work to be an active participant in your down time and to observe what is going on around you. Who knows what you will learn about yourself and others. I promise you that you won’t regret it.