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Published:September 29th, 2006 09:24 EST
Hey Mac, You deserve a break today!

Hey Mac, You deserve a break today!

By Simon Bailey (Mentor/Columnist)

Quiet Reflection…An Overdue Break!

The words of this famous advertisement still bounce around in my head more than 30 years after they first hit the airwaves, but not because I’m thinking about a Big Mac! We live in a world where we are connected 24/7. Someone always wants something from us. People can reach us anytime, anywhere, thanks to incredible advancements in technology. But is that necessarily a good thing?

Have you ever wished that the phone would stop ringing? Your PDA would malfunction? E-mail would go down for the day? The meetings that seem to multiply by the hour disappear? If so, then my friends, you need a break.

If you are addicted to your “crackberry,” you need a break so you can once again personally connect with people. If you get easily flustered because things don’t go the way you think they should, then you need a break so you can adjust your expectations. If you don’t like where you work or for whom you work, you need a break so you can decide your next course of action. If you haven’t called your friends in months because you’re too busy, then you need a break to re-evaluate your priorities. If you’re always working and have no playtime with your kids, then you deserve a break to make room for what’s truly important in life. If you’ve found online dating to be a bust, then give yourself a break and stop trying to find Mr. Right Now or Mrs. Right Now.

I know what you’re thinking…it’s easy for me to say, “Take a break,” but it’s not so easy to make it happen in a hyperbusy world. Of course it’s not easy, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it anyway!

I realize that the vast majority of you work in environments where it’s next to impossible to take an extended sabbatical. However, I challenge you to find a way to take the break you so desperately need and deserve. Don’t tell me you can’t find one weekend or one day (what a great way to use a vacation day) in a year’s time to get away. I simply don’t buy it.

Recently, a friend of mine invited my wife and me to his home in the Hamptons (New York) for rest and relaxation. The first day, I couldn’t sit still. I was up and down and all over the place. I’d forgotten what it was like to be by myself, with no one talking to me. Have you ever been alone with yourself and wanted to pick up the phone and call a ton of people just to connect with the outside world? Why? Be quiet for a change. Your spirit needs to be recharged, and your soul needs to breathe.

Just as you have to periodically find time to clean the clutter in your physical space, you must also take time to clean out the mental clutter. Carve out some time for quiet reflection. No laptop. No cell phone. No PDA. Quiet the internal chatter. You can’t reflect unless you stop all the noise.

Just sit and think. That’s it. Nothing fancy, nothing super deep or mystical. Just relax and breathe. In the dictionary, one definition for the word reflection is “_expression without words.” Simply put, think about what you are thinking with no need to explain why you believe or behave the way you do.

I would like to extend an invitation to you to unplug, disconnect, listen and learn…to find peace in the midst of chaos.

Here are some questions for you to ponder in your times of quiet reflection:

  • How are you investing your time and your energy?

  • Are you making a difference or adding value to the world around you – at work, in your family, in your relationships?

  • What makes you tick? What energizes you?

  • Are you focused on what’s most important to you?

  • Are you executing on what’s most important to you?

Yes, my friend, you deserve a break today. Go for it…dare to be alone. Take a drive in the country. Go to the arboretum or botanical gardens. Clear your head and relax. Now that I’ve physically been to the Hamptons, I intend to let my mind wander back there from time to time. My break was long overdue, and I can’t wait to take another.

Simon Says…Quiet time and reflection are the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

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