A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of traveling to Boulder, Colorado to meet with my partners at Copyblogger Media. As we do usually once a year, we find a tranquil place to spend a few days of vision casting and strategic planning.
The past two years have been a really exciting time for me as an entrepreneur, but they certainly haven’t been without cost — 16 hour days, late nights and overall just a lot of work.
While I wouldn’t trade my current situation in for the world, I did go into that meeting with a personal agenda that needed to be addressed.
I needed to be honest and share that I was feeling worn out and beat up. Tired of working so many hours and that something had to change or I was going to crash soon.
What I Really Needed That Morning
As I suspected, I wasn’t the only one from our team who felt the same way — so we came together and developed a plan to ensure that none of us would burn out.
On paper that sounded great, and I was really excited to move forward with it.
I woke up the last morning and decided to throw on my headphones and go trail running in Boulder Canyon. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I’m an avid runner and loves the outdoors.
I spent an hour and a half ascending the mountains and ran amidst some really awesome scenery. In that time, I disconnected with work and left it all behind.
I sucked the marrow out of life and lived deliberately, which is something that Henry David Thoreau has been encouraging us all to do for nearly 200 years.
What I Really Learned That Morning
Though I wasn’t surprised at how much I enjoyed my trail run that morning, there was one part of my experience that came rather unexpected to me.
I learned that with very little effort and a simple plan, I could spend some time away from work and find the energy I had been searching for.
It’s amazing how inspiring moments in nature can be — that spending time in the mountains and listening to the running streams for even 90 minutes could impact my life so much.
When I got back to my hotel, I shared with my other partners about my experience. That I had literally just spent some time being, and not doing.
What I Took Away From That Morning
It’s not practical for me to fly to Colorado every time I feel tired and want some emotional rest. While I’d love to live in a place like Boulder or Park City, it’s not in the cards for me.
But I did find out that I could escape from my work for a short period of time and come back revitalized — in other words, a better and more productive person.
There’s been a number of instances within the past two years where I’ve known how worn out I’ve been, but have failed to do anything about it.
I ran to the bridge, but for whatever reason, never crossed it.
Too many times in life we know what we should do, but fail to do it. We convince ourselves that we don’t have time, or that we’ll be set back if we cross the bridge.
Let me assure you that is a lie.
I can guarantee you that the hour and a half when I left work behind was an investment. I became much more productive by tenfold. A hundredfold. Maybe even a thousandfold.
A Personal Challenge for You
Today I am encouraging you to spend some time and figure out what your magical trail is.
What is your Boulder Canyon? What gives you the rest you need, or brings back the energy that you have been desperately looking for?
Feel free to share in the comments below.
And if you don’t have an answer, throw on some running shoes and find one.