Spring is often when we start making plans for summer vacation. I find that many clients find themselves visiting the same place, same house, same street, year after year. Although I do see the appeal in this trend, as it can be familiar and comforting, it often stands in the way of the exploratory opportunity that vacation time offers. I try to push clients to ask themselves some important questions to get them to think out of the box and try something new:
1. Why are you going back?
2. What else would you want to see, or do?
3. What fears are holding you back?
4. How does the rest of your family feel about change?
So often we are hit in life with changes, both unexpected and expected. The book Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson is always on the New York Times bestseller list because the vast majority of us don’t like change. Individuals that fall into this category find that they have a harder time with work/life balance in their companies because they have virtually stopped growing.
Life is about exploring, creating new opportunities and experiences, and in part, about scaring yourself. Take a good look at your everyday habits. Do you eat the same things for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day? Do you see the same type of movies? Have the same friends, or look for identical qualities in new friends? Are your opinions set in stone?
While I realize it may seem far-reaching to equate where you go on summer vacation to willingness to change, I see a distinct pattern in this vein with the clients that I coach on work/life balance. When I make suggestions, their gut reaction is to explain why this doesn't apply to them, or won't work in their case. If we don’t shake it up, then we never know what else we are capable of or what else life has to offer.
Wendy Kaufman is the President and Founder of Balancing Life’s Issues, a national corporate training company. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.