Travel is just one of those things that I still get a thrill from. Well, either it’s excitement or OCD, but for one reason or another, leading up the time before I head out of town, I am the most efficient and effective person in the room. Granted, it’s a small room but my point is if I am going away for a few days I crank it out and wipe the slate clean before I head anywhere. Fabricators often perform their best when they are busy and I’m the same. If they slow down a little or speed up too fast, defects happen. There is that sweet spot where they are firing on all cylinders. It doesn’t matter if it’s a business or pleasure trip. It doesn’t even need to be a long trip or include a flight. I’d argue that preparing for travel puts me in that sweet spot and not only improves my efficiency but also improves my creativity.
This past June my family and I finally got to make Costa Rica happen after a COVID cancellation. Everything went off without a hitch and I absolutely recommend visiting. However, counting down to departure, like the good old days, I got wired for sound and my superpowers really honed in. I had happy memories of handwritten notes when I was a greenhorn rookie getting ready to go backpack Southeast Asia. The countdown of tasks that need to be done before I can stop working and leave town with a clear conscience. It’s how to do a month’s worth of work in two weeks. It’s about being productive. It’s about momentum.
Momentum affects all aspects of life including work, school, relationships, home, parenting and spirit. Darren Hardy writes about momentum in his book The Compound Effect. He calls it Big Mo. It’s momentum that accelerates success. Momentum comes from making small, incremental, smart decisions over time that compound into a tremendous force driving one towards the desired outcome. Momentum is about staying consistent with your goals and not becoming overwhelmed or discouraged by setbacks. Setbacks are an opportunity to learn and adjust, leading to more successful outcomes in the future. When we take action every day towards our goal, even if it’s just a small step forward, the compounding effect of those actions can create a powerful force helping to propel us towards our intended destination. Hardy compares it to the momentum of a locomotive train. It’s slow to get started but once it gets going, there’s almost nothing that can stop it, if you keep adding fuel to the furnace. Which is why I fidget and can’t sleep on the plane. I’m coming down from hustling a million miles an hour leading up to the flight. My locomotive is still full of steam.
Costa Rica is beyond beautiful, and the Ticos are some of the friendliest people anywhere. After a few days of decompressing, like most holidays, I started to slow down. I started to chill. My body clock adjusted, and I was able to sleep in. Tranquility manifested and my blood pressure normalized. Life began. Momentum stopped.
And then the opposite happens. Back to reality. Time to re-start that locomotive up from a nearly dead stop. Honestly, I felt like I had an anchor tied to my ass for two full days. I love my work, however coming back from a trip can be tough and it’s 100 percent momentum. I stopped stoking the fire and let the momentum stall. It takes time to decompress. It also takes time and energy to build up enough steam to start driving the locomotive back down the track again. A week later, I’ve caught up, am back in the rhythm and am pounding it out again. Momentum is building.
It was worth it. You only live once and time off is critical. If I won the lottery, I seriously don’t think I’d retire but perhaps search out the perfect work/life balance. After my dad and dog passed last year combined with two and a half years of lockdowns my wife and I are consciously re-embracing our love for travel, and we’re dragging the boy with us. It rejuvenates the soul. Momentum creates an insatiable appetite for details and the ability to stay focused on goals, making the impossible possible.
Rich Porayko is business development director for Fenestration Canada Commercial
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