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The Fine Art of Relaxing

I have been writing this blog for more than three years now, the first blog entry was in January 2006. In that time I have posted 710 entries of which more than 440 have some relation to personal development ... I guess you could be forgiven for suggesting that I'm pretty opinionated on the subject!

It is important to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses, and often when I write a blog entry it is based upon research or some article that I have read. I try to add my own perspective or throw in some of my experience and make the entry more personal. It does not however mean that I am an expert on the subject ... or even any good at it!

One of the things that I am really bad at ... is relaxing!

I am acutely aware that I am writing this entry on a Sunday morning at the office ... which I have been doing ever since we started the company back in 1996.

When people ask me what I do for relaxation I talk about my motorbike; I used to mention soccer but now I have accepted it is a thing of the past and talk about my exercise regime; I also talk about reading.

The reality is that I SUCK at relaxing!

The demands of running a business are pretty significant, and switching off that little voice reminding me of the "tasks", commitments and issues of the business just doesn't go away easily.

I try the techniques ... make lists so the brain doesn't need to focus on them. That's nice but you can't make lists that address the unknowns of the economy, of major client changes, legislative issues or our changing world.

I try to take my own advice ... worry about the things you can change, let the other stuff go! I'm pretty good at that most of the time, but sometimes there are just so many "balls in the air" it is nearly impossible to forget about the "issues".

I take up hobbies ... but business travel, or work priorities tend to get in the way.

I can look up relaxation on Google and find a ton of hits, a definition on Wikipedia, a reference to spas and getaways, some references to yoga ... on and on. I've tried spas, done yoga and they don't work for me.

So is there an alternative to relaxing? For me, it has to be taking my mind off work, which means it needs to be something that fits into my schedule, needs to be active enough that my mind needs to focus on it, rather than wander ... and here I am back to the motorbike, exercise and reading a good novel!

Riding the bike required TOTAL concentration ... most road users really don't SEE bikes, bikes can accelerate quickly INTO or OUT OF trouble, so a wandering mind is not going to work.

Exercising vigorously is a great way to focus the mind on a goal ... that is not necessarily business related. It makes me feel physically good, releases endorphins and allows me some grace from work.

I enjoy reading a good novel, but rarely find a time when I can do that ... other than on vacation. So maybe I need to vacation more!

As I get older I can really relate to the hobbies people have that help then to relax ... activities that I may well have "dissed" in the past do make sense, I just haven't reached the point where I think they will work for me. I can't see myself pottering about the "garden", or golfing or collecting stamps ... but I CAN see why other people like those things.

I guess I'll find my answers, but meanwhile ... back to work!