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Be fully alive! (Part 2: The How to)

October 19, 2012

“In order for your business to become fully alive, you must become fully alive inside it.” John Jantsch, The Commitment Engine p. 18

So yesterday I explored the importance of being fully alive inside our businesses and workplaces. Today I want to discover more of the how to come alive, be alive and stay alive in our various contexts.

In a word: Less

The first thing I often need in order to feel more alive inside my business is less of my business. We all need a break sometime. We all need systematic, regular breaks where we step aside from our businesses and get a different perspective. Where we lift our nose off the grindstone and look up, get a different view. I’m part of a coaching program that refers to these as “Free days” and they have elevated that simple concept to a life altering and beautiful extreme.

Free days are days we plan to nothing related to our businesses – including email and reading business related books and articles – for 24 hours. It is a day for rejuvenation. The word Rejuvenation descended from Latin and literally means “to be made young again.” So if you’re wondering what you would do if you take time away from your business think about those things that you did when you were younger that made you feel alive.

When I was young I used to hike in the woods behind our home for hours, climb trees, camp, ride my bike, ride my skateboard, jump ramps, and ride motorcycles. Basically anything that involved risk, speed and nature. So not surprisingly as an adult I still like to experience nature and sometimes I like to do that at high speeds. So I bought a Harley last year – pictured above. (And Charlie, if you’re reading, I definitely want to ride in November even if we have to bundle up a bit!)

This concept of free days though is hardly new. It finds roots deep in the Jewish scriptures in both the creation story (God rested on the 7th day) and in the 10 commandments (“Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.”) It has been a part of the faithful’s practice for millennium.

So, I try to take at least one free day a week and often two. I also schedule a full day away for solitude each month. And quarterly I take a few days away that are focused more on dreaming, planning and goal setting. All that is in addition to family vacations and regular holiday breaks. I haven’t always been able to have this. It has been a goal and something I’ve worked toward for years and only in past few years have been able to enjoy.

And here’s the pay off: By taking time to not focus on my business, I return to it different, more ready to fully engage it with fresh ideas and energy that infects everything and everyone I interact with.  

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