As you may know, I have recently been on a longer trip to Southeast Asia where I have worked as a consultant. The consultancy assignment was a part of my company 2StrongArms (recently registered) and is in line with my previous work experience since before I set up the brand Ultreia-X. What I want to focus on today is an insight I gained from this experience; the nature of context and its innate power. In short, whom and what you surround yourself with greatly influences you, and vice versa. During the trip which lasted for about a month and a half, I had to temporarily leave some of my projects and sub-projects and prioritise other areas and so step out of a set context, into another.
One of my prime concerns before leaving Sweden was that I would somehow fall behind in reaching my goals and getting out of context. I have had this feeling before. Essentially it is a sort of fear or losing something or not meeting up to your own ambition. It reminds me of a couple of years ago when I started to do cross-country skiing. The skies were brand new and there was lots of snow around. Usually I went to a golf course which lay here in Gothenburg, going around it for a couple of laps. At the end of my training sessions I often felt that I wanted to go yet another lap. But most often, I decided not to. I wanted to keep the urge, the desire for the following day. I felt that if I went again, I would eventually drain myself of my urge and perhaps lose my interest. I wanted to stop the skiing sessions feeling that my energy and interest was at its hight. Essentially to stop, while on top. Travelling to Asia I had a similar feeling, that perhaps I would get out of context and my familiar surroundings and lose the urge of it all, making it hard to come back. While skiing I was afraid of doing too much, in Asia I was afraid of working with my projects to little. Both circumstances relates well to urge, desire, and ambition. At times its like Im afraid of just happening to “give up“, if the external circumstances gets too tough or out of context.
Yet, here I am. Back from Asia and working at full capacity again, and I feel highly inspired. Hence, something has happened. The insight I have received is the following; at times it can be quite good and beneficial to leave whatever you are doing. When working with any project and you find yourself in the midst of it, it can be difficult to get a broader view of the same project, and where you are heading. In such a situation its always good to take local breaks and do other things, for instance go training. But a times it can also be highly rewarding to physically leave the area where you located entirely. Leaving whatever you are doing doesn’t relate specifically to your projects and the quality of these. I believe this act is more of a general principle to be uphold at times. Work on your projects, work on your training and your goals. But at times, lift your eyes, try something new, go somewhere, learn something. When you come back you will have more energy, more focus, and perhaps you will even spot issues with your plans and projects, things you were not aware of before but which you can fix now. Perhaps leaving a project for a while and then coming back to it can be seen as a quality assurance tool.
I got even more interested in this idea of leaving your current life situation when I heard of Bill Gate’s “Think Week” (Wall Street Journal), where he, twice a year goes somewhere into seclusion just to ponder and strategize, without the influence of his surroundings. In this scenario though, you actually focus on your projects rather than leave them completely. Yet what you do is to limit your connection with your ordinary daily life, such as comments, information flows and online presence. In my experience and during this trip, while enjoying some vacation days on Bali, Indonesia this is to a great extent what ended up happening. At the end of it I spent hours thinking about the company 2StrongArms, and the brands Ultreia-X and IcelandbyWheels, where I wanted to take it all and how I wanted to do it. Not thinking about these things at all was actually hard and at the end of the day, not really in my interest. In a lifestyle where I search for a way of living where I do not need vacation, it would be contradictory to not work on my projects at all while on vacation. The point I want to make here is the usefulness of physically and mentally leave your projects and routines and go somewhere to try something new. At the same time, this new context which you put yourself in will most likely be very fruitful for new ideas and insights into where you want to take your business and personal development. These are areas, which you can work with when you come back to your previous life, as you left it. As always there is a balance to be found here. For a moment, focus on other things in life. It will just improve whatever you are doing back home.
Thanks for reading,
As always comments are appreciated below,