I spent a lot of last month on a holiday. One of those where you get a beach and sunshine and do everything in your eating and drinking power to guarantee the onset of gout. It was one of those charmed periods of life where everything went smoothly, all of my choices were good ones, I barely saw a cloud and set a new world record for the number of Pina Coladas drunk in a 10 day period.
I can feel your hate building. The level of it will depend on your distance from your last/next holiday and your proximity to some drizzle. Don't worry the purpose of this blog isn't to continually push the excellence of my holiday in your face...though the beachside barbecue was outstanding...sorry, done now.
I'm telling you about my holiday because there's a particular 'state' that many people get into on vacation. Sadly this doesn't apply to everyone (if you take a BlackBerry and constantly check your business hasn't collapsed in the 72 hours you've been away from it then I'm not including you) but for many people there is an absence of deadlines and agendas. In their place comes relaxation, exuberance and joy. In my own case I start moving much slower and lying down more with the exceptions of the times I run and jump on the bed or dive bomb in the pool.
In short most people's 'holiday state' is happy. In this state the chances of someone losing their temper because they're bumped into, their drink is spilled or some transport is a few minutes late are pretty slim.
My contention is that this is the natural state we were all born to be in. I'm not talking about swinging your arms in the air to an out of time tambourine and proclaiming love for the universe. But I am talking about a natural level of contentment, acceptance, relaxation and joy.
When not in their holiday state most people in modern society become unrecognizable. Quick to temper, frustrated, unhappy and constantly focusing on what they don't have...perhaps you know some.
This is unnatural - the way we're supposed to be is the 'holiday' or 'content' state not the way many of us are much of the time. The pressures of modern life - often self-imposed and often given undue focus by us - produce a joyless, malcontent state. Our time is taken up thinking about what could go wrong, what is going wrong and what other people have that we don't. As soon as someone is taken out of this atmosphere they revert to their natural state.
If you want proof of how we're naturally supposed to be there are thousands of examples in modern society...they're called children. Watch one of them sometime soon they constantly ask the question 'what fun thing can we do now' or 'what game is next'.
The truth is you can be in a holiday state without being on holiday - it's not the beach and sunshine that does it it's a decision by you.
It turns out the old clichés are true ...'focus on what you've got not what you haven't'...'count your blessings'...and '12 Pina Coladas is 9 too many'
I know this is easy to dismiss under the weight of the problems you have today but do me a favour...next time you're at home run and jump on your bed. I guarantee you 2 things you'll smile and laugh and you'll wonder why you ever stopped doing it.
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