Take a break and pursue your passion. It’s good for business.

Take a break and pursue your passion. It’s good for business.

I’ve been on holidays. A three-week holiday in fact. For the most part I didn’t try and check in with the office, keep tabs on email or maintain a blog.  Because what I really needed above all else was a proper break. Sure I spent the best part of three months preparing things for my departure, tying things up and handing things over … but guess what … it was worth it.

Paragliding is one of my passions and one that I have somewhat neglected since the arrival of young Tom 627 days ago. But on this trip I managed a handful of really good days flying, amongst stunning glaciers and 4,000m peaks in Switzerland and some ‘chocolate box’ flying around Lake Annecy in France.  Paragliding might be boring, dangerous and expensive but for me it represents one of the few times in our day to day lives when you really are, once stepping off that hill, responsible for your own destiny. It’s pure. It’s liberating. It’s reviving.

But why?

It’s good for the soul

There’s a lot of waiting around involved but more often than not you are in a stunning, or at least interesting place. That’s good in itself. Once you do step of the hill it’s the simplicity, independence and focused nature of free flying that really works for me. You can’t step off or take a break. You have to deal with what happens there and then. Feedback and results are immediate. It’s a great antidote to the sometimes complex world of work.

It’s good for the mind

A break from work helps you find perspective. Something else to focus your attention on speeds up that process. It’s a kind of disk defrag for the mind. It’s a way of rewiring the neural pathways you develop when working too hard for too long. What’s more that helps great ideas come to light. Like it or not back in the office things won’t change or happen without them.

And it’s often about the people

I have lived, visited and flown in over ten different countries.  Many of the people I have met along the way I am either still in touch with, or for the brief time I spent with them, they have often inspired me or at the very least brought a different perspective on things.  Mad Dog Chris who I flew with last week for example, who lives in Hawaii and works in a restaurant but spends more time flying, kiting and surfing than waiting tables. These people help remind you there is a whole world out there and there is more than one way to skin a cat.

So armed with a better state of mind, some fresh ideas and maybe a different approach to things I am returning to the office. And that’s good for business.

So take a break and pursue your passion.

And if you want to learn to fly you could do a lot worse than go visit my good friends Rob and Nic at Fly Spain in Andalucía. You won’t regret it.