“Gotta get there, gotta get there, gotta get there.”
Although we may not say these exact words, many of us when traveling for business have the habit of bringing to the experience the intensity of someone running a race.
We believe that we’ll settle in “later” – on the plane, at the hotel, maybe after the big meeting, perhaps on the way home.
This habit is pretty deeply ingrained for many of us – in fact, we may have been admonished for many years to “go big or go home,” to “work hard and play hard,” to “do our best.”
Certainly, each of these ideas may have its time and place, but for many of us, business travel can feel like a metaphor for life – chasing a rabbit of contentment that somehow is always one step ahead of us.
This blog is devoted to the idea that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Allow me to tell you a story.
When I was in college, I studied abroad in Costa Rica and lived for two months in a remote rural village with no running water and no electricity. One day I walked to a neighboring village along an isolated dirt road. It was perhaps the first time in my life I was completely alone with my thoughts. As I walked, I was very much in the typical Western mode of “goal-orientation.” Gotta get there, gotta get there, gotta get there. There was tension in my entire body – and certainly in my mind. I barely saw the world around me.
As I walked, and walked, and walked, I gradually become aware of my footsteps – that I was walking on the earth. In fact, I was so alone I felt I was logrolling the earth with my feet. A feeling of peace came over me that I had not experienced before – a sense that I had already arrived, that walking was not only a means to get to the village, but also an end in itself. I was already home.
The feeling did not last, but I had tasted it for the first time. Now I at least knew it was possible to feel like that.
This simple blog has a very modest intention – to share the pleasure of “arriving in every moment.” Together, we can cultivate the habit of becoming more present. More solid. More free. More there.
This state of mind has been called “mindfulness.”
Mindfulness simply means being aware of what is happening in the present moment. If you’ve ever seen a child fully engrossed in play, you’ve seen mindfulness. If you’ve ever lost yourself in an activity so completely you might describe it as a state of “flow,” you’ve experienced mindfulness.
Can that state be realized as we travel? As we travel for business?
It can. Let’s begin our journey, knowing we have already arrived and don’t have to wait a moment further to relax and enjoy our time together.
After all, peace is every step.
The Mindful Business Traveler