Between Exhaustion & Energy
The past three weeks have been just short of insane. Haiti, Ohio, and Pennsylvania all in 3 weeks has produced one exhausted Mike.
It was so good to be with these communities because anytime you're with others who are on a common mission it is invigorating, exciting, and makes the energy seems limitless.
It is a gift to be able to spend time among such great people.
However, once it's over, you can sit down at your desk and realize you've been sustained by the energy of others and are now running on empty.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's not the way to keep up momentum over the long haul (this is especially true when you're operating in professions dedicated to caring for people).
The problem is that I know all of this, but these are lessons I learn the hard way.
So, how does this happen? Then, when it does happen, what can you do to pull through it without killing yourself?
Couple things to keep in mind…
- Traveling is an investment in relationships. Your presence matters & so you need to be present. Be ready to put all you have into the people you are with. Anything less is missing that gift.
- Dreaming & planning are exciting, but dreaming & planning can easily overrun the ability to do.
- Others actually speed up the progress being made. When you are not constrained by emails & text messages you remember that conversations really make a big difference.
- There is very little time to capture all the details of what needs to be done & who is going to do it. So, it is very easy to leave and have big questions about who is actually doing what & when things need are due.
- When you're with people, be with people…simple as that. Invest, invest, and invest even if you're running on empty when you leave.
- Don't over commit before or after periods of travel. Everyone agrees on this. We just don't do it.
- Create some space & use it. You have to have some down time while in the midst of it all. Whether that's watching TV for an hour in your hotel room or taking in a quiet lunch with a few friends, you can't "red line" it all the time.
- Expect priorities to change mid-course. You may have a plan for what you want to do while you're there; however, people are not projects. It's through creating mutual benefit that things grow.
- Traveling doesn't just affect you...others you work with have probably been waiting on you for something, so when you return make sure you're tuned in to what they need.
- Set realistic goals…it's easy to think you're going to conquer the world with one trip/visit. Spoiler alert - that never happens.
- Be ready to regroup quickly once back at your desk...both with those in your office & those you were with.
...that's all for my 15 minutes this week.
I'm going to create some space & use it.
(part of my 15 minutes a day observations about growth & development)