For the last few weeks, I’ve been feeling incredibly overwhelmed – and usually for one of two (or both) reasons. First, becoming debt-free (and writing about it) has opened a number of new doors, none of which I ever expected. Second, with each of these new opportunities comes what feels like a hundred new ideas. My mind is constantly racing – so much that I’ve filled almost an entire notebook with random thoughts and to-do lists. But add all of that on top of the fact that I’ve only spent four of the last 19 nights in my own bed and you can see why I’ve been going a little nuts.
I’ve also noticed that when you work online, socialize online, read blogs, write blogs, email non-stop, etc., your mind has even more to sift through. Digital noise, let’s call it. I scroll through Facebook and Twitter and like or favourite anything I want to go back and read whenever I can find the time (which is almost never). I see beautiful images on Instagram and think about projects I’d like to tackle or things I want to research (but never do). And I bookmark blog posts, great stories and advice, with the intention of re-reading it and using it… but then I forget about it, until I find the bookmark a month later.
For a while there, I think I was so plugged in that I was just lost in it all. I was writing growing lists of things I wanted to do but I couldn’t make any decisions or come up with actionable steps to make anything happen. What I needed was to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
Cue my trip to Toronto.
On Day 6 of my 10-day trip, my co-workers and I drove three hours outside of the city to a little town called Bath. There, we spent three nights at a cottage on Lake Ontario. Our offsite started off with a number of presentations and breakout sessions, but we also made an effort to relax and enjoy our time together.
There were bus rides, boat rides and winery tours. There was a live guitarist and hilarious sing-along’s around the fire. We were treated to a delicious, catered meal one night, then prepared all of our other meals together in pairs. And there were so many (maybe too many) s’mores.
We worked together to make sure we all had the best three days possible… and other than posting a few pictures on Instagram, I stayed offline for almost all of it.
A lot of what I took away from that trip I’ll keep to myself for now, but what I can say is this: Life is too short to simply make lists of things you want to do. If you know what at least one of your major goals is, you need to start acting on it. Today. Not tomorrow. Not when someone can help. You need to act on it today.
Reading articles, blogs, columns, etc. can only take you so far. Yes, there is great information out there, but what I needed to realize is that most of it is there to inspire me. I don’t often read something because I want to take the experiences or advice and use it myself. I want it to inspire me to do something different.
I have big dreams. I mean really big dreams. I fantasize about them, and write down ideas and to-do lists, but the fear of failing always stops me from moving forward. Well, nuts to that. I’m picking one and I’m going to at least try to make it happen. And if people think I’m crazy, then I’m ready to sound crazy.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, I did do the EdgeWalk! On Saturday morning at 8am EST, right before packing my bags and flying back to Vancouver. It was AWESOME.
When was the last time you unplugged from the digital world for a couple days?