Recently I had the great fortune to take my three teenage boys away on a short skiing trip. There were several surprises and many great lessons whilst we were away, not least of which was how important Quality Time together with loved ones and those we need to work with closely is.
There is simply no replacement for face to face contact and time to relax and chat and have fun together! All of this is so backed up by much evidence now from the expanding arena of neuroscience, but I won’t go into that here! Nor will I go into the fact at just how much better my kids are than me now, the slow coach struggling to keep up….a sign of the times I suspect!
What did strike me the most though was the beautiful scenery and clear blue skies and bright sunshine, the crispness and cleanliness of the air and the purity of the white snow coating the ground. Even more special was as I looked into the distance and saw clouds covering the lower regions and valleys below. I felt invigorated, excited and privileged to have the clarity before me together with some compassion for those in the valley below who were living in darker times. I had a longing for them to see what we could see; I felt it so stunning that everyone should have a chance to experience it.
On my return home I couldn’t help but see the similarity between the actual clouds in the sky and thoughts in our heads. When we are busy doing our day to day, we so often have very busy minds. Such “busy-ness” creates a snow globe effect in our heads as the thoughts build and build and speed up, creating noise and interference such that we literally cannot see the opportunities right in front of us nor hear others speaking (Listening Rule #1 = thinking and listening are mutually exclusive: we cannot think and listen at the same time). We are like the people living in the valley with a cloud cover above our heads compromising our vision, clarity and enjoyment of life.
Life above the clouds however is beautiful and inspiring and when we take a moment to let our “snow globe” settle, and the thoughts calm down, suddenly we get the clarity and insights as our inner wisdom speaks to us. Some achieve this through meditation and some through mindfulness techniques such as using the Headspace app, there is no right or wrong way, each of us are different. But to perform at our best, our very best, we need to realise the level of interference we have at any one time and be able to calm it down to float above the “cloud”.
Think about it….when do you get your brilliant ideas? Most people tell me it’s when they are in the shower or bath, walking or running, driving home or doing something similar when they are not thinking about anything in particular, they are simply calm and content. These are when the business transforming and life changing ideas appear that we all get from time to time. How would it be for you if you got more and more of these? Exciting I bet! Simply take time to settle your minds throughout the day and watch the results.
Now I’m back home, I look forward to another trip to the mountain tops next ski season. Yes I will be more achy and even further behind my boys, that’s for sure, but at least I don’t have to wait another 12 months to live in a world above the clouds. That place we can all find every single day.
~Author: Antony Tinker