A question I was asked during a goal setting workshop was: “10 years from now, you just had the best year of your life. Make a statement about your year.” Mine was: Everyday felt like vacation!
Bill Gates states we under estimate what we can accomplish in 10 years, but overestimate what we will accomplish in one year. I got curious. What is it about vacation that I crave and how could I have an experience like that every day?
After discussion with my husband we landed on these vacation qualities:
- Connection and removed from daily life distractions, while experiencing something new and different.
- Not about the destination, we can create these experiences anywhere.
I now create the intention each day using the 3 things list.
What 3 things do I want to focus on today and accomplice or experience? If you focus on 3 you a highly likely to achieve them, if you focus on a to-do list of 12 you will likely only accomplish 1 or 2 because the list becomes overwhelming.
In order for the experience to become a memory it requires us to transfer from Short term to Long Term memory.
- Adventure Education (episode 010 w/ Jessica Jens) the reflection is the most important step in the process
- According to educational theory, when we transfer the experience to another method actually deepens the learning. For example you transfer the doing of the experience to writing about the experience, or creating a visual from the experience the retention of the experience is much deeper.
- by having an intention practice it also holds us accountable. Some examples include photo a day, Visual Accountability journaling.
- Our life is more than the highlight reels on social media. It’s important to document the good and the bad.
- According to Neuro-Science, human beings are horrible at remembering. The formal reflection process helps you process the experience and create reminders for the future or to share with others.
Documenting helps create connections
- Allows you to connect to you, who you are and who you are becoming. All of it-the good, bad and ugly. Honor all of it. This is your life.
- Connects with people in the stories. We need to tell and capture the stories because they may not be able to. When they hear it or see it will feel a sense of belonging. They mattered enough to be in your stories.
- People we may never meet might need to hear our stories. Our stories might offer hope, comfort, and perspective. That offering allows them to feel. I have a few listeners, whom I’ve never met share these words with me. I feel like you are telling my story.
- Photos: Power of visualizations We are learning about this through Tech Industry and Business Intelligence (BI) work. Example One second every day Ted talk. CAUTIONARY NOTE: Make sure as the photographer you get out from behind the lens to be included in the photographic proof of the experience.
- Journal/blog. Upcoming episode with Author Johanna Garton who literally turned her family adventure story into a book.
Curate/Collect: What is “the thing” from this unique experience that you want to remember. I know some collect rocks, ticket stubs, postcards, stickers, magnets, coffee mugs or maybe something unique for each experience as appropriate.
- When we are downhill skiing we collect stickers for our car top carrier, often the kids will put them on their ski helmets as well.
- My daughter has a travel goal to hit all of the national parks so we have a postcard for each one and she writes the date she visited and one sentence about the experience.
- My mom was a long time coffee mug collector. I took her to Texas for her birthday in 2019. We both bought coffee mugs at the Magnolia Silos in Waco and I can’t tell you how many times during 2020 we texted each other a picture of our coffee mugs as a reflection of that memory. In a time that we weren’t physically together we could share a cup of coffee and remember that shared connection.
- Artistic reflection (drawing, home decor, scrapbook) Creating and doing is one of the greatest sources of learning. It defines your individualized experience
Sources for deeper reflection:
Why Mundane moments truly Matter (NY Times article). “How we spend our days, is how we spend our life.” Why Mundane Moments Truly Matter – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
As mentioned earlier in the show, I have several upcoming episodes with adventure author Johanna Garton. She is the Author of Awakening East and Edge of the Map. The first episode will dive into her adventure story which is Awakening East where she unfolds the story of international travel, adoption and living abroad with her family. Part 2 will dive into Edge of the Map which Johanna authors the adventure story of Christine Boskoff, a world class alpine climber. Awakening East is an older book so it may be hard to find in independent bookstores. I am including the link to it on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2N9Mn3o However, if you purchase Edge of the Map from her website www.johannagarton.com and use the coupon code SHERPA for 25% off. They are both great reads for on the beach or by the fire, wherever you might be right now and I can’t wait to dive into them with Johanna in upcoming episodes.
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