Remember those papers you wrote as kid entitled “What I learned on my summer vacation?” I just got back from a cycling vacation and I’d like to share what I learned and how it might help you at work.
I’m a pretty healthy eater and wouldn’t typically eat anything close to a bratwurst – especially when it’s prepared by a street vendor and I don’t know the contents or origins of the sausage. But, I learned that sometimes the “locals” really do know what’s best and that bratwurst is really good!
Lesson Learned… Maybe the folks in other departments that are serving you their “bratwurst” really do know something you don’t know. Maybe the local knowledge gives them different insights and perspectives that you don’t have. What if you trusted their judgement and tried something new?
2. Bad Weather
I cycled 168 miles in 6 days throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland. What a glorious way to see the countryside and observe local customs. One challenge was that It rained 5 of the 6 days. UGH! My husband and I could have ridden in the van and hung out in museums but that wasn’t the trip we had in mind so we got up every day and put on our right rain gear and started peddling. Of course it became a joke with our fellow cyclists. We are all better riders now and we still had lots of laughs.
So it was fitting that right after our good bye dinner in Konstanz, Germany we stepped outside to survey the skies. Lo and behold, we saw the most beautiful double rainbow over the city. What a fabulous reward for all the rain!
Lesson Learned… Work can be challenging. Unexpected obstacles arise and you just have to keep “peddling” to move forward. It’s not what you planned, it’s not what you would have chosen – it’s what’s in front of you right now. The bad weather brings the team closer and helps you learn – if you let it. Now you can go look for that rainbow.
I fell twice while riding my bike. I was jarred and scared and felt sorry for myself. Both times, I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings. The guides even warned us about each of the hazards that I encountered. When they talked about safety, I thought “I’m a good rider – I know what I’m doing…this doesn’t apply to me.” Boy was I wrong and I have the soreness and bruises to prove it.
Lesson Learned… It’s a good idea to pay attention – even when you think you know what’s being discussed. Let’s admit it. We’re all guilty of zoning out during meetings. It’s easy to get distracted and think about what’s “really important” back at your desk or in your work area. It makes sense to heed the advice of those who might just know a bit more than you do. You can learn a lot and avoid the bruises.
I hope you are taking some time off this summer to relax and enjoy time away from work. In the meantime, take a look at things with fresh eyes and think about how you can create your own Professional Paradise today.