Friday, February 09, 2007

Lessons Learned in Paradise

Lisa and I on KauaiLisa and I just got back from a wonderful, if all too short, vacation on Kauai, the "Garden Isle". I knew it would be a magical visit when, my body still on Eastern Standard Time, I awoke at 4am on our first night there and light from the full moon streamed through our open window.

While there, in between hikes and our many adventures, I had time to just sit quietly and stare off at the horizon and contemplate whatever thoughts entered my mind. From this time, and in no particular order, I came up with some life lessons learned from our trip:

  • There are times to "do" and other times just to "be". I loved my moments of just sitting on our balcony, reading a pleasure-reading book, and just appreciating the particular sounds and scents of where we were. I also wouldn't have missed going out on our sunset cruise to see the humpback whales.
  • Sometimes you have to miss a little sleep to find the beauty in life. One of the mornings we got up early to drive down to the beach, climb the cliffs and watch the sun rise over the Pacific. While we enjoyed the golden spectacle of the sun clearing the horizon, we also witnessed whales off cavorting in the distance.
  • Don't give up when the storm gathers. The sun is just on the other side. One of the peculiarities of the Kauai weather was that if it rains on one side of the island, the other side is quite often clear and sunny.
  • Dabbling is easy. Commitment, while ultimately worth it, is a challenge. As I said, we loved visiting Kauai. In chatting with some of the locals, however, we discovered that living there can be quite a challenge. Due to the high cost of living, many have to hold two or three jobs just to make ends meet.
  • When you are someplace new and strange, it helps to have a guide. We stayed in a great B&B called Marjorie's Kauai Inn. Our hosts, Daniella and Michael, took time the very first night to make recommendations on places to see and food to eat. Daniella pointed us to our amazing sunset cruise and even helped to arrange everything.
  • For the best experiences it helps to have the right tools. On our hike into the Waimea Canyon, we would have been "challenged" without a good map and hiking boots. Being a person of occasionally poor directional sense, having a GPS built into my cell phone took that particular stress off my shoulders.
I'm sure some other lessons popped into my head, but that's about all I can think of for right now. Funny thing is, I could take those same rules and apply it to having my own business, too.

So, when was the last time you took a moment to just "be"?

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