In a strive to be the best version of myself, I ended up being the direct opposite. I felt irritated, tired, slow and dissatisfied with the state of life when I entered my apartment in Zurich after my business trip. Why did my intentions turn out way off?
After 4 hours ride by bus from Zurich to Munich, I reached my harbor for the coming three days. I would spend time working with my distributed team onsite in Munich. Looking forward to meeting my beloved team members, I struggled inside how to make the stay sustainable on a personal level. I find it hard to maintain my daily routines when traveling and working at the same time. It requires more discipline and consciousness to keep them alive. Therefore I have decided to focus on a few habits that help me to stay healthy, satisfied and capable of maintaining good relationships. For example, I would remind myself to take breaks during the day, meditate in the morning, get enough sleep, eat fresh food and drink only a limited amount of coffee.
So, I had my intentions set, but of course, after all, they had to fit into the calendar. And this time I made sure they did. However, I never left space for spontaneity and no space for doing nothing. When spontaneity enters the rooms of longing in my heart, I usually cannot resist. I end up adding activities to my list, instead of replacing. This time I couldnt resist meeting my childhood friend, who lives in Munich, though I didn’t have time. After dinner with my team, I went to her place. I never asked myself at that moment if I had enough energy, if I was tired or needed a proper rest. I blindly trusted that my planned activities like meditation and a later breakfast would do the charm. I was so wrong. In the morning I ended up feeling very tired and the feeling of disappointment with my planning grew throughout the day. What did actually happen?
I focused on the activities (being equal to goals), but not on the intentions. I planned to do certain things, I did them as well. However, I never checked my feelings, sensations and thoughts in the moment. I reached the goals, but I did not fullfil the intention. An intention is something different than a goal. The intention is like a vision. It is a guiding star. Depending on the circumstances, the goals might change in order to keep the right course towards the intention. My intention was to have a sustainable stay, but not necessarily waking up at 6:30 to meditate. Sometimes it is important to skip an activity that otherwise supports the intention. The awareness of the wholeness of the situation and not only the separate parts is important.
I believe that we often miss the greater purpose in the working context as well. When developing companies and products, we set a vision which is supported by the milestones. Along the way, we might forget to look back and re-evaluate. We just continue going with the same picture in mind, or even none, because we have already forgotten. The pure belief and feeling that what was said, decided and presented once before is the truth. Importance of returning to the present moment cannot be underestimated. This is why I always try to have retrospectives with my teams to stop, to reflect and learn.
If I had asked myself at the moment I took the decision to go to another part of the city at 9 PM on a Tuesday night, what I actually needed, I might have ended up choosing a different activity. However, meeting a good friend is always one of the best things you can do 😉