A couple of years ago, one of our marketers shared a quote with me; “Build a life you never need a vacation from.” He mentioned how this quote spoke to his soul. That same day I wrote the quote at the very top of my whiteboard. Mind you, this whiteboard is about 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide so the words were quite large. Jon Gorden states in his book, The Energy Bus, that we need to talk to ourselves more than we listen to ourselves. Hence, a giant whiteboard and the quote in large letters which made it quite hard to miss every time I was in my office. I would see it and remind myself of the dream, often. Just like our marketer, that quote resonated with my soul as well.
Before I dive into the idea of building a life you never need a vacation from, let me tell you that I, at this point in time have come to realize I am a vacation junkie. At no point do I believe vacations should go away. There will always be some sort of freedom and cleansing that comes with going away for a while which cannot be replicated any other way. For me, it is the Carribean. Let’s be real for a moment… it basically calls my name on a daily basis. I’m sure you all have these same feelings about something or somewhere. Build a life you never need a vacation from speaks to my soul in two ways: building and peace.
Before I wrote this blog I emailed my team and asked what this quote meant to them. Every response was about the end goal, peace. That peace took many shapes but ultimately no one mentioned anything about the “building” part of the quote. First, it’s important to realize the idea of building this type of life is never-ending. As my grandfather would always say, “Life happens while you’re making plans.” Notice how the quote doesn’t say “have” a life you never need a vacation from or acquire, purchase, have faith or fake a life you never need a vacation from. One of my favorite Joel Osteen quotes says “I was faithful where I was but I didn’t settle where I was”. To me, building a life means hard work, honesty, being good soil, financial responsibility, being prepared and most of all, time-consuming. In 2019, I was at the Linger conference down in Texas and heard one of the speakers say “Depth requires sweat. You will not coast into a close relationship with Christ.” This may be a spiritually directed quote but let’s be honest, depth in anything requires sweat and you can’t coast into something that you’re trying to accomplish. It just doesn’t work that way. When I see the quote on my board, I immediately ask myself, what am I doing to build this life I dream of?
What does this life look like? Like I mentioned before my team had different responses that were really good and thought-provoking. In fact, it made me realize they all wanted one thing, peace. Tracy mentioned a finished home, no more construction projects or decorating so she could just be with her family and friends. Stacey mentioned making fun memories each day with the people she surrounds herself with. Keri said loving every aspect of her life; her job, co-workers, the culture, family and her home. Then she doesn’t feel like she needs a break from stress. Lastly, and maybe the one that spoke to me the most summing up everyone’s idea of a life you don’t need a vacation from, Abby said to not have to worry what tomorrow is going to bring. Man, that just sends shivers right down the spine, doesn’t it? We all can relate because ultimately, each of us desires that for our lives! Behind my desk, at the office, I have a verse on the wall (that whole talking to yourself thing is obviously defined in my life by writing things out in large format),
“The Man of Integrity Walks Securely” ~ Proverbs 10:9
To me, this is the essence of peace. Waking up every morning, knowing that I am at peace in the deepest part of my soul because I have worked hard, been honest, loved deeply, and made choices that truly represent who I am and what I am passionate about, creating the ultimate caffeine boost for the day. Secrets, financial insecurity, poor attitudes, unhealthy lifestyle choices all steal a person’s internal security and leave lingering thoughts that constantly play in the back of their minds. It’s like walking around with weights on your shoulder that no one can see and that is not walking securely in any way, shape, or form.
My final thoughts. Building a life you never need a vacation from is more than a bad day at work, a constant battle at home or a financial issue which you need to take a week away on a beach somewhere to shed the stress. Quick wake up call, vacations are temporary. They don’t fix problems they just postpone them. Why not “build” a life that brings you as much peace and happiness on a daily basis as possible. Notice I am not giving you a quick fix answer or even an answer at all on how to build this life. Remember, building takes time and energy. What matters is that we build, even if its one decision at a time towards the life we don’t need a vacation from. I will, however, leave you with a great place to start! Amy Cuddy says in her book, Presence, “People spend to much time preparing their material and not enough time preparing their mind”. Invest in yourself. Stop worrying about the outside and start caring about the inside. Find what brings you joy and fight for it.