Vacation or staycation? Two choices for a holiday – either go somewhere or stay where you are. Either way you are investing your time and energy into something. I have found this to be a really useful metaphor for the choices we make in life.

About 26 years ago (to save you doing the math I was 3-years-old) my parents took my brother, sister and myself on a summer vacation. Cornwall is a southern part of the U.K., which is well known for its seaside, surfing and beautiful holiday locations. My parents had planned a lovely break full of sun bathing, sand castles, good food and plenty of fun. Unfortunately, the holiday was not what they planned.

I had whooping cough on the second night. My mum stayed up all night with me to make sure I was okay. As a result she was beyond exhausted the next day. Other guests complained about the family, as I couldn’t stop coughing at the breakfast table. The beds were uncomfortable so my older brother and sister were less than rested and I’m sure many parents know what a tired child can be like. It also rained heavily, so sand castles weren’t going to stay up. After three days of a seven day holiday, we held our hands up in defeat and came home.

At the time our back garden had no grass as we had just moved in and my parents decided to use the rest of time to lay the turf. This resulted in three small children stomping up and down one track of turf, gleefully shouting “We’ve got a garden!” My parents tell me that was the happiest they had seen us on that whole holiday. In terms of money, the turf cost about £100 and resulted in three happy children (and equally happy parents). The seaside holiday cost significantly more! Which was the better investment?

You either stay where you are or you go somewhere else. I am reminded of this as recently I have been beset with frustrations and disappointment. It’s been aimed at several different areas in my life, mostly at myself. It’s been my desire to perform to a certain standard or do something to a specific idea in mind; but for me it all came down to control. My desire for control over myself, control over circumstances and control over my world. Most would assume that because some like me teach and advocate this sort of material that I would be immune to it. Sadly it’s not true. We also have our own growth to consider which usually means we get some wonderful insights to share with our clients.

What does this have to do with vacations? Good question! It goes back to my previous comment. You either stay where you are or you go somewhere else. Depending on your circumstances it’s really a choice of what you want to do and where you put your energy.

You can choose to stay where you are or you can choose to go somewhere else. There is always a choice! With my frustration I chose to go somewhere else and simply let those frustrations go for a while. I gave myself permission to be okay with not having an answer straight away. I also gave myself permission to leave my frustration alone and, more importantly, I gave myself permission to have that permission.

As a result my mood and thoughts shifted. I started looking at what’s been going on with a different set of eyes. I found myself appreciating what I have and how far I’ve come rather than how far I have left to go. I was so focused on the wanting, I was blind to the wonders of what I already had.

Unfortunately, it was a case of LUST (the wanting rather than the physical side of the word) overriding everything else. After I first discovered this, I began to wonder about the other places in my life where I could put my mental energy into something more useful or simply stop something that wasn’t useful. The memory of my summer holiday 26 years ago, reminds me that sometimes we put a lot of energy into something that we think will make us happy, when a simpler option is right in front of us and results in greater happiness.

Where are you investing your energy? Is it a good investment?

Mike Brown

Mike is a Hypnotist, Neuro-Linguistic Programmer and Executive Coach. He practices Perception Engineering Psychology to help you shift your thoughts, beliefs and direction into alignment with joy, health and wealth. His experience and interests are in psychology, accelerated learning, personal change and life strategies. He is based in historic Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom. You can learn more about Mike by checking out his websites:

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